This is a long stretch of trendy boutiques, antique shops galore, art stores with dashes of rundown abodes, and circumspect-looking corners. It’s a good idea to ride the length of it on the bus, as it will give you a sense of where you’d like to spend your time.
You can start at Canal, which runs perpendicular to Magazine, ending at Jackson. You have 23 blocks where there is a concentration of bookstores. Within each major classification will be different types of establishments. For example, on the 2100 block, the Brass Menagerie will catch your eye. No, Blanche does not work there!
I spotted the NO School of Glassworks and Printmaking Studio and immediately went in. They hold demonstrations daily in architectural glassblowing and are extremely safety conscious. Much of the finished art work is on display as you enter, and the pieces will blow your mind. The printmaking area is impressive, and I saw a work in progress, with the color separations hung on a wall. Give them a call if you are in town at 504/529-7277.
I peered at some long-forgotten magazines in one of the vitrines. See the photo below. Also to be found are two of the street’s antique bed-and-breakfasts, built in the late 1850s and restored. From Jackson to Louisiana, where the 2200 block starts (going up to the 3300 block), you can enjoy or just browse the variety of personal services available, such as spas, skin and body services (banish the cellulite right here!!), and pampering. Animal Snackers Petcetera offers gourmet and natural foods for your pooch. Linger at Stationer of New Orleans for upscale albums, journals, and handmade gift ideas of all types.
As Louisiana ends, you are now at the 3400 to 4300 blocks, where jewels are precious and represent the city’s best in silver, pearls, and artist’s jewelry and objects. For a quick change of pace, visit the Magazine Pawn Shop for bargains on used baubles. Several of the shops are owned by the artists themselves, which are more interesting and show a variety of other enchanting collectibles.
The next 13 blocks extend from Napoleon to Jefferson Streets and concentrate on hospitality. I didn’t see any hotels though, so what’s up with that? Between Napoleon and Jefferson, you have 13 blocks of basically nothing. The next nine blocks take you from Jefferson to Calhoun, the latter bringing Magazine Street’s browsers to a shopper’s end.
Don’t worry if all this walking has you hungry; there will be all sorts of eateries to calm your pangs: sushi is available on the 2800 block and smoothies and local Creole cooking are on blocks 3000 and 3900. A noted international beer tavern/pub called the Bulldog awaits you on the 3200 block. For lobster on brioche, stop at French restaurant Lilette at no. 3637. As you near the end of the trail, you’ll find a Whole Foods Market to restore your sense of balance.