The neutral ground is also used as a term to define the space in between streets in New Orleans where the street cars run. The main neutral ground divided the French Quarter from downtown, which leads on to the Garden District. And it also divides culture. In the Vieux Carre
, the French settled, building their house around their garden, so that the courtyard was shielded from the heat of summer and rain in the winter by four walls, or Quarters. Unless you go into someone's house, you'd never know they were there. In the uptown area (which is geographically south instead of north, another way New Orleans is backwards
), the British and Americans settled, and thinking themselves better than the dirty French, built their houses in the center of the block, with lush yards and gardens all around, hence the Garden District
Some areas of the city have neutral grounds with no street cars running on them. They once used to run, and then the neighborhood, depending on how violent it is, switched to buses for mass transit. There is no Streetcar Named Desire anymore, and you wouldn't want to be walking down Desire at any time of day or night, if you value your life. And so, these big grassy areas hold little purpose except as a last ditch effort to get your dog to take a shit in the middle of the night. In some neighborhoods, I'm told, where few people can afford phones, there are pay phones on the neutral ground.
In my area outside of the French Quarter, many a traffic light has been slain by a drunk driver and will often sit there for weeks before it's repaired. Punk kids sit out there and hang out late at night. If I'm walking alone somewhere at night, I walk the neutral ground, so I can see anything that might be out to get me from every angle. There is a sweet irony in feeling safe in the middle of the street where you'd think you'd be the most vulnerable, when in fact it allows for the best escape routes from danger.
says, "You might want to mention that the word median does not exist in New Orleans at all. The neutral ground is also the area in between the street and the sidewalk..in fact it's pretty much used to cover any grassy area in the middle of a paved space."