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Originally known as Rue Bourbon, New Orleans' infamous Bourbon Street runs the length of the city's French Quarter, although it is the eight-block stretch of "Upper Bourbon Street," lined with bars and clubs of every genre, that is known for its lively nightlife scene. Initially a sought after residential neighborhood, shifting borders and demographics saw Bourbon Street succumb to the same vices the city had come to be known for, becoming famous for its restaurants, nightclubs and other risque establishments. Today, this street is best known for its involvement in the Big Easy's greatest festival, Mardi Gras, and its love affair with live jazz and blues. Each night, revelers throng the street with drinks in hand, their smiling faces lit by the multi-colored glow of neon lights. By day, the avenue's quaint architectural heritage comes to the fore, with time-honored eateries doling out traditional po'boys, beignets and other quintessentially, local eats.
This is the only example of West Indian architecture combined with early Creole home design in the French Quarter. The Madame John's Legacy building standing today was constructed in the late 1700s after the original was destroyed in fire. The name of the museum is taken from a French sea captain who bequeathed his estate to his mistress on his deathbed. In 1998, the structure underwent extensive restoration and is now open as a state museum featuring exhibits about architecture, restoration and archaeological finds. The second floor features art exhibits.
New Orleans has long been revered for its vibrant culture and unique identity, born of an amalgamation of different cultures, traditions and beliefs. While slaves were granted little freedom, they were usually permitted free time on Sundays and would often congregate in open spaces and public squares to celebrate their native traditions. So far from their homeland and all that was familiar to them, these men and women found solace in these weekly celebrations and gatherings, preserving their traditions and way of life for future generations. Although this practice dates back to the 18th Century, in 1817 Congo Square was officially granted for use by slaves and freedmen. For many years hence the square lay at the heart of the slaves' cultural world; a place where they could gather, set up market, dance and practice voodoo. Today, drum circles, dance performances, concerts and other cultural events are still hosted at the square every Sunday, alongside celebrations, festivals and special events like the annual Red Dress Run. Congo Square has played an important role in the early development of African-American culture as it is today and is revered by musicians the world over for its place in the history of jazz music.
If the name "New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum" does not spook you, look inside and mind your step. The museum features are walking tours featuring voodoo artifacts and sacred objects related to the dark art realm. Get your facts right here about this mystical dark arts and learn everything you wanted to know about this spiritual practice and its history in the Crescent City. The museum also offers guided tours of the St. Louis cemetery and other local tourist attractions.
Louisiana Children's Museum offers a toddler area and children's drama, dance, and puppet shows. There are also art and science exhibits, as well as hands-on math and physics exhibits, and a reproduction of a television studio. Many of the exhibits are geared toward learning through doing. This style of learning makes it fun for both parents and kids alike. This is a great rainy day field trip and a good place for anyone trying to get away from the "adult" aspects of the city.
Louis Armstrong Park, made of grassy knolls and lagoons, is named after world-famous musician and native son, Louis Armstrong. His statue, by Elizabeth Cartlett, is near the brightly lit entrance on the outer boundary of the French Quarter. Ironically, Armstrong was not allowed to play in the now well-known clubs during his career. Other landmarks including Congo Square and the Morris F.X. Jeff Municipal Auditorium surround the park.