London Avenue still exists, on both sides of the London Avenue Canal, in bits and pieces, here and there. There is a famous blue house on Lafreniere Street where it dead-ends against the London Avenue Canal, along one these leftover scraps of London Avenue.
New Orleans can be a confusing city, especially if you go to the places that most people don't go to unless they live in those neighborhoods. The best parts of New Orleans are the parts where people live. Ask them.
It takes a long time to get familiar with New Orleans. There is more to New Orleans than the French Quarter and the hotels around the Convention Center. There are the New Orleans Saints who play in the National Football League, and, then, there are your everyday New Orleans saints who live out their lives on the streets of New Orleans, in the neighborhoods. They are our neighbors.
|The blue house on LaFreniere Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.|
I could tell you the story of Nicolas Chauvin de la Frenière, Jr., after whom Freniere Street is named, but, it's a long and complicated story that will just take up too much time to make sense and, when I'm finally done, you'll be wondering why I spent so much time telling a story that doesn't make any difference, anyway. I'll spare you.
Let me tell you why London Avenue was named London Avenue: It's because they needed a catchy name French speakers could remember.
Let me tell you why the London Avenue Canal is named the London Avenue Canal. It's because it was originally planned to run the length of London Avenue. It still does, but the canal is cut off at the North Broad Avenue Pumping Station #3. After Broad Street, the canal ends and the street that used to bear its name is called A.P. Tureaud Avenue, named after Alexander Pierre Tureaud. There is a statue of A.P. Tureaud on A.P. Tureaud Avenue. It is one of the first things I discovered my first day in New Orleans. It is where A.P. Tureaud Avenue intersects with St. Bernard Avenue, riverside of the abandoned Liberty Bank building, lakeside of the Autocrat Club.
You'll never see the London Avenue Canal. It's behind a levee topped by unscalable concrete walls. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains the canal. The Corps has beefed up the infrastructure since the federal levee failure during Hurricane Katrina. It won't happen again.
The bright blue house on Lafreniere Street remains, rebuilt, a symbol of tenaciousness, of being comfortable in the shadow of danger. The bright blue house on Lafreniere Street is a symbol of determination, resilience, good cheer, Mardi Gras spirit. This is New Orleans spirit.
You never know what you'll find when you turn any corner in New Orleans.