Generally speaking, New Orleans is pretty historic. But some neighborhoods underscore that fact more than others. Case in point? Tremé. Not only is it one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, it’s also the oldest African-American neighborhood in the entire country. Moreover, many Tremé residents have longstanding connections to the neighborhood, whether living in generations-old houses or attending St. Augustine Church. Walk to Tremé from the French Quarter or the Marigny, and get to exploring — we’ve got a few ideas on exactly what to do courtesy of Akeem Biggs, who recently walked us through his Happy Tuesday itinerary.
Start on St. Philip Street
Looking for a bright start to your Tremé itinerary? Do as Biggs does, and begin with architectural standouts, like this house on St. Philip Street, one of many vibrant shotguns that dot the neighborhood.
Head to St. Louis Cemetery
The oldest of New Orleans’ “Cities of the Dead,” St. Louis Cemetery is the final resting place of many prominent historical figures, including Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau and Homer Plessy, the plaintiff in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson “separate but equal” Supreme Court decision, finally overturned in 1954 as a result of Brown v. Board of Education.
Meet the neighborhood’s residents
Like every neighborhood in New Orleans, you’ll find warm and friendly residents happy to take time out for a conversation. Biggs met Daddy Rob, pictured above, who insisted he come back soon. Daddy Rob resides on St. Ann Street.
Eat at Willie Mae’s
You gotta. This Treme restaurant is an absolute establishment, especially known for its fried chicken.
Explore the Backstreet Cultural Museum
The Mardi Gras Indians are part of the cultural fabric of New Orleans, and, aside from seeing them in person, no place better encapsulates their traditions and artistry better than Backstreet Cultural Museum. Find an extensive collection of costumes on display, as well as facts and stories regarding other New Orleans traditions like jazz funerals.
Finish the day at Armstrong Park
Named for the city’s most famous son, this park on North Rampart Street also pays homage to central musical figures like Mahalia Jackson and Charles “Buddy” Bolden. Wait until dusk, and bring your camera — the park’s entrance really shines in the evening.