I'm excited. I'm geniunely excited and thrilled and filled with the anticipation that marks a 5 year-old waiting to see what Santa brought her for Christmas.
Last night, D. and I took the Monster to PetCo to pick up his monthly supply of allergic-collie food and allergic-collie treats. As we drove down St. Charles, we noticed a huge banner hanging from the balcony of The Columns, welcoming back the streetcar.
Granted, work on the line isn't complete. It isn't slated to run its full length to Carrollton until sometime next year.
But it's a start. It's a sign of progress. It's a sign of restored normalcy. There's comfort in seeing those lumbering green streetcars rumbling up the Avenue, and there's humor to be had in watching cars try to avoid being hit by them.
As Chris Rose penned in his weekly column:
With the exception of the Saints "Monday Night Football" spectacle last year
-- with all its pent-up, nearly animalistic communal catharsis -- I can't think
of a single renovation, rehabilitation or reopening in this city that causes the
soul to stir as much as the return of the old carriages on the St. Charles
Avenue streetcar line.
The rumble and clack of steel wheels on track, our glorious streetcar, is
the sound of New Orleans' tradition, resilience and pride, as historic an icon
as this city has to offer.
You know what? He's absolutely right.
Here's what the RTA released to the public this week:
The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is pleased to announce
that beginning Sunday, November 11, 2007, before the sun rises, the historic
Perley Thomas streetcars will once again proudly traverse St. Charles Avenue,
from the Central Business District, through the picturesque Garden District to
Napoleon Avenue.New Orleanians, as well as visitors, have waited over two years
for the return of the St. Charles Streetcar to the uptown area.
The renewed excitement and anticipation has been visible on the smiling faces of motorists and pedestrians as they glimpsed test runs of the streetcars along the Avenue during the weeks of October. An opening ceremony for the heralded route is
tentatively scheduled for Saturday, November 10 at 2:00 p.m. Passengers will
ride free from the end of the ceremony until 5:00 p.m.
I know I'll be there - just look for the short little brunette with the big grin on her face.