Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The next day, Friday, while CH was at the conference, I continued to explore the Big Easy. At the corner of Canal and Carondelet), I stood in line (you could tell the regular riders based on how they dress and what they carry going to work or daily routines different from tourists like me just riding the streetcar for the experience of riding the old-time vehicle) waiting for the famous St. Charles streetcar.
The St. Charles streetcar, an iconic dark green wooden streetcar, is a National Historic Landmark. It takes riders from downtown (Canal and Carondelet) to the end of the line at South Carrolton and South Clairborne Avenue. For only $1.25 each way, the 6 1/2 miles offers the best views of beautiful Southern mansions in the Garden District. Running along Carondelet, the route passed Common, Gravier, Union, Perdioso, Poydras, Lafayette, Girod, Julia, St. Joseph then turn around at Lee Circle Monument on Andrew Higgins Drive and back to Canal.
I wanted to ride the 952 because it was the streetcar (named Desire) that Blanche DuBois was told to take but I did not wish to transfer to the one called Cemeteries, ride six blocks and get off at Elysian Fields, so I got on the 906!
Claimed to be the oldest continuosly operating street railway system in the world, St. Charles streetcar is not air-conditioned. It does provide a good map of all the stops along the route (above photo) and if I had more time, I would love to hop on-and-off at all the interesting points or ride around a few times. It would be the least expensive way to see the town at my own pace.