Sunday, May 19, 2013

Quirky Functionality

A few days following the Crawfish Festival, we returned to Breaux Bridge, LA, just to visit the historic downtown. There are a number of residential and commercial buildings in the Historic District, but it is more than the history of these buildings that draws us back again and again.

An example of this attraction is the Kidder Building, built in 1909. Standing at the old four-corners intersection of Bridge and Main Streets in the heart of downtown Breaux Bridge, this building, which was originally intended as a saloon, has served as a cock fight arena and a WWII dance hall. It has housed many businesses including a health center, a Karate school, a gift shop and a clothing store.
Ordinarily, that historical "resume" would be enough to get our attention. But the merchandise placed around the outer walls creates another bit of intrigue. There is a casualness to the placement of the green metal chair against the gray wall with a sign below it that reads "Bonjour" that we find very inviting.
There is a quirky functionality that is evident everywhere. Beneath the functional corrugated sheet metal roof of these shops on Bridge Street is the quirky.
The colorful storefront and the painted "Angelle's Old-fashioned Burgers" led us to infer that this is no ordinary burger place.
Equally quirky was the tree stump table outside Chez Jacqueline's French Cajun Cuisine. One can only imagine the deals consumated over burgers and a couple of Abita Turbo Dogs.
Jeanne's Gifts also displays this juxtaposition of the practical metal wall and the colorful flowers and butterfly, among other metal artworks.
Janell's Gifts and Antiques presents a very welcoming entrance to its portion of the Portier Building, built in 1898.
I don't know if it's the sounds of zydeco and cajun music coming from Cafe des Amis three times a week or the magic of gumbo, but the merchants, locals, and tourists certainly seem to have a lot of fun along this portion of Bridge Street.
In contrast to the above businesses is this "quiet" shop at the end of a shaded walkway off Bridge Street.
The stretch limo provided a nice contrast to the former Begnaud’s Hardware Store, built in 1899. Mr. Begnaud sold hardware, carriages, buggies, and wagons. The building is now occupied by Marilyn's Fine Jewelry and The Clock Shop. The latter is home to an impressive collection of fine antique clocks, Victrola and Edison phonographs.

As I was about to approach the driver, a group of about 10 adolescents came running toward the limo and the driver moved quickly to beat them to the car.
The doorway leading into AnnaBelles was also artistically decorated.
Shops on Main Street also showed this same emphasis on creative appearances.
The former Broussard's Hardware Store (1921) sported this entryway.
The sidewalk outside Angelle's Antiques showed off this array of items.
The architecture of Main Street presented some interesting storefronts.
A very interesting, enticing town. Breaux Bridge, LA.

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