You've imbibed on Bourbon Street. You've checked out the aboveground cemeteries. You've dunked beignets at Café du Monde. You think you've seen and done it all in The Big Easy? Not so fast. New Orleans is finally living up to the first half of its name, and if you haven't visited in a while, you might be in for a surprise. In just a few short years, a whole new neighborhood has developed - with museums, hotels, restaurants, a casino, and much more - and the rest of the Crescent City has been busy refurbishing and expanding as well. The Birthplace of Jazz has as many new developments as nicknames, and that's saying something in the City that Care Forgot.
The seismic shift has been the development of the Warehouse Arts District, filling in a former no man's land of empty warehouses between the famed French Quarter and the busy Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The buildings have been converted into upscale apartments, art galleries, antiques shops, and museums. The five-story Ogden Museum of Southern Art opened there last August and boasts the world's largest collection of regional art. Noted art collector Roger Ogden donated much of his collection to the University of New Orleans Foundation, which is a partner of the museum, and other collectors quickly followed suit, filling its halls with arts, crafts, paintings, and photography. Just down the block is the four-year-old National D-Day Museum, founded by famed historian Stephen Ambrose. Now designated by Congress as "America's National World War II Museum," it is undergoing a $150 million expansion that will triple its size over the next five years and allow for exhibits on all theaters and aspects of WWII. It will even serve food in a re-created USO-style canteen. Other museums within the district include the Louisiana Children's Museum, an interactive science space, and the Contemporary Arts Center, a multidisciplinary venue offering painting, theater, photography, performance art, dance, music, video, and sculpture. And on September 25, the Louisiana ArtWorks, a 93,000-square-foot showcase for local visual artists, will open. Art also takes center stage at the growing number of galleries dotting six-mile-long Magazine Street, which runs through