New Orleans brings to mind many a thing: the charming streets of the French Quarter, the madness of Bourbon Street, the colonial architecture of Louisiana plantations, jazz, zydeco, creole cooking, the brothels of Storyville, and alligators.
For a change, I'll begin my account from our visit to New Orleans with a neighborhood that is not the typical face of the city.
This neighborhood is the Warehouse District - an industrial area by the port, where in the 19th century, coffee, grains, and produce were stored. When in the 1950s containers came into use, the magazines were no longer needed. Virtually overnight the Warehouse District became an urban wasteland where nobody sane would choose to wander.
In the 1970s something unthinkable happened: the Contemporary Arts Center opened its doors at one of the abandoned warehouses. Artists quickly recognized the area's potential and galleries began to sprout. After that, a few magazines turned into museums, well-known chefs moved their restaurants into the neighborhood, the tourists came, and with them, the hotels. The Warehouse District again became an integral part of the city.
We stayed in the Warehouse District during the first half of our visit to New Orleans and regretted not staying longer, but that I will tell you about some other time.
|W latach 70. stało się coś nie do pomyślenia: w jednym z opuszczonych magazynów otworzyło swoje podwoje Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej. Artyści dostrzegli w dzielnicy potencjał i szybko zaczęły pojawiać się kolejne galerie. Potem kilka magazynów przemieniono na muzea, do dzielnicy wprowadziły się restauracje znanych szefów kuchni, pojawili się turyści, a wraz z nimi hotele. Warehouse District ponownie stał się integralną częścią miasta.
|Parking garages are incarnations of old warehouses' skeletons and roofs...
|Garaże to inkarnacja magazynów, z których zachowały się jedynie gnaty i dach...
|Our hotel also took up a post-industrial space. Yet another time we stayed in a place above our budget, thanks to the Priceline service offering great deals for booking surprise hotels.
|The visit to the WWII Museum was highly educational. We learned that you can present the history of WWII without mentioning Stalin's name once. And that 30 seconds is enough to cover the topic of concentration camps in a 2 hour long feature. And that the US made the only right decision dropping two atomic bombs on Japan. Really, I have no idea why we went.
|There are lots of fancy restaurants and hip spots in the area but what's visibly missing are just ordinary bars serving beer and cheap, good food. Fortunately, there is one surviver. It's name is a turn-off but I'm glad it didn't repel us. It seems that nothing had changed at Corporation in a long time. Only the locals are occupying the bar. During lunch, it is stormed by hungry blue-collar workers. The kitchen's hours are bizarre and it's easy to miss it being open. We tried other places in the Warehouse District but we kept coming back to Corporation.
|The po'boy is one of New Orleans' flag sandwiches. A New Orleans French bread (which is a baby of a real baguette and white bread) is loaded with fried oysters or shrimp (most commonly) and dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, and pickles. We have tried many versions, also those much more creative, but when I crave a po'boy, I crave the Corporation po'boy.