From their vantage point on what they call “the Best Bank,” Algiers Point neighbors boast about the relative, almost idyllic peace and quiet – “a relief from the constant roar of the French Quarter,” said tour guide Russell Blanchard.

Algiers thrives on its isolation. But there is a limit. That’s made clear by recent ferry cutbacks.

When the ferries are operating, they still run every 15 minutes. But only for pedestrians and bicyclists – no cars. And instead of running until midnight, the latest ferry now leaves Algiers on Friday night at 7:45 pm. But on most days, the ferries barely run through dinnertime.

The reduced schedule is the talk of Russell Temple’s barbershop a few steps from the ferry terminal. “ They’re hurting us real bad,” said Temple, 77.

The damages listed by neighbors give a glimpse into the neighborhood itself, which has begun to cater to tourists in recent years but has long been a stronghold of the service industry.

Because of the new ferry schedule, guests are canceling reservations at Algiers bed and breakfasts, residents say. Even worse, the neighborhood has lost longtime residents who work nights as bartenders, waiters and hotel managers. “ They could take the ferry to work, but couldn’t get home,” Blanchard said, noting that city buses only carry two bicycles – a staple of many ferry commuters – and that the buses depart from the corner of Elk Place and Canal Street, a place a bit too far out of the protective hubbub of the Quarter to be comfortable for people carrying a night’s worth of tips.

Clearly, residents say, transportation officials didn’t understand that they were separating Orleans from its closest sibling. First came Orleans, then eight months later, in 1719, came Algiers, said Steven Thurber, who owns Vine & Dine, a bistro and wine bar that shares a front door with the barbershop. Thurber said that the ferry would have disappeared altogether if he and many of his neighbors hadn’t taken buses to Baton Rouge to plead for its existence.

Temple is certain that they’re not talking about ferries in the shops across the river – which, by the way, charge charge double what he does for a haircut. And he suspects that bureaucrats and officials simply aren’t taking the issue as seriously as they should. “ Orleans only recognizes us around election time,” he said.

It’s a sore point. Without quiet Algiers, the noisy Quarter would be nothing, neighbors say. Historically, starting in the early 1700s, powers-that-be looked to Algiers for everything needed by the growing city: a holding pen for slaves who had just arrived from north Africa, gunpowder, slaughterhouses, ship-building and repair docks, and an enormous Southern Pacific Railway yard that once employed 4,000 men.

Because of those rails and ships, even working-class Algiers neighbors were well-traveled. Once, black-and-white photos once hung on the walls of many shotgun houses here, of porters, firemen or brakemen posing during a New York stop with trumpeter Henry “ Red” Allen, an Algiers native made good. When they came home, they’d report in with his daddy, Red Allen, Sr., who ran a busy barbershop on LaMarque Street and headed up the Henry Allen Brass Band for 45 years.

At the time, Algiers was a “ through line” and railcars going from coast to coast with goods headed to destinations around the globe crossed the Mississippi River on a large train ferry, said James Robichaux, who writes Jimbaux’s Journal, a blog about New Orleans rails.

Now the Algiers line is a mere branch off a bigger line. So most of trains start and end on the West Bank, he said.

And though some older neighbors still call the neighborhood “ old Algiers,” its most common moniker – Algiers Point – stems from its importance on the river.

Algiers Point is the navigational name for the treacherous, 120-degree bend in the river that gave the city its Crescent City nickname. A federal judge’s 1985 decision in a ship-collision lawsuit describes the turn as “ fabled in history, beautiful in aspect and a peril to navigators.”

New Orleans culture spans those waters, said former Councilman James Carter, who grew up on the East Bank but whose wife, Algiers native Rene Lewis-Carter, is a near celebrity here, as the principal of Martin Behrman Charter School, the area’s first public school. “ The linkages between the two are very clear,” Carter said, noting the deep jazz history that also exists in Algiers.

In addition to Allen and his dad, jazz-history buffs often bring up early players from Algiers like clarinetist George Lewis, a key part of the traditional-jazz revival in the 1940s, and Manuel “ Fess” Manetta, who taught hundreds of neighborhood kids in addition to playing violin for Kid Ory’s band. Some residents note wryly that after Buddy Bolden was committed to a mental hospital, the band looked – of course – to the West Bank for a more stable bandleader, trombonist Frank Dusen.

These days, the most prominent patriarchs of Algiers culture are Ruddley Thibodeaux, who leads the Algiers Brass Band, and Big Chief Tyrone Casby of the Mohawk Hunters, the West Bank’s only Mardi Gras Indian tribe, which hosts its own Super Sunday parade on the fourth Sunday in April.

The Mardi Gras Indian tradition on the West Bank dates back to Casby’s uncle, Frank Casby. And the Casbys are loyal to Algiers. Indian tribes from all parts of New Orleans show off their suits first in their own neighborhoods – that’s an Indian tradition. But then many Indians travel downtown – to the intersection of Orleans and Claiborne – or Uptown – near A.L. Davis Park.

Not the Mohawk Hunters. They stay in Algiers.

Years ago, Mardi Gras World owner Blaine Kern – who still returns to Temple’s shop to get a haircut – hosted a Mardi Gras Day parade in Algiers. But that stopped while back. “ So we’re the biggest show on earth on Mardi Gras Day in Algiers,”

Casby said. “ And we’ll never leave.”

Many describe the neighborhood as a small town within a city. Of people who have settled down and had children but might still wear bright pink wigs on Valentine’s Day, just because they feel like it. “ It’s peace and tranquility with a New Orleans spice to it,” said Carter, describing how his son and his friends ride their bicycles around the neighborhood, getting into watergun fights, with historic homes as their backdrop.

Casby too sees how the culture spans the river, though many from the East Bank spend their entire lives without crossing the river to his side, he said. Some have called Algiers a stepchild, since contributions from his side are often overlooked.

Casby disagrees with that description. “ It’s not a stepchild. It’s a step up,” he said.