Thursday, October 23, 2008
Impairments may not matter. Stepping up may be difficult on some carriages. One or two drivers can assist anyone who can climb stairs to get on board. I find it easier getting on board than lurching up from a low-slung car. Hard of hearing? Me too! I can shout the whole tour over the the background noise. And perhaps you can sit in the shotgun seat, where you won't miss a word.
If you need to get to the quarter, the Canal Streetcar is a possibility, like the lot on the river next to Jackson square. If you get dropped off by an auto, you may sit in Jackson Square, benches are about 20 yards way... or sit in my carriage until the driver parks and returns. Your driver can turn toward the river at St. Peter (Jackson Brewery) and head into the downriver lot.
I carry a camera, and will be pleased to take your pictures sitting in the carriage, feeding Bonnie a slice of carrot, or hugging her head. I will usually email it to your pictures the same evening!
I guarantee a delightful tour, covering the most important sites. Focus is on history, culture, architecture, cuisine. My stories will have you laughing, with solemn moments, as we talk about what we lost in Katrina, and sone of the joyful changes that we are experiencing.
My customers are usually tickled with my tour. I usually get rave reviews and good tips. I learned early on to purge out my Blue State wisecracks for clients who get grim with the first one -- one set of four ladies, age 20 to 25, from Ohio, who looked like debutantes, were silent throughout and gave me a $2 tip...
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Here are five of the seventeen ladies visiting from a retirement home in Algiers. We split the gang up between three carriages. Each paid $12. They clearly had a great time. Of course, I got to tell them about the pivotal role played by les gens de couleur in New Orleans.
They liked Bonnie too. Bonnie likes them and just about anybody...
Monday, October 13, 2008
I’m committed to working five days a week through November. My son John called last night to say he had California friends, who wanted to take a tour today, but I have other commitments.
Here’s my probable schedule: M-W-F-S-S, 9am to 3-4pm.. I will be taking Mondays and Thursdays off. To reserve a spot, call 504-322-4703. Two hours notice should be enough for me to work you in.
Cost is $60 for a half hour, for one to five guests. Some guests choose to add a visit to St. Louis #1 cemetery, an additional half hour. I can arrange to meet guests anywhere in the Quarter. If the Jackson Square hack stand is open, I use it.
You can save a little money taking one of the 8 passenger surreys. There, you have to wait until it gets 5 to 8 passengers. Most any guide will give you a good show. Some are Cabildo-trained guides with backgrounds as good as my own.
Of course, being a French Quarter tour, the French connection is primary. We also feature the contributions of the les gens de couleur (people of color), since people of mixed blood have always been a major part of our pleasurable survival. Others who add spice to our gumbo are the Spanish, German, Italian, and Vietnamese. The latest wave that adds a whipped cream topping are the angels who came after Katrina, the hard-working Hispanics, and Americans who came to help us out temporarily. Many decide to stay permanently. My daughter, a school teacher in California, spends many vacations here, often doing rescue and charity work. Lots of challenging and satisfying work is still undone. The rewards are great, since New Orleans is such an accepting and fun-loving community...
Sunday, October 12, 2008
It was like last Saturday. Perfect weather. When I pulled back into the stand, folks jumped into the carriage as the previous patrons were paying for their ride.
Hard to tell who was happier, the passengers, or the drivers...
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Last Sunday, I got one of the better artists in the Quarter to take my picture with Bonnie. I'm snuggling up to her and stroking her velvety nose. She doesn't mind snuggling up. It's very reassuring to have such a large creature be so docile.
I did a little more study on the Web. Donkeys and horses were domesticated about 6,000 years ago. Mules appeared whenever jacks were kept around mares. Their keepers found features that made them superior to either parent for some uses, and bred them to do the heavy work of transporting stuff. The donkeys are believed to be from Egypt, and today's mules can take the heat, which makes them good for New Orleans summers.
Mules are sure-footed! They are used for a hair-raising trip down into and back up the Grand Canyon. There's a great painting of Napoleon crossing the Alps on a big white horse... actually, he rode a mule.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
In between tours I coax the animal lovers over to my mule for pictures and to stroke the velvety nose... like this cute little lady is doing:
She isn’t perfect... she does not like puddles, manhole covers, gratings, or even black asphalt patches. I must be alert to keep the carriage out of trouble when she shies away from stuff.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Work has been very light, but intensely satisfying.