on September 19, 2007
Jackson Square is an entire city block, resting directly south of St. Louis Cathedral. The block is gated with an interior park that features sprawling, leafy trees, manicured sidewalks, and the greenest, lushest grass we've ever seen. A statue of Andrew Jackson atop his horse is the central focus of the park.On a good weather day, this is the place to spend an hour or so. It would be an ideal spot to take a blanket to spread out in the shade, but that's only a nice thought for us. (We don't really want to be toting a blanket around New Orleans!) There are plenty of park benches, but as a rule, by late afternoon the ones in the shade are always occupied. We usually just plop down directly on the ground in the coolest spot we can find.On every trip we've taken to New Orleans, we head to Jackson Square the very first day. It's become our tradition to purchase muffalettas from Central Grocer and bring them here for a picnic. And there's plenty to keep us entertained while we enjoy our lunch.Jackson Square is full of character and characters. We once met a Frenchman who was taking his leashed pet rabbit for a walk. On another occasion, a man sat down across from us and removed his shirt. (He was about as in shape as we are so it created a sight to behold.) Within minutes, he was approached by two police officers who told him to put his shirt back on. He refused; wanting to know why? They didn't waste time debating the point, and in the blink of an eye, had him on his feet, escorting him - and his shirt - right out of the park. At Jackson Square, one can totally relax, people-watch, read the local pamphlets you've been collecting or listen in as the surrounding business people work the tourists on the other side of the gates. The carriage rides are on the south end of the square, along Decatur Street, while the psychics, tarot card readers, sketch artists, street performers and musicians line the remaining sides. Together they create an interesting cacophony of entertaining sounds and offer an abundance of photo opportunities.After a full day sightseeing, this is the perfect place to decompress while still absorbing so much of the colorful atmosphere that attracts everyone to New Orleans in the first place.
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