I. Upper Central Business District
Many parts of New Orleans, such as Desire Street in Faubourg Marigny, are no longer served by a streetcar. The city was once well-served by a network of streetcars, but during mid-twentieth century they almost entirely disappeared. While the historic St Charles Avenue streetcar still rumbles slowly along the route laid out during the 1830s, new vehicles and routes are now being reinstated. From the Canal Street terminus, streetcars serve two routes to City Park and the Metairie and Greenwood Cemeteries. A third line is planned to serve Rampart Street and will eventually stretch downriver. Unlike the old green St Charles street car, these red replicas are air-conditioned, have a disabled access lift, and run relatively quickly.
Harrah's is the only licensed casino in New Orleans and appears to be one of the most popular attractions in the area. Legalised gambling is the anodyne pass time of visitors to the city, which was once known as 'Sin City' in the late nineteenth century because of the population of sailors in town and the high levels of crime and prostitution.
The casino, sitting under the two domes, was built in 1999. A hotch-potch of cheaply produced classical motifs, this massive ensemble fills an entire block and is difficult to avoid with its garish illumination and blaring music which is pumped out of speakers along the entire length of the building.
In the background, bank buildings and expensive chain hotels dominate the business quarter. In the foreground, the railway lines serve the Riverside Streetcar and a mile-long freight train, which announces its approach each day with a blasting horn at around 11.30 am.
The 1960s World Trade Center is a colossal symbol of the failed riverfront development. Dominating the skyline, this office block is almost entirely unoccupied and provides a significant obstacle for pedestrians who wish to cross from the Central Business District to the Mississippi river.
The banner advertises the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and IMAX cinema, located near to the WTC, which provides a slightly more appealing visitor attraction than the Riverside shopping mall a little further up the promenade.
Coming next, a look at the Riverfront reveals why New Orleans turns its back on the Mississippi.