In New Orleans, it is easy to find one’s self caught between Piety and Desire, both literally and figuratively. Bernard Marigny, who named most of the streets in the Bywater, must have been a prophet, for few cities are at once as religious yet hedonistic as New Orleans. Yet, Marigny would probably be as shocked as anyone at the modern streetnames, for they didn’t turn out quite like he intended. While he had a tendency to name streets in an unusual way (he once named a street Rue de Craps for the dice game!), he originally named these two streets Piete and Desiree, for his daughters. The American translation didn’t go according to plan, and we ended up with, among other things, a streetcar, bus, and later a project, named Desire. Even so, Bernard Marigny intentionally named other streets Abundance, Treasure, Agriculture, Hope, Law, Duels and Industry!

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