Julia Street

Dear Julia,
I have researched on the Internet and tried to find out something about this picture. I know it was New Orleans’ “The Red Bird Inn.” The picture was in my father’s photo album and it has sparked my interest as to where it was located and who owned it. My guess it was in the 1940s to ’50s. That isn’t my father in the picture but I think he took the photo, as he was a photographer. My father died in ’79 so I cannot ask him. Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Marion Hernandez
Tampa, FL

So the big, hotshot Internet couldn’t help you, huh? That is why Poydras says the Internet is just a passing phase and that people will ultimately turn to getting information from parrots. Well, Google this:

At the end of World War II, Jules Tracey and Marie Herland operated a liquor store at 1931 Sophie Wright Place in the Lower Garden District. Tracey worked for Higgins Industries and it appears it was Herland who ran the bar. By the mid-’50s, city directories show that Mrs. Marie A. Tracey was operating the Red Bird Inn at that address.

Dear Julia
Has anyone ever been king of both Bacchus and Endymion?
Lisa Belsom
New Orleans

I can’t think of anyone who has been an Endymion Grand Marshall and Bacchus. It is a point of protocol often lost on Mardi Gras fans but Bacchus technically has no king but a god. According to the mythology upon which local Carnival has drawn inspiration, Bacchus was a god of wine but wasn’t a terrestrial ruler. The proper form of address to be applied to Bacchus during his annual Mardi Gras visit is simply “Bacchus.”

Bacchus has always been chosen mostly from celebrities. In 1969, Danny Kaye was the first celebrity to represent the god of wine and ride at the head of the bold new Carnival krewe.

Endymion has a king selected by lottery from its krewe membership. Confusion sometimes arises when Endymion’s celebrity Grand Marshalls are presumed to be the king, rather than the king’s famous friends.

Dear Julia,
My mother was born and raised in New Orleans but moved away in the 1940s to marry my father in Pennsylvania. I have lots of family in New Orleans and one of the most enjoyable stories they tell is of a nightclub out by the lake called the Paris Royale (or maybe it’s the Palace Royal). They describe it as a large dance hall built on pilings out over the water. They used to play there when they were children. Of course by that time the place was abandoned and they claim it was also haunted. They understand that it later burned down. Do you know anything of this place and if there are any pictures available? Oh, and please give Poydras a cracker for me.
Linda Bellisario
Edwardsburg, MI

Linda, Poydras doesn’t accept crackers unless they’re topped by a slice of his favorite cheese, Velveeta. Give him that and a shot of Boone’s Farm Apple and he thinks he’s having a gourmet experience.

You were close in your recollection. I don’t have a picture of it but the place was called the Paris Royal Roof Garden and it was in its heyday in the 1920s. Located on Little Woods Road at Seabrook, it was a one-stop entertainment and recreation destination. Primarily a large bathing pavilion capable of accommodating hundreds of patrons, it was also a restaurant and music venue where one could dance the night away to the music of Deichman’s Moonlight Serenaders. While newspaper accounts praised the Paris Royal for its cleanliness, good food and musical entertainment, water in the lake itself wasn’t always so clean. That became a big problem for Little Woods.

In August 1931, the state health department ordered closed all private and public bathhouses located between Bucktown and Little Woods while it determined the source of bacterial contamination in the area. At the time, it was believed the problem was caused by inadequately treated city sewage pouring into the lake from the London Avenue Canal. I am not sure how long the closure was in effect but the timing couldn’t have been worse for popular lakefront resorts.

Dear Julia,
As a small child in the 1950s, I would pass the house on the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Broadway Street (7209 St. Charles Ave.) and longingly admire the matching dollhouse. The building today is being used as a duplex. Was it originally built as a single family home and, if so, by whom? I often thought how happy that little girl must have been to have a father that provided her with such a unique gift. I am so glad that it remains intact today. Any information about the property or family would be appreciated.
Lynn Mauney
Troy, AL

Leon C. Weiss designed the English Gothic residence for jeweler and civic leader Gabe Hausmann. Constructed in 1915, the house has built as a private residence containing two apartments. Hausmann lived in the home until his death in ’46, at the age of 72.

A jeweler throughout his working life, Hausmann and his brother, Louis, inherited the firm their father, Henry Hausmann, had established in 1870. An avid sports devotee, Gabe Hausmann served as official timekeeper in numerous prizefights. A 32nd degree Mason, Hausmann was also a member of the Elks and the Shriners.

Dear Ms. Street,
When riding on St. Charles Avenue, streets named Upperline and Lowerline are always visible. My question is: Why is Upperline down the avenue and Lowerline up? Was someone joking or just not paying attention?
Frank Sehrt

No, the street names were neither a joke nor an error. The confusion arises when people forget that the area we now know as Uptown New Orleans wasn’t one neighborhood, but many. Directions such as “up” and “down” only make sense if they’re compared to the same fixed point. In this case, the present-day Upperline and Lowerline streets recall old property boundaries for two entirely different historic Uptown neighborhoods: Bouligny and the McCarty Plantation, from which the city of Carrollton was formed.

Upperline marked the upper edge of Faubourg Bouligny, while General Taylor Street, which was originally called “Lowerline,” was the lower property line for the same faubourg. The current Lowerline Street, which is above the current Upperline Street, is below an old Upperline Street now called Monticello. Got it?

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