Things to do near Baton Rouge #2
“Things to do near Baton Rouge – Try Ziplining.” was written for business travelers. The point of that blog was – you have traveled so far to get here – have some fun before you leave. A few weeks after that blog was posted a business client wanted to just that (but he hadn’t read the blog). He wanted to fill a two hour window with a visit to a neighborhood that shared his last name, just upriver from the French Quarter. His appointment ended at 1:15 pm in Baton Rouge. His flight didn’t leave MSY until 5:45 pm. That gave him a 2 hours to see the sights. He was able to participate in a phone conference meeting from BR to NO, sight see the neighborhood, visit Dr. Bob’s Art Shop and get to the airport in the comfort of a chauffeured sedan.
Dr. Bob’s Art Shop:
Located just up river from the French Quarter in the Bywater neighborhood, Dr. Bob’s Art Shop (known for his “Be Nice or Leave” signs) is a local treasure that is the home of a local treasure. In addition to the art with a local flavor visitors can hear stories about a historical sporting event – John L. Sullivan vs Gentleman Jim Corbert 1892 fought where the parking lot for this business is now, events related to Hurricane Katrina, the transition of the neighborhood from rough to gentrified and tidbits about movies filmed next door.
Bywater is a old New Orleans residential neighborhood just up river from the French Quarter. It is on a ridge that is only slightly higher that the surrounding areas and is been referred to as the “sliver by the river.” When areas around Bywater flooded due to Katrina it was the popular route out.
This colorful area that has seen lots of change in the past 3 decades. Driving into Bywater via St. Claude travelers pass a colorfully painted old mini-bus. Behind this building by the railroad tracks tents roost in the trees. I think the tree house tents define the unique character of the neighborhood – artsy, quirky, interesting.
Paco’s Flying Burritos:
While in New Orleans for the 2013 Super Bowl I enjoyed grilled shrimp tacos and Paco’s Flying Burritos on Magazine Street. Good food, friendly service, good prices. The only challenge for travelers would normally be parking. That’s where limousine service come’s in handy. We drive – you have fun!
If you have a 90 minute window in your trip to the New Orleans airport it’s enough time to make a unique lifetime memory.
Home of the “Original Muffaletta” the Central Grocery on Decatur Street is a New Orleans institution. Once while shopping in the smells of spice, spicy foods and dried cod, a fellow shopper said it was a better Italian market than what he found while in Italy. A muffaletta is huge combination of meat, cheese and olive salad on a crusty bun – plenty for two or even four, best eaten with a Barq’s Root Beer. Customers often get several to go and spread the joy when they get home.
Walking the Quarter:
On another recent trip two clients were catching a flight to Los Angeles. One had a short meeting in N.O. The other had 1 hour and wanted to walk the quarter. After dropping the latter near the old New Orleans Mint, I found a place to wait for the call to pick up. The first passenger finished his meeting and enjoy a walk to Cafe du Monde where the 2nd client met us and we continued to the airport. An hour is plenty of time to get a taste of the Quarter.