Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Walking To Work

It's been a couple of months since I joined the ranks of job holders. I work six days a week. I love it. Everyday I walk to work. Cholo is having great quality time with Mr. Mom aka Tangoman, but he clearly hates to see me go. Alberto will bring him by to visit me later.

The street we live on is gorgeous! Lined with ancient Live Oak trees, and filled with interesting and beautiful old houses inhabited by friendly people.

This is our house, a double shotgun converted to a single, built around the late 1890's. The attic window is gone, a Katrina casualty, and Alberto promises it will get fixed this year. It's hard to replace antique windows, and this one was a stained glass beauty.

It's about a five minute walk to Perch, about four blocks.

This is the next door neighbors house (Julie and Larry), one of the cutest houses on the block. When I first came to see our house for sale I was hoping this was the one!

Next to them is Mr. Stanley. He's Polish (like me), and nearly 90 years old. He stills drives, does his own yard work, and speaks Polish to me. He hasn't painted his house in a zillion years, and it kind of looks beautiful in a faded way. It's a big ol' Creole style house.

Then we have this house, a victim of a house flipper. It's rented now, by a couple of nice guys who have an adorable cat named Achilles. We also looked at this house because it was for sale at the same time, but all the New Orleans charm had been renovated out of it.

This is our friend Michael's house. He's a working musician here, a drummer. He also teaches music at Country Day School. His house had a "for sale" sign on it when we looked at ours, and I thought it was so cute. But it had already been sold. It's still a double house, so Michael makes rent money from one side of the house he doesn't live in.

All of three of these houses were once owned by The Methodist Home, an orphanage across the street. They were each used as a residence for children. My house had eight wayward girls living in it before we bought it. The Methodist Home moved away after Katrina, and it was sold to a woman who intends in turning it into a rehab facility for dogs.

Across the street is this teeny pink house with a glorious pink angel trumpet tree. These folks only use the house during Mardi Gras. Next to it on the right is Miss Wanda's house. She had a stroke during Katrina, and has sadly abandoned her house. I think these houses look so much like the Caribbean.

Next to Michael's house are these two brand new condos that broke ground after Katrina, and are still not finished. The architect did a pretty good job of getting the vernacular of the neighborhood right.

You can see this, by looking at the two houses directly across the street, which were also once group homes for orphanage. We looked at the blue house. We ultimately chose our house, because it was the largest, and also has a off street parking, with a garage on a a double lot.

I've gotten to the end of our street.

And here's a little neighborhood church! The pastor is darling, and he just loves Cholo. There's a service and choir practice on Wednesday night, and the gospel music on Sunday is wonderful.

We have some cool cars always parked on the street like this vintage Porsche...

...and this yellow Corvette.

Across the street from the church is an old corner store that has been converted into a home. The yellow roses are called Henry Fonda and I swear they bloom all year around!

Next to them is a house with this French Quarter style courtyard. It's so pretty!

Back on my side of the street next to the church is the home of Brian and Emily (and their dog Hank) a young hip couple. Emily loves to garden, and her back patio is fantastic!

Soon we come to this terrific two story apartment building. It's been apartments since it was built in the mid 1800's.

Across the street is a cute yellow house with French blue trim. Two great Basset hounds live here, Daisy and Sally.

This blue Victorian looks like a doll house.

Then there's this antebellum house that has been owned by the same family since it was built before the Civil War. It is huge!

The family doesn't live in the main house, but in the servant's quarters in the back, which have been renovated and modernized. I would just kill to look inside the main house!

Across the street is an old one family townhouse turned into luxury condos, both of which are for sale now.

There are also cute cottages in every style. This type of house reminds me of false front house in the wild west. This facade looks like an old bank.

Here's a really cute classic Creole cottage. The deep dormers are spectacular.

Okay we're at the corner of Washington Avenue and Magazine Street.

There's a gas station with a convenience store...

...Starbucks, and the best little French bistro called Coquette...

...and a fancy little dress store too.

I'm rounding the corner now onto Magazine Street.

There are a ton of great cafes and restaurants and coffee places and shops. I spy the Sake Cafe, a really good place for sushi. I work at "perch." which is next door to the Sake Cafe.

Here's the front gate to the shop. It's in a huge old house built in 1860.

Here's the front door!

I hope you can see why I just love walking to and from work everyday! The tree lined street I live on is always cool and shady, the majestic oaks always inspiring. All the different architecture and colors of the houses and gardens are daily eye candy. My neighbors are sweet, and you never pass a person on the street without being greeted, whether you know them or not.
I hope one day you can visit New Orleans, and come walking with me!

Cholo visits his mom at work


mimi said...

Ooh, I hope I can visit someday, too. New Orleans is on my list of must see places. I enjoyed your walk along so much. Thanks!

Jan said...

I really think the people in the 'big house' should let you look around (just tell them you are the 'visual vamp' and you have blog research to do)
thanks for sharing your route :)

AlwaysMe said...

Thank you so much for giving me an insider's tour of your neighborhood. I'm sure it is people like you and your neighbors who will bring NOLA back to its rightful glory. What vibrant character each of those houses has and how fabulous that you know some of the stories to go with them.

Meade Design Group - Iván Meade said...

Wow! After reading this entry I just want to walk around the neighborhood. What a beautiful architecture you have in New Orlans!

VictoriaArt said...

Darling Visual*Vamp....
I can't believe your post, just today I did some walking in one of our neighborhoods and took millions of pictures...
You live so lovely down there in New Orleans and I can't wait to come and visit one day.
So nice to hear that you are Polish, so is my husband and we have close ties to back home, where he is from!
Please have a look at my pics, we were both taken by the beauty around us!
Victoria :)

Renee Finberg said...

i loved walking to work with you.:)

there is NOTHING like walking to work.
i loved it when i lived in the city and had the same pleasure.


Kwana said...

I am ready to be on my way! I wish had known you on my one and only visit to New Orleans. What a beautiful city. I so enjoyed the walk. If I get back I sure will look you up. When I went I took a tour and all I did was take pics of the beautiful houses and courtyards. Loved it.

Thanks so much for adding my post to your sidebar today. 100 days many more to go!

Hill Country House Girl said...

Well Valorie, I can't even imagine giving you the bird! I guess the title was a little misleading but it got you to take a look, so I am happy!

I LOVE your neighborhood and your walk to work. Isn't it fun to live in this fast paced, high tech world, and still know your neighbors and their dogs! I truly love that and would so enjoy walking to perch one day. In fact, if I ever get there, I want to park my car a few blocks away and walk to your shop!!What a fun post - loved it, truly.

Karen said...

Oh Valorie - you've done it again! I can tell that the RDX Razzle Dazzle will have to head down the I-10 again really soon. And I better hurry before it gets hot and turns to summertime umbrella weather.
I used to walk to school every day and just loved passing all the houses on St. Charles.
Hope you are having a grand week at perch - I see that Cholo is!

Nancy @ La Chambre Rose said...

That was such a wonderful walk. My "baby" is just down the street studying hard for exams. I hope to get there to see him in a couple of weeks. I'm sure I'll be walking the same sidewalks. You helped keep me going until then.

Nancy @ La Chambre Rose said...

That was such a wonderful walk. My "baby" is just down the street studying hard for exams. I hope to get there to see him in a couple of weeks. I'm sure I'll be walking the same sidewalks. You helped keep me going until then.

Carla Fox said...

Love the streetscape...thanks for sharing! The roses and trumpet vine are beautiful....something we don't have in the Pacific Northwest this time of year. Love all that color!!

Renae said...

Sweet Valorie!
I loved joining you on your walk to work...such a great neighborhood. The oaks are fabulous and I love the colors of the houses and the eclectic neighbors add much to the charm.
Thanks for the link on Perch!
Blessings to you...

bayou contessa said...

Oh Valorie, Aren't we lucky to live in such a gorgeous tropical queen of a city. And aren't we lucky to live in a city where you can walk to find just about anything you could need or want. How wonderful it is that we can walk to work and pass by such beauty on our way.

annechovie said...

What a fabulous tour, Valorie! I love the little pink house, too!

vicki archer said...

Great tour Valorie and what a beautiful neighborhood you live in - one day I know I will visit, xv.

pve design said...

An, in the neighborhood. What a sweet tour. I do hope that you will take us along for some tours inside.
I know that Cholo could arrange to set up some tours for you. I am sure that everyone loves Cholo!
Sweet spot. I am getting hungry after all that walking.

Robyn said...

Great walking tour, Val. I'm just itching to get down there!

Triin said...

Very inspiring, worth copying. DIY!

Tricia - Avolli said...

Thank you for taking us along. What a lovely way to start and end your day.

Tricia - Avolli

Laurie said...

I've really enjoyed this post. For the homes, the neighborhood, the peek at the personalities that live there. Thanks so much for putting it all together.

I'm glad someone who really appreciates the street gets to walk along and be a part of it.

~ Patricia Gray ~ said...

What a lovely neighbourhood you live in and how lucky you are that you can walk to work. Thanks for the photo tour.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such a luxury to be able to walk to work!! Thanks for taking me along today. I would love to do it in real life, with a large glass of iced tea, a bag full of beingets and Edward with us.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Oh! I LOVED that morning walk to work with you! I wanna come visit!!

What a beautiful corner of the world you inhabit! Lucky you!

Carla said...

hi valorie, what an array of houses. So unique architecturally and an absolutely lovely post. Looks like you walk a long way. Thanks Carla

Sabina said...

So nice to take that walk again, even if it's just online. Say hello to everyone for me!

desiree said...

I'd walk too. How lucky you are to live in such a nice neighborhood. Thanks for the tour.

Anonymous said...

i am so glad that you appreciate all the subtleties along the way. you are richer for it! kathi

Helen said...

...can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this fantastic tour. What a city, what people, what a great place to live ~ or visit! Thank you!

Carey said...

Oh, that was just the most delicious post. I love this kind of stuff.