As the occasional dog walker and passerby stopped to grab a final photo of Gen. Robert E. Lee on his perch, Justin and Sarah Beitzel ambled down St. Charles Avenue in the opposite direction Friday morning (May 19), enjoying a quiet walk during their mini-vacation to New Orleans.
Their stroll coincided with crews working around the Lee monument in preparation to bring down the last of four Confederate monuments the city has deemed public nuisances.
The Beitzels, who are Hotel Modern guests, said the staff had just locked up the front doors and that they were directed to use the back entrance. In town for a concert Thursday night at Tipitina's, the couple laughed over the scene they had returned to last night. With music playing and a crowd of protesters and supporters, the sight was an "interesting surprise," Sarah Beitzel said.
Although the pair expected the Lee Monument to come down soon -- they're both from south Louisiana and keep up with New Orleans news -- they didn't know it would happen during their stay this week.
"We stood out there a couple minutes last night," Justin Beitzel said of their late return to the hotel. "With the music everywhere and the people, it was pretty much like New Orleans always is."