The Rush of Humanity:

 

We are like ants streaming forth from the proverbial piles
searching for the known, unknown, youth and droll.
We take to the streets and beaches reaching for miles
following patterns in an ant-like rush to reach our goal.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge – Humanity

Everywhere we venture humanity presents a vast array of vivid color and saturates the world with its richness.   Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge – Humanity

 

 

Take your pick from the billboard or just walk the entertainment district in New Orleans to find the gig of your choice.  There’s something great at every turn.

What's Playing Tonight
What’s Playing Tonight

Posted for the Weekly Photo Challenge

I can’t quit talking about New Orleans and I hope you’re not getting bored. Sorry, it is one of my newbie favorite places and I just can’t get enough of sharing it.  In Jackson Square there was so much to be seen and heard. Music was at every corner. Carriage rides were lined up for anyone and everyone to choose, though we did feel a little sorry for the poor burden horses that looked a little less pleased to be there.   Along, the first stretch of Jackson Square were the local artist selling their wares.  Then at the end of the first stretch of the square were all the street musicians. We found two that completely intrigued us. Excitement was abound when we came along a trumpet player who was my favorite. He was accompanied by a guitar (sitar?) player but the star was the big man himself. Regardless, there is something for everyone in New Orleans. Gotta go there. Gotta go back!

Trumpet Player at Jackson Square
Trumpet Player at Jackson Square

We are heading for the Caribbean in about a week so look forward to a change up the beaches, waves and the British Virgin Islands. This is one of my oldie favorite places to be.

I’ve a love and fascination for trolleys and street cars even if they do chug along at a slow pace.  When on a street car, windows open, you can see more and enjoy more of the surroundings.  Plus, you still have the opportunity to snap a few pictures, especially if the pace is leisure.  This means though that I’m usually on vacation and not in a hurry to get somewhere.  One would image that those who are using the trolley to get to work and back would find the pace annoying.

Today, I’m sharing two images; one from a trip to Tucson Arizona in the hippy district from several years back and another from my most recent trip to New Orleans.  While in Tucson I didn’t take a ride on the trolley because we were already in the area of choice.  But, in New Orleans, the four sisters wanted to go from the French Market over to the Garden District and by street car it was a breeze.  In New Orleans you can go from one quaint district to the other at a mere cost of $3 per day.

I’ve also learned that in New Orleans they call them street cars.  I didn’t realize there was a difference and thought the terms were interchangeable.  Now for a little research to see what this fun transport is called in different cities.  According to the National Capital Trolley Museum, here is a definition just for grins.

The term “trolley” refers to an electric vehicle that operates over fixed rails usually imbedded in pavement. The trolley itself is a small device, usually a wheel or slider, which touches the overhead wire to carry the flow of electricity from the wire to the electric motors. It’s this device that gives the vehicle its name. A streetcar is another term which can be used interchangeably to describe the same vehicle; in some countries, the word “tram” is used instead.

In Washington D.C., the term used was two words: “street car”. “Streetcar” is the term preferred by dictionaries and most transit systems.

 

 

Then to help a little more, here is information from San Francisco about their street car and cable cars.  They appear to call theirs streetcars, too.

 

Streetcar, Cable Car: What’s the difference?

To a transit enthusiast, this may seem like a silly question, but what exactly are the basic differences between streetcars (also called trolleys or trams) and cable cars?

Cable cars

Cable cars run on steel rails with a slot between the tracks where an underground cable runs at a continuous nine miles per hour.

difference-cablecar.jpg
David Dugan photo.

The cable runs from a central powerhouse, from huge winding wheels, as the cable cars themselves are completely mechanical and have no means of independent locomotion (no motors).

In order to move forward, the underground cable is grabbed by a grip on the cable car that works like a pair of pliers.

Originally, the powerhouse used steam power to run the cables beneath the streets, but as electricity became more commonplace, steam engines gave way to electric motors (hydroelectric power) which wind the huge wheels that spin the cable to this very day.

Cable cars were invented in 1873 by Andrew Hallidie to climb the hills of San Francisco. Many cities once had cable cars, but today, San Francisco’s Powell-Mason, Powell-Hyde, and California Street lines are the only ones left in the world. The Powell Street cable lines and the F-line form an ‘iron triangle’ of historic transit service between Downtown San Francisco and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Cable cars are often misidentified as ‘trolleys’, but that term refers specifically to the trolley pole used by streetcars to get power from an overhead wire (hence streetcars are often called trolleys, correctly). Cable cars use no overhead wire, and have no trolley poles. Cable cars can be most easily identified by their open end sections with running boards where riders can stand outside of the car, as seen in the picture above.

And don’t be fooled by the number of replica cable cars that can be seen driving around the city on rubber tires (even though some of them were converted from retired authentic cable cars). The real San Francisco cable cars run only on steel rails, and only on the California Street, Powell-Mason, and Powell-Hyde lines.

Streetcars (trolleys/trams)

Streetcars also run on steel rails, but with no slot between the tracks, and no underground cable. Unlike the mechanical cable cars, streetcars are propelled by onboard electric motors and require a trolley pole to draw power from an overhead wire.

difference-streetcar.jpg
Rick Laubscher photo.

Far faster than any earlier form of urban transportation, the streetcar quickly eclipsed cable cars and horsecars as America’s choice for transit in the first half of the 20th century. With 100,000 vehicles and 45,000 miles of track in the US by 1918, the streetcar helped trigger rapid urban growth and created the nation’s first true suburbs.

San Francisco has the world’s most diverse collection of streetcars in regular transit service, and many are quite unique and different looking. This makes streetcars more difficult to classify by sight than the cable cars, which are all very similar in appearance. But, there’s a simple test to distinguish streetcars from cable cars:

If it runs on steel rails with a trolley pole connected to an overhead wire above, it’s a streetcar.

If it runs on steel rails with an open slot between them, and no overhead wires, it’s a cable car.

(And just to confuse things further, San Francisco is also one of the few American cities that operates trolley coaches, which look like regular buses, but are completely electric and have twin poles on the roof of the bus that draw power from double overhead wires. So, if it connects to a pair of overhead wires but has rubber tires like a bus, it’s a trolley coach. Market Street Railway has helped Muni preserve four historic trolley coaches dating from the 1940s and 1950s, though they are not currently used in service.)

– See more at: http://www.streetcar.org/difference.html#sthash.yRf2Al0y.dpuf

On the Move in New Orleans
On the Move in New Orleans

One of the most popular modes of transportation for young people in New Orleans is bicycle especially with this type of spring weather. New Orleans is one city that seems to be always on the move. People are out and about from early morning to well, early morning. It’s a happening fun action packed city to visit and a great pick for me for the Weekly Photo Challenge.

While it may be springtime it felt more like summer at the New Orleans Jazz Festival waiting for the Boss, Bruce “Springsteen” to pop on stage and entertain us.  The crowd you see here and all the brilliant colored flags is in the waiting to see the Boss.  Every flag is positioned so that the group of people could find their friends after wandering away for a little food or drink.

New Orleans Jazz Festival
New Orleans Jazz Festival

 

We were lucky enough to find a little patch of grass just under this flag for the four sisters, Sheila, Pam, Shirley and me to rest and relax while being entertained.  We had a whirlwind week of music, dancing and wine.  The entertainment was fantastic and not just only at the festival.  We were at the festival for only Saturday and then enjoyed the rest of the week exploring and listening to local artist like Tuba Skinny.  Our last night was at Snug Harbor to see Charmaine Neville (sister to the Neville Brothers) who put on a fantastic show featuring her and several members of her family including her father, Charles Neville.

For your interest here is a link to the USA Today article about the Festival and the Boss