Originally, I wanted to wait until after my dental splint was removed to ride the St. Bernard Avenue buses so I could enjoy all of the food along the route, but after polling Facebookers, it was decided that I'd ride them today. Since the St. Bernard Avenue buses pass through my neighborhood and I ride them almost daily, I had the bright idea to give readers a tour of the 7th Ward in addition to the usual Public Transit Tuesday coverage. Big mistake. Not just because I couldn't eat anything, but because it was so hot outside that I really felt like I was going to pass out...
Both St. Bernard Avenue buses go down N. Claiborne and turn left at St. Bernard.
The Paris Avenue (51) continues down St. Bernard Avenue, makes a right at Mirabeau, a left at Paris Avenue and a right at Leon C. Simon.
The St. Anthony (52) slights right onto Paris Avenue, makes a right at Mirabeau, a left at St. Anthony and a right at Leon C. Simon.
Both buses turn left at Elysian Fields and stop at UNO.
The bus names are confusing to me, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Before Katrina, there were three St. Bernard Avenue routes: Senate (50), Lake Terrace (51) and L.C. Simon (52). The Senate bus was eliminated after Katrina, but I don't know why they would rename the other two buses. It's not like there aren't other buses who kept the same name after being rerouted. Another RTA mystery...
Another problem with the diverging routes is that it makes using the RTA's mobile site tiresome: I'm on Canal Street and I want to get home to St. Bernard and Broad. Since both buses go there, I'll have to check the times for both routes individually. Thank goodness for third-party apps and for RTA's automated phone system! Speaking of apps, Veolia Transdev, the folks over RTA, have an app out called Urban Pulse. Urban Pulse has five functions: deals, events, friend finder, nearby stops and trip planner. The deals and nearby stops functions aren't working, but I think the app has potential. Why the RTA didn't publicize this app is another mystery...
Skip to 3:00 to hear what I believe is a reference to riding the St. Bernard bus. Da Sha Ra mentions going to Rally's [on St. Bernard and N. Galvez] and then riding the bus to The Pitt (ain't dere no more, was a movie theater at Elysian Fields and Robert E. Lee where Walgreens is now) and walking to the lake.
To save space for the 7th Ward walking tour that almost made me pass out, I'll just show you pictures of everything else on the bus route that's not a part of the tour, with explanatory captions.
- There's already a Papa John's next door, but this property developer wants to build a Mellow Mushroom pizzeria. He also wants to build a Huey's Diner, understandable from his point of view since the one at Jax Brewery is his property. No plans yet for a drugstore or coffee shop like before. Greedy, non-altruistic developers kill me. I hope this company isn't like that. This is at Robert E. Lee and Paris.
Mannie Fresh is from the 7th Ward and filmed "Real Big" there.
I thought Just Chill would have interesting daiquiri names, but I think they were closed. I really couldn't tell. The party supply place had a decent inventory, but when I walked in, one of the employees was slicing Styrofoam and that sound makes my teeth hurt, so I had to leave. Also, my grandfather had a club here in the '50s, but I have no pictures of it. It was called Betty's Inn and I believe he married a woman there — not my grandmother.
I went out of my way to go to Mule's — I haven't been since I was a little girl — but they are closed until further notice. Apparently this made me more upset than you would think, because I ended up walking almost a mile out of the way, winding up at N. Broad and Columbus. This is where I really thought I was going to pass out. Luckily, I saw aBroad bus
and was able to complete the tour.
I stopped at my favorite place for boiled seafood,Mid-City Seafood and Deli
(2526 Saint Bernard Ave., 324-9273), to get a pineapple Big Shot and a hot sausage on bun. Unfortunately for me, it hurt too much to try to eat it (stupid dental splint and surgical braces!), so I had to throw it away. Still, this is my favorite boiled seafood place. The seafood and fixings are always perfectly seasoned with no grittiness and just enough heat, the employees are friendly, the other food is always good and I can eat inside. Eating inside is such a plus, especially when eating boiled seafood. You don't want your house to stink but you don't want to be annoyed by flies, either. And there's always someone in Mid-City Seafood who is saying something off the wall. Like today, a young man was telling his friends that he just reconnected with his lady friend and then his friends asked if she had any friends that they could date. The same guy kept calling the owner "amigo" which was odd since the owner is Vietnamese.
Monster wit da Fade's "Lil Hot Sausage"
My hidden shame: I really like malt liquor. The Food Store (2001 St. Bernard Ave., 940-2458) always has the latest in Big Shot, Ohana Punch and malt liquor.
Thank you as always for checking out this bus adventure and thank you for checking out this tour of the 7th Ward — at least half of the 7th Ward, anyway. A few outtakes are below.