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August 18, 2018
New Orleans at Night

After a few hours’ rest at the hotel, we decided to set out again, this time to explore New Orleans’ French Quarter. This is the oldest part of town, when the city was first established by the French. However, we learned from our Foodie tour Mark that the entire city burned to the ground in 1788 and was rebuilt by the Spanish. So all of the architecture in the French Quarter is actually Spanish, not French.

We set out at 7:00 pm. By this hour, the streetcars were only running every 20 minutes or so, so we ended up walking a lot. We have heard from several people that the real center of jazz music is not in the French Quarter, but on Frenchman Street in Faubourg Marigny further east. So that was our first stop.

Frenchman Street was very Bohemian, not unlike San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury area in the 1960s. Sure enough, there was live jazz music emanating from every door. Most places had a one-drink minimum. But Mark had told us that Dat Dog had a two-story building where you could sit upstairs on the balcony for free.

The second story was decorated by a Star Wars and science fiction fanatic, so we got a lot of funky atmosphere here.

Frenchman Street

Dat Dog and the view from the balcony

The interior of Dat Dog was designed by a Star Wars fanatic

From Frenchman Street, we walked to the French Quarter via Chartres Street and Esplanade Avenue. Here we saw several historical markers explaining that the area was once used for slave trading. It was hard to imagine that slave pens occupied a six-block area right next to the French Quarter and Bourbon Street.


Bourbon Street is one of the most touristy areas of New Orleans. Once famed for jazz music, it now plays a lot of rock and dance music. Crowds of tourists carried alcoholic “go cups” that were literally the size of fish tanks. Every establishment that wasn’t a nightclub was a souvenir store. The cacophony of noise was unbelievable.

Bourbon Street

Open-container alcoholic beverages are allowed in New Orleans, as long as they are in a plastic “Go Cup.” There is no limit to the size of the Go Cup.

Gail got a daquiri at a small shop

We saw a terrific street musician duo. The wild violinist played like “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

We walked all the way through the French Quarter on Bourbon Street, then back to the hotel on Canal Street, arriving at 10:00 pm. It was a long, busy and very fulfilling day. Tomorrow we plan to rent a car and head out of New Orleans.

2018 is the 300th anniversary of New Orleans. Who knew?


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