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Before becoming part of New Orleans in 1874, the area was a resort town, providing a relaxing getaway with riverfront views. Now the neighborhood is mostly composed of smaller one- and two-story family homes, shady oak-lined streets, and plenty of small restaurants and cafes. With the success of local events, such as the annual Oak Street Po'Boy Festival in November (www.poboyfest.com),
the retail strip on Oak Street has blossomed with shops, clothing boutiques, restaurants, and popular bars such as the Maple Leaf, where the Rebirth Brass Band plays every Tuesday night. Nearby Maple Street is a great shopping destination in its own right, attracting the college crowd with an array of bars and cafes. Walk the stretch of the levee from Riverbend back downtown along the river and relax at "The Fly," a popular hangout on the back side of Audubon Zoo, where locals enjoy views of the river while setting up picnics or team sports.