Friday, January 20, 2012

Walking Through the French Market

A short walk from Cafe du Monde to the French Market took us past some street sculptures and murals.

I was not able to locate information about this sculpture around a fountain, but it looks like the beginning of a "second line," or the group that follows the band (the "main line") just to enjoy the music. "These participants walk and sometimes twirl a parasol or handkerchief in the air. This is called 'second lining,'
...the quintessential New Orleans art form--a jazz funeral without a body" (Nick Spitzer, Southern Spaces, 29 August 2006).

(But then again, this interesting sculpture may have nothing to do with my imagination.)

Nearby is this 4-foot tall bronze sculpture of a young woman, seated on a fountain ledge and leaning back on her two hands. This work is entitled Michelle by the sculptor Paul Perret.

Behind her is the mural, Window into the Past, French Market Yesteryear painted by Shakor and "...depicting renderings of the people and the rich diverse culture that formed the unique mystique of New Orleans’ French Market that exists today" (

"The French Market District encompas-ses six blocks on the riverside of the Lower French Quarter. The district includes over 20 unique retail shops, performance venues, restaurants, cafes, a flea market and a farmers market."

I stood near the center of the Market and took these photos (right) and below to give the reader some idea of the distance covered by the shops and tables.

"The French Market,
'America’s Oldest Public Market,' has existed on the same site since 1791. What began as a Native American trading post has become a cultural and entertainment destination. The recently renovated farmers market is home to a diversity of food vendors serving prepared foods as well as fresh produce stands" (neworleans toursand

Alligator kabob, anyone?

The market is part strip mall with established food stands and speciality shops. The food stand above, the shop selling hats (right),

and the stand selling spices and a variety of hot sauces (left) would fit my understanding of the more permanent locations,

and this photo (left) shows a shop that would fit my definition of a farmer's market-type of booth.

Now these are either some of the largest boiled peanuts every seen or sweet potatoes with the "Boiled Peanuts" sign announcing the contents of the tray behind the sign.

And then there were a number of what I would call "flea market" booths. Typical of this type were the tee shirt table (left)

and the jewelry table (left). There was also a table with a number of gospel CDs where we spent several minutes.

The French Market is a few yards from the levee and the Mississippi. Our walk back to the shuttle took us along the River and the cruise ship Carnival Elation

and a cargo ship Montevideo Express.

But it was the DIRECTV blimp that put the 21st century stamp on this remnant of the 18th century.

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