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When the parcels of land needed for the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair were acquired there were plenty of businesses left just outside the fair boundary. Most of them continued doing their normal work (those that were actually in operation in the run down area used for the fair) but a few took advantage of the millions of guests passing through the area. Imagine how happy the owner of this liquor store must have been when he found out the crowds using the City Gate entrance would be passing right by his door step.

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I guess he didn't do as much business as he may have originally hoped to for there's a big sale underway in this shot. The fair would be closing in 8 days, though, so it was certainly time to try to clear out the inventory.

I wonder if anyone else has ever had a store so close to a fair entrance?

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Snowballs? In New Orleans?

snowball-fight-with-guns-police-washington-dc-december-christmas.jpg

Maybe they meant snow globes, at least that's what we used to call them. Still a ridiculous proposition in New Orleans.

1984%20WF%2032.jpg

I think there is some kind of a marshmellow & coconut junk food called a Snowball isn't there?

lulus.png

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could a "snowball" be the same as a "Snocone?" - that would make sense in New Orleans

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Well, I wonder how much business that poor guy would have done. I don't suppose anyone could buy liquor and then carry it into the fairgrounds. And I really cannot imagine people stopping to buy booze after leaving the place especially if they had kids in tow and were tired and on their way home. Also, the place looks sort of seedy. It is not exactly an impressive entry way to a world's fair--to any world's fair. I cannot imagine entering the NWYF, Seattle, Expo 67 or any other fair while passing a worn out looking liquor store and a dreary looking block of buildings. I have often wondered what the planners of that New Orleans fair were thinking. I did not attend and had no desire to do so. The whole thing just seemed to be slapped together without a great deal of clear direction and the disaster it became is a direct result of that, I suspect.

Finally, this fair was broke by the time this photograph was taken and attendance had collapsed. I doubt there were huge numbers passing by his store. I wonder if his business even survived.

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I have quite a few pictures showing people lined up and waiting to get into the fair at that gate, so I would imagine a few dropped in for a coffee, soda or some such purchase while waiting. In any event I imagine he got more business while the fair was open than he was used to.

And perhaps a few fair investors drowned their sorrows there!

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Snowballs appears to be a New Orleans name for snow cones. This stand has a banner listing all of the flavors of "snowballs" available:

snow-cones.jpg

I bet they did quite well on a hot day.

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Bill, do you have any photographs of that location today? Any chance of a "then and now" selection of images? I guess I am wondering if the business is still there.

Jim

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I couldn't find an address listed on the liquor store, Jim, but the sign on the building next door looks like it's for 237 Lafayette Street. I just checked that address on Google Maps and it's a new modern building that takes up the whole block. It looks like the area has been completely redeveloped since the fair.

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Thanks, Bill. Another question: Did the fair site flood during Katrina? Does anything remain of that fair?

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The site didn't flood, and in fact the Convention Center, known as the Great Hall during the fair, was one of the main evacuation centers for the local population. Besides the Convention Center, the former International Riverfront section is still there, now used for cruise ships and as a shopping mall. The Canada Pavilion has stood empty since the fair, and I recently sent the city some pictures of it during the fair as they look for a use for it. The giant staircase with a fountain through it stands next to that. There are also some bridges crossing the rail line. Finally, if you know where to look, you can see the footings for the Centennial Lagoon section of the fair in what is now a parking lot. And none of it is marked to show the fair was ever there...

Oh- the sculptor of the giant Posiedon statue that was near the Bridge Gate has erected a portion of the work near the convention center.

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Here you go, Jim.

canada.jpg

Those stairs are still there and easily visible on Google Maps, so you should be able to zero in on the pavilion itself fairly easily.

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