NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-April-2019 Unpacking Bayou St. John

NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-April-2019 Unpacking Bayou St. John

NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-April-2019 – Unpacking Bayou St. John.

NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-April-2019

Aerial view of the city, with Bayou St. John in the foreground.

NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-April-2019

NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-April-2019

Elmer’s Candy Truck. Undated, likely 1950s.

Happy Easter! Happy Elmer’s Gold Brick Eggs. The Elmer’s truck is from Pop Evans’ fun group, New Orleans “Black” in the Day on Facebook. Elmer’s Gold Brick was more of a year-round candy. Now, the egg-shaped version is an Easter treat.

So, there’s a group on the Book of Face, “The New Orleans Culture.” I enjoy the people and the posts, and share a good bit there. This is in addition to sharing at Ain’t There No More. While I don’t like posting unattributed photos, I want to talk about this one. If you know the photographer, please let me know, so I can get proper permission! Before the photo unpack, we’ll do the best of “Today in New Orleans History” for this week.

The Greater New Orleans Bridge Opens

NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-April-2019

Construction progresses on the Greater New Orleans Bridge 1-February-1957 (photographer unknown)

The Greater New Orleans Bridge opened to vehicular traffic on 15-April-1958. The Mississippi River Bridge Authority took bids for a new bridge across the river in 1957. They accepted one in November of that year. By the next spring, the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson was no longer the only bridge crossing in the metro New Orleans Area. While the Huey had lanes for cars, its main role was as a railroad bridge. The GNO Bridge connected Algiers and Gretna residents with downtown New Orleans. The single-span bridge required “traffic controls” by the 1970s. MRBA police blocked traffic in the mornings at various choke points. They opened one route to the bridge at a time, in 10-15 minute intervals. This created a more-orderly flow in the mornings.

These traffic controls annoyed commuters. The state funded construction of a second span in 1984. The current incarnation of Da Bridge is named the Crescent City Connection.

Today in New Orleans History 15-April-2019

Unpacking the Bayou

We continue photo segments on NOLA History Guy Podcast 20-April-2019. Street-level photos of Bayou St. John inspire artists and writers alike. Bayou Bridge crosses at Esplanade Avenue. Magnolia Bridge (visible in this photo) crosses in front of Cabrini High School. While Magnolia appears to be a bridge to nowhere, the streetcar used to pass by on Moss Street. Therefore, folks could take the Esplanade line, get off at the bridge, and then walk across to homes in the City Park neighborhood.

Trees envelope Pitot House, on the left side of the bayou. Our Lady of the Rosary, on Esplanade Avenue, stands just outside the frame on the left. This photo shows the church’s backyard.

Down the Bayou

The second turn, on the other side of Magnolia bridge, offers a last bit of waterway. BSJ ends just out of frame on the right. The bayou leads the way to Parkway Bakery, on Hagan Street. The Faubourg St. John neighborhood flows from Esplanade, to Orleans Avenue (more or less) on the left side.

 

Last Week’s NOLA History Guy Podcast

NOLA History Guy Podcast 6-April-2019 – K-Doe and Signs

NOLA History Guy Podcast 6-April-2019 – K-Doe and Signs

NOLA History Guy Podcast 6-April-2019

NOLA History Guy Podcast 6-April-2019

Ernie K-Doe at Jazz Fest, 1996 (photo by Masahiro Sumori)

NOLA History Guy Podcast 6-April-2019

I need to do the pods more, so we’ll be dropping “short-form” eps weekly. The long-form pods are fun, but they take time. That means they’re less frequent, therefore fewer eps. So, let’s do shorter, under half an hour pods, and do them weekly.

We’ll do two ten-ish minute segments. One will be a book update, or an “Emma Fick” snippet. Possibly we’ll “unpack” a photo, going into some details on what’s visible. There’s a lot of little subjects. They make good blog posts. So, these are audio blog posts. When I do a talk, it’s usually for an hour or so, and I’ll put together forty to fifty images/maps as visuals. Each slide takes a couple of minutes tops. Therefore, a lot of details in a photo or on a map get blown over.

Book Update

NOLA History Guy Podcast 6-April-2019

Fading Signs in the Warehouse District (Edward Branley photo)

The pod introduce the next book, “Fading Signs of New Orleans.” The book features “ghost ads” and other old signs around town. It’s an incredibly fun project, and my friends say it’s incredibly important, from a preservation perspective. I agree.

Today in New Orleans History

Catherine Campanella presents “Today in New Orleans History” on Facebook, and at NewOrleansPast.com. One or two strike me each week. They resonate on a personal level. The new format here features one of these a week that works for me.

This week, that’s Campanella’s entry for April 3rd. On April 3, 1961, Ernie K-Doe’s song, “Mother in Law” broke onto the Billboard R&B chart. That brought back some memories for me.

Show Notes

The train going by was a Norfolk Southern freight. The Amtrak Crescent passed by on time this morning as well.

Music: Intro – “Talking ‘Bout New Orleans” by The Meters. Break – “West End Blues” by Louis Armstrong and His Hot 5.

Sponsor: NOLA History Guy 6-April-2019, sponsored by Art In The Bend arts market, on Saturday 20-April-2019. Location is Nuance, 728 Dublin Street in the Riverbend.

St. Augustine Catholic Church in the Treme – Podcast!

St. Augustine Catholic Church in the Treme – Podcast!

St. Augustine Catholic Church

st. augustine catholic church

St. Augustine Church, from Snippets of New Orleans, by Emma Fick (Edward Branley photo)

St. Augustine Catholic Church – Podcast!

NOLA History Guy Podcast this week is a “snippet” – a short presentation on an illustration from Emma Fick’s book, Snippets of New Orleans. So, we chose Emma’s illustration of St. Augustine Catholic Church for this week While there are three “St. Augustines” in New Orleans, this is the oldest.

Bishop Blanc dedicated St. Augustine Catholic Church October 9, 1842. Therefore, it is to this day, the spiritual nexus for Creoles of Color who are Catholic.

Faubourg Treme

st. augustine catholic church

Faubourg Treme, including “Divo Augustino R.C” Church, Robinson Atlas (courtesy New Orleans Notarial Archives)

The Treme neighborhood dates back to the Morand Plantation. Claude Treme bought the land in 1792. So, shortly after this transaction, the city built the Carondelet Canal, which connected the French Quarter with Lake Pontchartrain by water, via Bayou St. John. The canal’s business opportunities attracted commercial and light industrial ventures along its banks. Residential neighborhoods grew out on either side of the canal. This area attracted a number of free people of color, who spoke French and identified more closely with the French-Spanish Creoles of the Vieux Carre’ than the Anglo-Irish in the “American Sector.”

These Creoles of Color bought lots in Treme and built homes. By the 1830s, their numbers were large enough that they went to then-Bishop (later Archbishop) Antoine Blanc, and petitioned him to create a Catholic parish for their neighborhood. Bishop Blanc agreed. Therefore, the community began work to raise money and build their own church, so they didn’t have to walk down to St. Louis Cathedral to go to Mass.

St. Augustine Catholic Church (Infrogmation photo)

The neighborhood built their church on land donated by the Ursuline Sisters. So, the nuns asked that the church be named in honor of St. Augustine of Hippo, one of their order’s patrons.

The Tomb of the Unknown Slave

st. augustine catholic church

Tomb of the Unknown Slave (Infrogmation photo)

Snippets of New Orleans

st. augustine catholic

Snippets of New Oleans by Emma Fick (Edward Branley photo)

You can buy Emma’s wonderful book at all of the usual suspects, including Octavia Books.

Trusted Talents

st. augustine catholic

NOLA History Guy Podcast is sponsored this week by Elysian Fields Press, publishers of Edward J. Branley’s latest novel, Trusted Talents.

Snippets of New Orleans by Emma Fick – Podcast!

Snippets of New Orleans by Emma Fick – Podcast!

Snippets of New Orleans by Emma Fick

Snippets of New Orleans

Our Review this week: Snippets of New Orleans by Emma Fick

Snippets of New Orleans by Emma Fick

Snippets of New Orleans

The back cover

We’ve got a book review for you this week, a fun title on New Orleans by artist, historian, and illustrator, Emma Fick. Snippets of New Orleans is a wonderful illustrated primer on New Orleans history and culture. Emma’s book covers a lot of ground. So, it’s a great book for local and visitor alike. I see it as a great book to give someone before they come to New Orleans for the first time. It will really build up excitement.

The Basics

Snippets of New Orleans

Emma’s map of New Orleans

Emma starts with the basics of navigating New Orleans. It’s important to understand uptown/downtown and lakebound/riverbound, since the cardinal compass points of North, South, East, and West have so little real meaning here. She leads with this, giving us some solid directions and explanations right as you open the book.

The French Quarter

Snippets of New Orleans

French Quarter Street Signs

Lots of excellent detail here, as we wander around places, people, and things that strike the author. The “Spanish street signs” that explain how the street names were pronounced during the Spanish Colonial period are a particular favorite of mine when walking through the Quarter.

Common Themes Across Neighborhoods

Snippets of New Orleans

Corner Stores

Corner grocery stores were once ubiquitous across the city. You can usually tell a house or building that used to be a neighborhood grocery because the corner facing the street corner is “cut off” a bit. We will definitely be coming back to this topic in a future pod.

Buy the book!

Snippets of New Orleans

The Network

You’ve got several options for buying Emma’s book. So, if you don’t mind, go buy it at a bookstore, like Blue Cypress Books (like I did), or Octavia Books! Support the Indies, they’re an important part of the community. If you’re not local, you can buy the book through Octavia’s website. While we encourage the locals, we know many prefer Amazon, of course #primeJunkies.

I’m proud to be included in Emma’s Network! We had a lot of fun exploring Faubourg St. John together, as she took notes for inspiration.

Snippets of New Orleans

French Truck Coffee and Blue Dot Donuts at Wakin’ Bakin’ on Banks and Alexander in Mid-City

And let’s not forget Wakin’ Bakin’, my regular morning haunt. While you listen, you can hear New Orleans flowing by you as you listen to the pod,

 

 

 

Twelfth Night Reveling in New Orleans #Podcast

Twelfth Night Reveling in New Orleans #Podcast

Twelfth Night Reveling!

Twelfth Night Reveling

Invitation to the 1884 bal masque of the Twelfth Night Revelers. (Public domain image courtesy the Louisiana State Museum)

Twelfth Night Reveling!

It’s Carnival Time! We’re starting off the season talking about Twelfth Night, the Feast of the Epiphany, King’s Day. There are three segments to this week’s pod. In the first segment, we discuss the history of Twelfth Night, from its pre-Christian origins to how we celebrate Epiphany in the modern world.

King Cake

Our second segment is about the part of King’s Day that matters most, King Cake. The tradition of the king cake goes back centuries. Celtic peoples practiced the notion of the “sacred king”. The village or tribe would choose one of their own, a man, to be the sacred king. He would be sacrificed. The sacred king’s blood would flow into the land, an offering to the gods to ensure a good harvest.

When Christianity came to Europe, the concept of human sacrifice as stopped. The “sacred king” became a “Lord of Misrule” who led the celebrations. The selection process for both roles was basically the same. The women of the village would bake bread or a cake, and put a bean into the cake. When the cake was cut up and served, the man who got the bean became the sacred king. In Christian times, the tale was changed, so that the bean represented the Christ child. That’s where the modern concept of “getting the baby” originated.

The modern, commercial king cake came about in the 1930s. Haydel’s Bakery began to include a porcelain “baby” in each cake in the 1960s. The baby became plastic not soon after that.

Buying King Cakes

You can buy Dong Phuong king cakes at the bakery, or at Pizza NOLA in Lakeview

Haydel’s Bakery

Twelfth Night Reveling in New Orleans

Twelfth Night Reveling

The Twelfth Night room at Antoine’s Restaurant in the French Quarter

Our third segment walks through Carnival celebrations in early New Orleans, to the first parade, Comus, in 1857. Parading on January 6th began in 1870, with the Twelfth Night Revelers. The krewe paraded in the streets until 1878. After that, they limited their celebration to just a bal masque. Tonight, there will be three parades: The Phunny Phorty Phellows, the Société Des Champs Elysée, and the Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc.

 

Podcast – “Ain’t Dere No More” with Heather Elizabeth Designs

Podcast – “Ain’t Dere No More” with Heather Elizabeth Designs

Heather Elizabeth Designs!

heather elizabeth designs

“Ain’t Dere No More Affirmation Bracelet” by Heather Elizabeth Designs

Heather Elizabeth Designs – Ain’t Dere No More!

This week’s pod is a departure for NOLA History Guy Podcast – it’s an interview! Been wanting to get this started for a while now. Heather and I were brainstorming a couple of weeks ago about tying promotion of my books with her ADNM jewelry, nightlights, and other items. I bought a Zoom H5 digital audio recorder a few weeks back. It’s incredibly portable, and the built-in mics are so good, many podcasters use the Zoom mic as their primary microphone, connected to a computer. So, I told Heather that we needed to sit down and talk history. This lady researches her pieces and knows her stuff.

What we did for the pod was to go around her “Ain’t Dere No More Affirmation Bracelet” and talk about the places represented by the various logos. It was a fun conversation. Here’s a brief run-down:

Rosenberg’s Furniture

You’re already singing the jingle. Admit it, you know you are.

Da Beach!

Heather Elizabeth Designs

Pontchartrain Beach t-shirt from New Orleans Public Service

Heather and I decided we need to do a full episode together and talk about Pontchartrain Beach. We’ll do that in May or so, since that’s when Da Beach opened every year. New Orleans Public Service not only has a Pontchartrain Beach t-shirt, but it features the Art Deco-style entrance to the Zephyr, the wooden roller coaster that was the amusement park’s signature ride.

Falstaff

heather elizabeth designs

Falstaff Brewery, now the Falstaff Apartments (courtesy Flickr user “Falstaff Tulane Broad”

A long-time New Orleans landmark, the old brewery is now the Falstaff Apartments, at 2600 Gravier Street.

K&B

K&B Drug Stores, by John Epstein.

Everybody’s got a K&B story or four. We shared some of ours. This will definitely be another pod at some point. The photo here is the cover of John Epstein’s wonderful book, K&B Drug Stores, from my publisher, Arcadia.

D. H. Holmes

Heather Elizabeth Designs

800 block of Canal Street, 1864 featuring the D.H. Holmes Dry Goods Store

Daniel Henry Holmes opened his dry goods store in 1842, and it became a New Orleans fixture and landmark. The building is still there, as a hotel.

Schwegmann’s

heather elizabeth designs

Schwegmann Brothers Giant Supermarket, 2701 Airline Highway, in 1954. (courtesy NOLA.com)

“Makin’ Groceries, Schwegmann Style” – the photo is of the Schwegmann’s Heather talks about, not the smaller store on Airline that I remembered. Ann Maloney of Da Paper did a nice article on The People’s Grocer: John G. Schwegmann (2017, Neutral Ground Press, $20). The article has a bunch of other great Schwegmann’s photos.

JAX Beer!

heather elizabeth designs

JAX Brewery, the Moonwalk, and a Riverfront Streetcar (Infrogmation photo)

The Fabacher family’s brewery, located across the street on Decatur from Jackson Square.

Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store

Heather Elizabeth Designs

Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store by Edward J. Branley

My latest book! It’s available for pre-order on Amazon.com now, and will be in local shops on September 25th. Heather has the logo as it was used regularly by the store on the bracelet. The book’s cover is reversed to make the store’s name stand out a bit more.

Heather Elizabeth Designs

Sacred Heart brass-and-silver cuff, from Heather Elizabeth Designs (Edward Branley photo)

In addition to Heather’s ADNM bracelet, I could not take my eyes off her latest piece, a brass and sterling cuff with a Sacred Heart charm set in it. Heather’s an Academy of the Sacred Heart girl, and I’m a Brothers of the Sacred Heart boy!

Shout-Outs

New Orleans Public Service and LA46 – great t-shirts and a great store and venue

Beyond Bourbon St – Mark Bologna’s fantastic podcast

heather elizabeth designs

The Station – coffee shop on Bienville at N. Alexander Streets

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Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store

by Edward J. Branley

Heather Elizabeth Designs

For almost one hundred years, generations of New Orleans shoppers flocked to Krauss. The Canal Street store was hailed for its vast merchandise selection and quality customer service. In its early days, it sold lace and fabric to the ladies of the notorious red-light district of Storyville. The store’s renowned lunch counter, Eddie’s at Krauss, served Eddie Baquet’s authentic New Orleans cuisine to customers and celebrities such as Julia Child. Although the beloved store finally closed its doors in 1997, Krauss is still fondly remembered as a retail haven. With vintage photographs, interviews with store insiders and a wealth of research, historian Edward J. Branley brings the story of New Orleans’ Creole department store back to life.