Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Trolley Story

A couple of things….

First, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here. That means that I’ve lost everyone who was reading this in the past. So, basically, I’m writing to myself now, I guess, unless I hear otherwise….

Second, I will try to post something on here at least once a week—more if I have time. It may be brief, but I gotta do this for my own mental health (more about this if you like later).

Finally, I am happy for all those who have encouraged me to keep this up.

So….

The streetcars are coming back to St. Charles Avenue this weekend. Chris Rose has a story about it in today’s TP.

Here’s my streetcar story (there are many, but this one comes to mind first).

It’s a Friday night in the Summer 2004. We (collectively, it’s Susan, Devin, Cece, David, and myself) have parked our car in the lot on St. Peters and Bienville. We’re heading to Samurai Sushi for a wonderful experience (really, some of the best sushi in New Orleans). We have some “leftovers” I believe and we plan on walking around the Quarter, so we get to the car to put things away, and I notice that the lights are on!!! Ugh, lights on for an hour or so. I hope the car starts up. I try, but “click”—nothing at all. Cars are parked on both sides of me, I can’t jump it from this angle even if someone could help me, and the cops won’t jump it because “they aren’t supposed to help” (so they said at the time). So, what’s a person to do?

I tell Susan and the kids to enjoy themselves down in the Quarter while I go back home to get our other car. How am I going to get home? Well, we don’t have that much money, and I can’t really afford a cab (someday, I’ll tell you my “real” story about living near the edge of poverty while in New Orleans—especially in the summer when I didn’t have ANY steady work what-so-ever). So, the Streetcar is the best solution. I know it will be relatively fun too, even under this “crisis” situation. I catch the trolley at St. Charles and Common and figure it will take me about 30 minutes to get to the end (Carrolton and Claiborne). 45 minutes later, I reach the end of the line, and then walk to my neighborhood and house, roughly 15 to 20 minutes away on Walmsley.

It was a great night for a trolley ride. The sounds of the doors opening and closing, the hum of the engines, the rough feel of the wheels on the tracks. Passing Igor’s on St. Charles brought back memories of too many drinks and wonderful burgers and breakfasts. Seeing the houses, the lights of Loyola and Tulane, rounding the corner onto Carrolton and passing by the Camelia Grille—it is just a wonderful experience. It had been a long time since I had taken the trolley all the way back home from downtown. This was a great excuse to ride.

It’s great to see the trolley coming back on-line. New Orleans is way off as far as recovering at a pace I feel is necessary. But this is one more cultural icon the city needs to be back to normal.

2 comments:

Vicky said...

Glad you're back posting.

Banzai Bill said...

Thanks. I appreciate seeing comments, and I will try to be more active here. It's good for my mental health.