You can’t love New Orleans and not love the French Quarter. There is more history and character in these 12x6 blocks than most cities have in their entirety. It is like our own little slice of Europe!

Many tourists are surprised to hear that there are people living above all of the shops, bars, restaurants and hotels here. In the 13 years I spent working in the service industry of the French Quarter, I had the pleasure of getting to know many of the residents. I have never resided in the quarter myself, but I suggest that everyone who can, should at some time in their life or another.

From almost any point in the French Quarter, you can throw a rock and hit a restaurant. Anything from pizza by the slice and Lucky Dog to 5-star accommodations, the French Quarter has it ALL! How great would it be to have all types of cuisine at your fingertips? Have beignets for breakfast at Café du Monde, lunch at Muriel’s overlooking Jackson Square, and dinner at Irene’s Cuisine. Although it can become too much for the pocketbook (and waistline), there are locals everywhere who like to share their most recent “meal deal” with whomever is willing to listen. Bartenders and hotel concierges generally offer the best advice on where to grab your next meal.

While looking for your next meal, there is live music to enjoy at every turn! Oftentimes the street musicians are just as good, if not better, than what you will pay a cover charge to see anywhere else. Not to mention, it is only a short walk to Frenchmen Street in the Marigny, where you can see everything from jazz trios to 7-piece brass bands. There have been times I have walked to Frenchmen St with the intention of paying a cover charge to see a live band, but then stopped to see the street musicians along the way who were playing for free - with a small donation, of course!

I personally haven’t lived here because of two little inconveniences: parking and pets. If you’re going to live in the French Quarter, be prepared to live without a car, or pay a pretty penny to store one. You’re looking at paying at least $120-$250/month for parking…and that is to park on the 5th-8th floor of a parking garage, several blocks from your apartment, where you will have to climb stairs because there are rarely elevators. There is residential parking on the street, but you’ll be lucky to find an open space. So, a word to the wise: If you reside in the French Quarter, be prepared to walk everywhere.

As for pets, there is no grass to speak of within the French Quarter, aside from the dog park on Dauphine and Dumaine. Otherwise, you have to walk the perimeter to find grass on the neutral grounds (medians) of Esplanade Ave or North Rampart, or along the river. The city recently opened up Crescent Park along the river that contains a shock-resistant track and covers almost 2 miles of land that has been decorated with beautiful trees and foliage. It’s an excellent view of the city and another great spot to watch the sunset.

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