While locals watch tourists frantically search for shade and some room on the sidewalk in the French Quarter (while down in the French Market District) those same locals know to duck behind Cafe Du Monde to use this alley. It’s one of the few places in the Quarter where some peace is nicely merged with a bit of activity.
Even though the alley is next to the Mississippi storm gates, the name has nothing to do with the language of the Netherlands and their triumphant engineering over waterways, or from any emigration patterns. It, in true New Orleans form, is named for Mayor Dutch Morial and his 1980s era of civic renovation. It’s joined by its neighbor the Moonwalk, which is the riverside path parallel to the alley, which was named for 1970s Mayor Moon Landrieu, father of the current mayor as well as our senior US Senator.
Ironically, the French Market owes its location to the Choctaw Indians, its name and founding to the French, its structures to the Spanish and its present day doldrums to politicians who keep finding a way to put their names on the stuff!
However, some smart local artists have taken this rather confusing intersection name and made it the home of cooperative marketing as Dutch Alley Artists Co-op. Take a right turn while on Decatur going downriver (around Joanie on her pony a.k.a. the Joan of Arc Statue) and chat with some great local artists while you load up on your gift-giving.