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Esplanade Avenue: 1900

"Esplanade Street, New Orleans, 1900." And running along the grassy median, streetcar tracks. Detroit Publishing Company glass negative. View full size.

"Esplanade Street, New Orleans, 1900." And running along the grassy median, streetcar tracks. Detroit Publishing Company glass negative. View full size.


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Neutral Ground

Not just old-timers—everybody calls the area in the middle of a divided New Orleans thoroughfare its neutral ground. Just the way it is.

Lawn track

Very interesting that lawn track is such an old invention! It's been introduced in a number of places recently to reduce noise and have a prettier city environment, but I wouldn't have thought that the idea is that old.

Grassy medians

These days the grassy medians are used as jogging tracks by the Tulane students. Safest place to jog as you can get on a median and jog towards the oncoming street cars w/out worrying about something sneaking behind you. Of course with the old style cars like the one in the photo, the grinding of the gears and popping of the electrical contactors under the cars would give plenty of warning. At night there would be bright green flashes whenever a relay opened its copper contacts.

You can look straight up as you go around Lee Circle and it looks like the monument is slowly rotating.

No streetcar named "Desire" anymore, but there is a Desire bus line. "Bus named Desire" just don't sound right, do it?

What IS that?

Is that a bumper sticker on the utility pole at right center? Can't be.

[It's a pole sticker. Advertising PARKER'S ELVIRA (?) CORDIAL. - Dave]

Esplanade at Burgundy

Looking north.

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Grandpa said...

My grandpa painted all the trees in his Ozark yard about head-high with lime to keep bugs from eating into the trunks. When I asked why the bugs don't just climb up above the white paint, he said, "I dunno 'bout that, boy." My hunch is he was just slapping on the bug paint because that was what everyone else did. The trees seemed to be doing fine without the paint when I toured past the old place decades later.

Tree Trunks

Ah, those whitewashed tree trunks. Theories abound as to the reasons for painting. Visibility at night? Insect control? Perhaps just fashion. I remember seeing many in my childhood, few today. I always liked them.

The "white" on the tree trunks

Back when rural driving was the thing to do on Sunday afternoon, I remember seeing this quite often.

Rolling alawn

As the caption notes, the dark surface in the foreground is grass, not pavement. The old-timers call these New Orleans medians "neutral ground." Which sounds electrical but isn't.

Against the norm

In a delightful departure from the usual norm on Shorpy, almost all of the buildings in this photo still stand today!

Let's Vogue

Those gents are striking some magnificent poses.

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