Walk down Chartres, Royal, or Canal Street today, and you will see shopwindows filled with sparkling jewelry, stylish clothing, trendy household goods, and elegant furniture. If you did the same thing 150 years ago, you would see similar displays in many of the same windows. The exhibition Goods of Every Description: Shopping in New Orleans, 1825–1925, now on display at The Historic New Orleans Collection, illustrates the types of luxury goods from around the world and some of the stores customers visited along the shopping avenues of old New Orleans.
Robert Ticknor, reference assistant, The Historic New Orleans Collection
October 31, 2016
New Orleans weather has a few predictable patterns. The summers are sizzling, with temperatures soaring above 90 degrees for weeks at a time and often pushing triple digits. At any time of year afternoon thunderstorms can suddenly arise and, after raining just enough to make everything damp and steamy, disappear just as quickly. Then there’s the ever-worrisome hurricane season, which stretches from the start of June through the end of November. One meteorological event most people don’t identify with this city is snowfall.
August 01, 2016
Jackson Square is in many ways the heart of the French Quarter. Today, as a public park and tourist destination, millions of people rest in its shade from the summer heat, taking in the splendor of the surrounding historic buildings and the Mississippi River. Park-goers can relax on the benches or lie on the grass admiring the regal statue of Andrew Jackson, honored for his role in saving New Orleans from the British during the 1815 Battle of New Orleans: Brass bands and fortune tellers line up en masse along the Chartres Street side calling out to people going in and out of the adjacent St.
May 10, 2016
New Orleans, and in particular the Vieux Carré, or the “old square,” as the French Quarter is often referred, is known throughout the world as a destination for gourmands and epicures. As the novelist William Makepeace Thackeray noted, “New Orleans, in spring-time... it seemed to me the city of the world where you can eat and drink the most and suffer the least.” The city is a place to enjoy decadent food of many varieties, but the cuisine that many likely think of when considering New Orleans’s famous food is Creole.
February 03, 2016
Of all the things people associate with the French Quarter—food, history, architecture, cocktails...and on and on—music (like the Saints) has to be included in that number. Whether it is the sound of a brass band blasting out an old standard for the tourists around Jackson Square, the rhythm of a funk band covering classic-rock songs over on Bourbon Street, or the dueling pianos battling all night long at Pat O’Brien’s, music is ubiquitous in the Vieux Carré.
November 02, 2015
The French Quarter is a popular party destination, where travelers come to seek out food, music, nightlife, and an all-around good time. Any holiday can be cause for a celebration in New Orleans, but New Year’s Eve is one of the most significant and has been since the earliest days of the city’s existence. As the New Orleans author Hartnett Kane wrote, “Christmas was the day for solemnity, for religion, and for family observance; New Year’s the time for conviviality. The holidays reached their climax on New Year’s Day, le Jour de l’An –the day of the year in more ways than one.”
August 04, 2015
Grabbing an ice-cold lemonade or a cocktail and strolling through the French Quarter is one of the nicest ways to spend a summer day in New Orleans. The oldest neighborhood in the city, the French Quarter offers an abundance of entertainment. If your tastes are more artistically minded, then you’ll find plenty to occupy your time. A portion of Royal Street converts into a pedestrian mall during the day, and the myriad art galleries and antique shops open their doors to anyone ambling down the street.