I don't know where you are located, but I hope you weren't wiped out by Hurricane Katrina. What a sad thing to happen in New Orleans and all the other cities in Louisiana and Mississippi. I ran across your site on Google. I was looking up information on a cup and saucer from the Morning Call Café in Metairie. I bought it at a garage sale here in Houston for a quarter and put it up for sale on eBay and got over $100 for it. Everyone is telling me that it was probably worth more than that. I would love to go to Morning Call and see if they are still serving coffee in these particular cups, if the café is still in business. Thank you for any information you can give me.
Neither Old Blake nor Morning Call were wiped out by Hurricane Katrina, but we thank you for your concern. We are both still in business. The Morning Call Coffee Stand, which started in the French Market and has been serving coffee since 1870, moved to 3325 Severn Ave. in Metairie in 1974. Thanks for sending me a picture of the cup and saucer. However, the business no longer uses cups and saucers with the name Morning Call in script on the side of the cup and the saucer. Perhaps, as you said, you may have sold a real treasure for a pittance. If you go to the shop today, you will get your coffee and beignets served on plain white china. What I like about the place is that once I am inside, I feel as if I am not in suburbia at all, but in the French Quarter, because the interior was carefully transported from the original location. Morning Call is just as busy as ever, often with a waiting line. And the café au lait is just as delicious, as are the beignets. Come on down!
Do you have any more information about Spanish Plaza, such as who initiated the idea of the gift, the importance and purpose of the gift, the key players, and the roles that both the United States and Spain played in orchestrating the construction of the plaza?
The Spanish Plaza, or Plaza de Espana, has a fountain surrounded by benches and the seals of all of the provinces of Spain. These are executed in azulejo tiles, which are very common in Spain, and are signed "Decorativa."
Two of the tiles have explanatory text in both Spanish and English. The English version reads thus: "Spain dedicated this plaza to the City of New Orleans in remembrance of their common historical past and as a pledge of fraternity in the future. 1976 AD. Bicentennial Year of the United States. Renovated and Rededicated in the Year 2001 AD. Thanks to the generosity of the Province of Castellon, Spain."
The project was proposed by the Hon. Jose Luis Aparicio y Aparicio, Consul General of Spain. At the time, 1963, the mayor of New Orleans was Victor H. Schiro.
There is a bronze plaque with the following text: "Plaza de Espana. The citizens of New Orleans gratefully acknowledge the gift of this beautiful plaza from the government of Spain. It was designed and fabricated in Spain and constructed by the city of New Orleans with financial assistance from the United States government through a 'Legacy of Parks' grant. The stones and fountain were shipped from Spain to this city by Lykes Brothers Steamship company, Inc. as a contribution to the people of New Orleans."
The plaque is signed by Mayor Moon Landrieu and the City Council and several others from trade, commerce and construction.
There is another bronze plaque which commemorates the 440th anniversary of Hernando De Soto and his discovery of the Mississippi River in April 1541.
Over the years, the 54 crests had deteriorated, so in 1998, a Louisiana Trade Delegation requested that the crests be replaced, and Carlos Fabra, president of the Provincial Government of Castellon, Spain, agreed. So in May of 2001, the plaza was renovated and rededicated. In attendance were President Fabra and Marc H. Morial, then mayor of New Orleans.