History, people, fables and critical essays on the 24/7 life of the French Quarter. "Those who live somewhere should be allowed to decide how a place should exist; it should not be determined by how it can be sold." (Grace Lee Boggs) “The great music of the city is not Louis Armstrong; it’s when you say good morning and good evening.” (Mr. Jerome Smith)
Our best French Quarter museum, The Historic New Orleans Collection, has another interesting exhibit that just opened and will run for 6 months over on Royal Street. Their exhibits are free and are conveniently located just off the gift shop. The exhibit is called Goods of Every Description: Shopping in New Orleans, 1825–1925.
So much of what we ate, wore and used in this colonial city was imported from other American cities and in the case of the furniture or finer household items, quite often from European makers. One of the luxuries of being a significant port city.
Mule-drawn streetcar model; between 1865 and 1870; silver, gold; by Zimmerman’s (New Orleans); The Historic New Orleans Collection, acquisition made possible by the Laussat Society, 2015.0464.20
Red velvet cake for Kruz customers on his 44th anniversary.
The Jolly Lama aka The Night Mayor aka The Funtrepreneur Pat Jolly shared this today:
A couple of weeks ago 3 different people asked me if Kruz had died!!!
So I decided to write to tell you that he is very alive and happy!!!
KRUZ moved to a new location!
1301 Decatur St. (kitty corner from his old location)
504 523 7370 http://www.kruzshop.com
Celebrate his 44th anniversary this weekend … Whoohoo!!!
September 26-28, 2914
Please help get the word out to his cherished customers and friends
I like some of this tacky stuff and also like the welcoming attitude for our millions of tourists of having many kinds of shops.I do think some of the shopkeepers could try a little harder to find a new niche, rather than crowding more of the same on doorways and on racks with nuclear-level lit interiors and blasting Cajun music across the Quarter. HOWEVER, I agree with a friend of mine interviewed recently in this blog who think incentives and marketing assistance to find new niches may work better than a crackdown, especially one that seems uneven in its focus on certain retailers.
This article makes some very good points here although I might suggest that the author’s comment about “there is little reason to believe they will be replaced by wine cellars or art galleries” is a light slap and one that has no basis in reality, as art galleries do exist in the Quarter, as well as some of our city’s finest antique stores. The culture of our city includes those things and just as some of our loveliest restaurants and best bookstores are found in our city center, those others can and will be found here too.
While a small store owner like Azemas would have to carefully calculate the number of New Orleans Saints shirts he could display in his storefront window when the Saints kick-off their first home game this September, large nearby retailers such as Walgreen’s or H&M can stock rack after rack of New Orleans themed gear without any fear of crossing the 35 percent threshold.
Certainly, no one wants to live in a city overrun with tacky tourists shops, but as the residential population of the French Quarter shrinks, souvenirs are a retailer’s safest bet. Even if opponents of t-shirt shops succeed in getting a few shut down on Bourbon street, there is little reason to believe they will be replaced by wine cellars or art galleries.
Some charge that the attack on t-shirt shops is really an attempt to sanitize the French Quarter and push poor and middle-class people out. Many of the stores are owned by Asian immigrants, and they cater to lower- and middle-class tourists. As an example of zoning enforcement being applied unequally, business owners point to new shop Fleurty Girl. The locally-owned, upscale t-shirt boutique opened a French Quarter location after the 2011 ordinance went into effect—without any major objection from the VCPORA.
An excellent trip through the remaining bookstores of the Quarter and its people and oddities. I’d keep this column as a reference if I were you…Although, his worry about being judged by the booksellers of the Quarter when browsing or buying is entirely unwarranted. If anyone cares less about your preferences than the people of the Quarter, I don’t know who they are.
Rembert Browne (@rembert) is a staff writer for Grantland.
here is a piece I found when searching the internet about this store:
“Our business idea is to offer fashion and quality at the best price,” Håcan Andersson, a spokesman for the company, tells Ecouterre, before referring us to information listed on the company’s website. But company mission aside, at a time when the apparel industry is getting thrashed by price hikes, H&M’s move remains an audacious one. $4.95 dresses? $20 trench coats? What universe does the Swedish retailer live in? And more important, how is H&M getting away with it?
“It just means they are squeezing the stakeholders in their supply chain to pull this off,” says Howard Brown, co-founder of Stewart + Brown, a Los Angeles-based pioneer in sustainable fashion. “Their copycat competitors will do the same. If this trend has any staying power then we might as well kiss the American apparel manufacturing sector, and those hundred thousand are so jobs that are still left, goodbye.”
Once you buy a panel pass for the TWLF, I understand that you might then feel compelled to squeeze every dime from it, running from one room to the next, checking off workshops, circling possibilities, slowly scanning the merchandise table in a spare moment, sure that the right gift for your literary friends is here. I have been guilty of that. 75 bucks doesn’t come that easily to me and so often I equate value with quantity, like so many Americans. I do, after all , shop at the dollar store.
Luckily, with age comes experience (let’s not talk about the bad eyesight and odd aches- what DID I do to my arm?) and so I have grown more aware of my choices, at least those that are available with a panel pass.
I could sit in the uncomfortable chairs of a ballroom or a museum through the post-breakfast to cocktail hours, hoping that the gentleman behind me would realize that his throat clearing is not discreet at all, but incredibly well-timed to cover the bon mots that most likely were what the rest of the audience was chuckling over when my ambient hearing returned. I could do that and have.
Or, I could pack up when I feel the energy lagging at the 12:10 mark and head for a fortifying gumbo lunch at the most appropriately named restaurant for a Tennessee festival goer (I believe in you. you CAN decipher this) followed by a cheap cocktail from the oddly agreeably afternoon haunt of the Chart Room, ultimately heading to Crescent City Books for an afternoon of lessons.
Once there, you meet Isabel, their traumatized but healing cat and talk of books and John Boutte with local author and bookseller Michael Z.
You head upstairs and immediately find a book that has no reason to be prominently displayed (this visit it was “Farmers Last Frontier: Agriculture 1860-1897, which is an astounding find this month), sit with your discreet, illicit cocktail and thumb through it while viewing books and book lovers, pausing to think of calliopes on steamboats and why people honk their horns so often and how creaking stairs can be both frightening and comforting.
And salute Tennessee and his devotees who bring you to the Quarter this fine day.