Last week I was able to check another city off my list of places to see before I die. That city was New Orleans in the state of Louisiana. V.C. Andrews’ Ruby took place in Louisiana and after reading that series in high school, I was hooked. After 20 years of dreaming, I finally set foot in Ruby‘s world. I did several tours which I will tell you about in upcoming articles but for now, I’d just like to show you around the French Quarter; the heart of New Orleans.
The Quarter is New Orlean’s most popular place to hang out, thanks to the food, music, entertainers and locals. There are sights to see on every corner from live music and buskers on the street to hot sauce-tasting and voodoo dolls in the shops.
Throughout the French Quarter you can see different styles of residential architecture. This is because many cultures have left their footprint on the streets of this town and the whole state. Louisiana fell under ownership of the French when the explorer Robert de La Salle claimed the land in 1682. It remained French-owned until 1764 when Louisiana came under Spanish rule. The Spanish had control for only 36 years, when it was sold back to the French in the year 1800. Three years later Napoleon sold Louisiana to the USA and so it has remained since 1803. Today visitors can enjoy the mix of French, Spanish and Creole designs which makes for one breathtaking city.
Jackson Square is a famous park in the French Quarter. Built in 1721, it sits right in front of the beautiful Saint Louis Cathedral. The Square actually became a National Historic Landmark in 1960, for being the location where Louisiana was made a part of the USA in 1803.
Old-fashioned streetcars run through the French Quarter (and beyond) for a nice scenic tour of the town. One-way fare is $1.25 (USD) and an all-day pass goes for $3(USD).
Night life is hopping in the Quarter as well! With or without Mardi Gras, the streets come alive in a whole new way once the sun goes down. Buskers pack up and go home while bars pump live music and sell drinks for here or to-go. It’s very common to see patrons grab their drinks in a big plastic cup and take it out to the streets. The downside to this culture is that the streets get a bit rowdy as the night goes on so for my friend Bal and I, we bailed on the night life pretty early.
This is just a glimpse of the various things going on in the French Quarter. Whether it’s art, fashion, antiques or people, I promise you’ll never run out of things to see in this part of town.