Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood & Bourbon
The Tremé District
One of the smallest and oldest districts in the city is also one of the most run-down and nearly derelict come the modern nights. The area is populated almost exclusively by poor African-Americans, and many of the “shotgun” houses (so named because one could theoretically fire a bullet from the front through the back) resemble their French Quarter cousins in style, but not quality. Recent efforts to clean up many of the older buildings point to a potential trend toward gentrification, but little headway has been made on that front to date.
In the 1840s, the area was located outside the city’s walls—as its name suggests, Rampart Street was the town limit at the time—and both slaves and free persons of color met in a market here called Congo Square. While the rest of America was forcing people of African descent to repress their own traditional culture, Congo Square was a place where cultural events of every kind were not only permitted but encouraged. (“Better outside the city than in,” was the motto.)
Technically speaking, only four Kindred dwell in this parish in any official capacity—Baron Cimitière, Malia Eliza Curry, and Josue Vendredi, and Father John Marrow. However, Marrow and the Baron have entourages of their own, and they both play host to them here more often than not.
Even after the wall around Tremé came down and the district became an integral part of the city, something in that early tradition spoke to the African-American Kindred of New Orleans. While Baron Cimitière hosts the various gatherings that take place here from time to time, many such parties are open to all Kindred of African descent, regardless of whether or not they are in the Circle of the Crone.
Tremé known two nominal regents over its history, but many Kindred would say it has only had a single one: the Baron.
Lineage: gen. and sire unknown, e. unknown
Status: Camarilla •••••, Circle of the Crone •••••, Samedi •••••
Baron Cimitière has claimed Tremé as his domain since his arrival to New Orleans well over two hundred years ago. Following his disappearance and presumed final death during Katrina, Vidal appointed John Marrow as the parish’s regent. Even the prince didn’t contest it when the Baron returned in 2008 and carried on as if nothing had changed. Cimitière rules his domain with a fairly light hand, but only because a heavier one isn’t necessary—every vampire who dwells in Tremé, with the exception of Marrow, is one of his devoted followers.
Lineage: gen. and sire unknown, e. early 21st century
Status: Caitiff – (presumed), Camarilla •, Circle of the Crone ••
Lineage: 9th gen. childe of Marguerite Defallier, e. early 21st century
Status: Camarilla 0, Circle of the Crone •, Toreador •
Lineage: 13th gen. childe of Janine Clairmont, e. early 21st century
Status: Camarilla 0, Circle of the Crone •, Malkavian •••
Lineage: 11th gen. childe of unknown sire, e. late 19th century
Status: Camarilla ••, Hardline Sanctified ••, Nosferatu •••
Lineage: gen. and sire unknown, e. mid 20th century
Status: Caitiff -, Camarilla 0, Circle of the Crone •
Malia Eliza Curry
Lineage: gen. and sire unknown, e. unknown
Status: Camarilla ••, Circle of the Crone •••, Samedi •••
Backstreet Cultural Museum
(1531 St Philip St.)
The Backstreet Cultural Museum is a museum dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the city’s African-American culture and heritage. The museum was founded in 1999 by Sylvester Francis, a community leader and activist. The museum is housed in a former funeral home, and it features a variety of exhibits on the history and culture of the Tremé neighborhood, as well as on the Mardi Gras Indians, brass bands, jazz funerals, social aid and pleasure clubs, baby dolls, and other aspects of New Orleans culture. The museum offers a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year.
(701 North Rampart St.)
Congo Square, now part of Louis Armstrong Park, is a historic public space where enslaved Africans were originally allowed to gather on Sundays. They would sing, dance, play drums, practice Vodoun rituals, and sell food and crafts. Congo Square was a place where the enslaved could maintain their African culture and traditions, as well as socialize and build community.
After the Civil War, Congo Square continued to be a gathering place for African-Americans. It was a place where they could celebrate their freedom and their culture. Congo Square was also a place where jazz musicians would gather to play and improvise, and many consider it the birthplace of jazz music.
Today, Congo Square is a popular tourist destination and place where locals gather to celebrate African-American heritage through live music, dancing, and other cultural activities.
Hotel Storyville (Elysium)
(1261 Esplanade Ave.)
Hotel Storyville New Orleans is a small, independent hotel named after the Storyville district, the infamous red-light district that operated in New Orleans from 1897 to 1917. The hotel is located in a historic building that was originally built in the late 1800s. The hotel opened in 2006 after renovations and updates, but it still retains its original charm. The hotel features 12 guest rooms and suites decorated in a unique and eclectic style. The hotel offers a number of amenities, including a complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and off-street parking. The hotel also has a beautiful garden where guests can relax and enjoy the city’s weather.
(1500 Esplanade Ave.)
This Creole-Soul restaurant is a gathering place for local movers, shakers, residents, and nobodies, as much for the neighborhood lowdown as for the divine trout Baquet. The restaurant is known for its fried chicken, gumbo, and other Creole-Soul dishes, plus daily specials and drinks. It has a casual atmosphere and offers both indoor and outdoor dining. It’s also a favored hangout for the houngan Toussaint, perhaps the most influential Vodouisant in New Orleans. Locals who want to meet with him often catch the houngan here over a plate of fried chicken.
(701 N Rampart St.)
32-acre park bordering Rampart Street in the French Quarter, dedicated to one of New Orleans’ most famous jazz greats. The park is home to a number of historical and cultural attractions, including Congo Square, a 12-foot statue of Louis Armstrong, a bust of the jazz clarinetist Sidney Bechet, a depiction of the jazz cornet player Buddy Bolden, and a museum dedicated to the history of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The park can be quite unsafe after dark, however, and sees regular violence and drug deals.
(1418 Governor Nicholls St.)
The New Orleans African American Museum (NOAAM) is a museum dedicated to protecting, preserving, and promoting through education the history, art, and communities of African-Americans in New Orleans and the African diaspora. NOAAM was founded in 1976, and its current home is a historic complex that includes the Treme Villa, a Creole villa built in 1828-29, and four other restored buildings. The museum features a variety of exhibits on the history and culture of African-Americans in New Orleans, including the city’s role in the African slave trade, the Civil Rights Movement, and the development of jazz and other forms of African American music. NOAAM also offers a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year, such as lectures, workshops, and film screenings.
(1210 Governor Nicholls St.)
Saint Augustine Church is said to be the oldest black Catholic parish in the United States, established in 1841. The church is located on Saint Claude Avenue at Governor Nicholls Street, a few blocks from North Rampart Street and the French Quarter.
The church was founded by a group of free people of color, who also bought pews for slaves. The church was originally located on Burgundy Street, but it was moved to its current location in 1842. The church was built in the Greek Revival style and is one of the oldest churches in New Orleans.
Saint Augustine Church has played an important role in the history of New Orleans. It was a center of the black Catholic community in the city, and it was a place where black Catholics could worship freely. The church was also a center of the Civil Rights Movement in New Orleans.
In 1956, Saint Augustine Church was the site of a protest against segregation. A group of black Catholics refused to leave the church after the Archdiocese of New Orleans ordered that all churches in the city be desegregated. The protest lasted for several days and attracted national attention. The protest eventually led to the desegregation of all churches in New Orleans.
Today, Saint Augustine Church is a National Historic Landmark. It is also a popular tourist destination. The church offers tours on Saturdays and Sundays.
(425 Basin St.)
Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest extant cemetery in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, and still the site of several burials a year. It was established in 1789 and is located in the French Quarter, between Basin and St. Louis Streets. The cemetery is the final resting place of many notable New Orleanians, including voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, jazz musician Nicolas Ursin “Nick” LaRocca, the notoriously cruel slave owner Delphine LaLaurie, and politicians Pierre François Chauvin de La Frenière and Bernard de Marigny.
The cemetery is notable for its unique above-ground burial tombs. The tombs are made of brick, stucco, and marble, and decorated with a variety of architectural styles, including Gothic, Greek Revival, and Italianate. The tombs are often elaborately decorated with sculptures, inscriptions, and family crests. The cemetery is a popular tourist destination, and it is also a popular spot for locals to visit on All Saints’ Day and Mardi Gras. However, like many cemeteries, it is notoriously unsafe after dark.
In 2012, Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 was designated a National Historic Landmark. The cemetery is owned and operated by the Archdiocese of New Orleans.