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Faubourg is a French term that means suburb or neighborhood and this area of town is historically called The Faubourg Tremé, but today, is more often referred to as just Tremé. This neighborhood, which sits just outside the French Quarter, is America’s oldest neighborhood settled by free people of color, dating back to 1812. This residential area is mostly a series of colorful Creole cottages, and also includes a few affordable boutique hotels and guest houses within a block or two of the French Quarter.
Tremé was not widely known about outside of New Orleans until the television network HBO developed what is now one of its most acclaimed shows, Tremé. The HBO series is based on the people and events happening in Tremé soon after Hurricane Katrina. The network shot every segment in the city, and it used local talent, especially New Orleans musicians, as real-life characters in the show. With this new fame, it’s much more common to find tourists wandering about wanting to know more about a city treasure that has been home to generations for nearly two centuries.
Tremé’s Future Is Now
There are several positive forces working in favor of the Tremé area, besides its proximity to the French Quarter and the HBO fame. There is consideration by the city to remove an elevated section of Interstate 10, which was built in the 1960s and essentially split the Tremé neighborhood in half. There is now talk of removing the interstate and returning the area back to the way it was, which was a ground-level thoroughfare with a large, oak tree-lined neutral ground. Today, you can still speak directly with older Tremé residents who lived through this awful event, and would like to live to see this road gone, just like has been done in many other U.S. urban areas. We at New Orleans Relocation LLC stand firm in telling the city in one loud voice, “Mr. Mayor, TEAR DOWN THIS ROAD!”
A project that is currently underway near the Tremé neighborhood is the University Medical Center – Veterans Administration Medical Center collaborative medical facility, which is the largest medical construction project in the world today. The two billion dollar, 70-acre construction project is nearing completion in neighboring Mid-City, and is already spurring development and rejuvenation of Tremé.
Tremé Sticks To Its Roots And Is The Envy Of Many
Despite the construction around it, Tremé retains the feel of an old Creole New Orleans neighborhood. It’s not uncommon to stumble upon a second line parade or a jazz funeral, both of which are very common since the neighborhood was home to numerous musicians and a gathering places for musicians. It’s been noted in several articles that many Tremé old-timers can remember the days when now famous musicians informally jammed on neighborhood stoops or around the woodsheds in the evenings. Today, it’s happening once again.
Also located in the Tremé (bordering several blocks of the French Quarter) is the 32 acre, beautiful Louis Armstrong park. Inside Armstrong Park are ponds, huge oaks, palms and Congo Square, an open space in the southern corner of the park where slaves and free blacks gathered throughout the 19th century for meetings, open markets, and African dance and drumming celebrations. That tradition is carried on today with people of every walk and color joining in the celebrations. And absolutely not to be forgotten, Armstrong Park is home to the Mahalia Jackson Theatre of Performing Arts, one of New Orleans premier venues for professional theatre, dance and music.
Culture, Cuisine And Much More
Tremé has been a multicultural, cosmopolitan community from its beginning and continues today and that means you will find a little of everything in Tremé. As mentioned earlier, a great gathering place is Louis Armstrong Park, which created to honor New Orleans’ favorite son, the great Louis Armstrong. Because this area of town is grounded in its African-American and Creole heritage, you will definitely want to visit the New Orleans African-American Museum, which explores the roots of this historic neighborhood. The neighborhood is also the site of several yearly celebrations including Creole Gumbo Festival.
And if you are a Mardi Gras fan, Tremé is a great place to spend part of your Fat Tuesday, as the celebrated Mardi Gras Indians and the Krewe of Zulu, also known as the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, parade through the area.
Getting Involved and Eating Out
Your neighborhood association in Tremé is the Historic Faubourg Treme Association. Tremé does have a few notable establishments, including the world-famous such as Dooky Chase Restaurant and the fantastic family owned New Orleans buffet Lil Dizzy’s Café and Willie Mae’s Scotch House.