Think you know The Big Easy? Maybe not.
New attractions are sprouting up all over the
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