Must Have Souvenir - New Orleans

Reply

Feb 20th, 2007, 06:07 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 961
Must Have Souvenir - New Orleans

Inspired by some other posts, I'm traveling to New Orleans in three weeks - any recommendations for a must have souvenir I should get - and any recommendations on where to shop for great souvenirs? thanks!
radiofanatic is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 20th, 2007, 08:07 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,823
Can't offer advice on WHERE - but here are some thoughts on WHAT..

interesting Mardi Gras masks, decorative fleur-de-lis objects, posters (jazz & heritage festival or Mardi Gras), wooden or ceramic replicas of famous buildings (restaurants, churches, streetcars, etc), books on Hurricane Katrina (the Times-Picayne one is quite good), music CDs of NO artists...

Okay - all I can think of at the moment...will try to add more later
Grcxx3 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 20th, 2007, 09:37 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
Hot sauce I think it was at the French Market, we found a little place selling bunches of different sauces.

One souvenier that I really enjoyed was a coffeetable book with historic pictures of New Orleans and then more recent pictures taken from the same spots so you could see what changed. I bought it in a museum bookshop, I think it was at the 1850 House on Jackson Square.
J_Correa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 20th, 2007, 09:46 AM
  #4
Ike
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 636
Walk down Bourbon St. away from Canal then turn to right on St. Peter to Jackson Sq. then to your left on Decaturn then cross over Decatur and tour French Market and then retrace your steps on the opposite side of the streets you came in on. You will find all the T Shirts, NO souvenirs you heart desires. Stop in at Central Grocery for some neat food items and also Jackson Brewery back towards Canal on Decatur for some interesting items. Magazine St. in the Uptown/Garden Dist. area has great shopping for antiques, clothes, jewelry, etc. and good restaurants. Pick up a Magazine St. guide map at any nice store to help you maneuver around Mag. St. Go by Martin's Wince Cellar for some good stuff. Have a nice trip. Myself I never buy souvenirs but bring home a full stomach. The food is outstanding.
Ike is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 20th, 2007, 09:48 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 48
Buy your souvenirs online and save on time and luggage space. As an extra bonus, you'll give your money to local artists and craftpeople instead of purveyors of tacky t-shirts and beads (FYI nobody wears Mardi Gras beads when it's not carnival season). Here's some links to get started:
http://b-native.com/home.php
http://www.dirtycoast.com/home.php

The best things to pick up while you're there are food items not available back home. Don't waste your money buying spices or hot sauce in the French Quarter, however as these are grossly overpriced. Instead, go to one of the local supermarkets such as Langenstein's, Winn-Dixie or Sav-A-Center. Whenever I'm back in NOLA I stock up on Tony Chachere's seasonings, Zatarain's Shrimp Boil Bags, Crystal Hot Sauce and Zatarain's Creole Mustard.
Carpetbagger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 20th, 2007, 09:58 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,963
If you like & have a desire to recreate authentic red beans & rice, there is a certain brand of beans you have to get in New Orleans. I think it's called Camelia & has a red flower on the package. I packed mutiple bags of them in my suitcase to bring home over the summer. When we got to the airport my bag weighed a few lbs heavy so it was suggested I redistribute some items to my dh's bag. The folks at the airport got a big chuckle when I opend my suitcase & it was full of red beans!

If you love or fall in love w/New Orleans, there is some great art to be found depicting the city. Check out the galleries on Royal St - some of the prints are very reasonable!
snowrooster is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 20th, 2007, 10:03 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,802
Some posters here buy a Xmas ornament for every place in the world they visit. I always thought that was a cool idea...
steviegene is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 20th, 2007, 11:04 AM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 961
A lot of great ideas - thank you! And I do the christmas ornament thing too so I'm sure I'll buy some there.

About the french market - is it cash only or do they take credit cards. And do you negotiate prices there or just pay what they ask for? what about the stores - do they negotiate? thanks!
radiofanatic is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 20th, 2007, 11:12 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 132
Pat O'brien's Hurricane glass

Felschurch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 20th, 2007, 12:23 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
I love the Christmas ornament idea. We buy magnets, but pretty soon we are going to need a bigger fridge - LOL. Maybe we should switch to ornaments
J_Correa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 20th, 2007, 12:48 PM
  #11
Ike
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 636
Radiofanatic if you are shopping for gifts and/or antiques I would try to bargain with these folks like buyint T Shirts @ $5/each, ask em if you can get 3 for $10 and you should most cerainly bargain for antiques regardless of the price. But food items and some items such as local made crafts you might just pay the regular tag price but it would not hurt to bargain for anything you buy. Good luck.
Ike is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 20th, 2007, 12:51 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 282
I'd also recommend music cd's by some of NO's great jazz musicians - something you might actually use when you get home.
Travelkitty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 26th, 2007, 12:14 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 55
Cafe du Monde has a gift shop very close by, so I'd try to get a couple of coffee cups with an imprint of the place/name on the side.

Also, next door or just a couple of store-fronts down from Cafe du Monde toward the French Market is a praline shop with the best pralines in the city (by the way, being from south Louisiana, the "pra" is pronounced like 'craw' not with a long 'a' as in 'pray', so say 'prawleens' not 'prayleens'). By a 6 or 12 pack of mixed regular and chocolate (my fav!)...after you sample pieces from the tray that they have out at all times. This place also has a nice gift shop. I think a great item are the post cards that are framable photos of New Orleans and the Quarter for under $2. You can find these on a rack here not far from the pralines.

What is also 'hot' is anything having to do with the New Orleans Saints. Find an athletic shop and get some NFL-approved Saints attire with that wonderful fleur de lis emblazoned across it.

Something else edible that you should seriously consider is a package of Banana Foster mix (add water/rum and bananas over ice cream...outstanding) that comes in a gold foil bag (buy a bunch and give them away). Some of those nicer T-shirt shops sell it and other food products, along with some distintive local hot sauces, jambalaya mix (Smokehouse [I believe its called] is the best), etc.

You may also want to venture over to Marie Lavoux's (spelling?) Voodoo shop for some really UNIQUE items and conversation pieces. There is also a weird shop across from Pat O'Briens that has very unusual, including gothic, religious, etc., candles and other voodoo-y trinkets.

Of course, the local art you'll find on Royal Street is absolutley wonderful if you are looking for something special and looking to spend a few hundred bucks plus. A very good (and cheaper) alternative is one of my favorite items: a signed and numbered photographic print (about 20" x 28" or so) of scenes of the Quarter. These are wonderful! I have one matted and framed in my living room of a view of St. Louis Cathedral from down Chartres Street through fog (actual is much better than this description). These can be purchased rolled (around $40?) to framed (around $150?)...very nice, memorable and something you can have around for years!

The Pat O'Brien's hurricane (and other) glass is an old favorite, too. Photographers wandering around "Pat O's" will take your pic and place it in a commerative (cardboard) frame for a fee.

Of course, there's the varnished alligator heads, voodoo dolls, etc., at the various T-shirt and gift shops in the Quarter.

A very classy item would be jewelry from Mignon Faget, a local designed who uses semi-precious stones, sterling silver (some gold), etc. Get something with a fleur de lis for around $200...nice and very popular...several very nice shops around town, including Canal Place at the southeast corner of the FQ. Also, you can get a nice necklace at Friend & Company jewelers near St. Charles Avenue and Carrollton...sterling fleur de lis with natural pearls for about $99 and some of the proceeds go to Drew Brees foundation for the NOLA recovery.

Regarding music, I would definitely consider some New Orleans music, including Professor Longhair, Dr. John, any of the Marsalis family, etc. Though not New Orleans music per se, Zydeco is wonderful and lively and Cajun music (sung in French) takes you to bayou country. You can find a music store on Decatur (think its still there) not far from Hard Rock Cafe and Landry's Seafood around the Jackson Brewery. Also, I believe that the House of Blues at the airport sells some of the local music.

Also, always try to buy items made in New Orleans or Louisiana...not always possible, but this adds to the authenticity of your sourviner.

tampatiger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 26th, 2007, 12:34 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 55
Oh yeah, regarding Christmas ornaments, there is an incredible Christmas shop, I think on Decatur also, not far from the French Market. HUGE selection of ornaments, including some NOLA types. This would be THE place to acquire such items.

I also forgot something else popular, old roof slates from the ancient French Quarter buildings that have been painted with fleur de lis or something else NOLA-esque. These are found in the Quarter gift shops here and there.

Good luck and have a wonderful trip...

TIP: Get a reservation and eat at Irene's and K-Paul's in the Quarter. Do not pass on the appetizer at K-Pauls...great stuff. At K-Paul's, make sure you stay for the Cajun or jazz trio that makes it's way through the restaurant and plays in the kitchen while the chefs and cooks bang on pots and pans...great service at both places!!!!
tampatiger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 26th, 2007, 12:58 PM
  #15
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 961
WOW - thanks for all of the amazing ideas - I'm going to print this out and take it with me!
radiofanatic is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 12th, 2007, 11:00 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,823
I do magnets, Christmas ornaments, and spoons from all the places I go! Yeah - obsessive....but it makes me happy!

And Carpetbagger is right- most people don't wear Mardi Gras beads any other time of year....but that's what my Bunco group in Egypt used for whoever had scored Bunco. They got tossed around from table to table with great flair! So - no, they may not be worn, but they CAN be used!
Grcxx3 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 12th, 2007, 11:31 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 325
River Road Recipes cookbooks cannot be beat!
DownSouth is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:31 AM.