In the shadow of Downtown New Orleans is a vestigial remnant…of a time gone by, yet still vibrant and alive…The Vieux Carre! The Vieux Carre is better known as the French Quarter. It was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville. Although it is referred to as the French Quarter most of the current buildings were built under Spanish rule.
The Quarter consists of an area of 78 square blocks…the area is bordered by the Mississippi River, Canal Street, Esplanade Ave and N. Rampart St.
Most people who visit The French Quarter experience very little of what the area has to offer…They check in to their hotel and head out to Bourbon Street and never venture more than a few blocks in either direction.
This week New Orleans visitors are focused on Superbowl XLVII. How many took the time to walk down Magazine Street or visit the quaint community of Marigny?
How many missed out on the local flavor because they chose to stay at one of the high-rise hotels instead of a small locally owned and operated hotel? How many chose to stand in line at a chain restaurant instead of seeking out a local cafe or diner? How many coffee drinkers googled Starbucks and missed out on a cup of Community coffee? I wonder how many took the time to strike up a conversation with the likes of Joe Dunn or Granpa Elliott? How many were so busy drinking over priced Hurricanes from Pat O’Briens and stumbling down Bourbon Street, when they could have experienced true local flavor by walking a few blocks off the beaten path to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the oldest continually operated bar in the United States.
…Uptown New Orleans in the shadow of The Mississippi River Bridge
…In the shadow of an office building is the Grande Dame of Hotels, the Hotel Monteleone…
… In the shadow of Starbucks…A local diner serving Community Coffee (so much better)