One of the many unique characteristics of the City of New Orleans is the way the people speak. The historical roots of the city, with its African, French, Native American, and Spanish populations, produced everyday words that are still used by some families well into the twenty-first century. Many of these words and expressions might puzzle some people who hear them today.
When choosing a title for this little book, there was no difficulty selecting the one used by this writer. Since I believe it conveys the exuberance of playing on the banquette and the tranquility of sitting on the galerie. The word banquette referred to the early sidewalks that lined the streets of New Orleans. Its origin has been attributed to the fact that, in the early French colonial period, the city was plagued with pools of water that settled into wagon tracks and holes in the muddy streets and made foot traffic very difficult.