Sunday, March 10, 2013

French Quarter

An industry conference took me to New Orleans last week. I knew I would only have time for one tourist spot so I took the only direct flight out on Sunday, and headed straight to the French Quarter shortly after I landed at 3pm. 

I had a cab drop me off on Royal Street, which is one of the oldest streets in the city, and is most well known for the antique shops, art galleries, and stately hotels. 

Under the influence of a perfect marriage of the French elegance and the Spanish passion, the elaborate use of ironwork permeates throughout the architecture within the French Quarter of New Orleans. 

The fire-resistant stucco exterior came into fashion after the 1788 Great New Orleans Fire

Street performers and jazz bands are dime a dozen around street corners. I still haven't figured out what this giant banjo-alike musical instrument is called.
A very "Picasso" art gallery called Kako Gallery on Royal Street. 

Art galleries closer to Bourbon Street are more avant-garde and quirky. 

Another reason why a design blogger would prefer Royal Street to Bourbon Street are all the vintage and antique furnishing shops like Fisher Gambino Lighting. I wanted to take this chandelier home. 

The Flambeaux French Quarter style gas lanterns are among the most recognizable symbols of New Orleans. 

If I had a couple of hours to kill, I would want to chillax in an alley cafe like this sipping a cup of French Roast. 

Walking south to the end of St. Peter will take you to the Jackson Square
In the center of the park stands an equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States, and army general during the Battle of New Orleans.

The park overlooks the grand St. Louis Cathedral

I ended my short trip to French Quarter with a dinner at Gumbo Shop. 

Since I was alone, I was seated at a tiny table tucked in a corner by a fireplace. I ordered their famous Seafood Okra Gumbo and Jambalaya, very authentic Creole cuisine.  

The large wall murals throughout the restaurant depict the plantation era life in New Orleans. All in all Gumbo is a pretty decent family restaurant. 

I am sure you can easily spend a day or even days inside French Quarter, but if you are like me and only have a couple of hours to spare, I would highly recommend you start your walking tour from the Royal Street. Make sure you pack extra greenbacks as cabbies will make every effort to get you to pay in cash. If you manage to use your credit card, read closely before you make your selection - in Canada I always pick the middle option or 15% because our options are 10%, 15% and 20%; whereas in New Orleans for some taxi companies it starts at 15%, then 25% then 40%! 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...