New Orleans is a pedestrian-friendly city, providing you're not in a rush to go anywhere, and has a public transport system comprising of buses, streetcars and ferries. Foot passengers travel for free on the ferry (above) across the Mississippi to Algiers, so I went to have a look at the little town.
A plaque beside the ferry terminal building sets the scene:
Algiers, established in 1719, is the second oldest neighbourhood in New Orleans. Originally called the "King's Plantation," it was first used as the location for the city's powder magazine, a holding area for the newly arrived African slaves, and the first port of call for the displaced Cajuns. Developed as a town by Barthelemy Duverje, Algiers expanded due mainly to the shipbuilding and repair industries of the dry docks and the extensive railroad yards. A large part of the town surrounding the Courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1895 but rose again like a Phoenix from the ashes. Many Jazz and Blues "greats" have called Algiers home including Lester Young, Memphis Minnie, Henry "Red" Allen, George Lewis and "Kid" Thomas Valentine. The charm and architecture of old Algiers is New Orleans' "hidden jewel."
Although damaged by winds, Algiers was not flooded following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, thanks in part to the raised levee that separates the urban area from the river.
Evidence of the historic flood risk of the area is nevertheless evident. Most houses are raised around three feet from the ground and stand on brick stilts.
Few shops remain in this now largely residential area.
Time seems to have stood still in this historic district.
Next post: a return to reality in the Warehouse and American districts.