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“My advice to you is to stay for a while in the old section of the city, sit for
a time in Jackson Square and let the old world charm you. Give the atmosphere a chance
to lull you. Take your time and wander slowly; look twice at the old houses, they
are worth it. Talk to the beggars in the street; talk to any one you chance to meet.
The natives of the Quarter are pleasant people and they will gladly tell you anything
they happen to know.”
— Lyle Saxon, Fabulous New Orleans, 1928.
Sherwood Anderson called the French Quarter the most civilized place in America.
To that distinction, we could also add unique, gritty, inspiring, beautiful, decrepit,
strange, cruel, kind, sad, haunted, lazy, and timeless. The place is literally drenched
with history and is perhaps best described as a living museum, not only of historic
buildings and significant events and colorful characters, but also of an attitude—a
lazy, care-free, joie de vivre spirit that is utterly unconcerned with time, responsibilities,
and morality. The architectural charms are obvious as are the Caribbean atmosphere,
the lax liquor laws, and the numerous street performers. What may not be so obvious
is the real Quarter, the one hiding just behind the tourist veneer. The only way
to get to know the real Quarter is to take Lyle Saxon’s advice and talk to the locals.
When you do, you will notice how striking the sense of place is here. Many people
who live in the Quarter wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else.
Treasures of the Vieux Carre is not only a collection of ten self-guided walking
tours of New Orleans’ French Quarter, it is also an insider’s look at America’s most
unique neighborhood. French Quarter resident and professional tour guide Frank Perez
draws upon his years of experience living in the Vieux Carre to offer visitors and
locals alike an in-depth exploration of the hidden treasures throughout Bienville’s
ancient La Nouvelle Orleans.
Each tour contains step by step directions, a detailed map, a brief introductory
essay, a recommended reading list and engaging vignettes about multiple points of
Whether you’re interested in where Tennessee Williams used to drink or where Oysters
Rockefeller was born or perhaps even where the Sicilian Mafia in America began, this
guide will lead you familiar landmarks such as Café du Monde and Jackson Square but
also to little known locations such as the balcony Elvis Presley sang from in the
film King Creole and the oldest gay bar in the United States. Along the way, you’ll
meet pirates and Voodoo Priestesses, explore Creole culture, learn why the French
Quarter is the most haunted neighborhood in America, and take in the montage of architectural
styles that characterizes the modern day French Quarter.
Tour topics include:
General French Quarter
Architecture and Historic Homes
LGBT+ Historical Interest
Ghosts and Spirits
Jazz and Musical Heritage
Vice and Crime
Frank Perez is a writer and licensed tour guide in New Orleans, Louisiana. A former
college professor, Perez has a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a M.A. in English. He
is also a graduate of the Delgado Community College Professional Tour Guiding Course
as well as the Friends of the Cabildo Tour Guiding Course. He is the co-author of
In Exile: The History and Lore Surrounding New Orleans Gay Culture and Its Oldest
Gay Bar. He also writes a history column for Ambush Magazine. Perez lives in the
French Quarter where he observes, writes, and manages his small business, the Crescent
City Tour Booking Agency.