Hello again my CLDA and industry colleagues,
As I begin edition four of the CRESCENT CITY CULTURE, I would like to look back a bit before moving forward, especially for those who may be reading this weekly glimpse into our rich culture for the first time. For those who don’t know, I am introducing New Orleans to you one week at a time as we lead up to our CLDA Final Mile Forum in February. Which, if you’ve checked your calendar, is about 6 weeks away. Don’t delay to reserve your spot. I know that each FMF always turns out to be a great meeting. However, this year’s FMF is shaping up to be one of the best FMF Meetings that I can remember. And as a charter member of the CLDA (MCAA then) that is a long look back and a lot of remembering. It is my hope and goal that through these weekly peeks into the Big Easy way of life, you will feel like a true New Orleanian when your feet hit our below-sea-level ground in February.
Over the first three weeks, you have learned about our Mardi Gras tradition, and know we will be in the heart of it during our FMF; you have been introduced to our city’s founder, Bienville, and discovered the origination of the Crescent City nickname; and met one of our most interesting and mysterious citizens, Marie Laveau, as well as learned that because of our above-ground cemeteries we have been also known as the City of the Dead.
As we continue our excursion through the New Orleans way of life and its geography, I have a question: what is the most familiar scene of New Orleans that you can picture in your mind? Could it be the one below of the St. Louis Cathedral with Jackson Square in the foreground?
Well, if you said yes, then you are in the majority. According to Trip Advisor, this is the most photographed scene in New Orleans and one of the most photographed scenes in the entire country.
To me, Jackson Square is the heartbeat of the French Quarter. To some that might be Bourbon Street. Although our French Quarter night life is as publicized as is spirited, I want you to know that the French Quarter, and Jackson Square in particular, takes on its own unique ambiance during the day. So, please take the time to experience the Place d’Armes, as it was called before bearing the name of our seventh president and hero of the Battle of New Orleans. But experience it during the DAY also.
The St. Louis Cathedral is the centerpiece of the square and is flanked by historic landmarks, the Cabildo and the Presbytere, both now museums filled with history and worth visiting during your trip. Lining the wrought iron fence around Jackson Square you will find artists ready to immortalize you with the Big Easy backdrop and street performers filling the air with the sound of jazz. Jackson Square is also surrounded by the elegant architecture of the upper and lower Pontalba buildings in which you will find both shops and dining. And to round out this carnival-like atmosphere, don’t forget Café Du Monde, where you can enjoy beignets and café au lait for breakfast, an afternoon delight or even a nightcap after indulging in a hurricane or two from Pat O’Brien’s.
Jackson Square is certainly filled with history. This story was written a few years ago in preparation of New Orleans’ 300-year anniversary. It will give you a little more insight to Jackson Square and allow you to enjoy a little more of our CRESCENT CITY CULTURE.
See you in February!