Souvenir Shops, New Orleans
They're on every block on Bourbon Street, every other block on Canal Street (but they tend to be bigger), and are dispersed on Decatur Street. They have porcelain, plastic and paper masks, Mardi Gras beads with anything - and I mean anything - hanging from them, shot glasses the size of Lake Ponchartrain, t-shirts, t-shirts and more t-shirts. You can't miss them and you'll definitely hear them as Zydeco blasts from their indoor speaker systems.
If you're looking for that perfect "I've been to New Orleans" t-shirt with the matching set of Mardi Gras beads, don't fret. These places are everywhere.
Unique Suggestions: If you have to go head towards the French Market. You'll find better quality items.
Located in the River Walk, the Mardi Gras store was a real junk store. It was full of every kind of Mardi Gras bead you could imagine. Plus there were feather boa's, masks, and many other various trinkets. Its obvious they were all plastic imports and not really worth purchasing. But you can sit in the store and pose for a fun picture. Here I am without the hat but with a mask. Beware the masked man in the Mardi Gras Store.
These souvenir shops are plastered every where and on every street in the French Quarter. On Bourbon St at night , the shop keepers emerge from their feather boas, painted masks and plastic beads beckoning you with "bargains" and "one-of-a-kinds". Gator heads and loud zydeco music piped into a speaker system greet you as you walk in.
Unique Suggestions: I know that it is hard to resist the overly friendly shop keepers. But resist you must...and just look around. There truely are some really good bargains out there...but you have to resist the urge to get the first thing you see. More often than not, you will find a really cute mask and two shops down on the same street is the same thing at a cheaper price.
It´s to harsh to consider the whole French Market a tourist trap. It´s a nice place where you can get nice stuff, but also cheap tourist stuff sold for too much money. Be careful with your wallet. The rows are narrow and there are a lot of people. Good place for a theft. BUT STILL A PLACE TO VISIT.