Saturday, February 5, 2011

Frenchman Street

Southern Living invites you to meet the musicians in the heart of New Orleans.
Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny of New Orleans is a pulse, a holdover, an invitation, a gumbo, a front line, a late night, a memory, a wish, a tonic. It is Creole town houses, packed together and toeing property lines. It is peels of paint and wrought iron dust and the scents of oyster factory, confectionery, and laundromat, all wafting down the arrow-straight street. It is bartender, mailman, sax player, concierge, barista, priest, lowlife, wanderer, tenor, and shopkeeper.

The thin asphalt lane locals used to call Little Canal Street begins on a bend of the Mississippi River where the eastern French Quarter ends and passes between Seventh Ward, Treme, and Bywater, then runs north toward Lake Pontchartrain. Under the shimmery asphalt lays a parish gravel; and beneath that, a cobbled row laid atop a silty bed of fine antebellum earth washed up from hundreds of years gone by. And beneath it all, it is a melody.

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