Don’t People Usually Mention the Food and the Music First?

On Monday I left a clue about where I’ve been vacationing. I said there were “gators,” but it wasn’t Florida. Yup, that’s right. I was in New Orleans and even ventured into Cajun Country. I can’t begin to cover the (at least several) subjects that grabbed my attention in one post, but let me say that architecture was a big one. Housing styles in New Orleans are pretty specific to the Big Easy, and they are clearly defined. The three main styles that I noticed were Creole Cottage, Center Hall Cottage, and Townhouse. Shotgun is another style–it’s characterized by its long narrow layout. They are also the type of house that Property Brothers on HGTV is currently renovating.

This is a Creole Cottage.


Notice the two windows and two doors across the front of the Creole Cottage. These are very common. This is a renovated version. Typically, someone buys a rundown cottage, lives in one side and renovates the other. Then they rent out the renovated side and renovate their own side. Sometimes owners eventually take over the entire house, but the one in the photo is still set up like a duplex.

This beautiful white house is a Center Hall Cottage. This style is seen elsewhere in the American South and the Caribbean, so its style is thought to predate New Orleans.

The Townhouse style, as seen above, is two or three stories, and has a “gallery” above with a wrought iron railing in the Spanish style. Generally, there is no door upstairs and, instead, residents exit to the gallery through a “guillotine” window.  Some of these houses have a balcony rather than a gallery. The difference is that a gallery is supported by posts, whereas a balcony is not. The gallery is wider, and the balcony a very narrow ledge.

The next photo is the Shotgun style, similar to the one remodelled by Property Brothers. They decided to split the space so that the front is a separate apartment from the back. This is different from the typical Creole Cottage renovations where both apartments have a front door. Of course, it was necessary for them to do this because of the narrow footprint of the Shotgun style. Sorry for the window reflection on this one.


Thus ends my lesson in New Orleans residential architecture hahaha. We did take a tour of the city, and by the end, I was begging the gardener to quiz me on the styles. No could do. I have always been really keen on the “art” of architecture (as opposed to the math of it, I guess).

We stayed on St. Charles Avenue, which is the parade path during Mardi Gras. All up and down the avenue the trees are strung with party beads, reminding tourists and residents of the fun ahead. Lucky me, I found a strand in the mud, as if the city was welcoming me ;).

And although it wasn’t the season, I still thought a mask was in order.

Tragedy and Comedy

Tragedy and Comedy

Maybe I’ll come back later and talk about food, music, and graves . . . .


Filed under #writerlife, Art and Music, History, Nonfiction, Sightseeing & Travel

42 responses to “Don’t People Usually Mention the Food and the Music First?

  1. You make me itch to travel! I love architecture. What beautiful houses! I’d love to see inside (too bad you’re not a spy).

    We considered building a tiny house like the Creole one on our property but at the time had 5 kids living at home. The kids revolted at the idea of living in a tiny house with a yurt out back so went with something more conventional.

    • I can imagine that the kids wouldn’t like that as they wouldn’t have any interior space in the house away from the parents!
      You can’t imagine how often I want to be a spy or invisible or a time traveler ;).! So, yes, too bad I am not!

  2. NOLA is always a nice place to visit with lots of things to see and do!

  3. We are hoping to travel this way soon – thanks for the carrot! Always intrigued by architecture.

  4. Nice! I love the architecture, too 🙂
    I will be waiting to read about the food.

  5. I love NO. The architecture and food are fabulous!

    • I had to bring a bottle of Gaviscon on the plane back for the gardener. I didn’t bring it there because I knew we would buy it, but it cost $12 (speaking of drug costs!!!!!!!!!) so I wanted to bring it back and asked the TSA lady to do her test. She teased me by asking if it was because of the food in New Orleans. When I told her it was for Mr. Celiac, she told me lots and lots of people leave the city with heartburn and heartburn meds!

  6. Lovely gingerbread frills on the homes. Made me want to revisit NO!

  7. Great adventures, seeing the world!

    • It’s the best! Well, other than hanging out with my cats haha. We went over to Gulfport and Biloxi, too, as well as Baton Rouge and some other towns in Cajun Country.

  8. Thanks for taking us along on your trip, Luanne. The architecture is gorgeous.

  9. Gawd, how I love New Orleans. What a city! The first story I wrote after 40 years of non-writing was set in a graveyard in the Big Easy. And don’t get me started on beignets, perfumiers, Hurricanes on Bourbon St., and yes, the architecture. GREAT post. GREAT pictures. Great big envy here!

    • Oh, how cool is that?! Yes, I didn’t get to spend the time in the cemeteries that I wanted to! Woohoo, so nifty! Wonderful things to be found in New Orleans. And the architecture is so stunning. I didn’t even mention the humongous quantity of gorgeous Victorian mansions in the Garden District. Just WOW. I never got to taste a Hurricane, which was a bummer, but that Bloody Mary I just wrote you about on your blog was excellent! I wanted to stop at one of those little daiquiri bars, but the gardener was uninterested in spending money at a bar just for the sake of . . . a drink.

      • Oh, and I forgot to mention a dinner at Antoine’s where I had – what else – Oysters Rockefeller. I remember taking the St. Charles (I think it was) streetcar which passed some mighty impressive mansions and Tulane and Loyola Universities. Such a fabulous city. Next time you want to go, call me and I’ll join you and we can peruse all the low spots and high spots together!

  10. Thanks for all the info on architecture and pix –> I will keep an eye out for all these styles when next I visit.

    • I forgot to mention the gorgeous Victorian mansions in the Garden District, too. Just down from where we stayed (opposite direction from the French Quarter on St. Charles) is a beautiful home now used for weddings. It’s white and Victorian and all decked out in Christmas “attire.” Check it out! Maybe you can catch a pic at night. If so, I’d love to snag it from you.

  11. I visited New Orleans as a child and was quite shocked at the behaviors during Mardi Gras in my innocence. I feel in love with New Orleans through Anne Rice’s books. She describes the architecture and lifestyle so very well, and brings into her stories the history. You do what I do when visiting. You can get the food anywhere these days, and hear any sort of music you like on YouTube, but you can’t visualize the real charm of a place until you’ve visited. Even TV doesn’t do it justice.

  12. Thanks for the tour, Luanne! I’ve never been to New Orleans. You can see the influence of so many cultures in the homes you’ve featured here. Of course, you know, me I’d like to hear about the other stuff, too–especially the food. 🙂

  13. This is a place I’d love to visit Luanne and the interesting architecture is definitely one of its attractions.

  14. Loved the NOLA pics – and great commentary on the styles…looks like you had a great time!
    Finding the beads was wonderful good luck…

    • I thought that the bead finding meant good luck beyond the beads themselves. There seemed to be something important about it.
      Thanks, Sheila. We had a good time!

  15. I’ve been to NOLA a couple of times. First time, I was attending t a conference so my husband played while I worked. Second time, my husband was attending a conference so I played (and wrote for NaNoWriMo) while he worked. Of course, I preferred the latter time 😉 Food was a big thing for us. I don’t think we could find a bad meal if we tried. On our first trip, I “discovered” dry gin martinis and been in love ever since. The city fascinates me. You can drop $200 on a fine dinner and then almost break an ankle tripping over the cracks on the broken sidewalk in front. NOLA’s infrastructure is really in bad shape. On our last visit I took a lot of pictures of broken sidewalks. And the crime, of course, the crime. It’s unnerving when you hear of a person being shot dead in the French Quarter the night after you had walked those same streets. Still, we’re eager to go back. I’m fairly ignorant about architecture so I really appreciate your photos and commentary.

    • We left for NOLA the day after 9 people were shot on Bourbon Street (one died). We did pause and think about it, but decided to go anyway. So I understand. And the sidewalks, yes. A friend warned me about them because she knows it can be a little difficult for me with my foot (it’s reconstructed and a bit clumsy). I really had to watch the sidewalks when I walked, so it was hard to snap pix, but I figured I could handle it ;). And, yes, so many expensive restaurants! We only had that one pricey dinner, but you had up the other meals and it’s pretty expensive! We saved money by having a drink in our time share before going out for dinner. And really that was more relaxing as we sat on the roof and could see the skyline. I love hearing how much you enjoyed the food there!

      • I like the idea of having a drink on the roof! We stayed in hotels when we were there. I’d like to try an Airbnb sometime. We’ve had great success with Airbnb in CA and Savannah GA. Omg, 9 people shot on Bourbon???? So sad ….

  16. Love your pics Luanne, I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans! I missed this somehow… xoxo

  17. Luanne I have always wanted to go there too, the architecture is amazing and very unique to this city. I hear the food is wonderful too. Maybe one day.

  18. Beautiful picture of the architecture NOLA has to offer! It’s great these buildings and historic architecture are still around for us to look at.

    • It really seems like a pretty well preserved historical city in comparison with many. I love that people are continuing to buy the old homes and restoring them.

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