It’s no secret that I am a shopaholic in my regular life, but on vacation I really kick it into overdrive. I like to view browsing, perusing or shopping as an anthropological study of what’s going on in the place I am visiting, it’s cultural really.
If only my credit card company understood (just kidding AmEx I love you and I didn’t forget that we have a date March 20th).
I have begun to rely on the eat shop guides, as they fulfill my main goals in life. There is only one problem with these cute little books – they are filled with outdated yet crucial information. A great example is that many stores are closed on Mondays and even Tuesdays to deal with the weekend hangover so common in the Crescent City.
I will attempt to give you my own version of a New Orleans shopping guide and point you in the direction of blissful finds from the Big Easy.
Magazine Street is ground zero for shopping in New Orleans. It is a great strip about a mile long right off the Garden District, that has boutiques, bars, coffee shops and restaurants. We spent an afternoon there walking around, popping into Rendezvous Tavern for a delicious Bloody Mary, enjoying gelato at Sucre, and wandering in and out of local shops.
New Orleans has amazing home wares, antique finds and what I like to call junking – lots of crap that might unearth a diamond in the rough. Because I love a good dig, I headed to Magazine Antique Mall looking for a find.
Alas I took none of these items home with me because I live in a closet, but I did manage to make up for it at a few other shops.
One thing I noticed about New Orleans clothing stores is just how inexpensive they are. Many items are to be had for a bargain, even in the chicest shops in the city. A few of my favorites are Hemline and Naaz, both of which carry cute clothes by companies I have never heard of, as well as more popular brands like DVF, Vince, Trina Turk, blah blah blah the usual suspects. I purchased a dress at each shop and can’t wait to wear them in the warmer months.
You might be wondering, where was my boyfriend during this spree? A lacrosse game occupied most of his time but we did manage to find some dude duds at StyleLab, farther down Magazine Street.
Although Magazine Street is the shopping spot in the city, the French Quarter does have some great stores, you just have to toss a few sloshed tourists out of the way to find them.
I could have spent hours in Bourbon Perfume, where they make custom made scents that were utterly intoxicating.
The antiques shops on Royal Street were incredible, tons of salvaged pieces for both the interior and exterior of your home. Folks from New Orleans take their ironwork very seriously and it is a trademark of homes in the region. In my mind I have purchased a second home in New Orleans, which I will outfit with ironwork from bygone eras.
I had such an awesome time going into the shops along Royal Street, the items inside really do tell a story. I highly recommend getting lost along this three block stretch and daydreaming about your imaginary home along the Bayou.
Stay tuned for my final installment of my trip, tours along the Garden District and the Ninth Ward.
***One note about my photos. I used my iphone exclusively but they regular camera stopped working during part of our trip so I had to rely on the Hipstamatic app. Apologies for inconsistencies.