Walking, New Orleans
The narrow streets of the French Quarter are good for wandering around. There are lots of small shops (including souvenir and culinary shops), art galleries, and other businesses waiting for you to discover and explore. You can easily spend a full day just exploring all these unique shops.
"Moon Walk" is a riverfront boardwalk that runs roughly between Canal Street and Jackson Square. It was named after former New Orleans mayor Maurice "Moon" Landrieu, who was instrumental in converting the city's riverfront from its former industrial purpose into a more public place in the 1970s. Moon Walk offers great views of the French Quarter and of the legendary Mississippi River, and it's a fun place to visit in the evening when people are out to enjoy the light breeze coming from the river.
Copy of a plaque standing in Faubourg Marigny: In 1805, Bernard de Marigny began the subdivision of his plantation, creating the first suburb below the original city. As Americans settled up-river, immigrants and free persons of color settled in Faubourg Marigny.
Faubourg Marigny, located North East of the French Quarter is a very pleasant area to walk around and see old houses vying in shapes, colors, décor. It can be a “dangerous” walk here as you may stop in front of every house, at each street corner and forget about time. . . . . The wide avenues and small streets are just a feast of colors.
Fuchsia and grey painted wood, palm trees, a lily-symbol of N-O, you know where you are (picture 1), but blue is not bad as well (picture 2); these were just colors, but if you add baroque architectural décor to the colors (picture 3), and then some flowers and plants (picture 4), you just can admire. . . . . It is so quiet, peaceful with day light, the European visitor is not used to this messy-nice (or nice-messy) ambience. And even, when the houses look abandoned, they have so much poesy. . . Really, strolling in Marigny is a feast for the eyes!
Royal street is famous for some expensive art galleries, antiqueries and other nice shops. But it also a great street to walk and check some old buildings. We saw many of them but I will put some information here for some of them:
We started from No.334 where you can see the Bank of Louisiana(pic 1). It was erected in 1826 in greek revival style and surviced many big fires the next years (1840-1861). In our days it houses the police station but in the past it used to be a criminal court and the Lousiana State Capitol.
Back at the beginning of 19th century there was a drugstore at No.437 where housed some Masonic lodge meetings, it was there where A.Peychaud served the famous coquetiers(cognac& bitters in small egg cups), in our days we call them cocktails :)
At the side of the street (No.400) is the impressive New Orleans Court Building(pic 2). It was built in 1909 in baroque style but it’s huge for the district’s scale but I liked the lonely musician (not visible on my pic) that was playing some sad tunes.
The big fire of 1794 destroyed every building in the area except the one at No.533. It’s the Merieult House(built 2 years before the fire) that houses the Historic New Orleans collection.
At No.627 used to be the Old Town Praline Shop with a nice courtyard at the back. It was this building where Adelina Patti (famous local soprano) lived in mid 19th century.
At No.700 is the LaBranche House(pic 3), a beautiful three story brick row house with the detailed cast iron grillwork.
At No 640 is the Le Monnier Mansion(pic 4) we got surprised of this really tall for the local scale building that dates from 1811 and it had 4 stories since 1876.
Further down at 1132 is the Gallier House Museum. If you have read Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire have in mind that this is the house where Lestat and Louis supposed to live in! It was built in 1857. Gallier was the architect of course, one of the most famous of that era.
at No.1140 is the Lalaurie Home, many people refer to it as the Haunted House because it was there where Madame Delphine housed extravagant parties but as they say a lot of cruelties too, after a fire people find there 7 slaves chained and starved to death. She escaped to Paris to survive from the local community anger of course.
On a hot summer morning, I took this tour w/1 other person. We first got a little background on New Orleans, Tennessee Williams & William Faulkner because they lived their, and we walked past their apartments—a lot on Faulkner because our guide was a great-nephew of the writer, William Faulkner.
The tour lasted 2 hours to the cemetery and back. There are many reasons why the cemetery plots are above ground, the best is the Spanish that ruled it for a while brought their practices over with them from Spain. Voodoo Queen Marie LeVeau is buried here. The walk out to St Louis #1, and walking around out there isn’t as dangerous as you may have read about. There aren’t people lurking behind the graves ready to jump you. The cemetery is open 9-3pm. You can find a coupon on-line, and it’s only $18 to start with. There are many different walks available.
The magnolia and oak lined Esplanade is one of the reasons I can feel New Orleans is something eternal. Start from the French Quarter on the Neutral Ground (stay on it) and walk all the way to City Park. As you near City Park the Neutral Ground disappears, take the right side of the road away from the school (leaving) and the left (coming back)
This can take over a half an hour and is only recommended for daytime.
On the edge of the French Quarter, the Esplande homes are a little more spaced and more extraordinary in terms of architectural embellishment. Many of these homes were probably built later by Yankee families, and though not as gentile as the homes in the Garden District, are still worth a gawk. Esplanade is a divided street in this area with a parkway of grass and trees down the middle. It's a good place to walk the dog.
Take a quiet walk around French Quarter. Check out the French Market, buy a woodoo-doll and a spicy gatormeat-stick and go and sit by the Mississippi. Enjoy life, you know? Got tons of things to td in Nyawlins; the cemeterys, Garden District( with Anne Rices' house), the lakefront is perfect for picnicks, the swamps are close by,... u name it. Just, most important; take your time, no stress!
Walk around the French Quarter, Bourbon Street is a bit sleazy and smells awful. But the other streets are fine and fascinating with old houses and shops. Also take a stroll by the Mississippi River, take a paddle-boat ride and ride the streetcar to get a tour of the Garden District.
Besides balconies and wrought iron gates and railings, you'll also find colorful Creole cottages scattered through the French Quarter.