The 21st century granted two of New Orleans‘ historic 19th-century working-class neighborhoods a new lease on life.
Located downriver from the French Quarter and filled with Creole architecture, the Faubourg Marigny and Bywater’s grace-and-grit attracted artists, gays, and iconoclasts fond of doing things their own way. (Case in point: the local Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus‘s sci-fi-themed Mardi Gras parade.)
My prescription for the perfect day along the Mississip’:
Crescent Park: Find New Orleans’ newest riverside destination over a rusty rainbow of a bridge that vaults over railroad tracks. Stroll the 1.4-mile-long linear park along the Mississippi, stopping at Piety Wharf to take in views of the downtown skyline and Algiers, the only west bank neighborhood in NOLA.
Euclid Records: At the base of the Crescent Park bridge sits an honest-to-God record store selling vintage vinyl. Knowledgeable staffers can point you in any direction from collectible R&B treasures to freshly pressed discs from an assortment of local musicians.
St. Roch Market: After sitting empty for a decade, the classic public market has been reimagined as a showcase for locally sourced produce and prepared meals. Grab a mid-day pick-me-up at Sweet Spot Bakery, Coast Roast Coffee, or Elysian Seafood (try the gumbo).
Pizza Delicious: Millennials and mushrooms, hold the tradition. This Kickstarter enterprise founded by two New Yorkers brought thin-crust pizza to the masses with pie toppings such as vodka sauce, pancetta, and peppadew. Save room for garlic knots and a cold craft brew.
Marigny Opera House: Catch an evening show at one of the city’s newest cultural venues. The dreamy-shabby venue, a deconsecrated church, is now home to a resident dance troupe and hosts visiting theatrical and performance artists—including NOLA local Solange Knowles.