When we told our friends about our upcoming trip to New Orleans, a friend of ours in Phoenix recommended we ride the street cars. Specifically, he said we should ride the St Charles Street line if we wanted a relaxing, inexpensive ride along some very beautiful homes. On our last day, we decided to check it out for a leisurely morning.
New Orleans Street Cars
There are a few streetcar lines winding around New Orleans, the longest being the St Charles line. It takes you from Canal Street in downtown all the way to Tulane University and slightly beyond. You can get a one-way pass for about a $1.50 or a day pass for $3.00. The street car is quite noisy but very quick as it glides down the tracks along the periphery of the city. On either side down St Charles, you can see historic, beautifully constructed homes. Some are mansion-style, other plantation-style, and some Victorian-style. All are great eye candy as you zip along. We were there after the holidays, and the decorations were still up on most homes. So many life-size nutcrackers! Once you reach the end of the line, so long as you have your pass, you can stay on as the conductor slides the backs of the chairs to the other end of the seat and takes his seat at the new front of the train. The back becomes the front in a matter of moments, and once everyone is loaded, you’re back to riding the rails!
While we were stopped at the end of the line, the conductor doing his thing to make the journey back, a curious thing happened: A pastor, bride, groom, two witnesses, and two young girls came onto the car and stood near the front. The pastor maneuvered his way to the back while the bride and groom tried to fix the groom’s cumberbund. I looked at Halee and peered towards the back of the car. The groom walked, the girls walked, and finally, the bride walked. In the back of the car, in front of some random strangers while zipping down St Charles Street, these two were getting married! The ceremony was very short and sweet, complete with a brief intro from the priest, exchanging of vows, and the “I do’s” to seal the deal. Everyone cheered and clapped as they sat down in their back seats. Well, almost everyone.
At the next stop, the conductor parked the street car and walked to the back of the car to speak with the couple. He forcefully told them that they couldn’t do that (that being the wedding). I didn’t look back, as the loud voice and scolding made me neck burn and the audio seemed quite enough for me. He informed them that he could have stopped them, but didn’t, and that if they had wanted to get married on a street car, they needed to reserve one for $1500. I couldn’t tell if it was the groom or the pastor, but he kept apologizing politely, saying that they’d never do it again. An uncomfortable silence swept across the car as the conductor got the trolley moving again. Two stops later, the couple disembarked, leaving the priest behind. The bride apologized on her way out, muttering something about them having a reservation from back on December 21st, to which the conductor replied, “Well, nobody told me!”
Except for that last bit, it was quite the experience! If you have $3 to spare and want to see some incredible homes, Tulane University, and maybe even a wedding, you can’t go wrong with the St Charles Street Car.