DATELINE: NEW ORLEANS, LA
Ready to mail a package I used Google Maps to "find the post office closest to me" and was given the address for a facility about 1.5 miles from where we are staying. Around 11AM I set off on foot from the house where we are staying, located across from the New Orleans Race Track for that location. It was a long trek, north and west but finally I arrived, only to find it surrounded on all sides by a large fence. It was a huge place, and after walking the perimeter finally at the far corner I found an entrance, only to learn that it was a distribution center, not a regular post office. "Where's the nearest post office," I asked. "North and east of here," I was told. So I set out on foot again to the new location, another mile away.
Along the way I passed Dillard University, a predominately black college founded in the 1930s. I had been told that I would find the post office in a small shopping mall near Elysian Fields, which derives its name from a very large cemetery, above ground like all cemeteries in New Orleans. The original Elysian Fields were in Greece and were the final resting place of "the souls of the heroic and virtuous." I circumnavigated the cemetery, trying to find the post office, stopping at one building in a complex of new multistory buildings. I asked the grounds keeper if they could direct me to the post office. "No habla English," they said. Replying in Spanish, It told them what I was trying to do. "Detras esta edificio," they told me. I headed for the back of the buildings, which turned out to be a gigantic mausoleum complex. Eight buildings, multistoried, that looked like an apartment complex. Compartments for the souls of the heroic and virtuous, I decided. I circumnavigated the complex, and found the shopping mall, but not the post office.
I asked a young guy for help. "I can google it," he told me, taking out his phone. "Never mind", I replied. "I haven't had much luck with google's map today." I plugged on, and finally tucked in a corner behind an auto parts store and Mike's Hardware, I found it. Waiting on line, I decided to photograph a warning sign on the wall. NO DOGS ALLOWED, EXCEPT SEEING-EYE DOGS. I thought it would make a good entry for the Mikey-Sez blog. "NO PHOTOGRAPHS IN THE POSTOFFICE!!!" shouted the woman on duty by the front door. "It's only a sign," I told her. "NO EXCEPTIONS," she directed me. The rest of my transaction at the post office was without incident and then I took the bus back towards where I started. Except, I got the wrong bus -- headed in the right direction but travelling the wrong street. I asked the driver if it went close to the Race Track. "I'll let you know when we get there," he said. I pulled down a route map for the bus and followed along. When we were blocks south of my destination I asked the driver about the Race Track. "GET OFF HERE," he told me. "TAKE THAT BUS ACROSS THE STREET." I did as told, only to watch the other bus pull away. I checked my bus map and decided to hoof it, Now I was near City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art. I knew the area, west and north of my destination, about a mile away. 6 min. by car, says Google Maps. 45 minutes on foot, I discovered.
Next time, I'll try Uber.