As I mentioned in my last post, I was recently in New Orleans for a work conference. I only had one full free day in the city, and really wanted to take advantage of my time and see as much of the city as I could.
I woke up early, left my hotel in the Central Business District, and headed over to the French Quarter. On my way I passed by Canal Street, which at 170 feet wide, is the widest street in the United States.
My first stop was beautiful Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter. St. Louis Cathedral sits at the top of the square, and is the oldest active Catholic cathedral in the United States.
In the daytime, dozens of artists hang their paintings on the park fence and set up outdoor studios where they work on canvases or offer to draw portraits of people passing by. These artists are easy to engage in conversation and are so knowledgeable about many aspects of the French Quarter and New Orleans in general. Before I knew it, I was chatting up an artist who was a 3rd generation New Orleans resident.
Musicians, tarot-card readers, and magicians also perform on the pedestrian mall. It is a lively, active meeting place!
It didn’t take very long for me to fall completely in love with the French Quarter. The beautifully decorated balconies, the music pouring out of every corner, people drinking in the streets… this city is so alive.
Over the next few hours, I weaved in and out of the French Quarter streets, admiring the architecture, popping into art galleries and shops, and simply people watching.
Royal Street was one of my favorite streets in the French Quarter. More residential and a bit quieter than the other streets, it is known for its art galleries and beautiful homes.
I eventually headed over to the French Market, which is a bazaar-like market selling both food and crafts.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, you’ll find typical New Orleans food for sale….
Sadly I had already eaten lunch (such a shame!), but I did pick up some pralines and ate them by the riverbank.
It was a perfect day.