French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana – The Many Sights and Sounds

French Quarter-Bldg1Earlier I shared my post which focused on Jackson Square in the French Quarter. This post is also about the sights and sounds in the French Quarter. Also known as the Vieux Carré District, it is the oldest section of the City of New Orleans and was designated a historical landmark on Dec 21, 1965. It is also the home of the beautiful Saint Louis Cathedral.  We were thrilled to be able to explore this historic city while in the area for New Year’s Eve 2017/2018. It was one of the most amazing New Year’s Eve celebrations we’ve been to. Just wanted to share that before I moved on,  lol

I will share more about our trip in a moment, but wanted to include this podcast about the area, my feelings on our visit, and explain some things I didn’t necessarily share here on this blog post. I also have a short sample of some of the music I recorded during our visit.  I hope you enjoy it.

French Quarter-Bldg3Today the French Quarter is a prime destination for tourists and local residents. It’s where we spent a lot of our time, lol. There are so many amazing buildings around the quarter. Many of these historical buildings were constructed in the late 1700s, during a period of Spanish rule, or during the early 1800s, after U.S. annexation and statehood. I loved the charm of these amazing pieces of history.

French Quarter-Bldg2One good place to check out some of these quaint buildings is to take a stroll along Pirates Alley. This little 600 feet long street is not only filled with historical buildings, but it also contains some unique businesses.

French Quarter-Cafe-du-MondeIf you are in the French Quarter you definitely have to stop into Café du Monde for a coffee and an order of their mouth-watering beignets. They are well worth the sometimes long wait to get a table to stand in line for to-go orders. On a side note, make sure to cash on you, as they don’t take credit cards.

French Quarter - Cafe Du Monde 2It is located on Decatur Street and is open 24 hours a day. The only times it really closes is on Christmas day, or for the occasional hurricane.  I found it interesting that Cafe Du Monde was established in 1862, and according to their vice president, their recopies have gone relatively unchanged. That was cool to find out. Here is a link to the Cafe Du Monde website if you would like to read more about their company.

French Quarter-SignWhile we were there we were able to share in some of the excitement of their upcoming tricentennial celebration.  As such, right next to Café du Monde was a huge lit NOLA 300 sign. They are a resilient city and this celebration is a way to mark where they have been, as well as where they are going.

One day while we were in the area, there were a bunch of high school bands playing music and bringing joy to those in the area. I really enjoyed listening to some of them and hope you enjoy the little clip above.

French Quarter-StoreI am not a big shopper, but I did pick up something for my sister as an early birthday gift 🙂  If shopping is your thing, you will definitely find a lot of in this area. Here is the front of one of the stores still decked out for Christmas with the toy soldiers. I don’t know why, but I thought they were cute and had to take a picture.

French Quarter-JaxOne of the places shoppers may enjoy is Jax (Jackson) Brewing Company. Shopping at a brewery? I know, we were disappointed too, lol.  Let me explain for those of you who have never been to NOLA. This New Orleans landmark was once the brewing and bottling house of Jax Beer from 1891 until the mid-1970s. Today the converted brewery holds exclusive and distinctive New Orleans shops as well as nationally known stores. Maybe a fun place to shop or have a quick meal, but no free beer samples 🙁 lol

If you are hungry, and who isn’t in New Orleans, there are also several restaurants located in Jax Brewery.

  • Café Beignet– Located on the first floor of the Jackson Brewery, this beautiful location features mahogany paneling and bar, large mirrors, tile floors, bright lighting, and a signature lighted Café Beignet arch. Large French windows and doors open up to street views of Decatur Street.
  • Gumbo YaYa – They have taken gumbo to an art form. They use a mixture of gulf shrimp, oyster blue crab, chicken, and andouille sausage. We didn’t eat here, but it sounds good. Definitely on my list for next time.
  • Kilwins – also known as Kilwins Chocolates, specializes in confectioneries such as candy, ice cream, and fudge. All I can say is  YUM, lol
  • Jazz Sushi – If you like sushi, apparently this is the place to go. I am not a sushi fan, so it’s not on my list, but I wanted to share.

French-Quarter-2018-SignWell, even without the beer samples, we had a great time exploring the French quarter, but the best part by far was watching the Fleur De Leis descend from the top of the aforementioned Jax Brewery building to announce the arrival of 2018! It was one of the most exciting things we have done in a long time. It was freezing and windy, but so worth it. Here is a picture of the  Fleur De Leis before it descended. It’s not a great picture, but there were so many people. Happily, I have wonderful memories. If you haven’t done this before, I hope you can someday.


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