Rep. Lindy Boggs (D-La.) has represented the second district (which includes part of New Orleans) since 1973. She succeeded her husband, Hale Boggs, after a plane carrying the House majority leader disappeared over Alaska. He had served 27 years in Congress.
New Orleans is a city of neighborhoods, of communities that reflect the historic, ethnic and cultural heritages that have made the "Crescent City" a favorite of American and international visitors. A New Orleanian's sense of place is related to the enjoyment of his neighborhood.
I live in the French Quarter, the fabled Vieux Carre, in a Spanish house whose patio is my favorite place in the world. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy my neighborhood are: to poke around the French Quarter's old book shops and small gift shops; to squeeze through A&P's miniature supermarket; to visit with the artists at Jackson Square's outdoor art gallery; to view the constantly changing exhibits at the Cabildo and the Presbytere; to attend early mass at the beautifully restored St. Louis Cathedral; to marvel at the vigorous preservation efforts at the Hermann-Grima House, Gallier House, the old Ursuline Convent and other National Historic Landmarks; to loll on a bench on the Moon Walk and watch the fascinating Mississippi River traffic; to tap my toes to real Dixieland jazz at Preservation Hall; to survey the street life from my Bourbon Street balcony; to revel in sunset views from my rooftop; and--of course--to eat, eat, eat in the famous restaurants and in the little neighborhood ones, whose chefs cook to impress one another.
Other favorite places include my old neighborhood in the Garden District, which boasts charming gardens, lovely old homes and fine restaurants.
The adjacent neighborhood, the Irish Channel, also holds my affection. There I enjoy watching the progress of the restoration of St. Mary's Church, another Historic Landmark, and visiting with friends over seafood in neighborhood restaurants or in corner bars, which are really neighborhhood clubs.
The Central Business District, for me, is a special kind of neighborhood. From my office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building, I have a vista of the thriving development of the Port of New Orleans, new hotels and office buildings, the bustle of business and industry and commerce and trade and the Superdome. The block-long Boggs Mall connects the building with old Lafayette Square and Gallier Hall (New Orleans' first city hall), serving as a bridge--as Hale was--between old and new.
In the University section, the Audubon Park Zoo is a special favorite of mine. The zoo, a delightful ride up the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line is a testimonial to energetic civic activists who have built it into a veritable Eden. Everyone, from the tiniest baby to interested scientists, is enchanted by their success.
Across St. Charles Avenue from Audubon Park are Tulane and Loyola universities, whose drama music, debate and lecture programs appear frequently on my personal calendar.
Lake Pontchartrain, north of New Orleans, is my year-round favorite place to sail, fish and be lazy. Along its placid shoreare a scenic drive, Pontchartrain Amusement Park and one of the oldest yacht clubs in the country.
And when I really want to restore my mind and spirit, my favorite place to slip away to is Jean Lafitte' National Historical Park, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans in Jefferson Parish. It encompasses the only totally contained ecological entity left in the Mississippi Delta. Embryonic in its development, as a National Park, Jean Lafitte' will blossom into a national treasure.
These are some of my favorite places in New Orleans. I love many others as well, and am sure to never grow tired of exploring new ones.