Monday, July 11, 2011

The Algiers Ferry - New Orleans, LA

Crescent City Connector
I took the ferry to Algiers the other day.  I could have taken the bridge (pictured above) but it's so darned windy up there on my little motorcycle, and there is nothing really to see.  I prefer the ferry, which costs the same.  The toll to get to the West Bank of the Mississippi River is nothing.  To get back to the East Bank, it costs a dollar, whether you choose bridge or ferry.

This isn't to say that the bridge does not offer panoramas.  It does.  It is wiser to pay attention to the cars and trucks zipping by, and the road conditions, than it is to enjoy the landscape below.
New Orleans World Trade Center
Notice that I refer to the East Bank and the West Bank of the river.  The ferry runs from New Orleans to New Orleans.  Algiers is a neighborhood within the city, though it is separated by a wide ribbon of water.  It's a different world over there, but one that I feel comfortable in.  It is New Orleans.  The bridge has an Algiers exit, and then the highway runs through Jefferson Parish, which includes the City of Gretna, and then miles and miles of unincorporated places.  As a New Englander, I have little patience or respect for unincorporated places.  Jefferson Parish is wide and vast, and if the people who live there cannot be bothered to form a government, I have a hard time taking that seriously.

Of course, the views from the ferry are beautiful.  Another photo, that would be fit for a tourist brochure:
Saint Louis Cathedral.
There is some talk about doing away with the tolls on the Crescent City Connector because the dollar is too much an imposition for the people on the West Bank.  Crimminy!  A dollar!  When I paid the first time, I almost got off the Little Ninja and danced a jig!  From East Boston to Boston through the Big Dig Tunnel costs $3.50 the last I remember, and they are both part of the same city.  To get into Boston from the Massachusetts Turnpike is even more.  The last time I crossed the George Washington Bridge in NYC, it cost nine bucks!

People will disagree, but I think if you want to live in the suburbs and pay your property taxes there, while working in the city, you should pony up a little to keep up the infrastructure and opportunity to continue to do so.  Yes, it does cost five dollars to spend a work week in New Orleans, or elsewhere on the East Bank.  That is the equivalent of a draft beer and a tip that gets spent in thirty seconds.

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