In this classic mid-19th-century neighborhood, working-class types used to sit on front stoops when their shifts ended. Later, crime kept it off limits to all but those impoverished people who lived there. Now, hipsters on bikes breeze down the street — likely on their way to a waitressing gig at a fashionable new restaurant. The shotgun and Creole cottages here are getting spruced up by newcomers and once unimagined signs of modern life have taken hold: a yoga studio on the corner, a solar panel peeking from a rooftop, a new walking path along the river. Come for Maurepas Foods, a trailblazing restaurant in the neighborhood (maurepasfoods.com) or Pizza Delicious, started by a former Tulane University student (pizzadelicious.com) from Brooklyn. Stay for the old New Orleans charm, with a fresh coat of paint.
From quiet street to quite a street. Once-sleepy Freret, in the Uptown neighborhood near Loyola and Tulane universities, has sprung to life. The eight-block stretch packs in a host of restaurants and shops. Among the best are Crescent City Comics, which celebrates the drawings as an art form (crescentcitycomics.com), High Hat Cafe, serving local fare such as gumbo (www.highhatcafe.com), and Cure, where cocktails are the arty medium (curenola.com). The gorgeous bar looks like it's been pouring for centuries, though it opened in 2009. More information on the street at thenewfreret.com.
Before Katrina hit, hip stores dotted Magazine. Now the entire six-mile street is bursting with an eclectic mix of shops. So popular is the street — which swings through the historic Garden District and Uptown neighborhoods — that a double-decker tourist bus makes it an easy destination. A city bus also spans the street and, in a nod to shoppers, people can purchase an all-day pass, and hop on and off the bus at will. Here are my top reasons to disembark: The gifts and home goods store Hazelnut sells goods from tea towels to food trays made of its own New Orleans Toile fabric (hazelnutneworleans.com). Lilette, a restaurant anchored by a long, dark wooden bar, serves chilled corn soup with a dollop of crabmeat, a decadent pick-me-up (liletterestaurant.com). The Anton Haardt Gallery showcases folk and outsider works from self-taught artists of the Deep South (antonart.com). More information on the corridor at magazinestreet.com.
Pam Louwagie contributed to this report.