Paint-A-Pumpkin 2006 this Saturday

The Lower Decatur Merchants Association and have teamed up to sponsor a new annual event for the kids of New Orleans. Inspired by the traditional fall pumpkin sales at the French Market’s produce shed, we present:

Paint-A-Pumpkin 2006

Kids of all ages are invited to the 400 block of Governor Nichols (between Decatur Street and French Market Place) on Saturday October 14th from Noon to 3pm. We’ll be painting pumpkins which will be available for a nominal cost (you may bring your own). All of the decorating materials will be provided. Trick-or-Treat bags will be given to all the kids. Other activities include Magic Shows, Balloon art, and Giant Bubble blowing. Costumes are encouraged.

Saturday, October 14th Noon – 3pm

400 Block of Governor Nichols (Next to Mojo Lounge)

A special thanks goes out to our own Tyler’s Pride Produce, located at 67-81 French Market Place, for helping us stock our pumpkin patch. If you ever need wholesale produce in the city be sure to give Chuck a call at (504) 561-8286

French Market Update

There has been some work done to the Produce Market shed over the last two weeks. It’s not exactly a rush job, but you can see some progress if you compare the photos below with the first article about the renovations. All of the walk-in coolers have been ripped out, more electrical outlets have been added, and lines marking vendor stalls have been painted. Most of this appears to be in preparation for the Flea Market vendors to make their temporary move to the Produce Market’s shed.

French Market progress

French Market Progress

Also, City Business has an article about the renovations and their impact on the Flea Market.

According to Richard McCall, outgoing French Market director, renovations should be completed by July of 2007. That’s a long ten months. Stay tuned for more updates.

Got WiFi? Lower Decatur Street does.

While putting the together the interactive map for the site it came to my attention that there are a whole bunch of intentionally open wireless access points. I’d be willing to bet that there are more here in these few blocks than any other part of the city. So, somebody has to say it.

“Lower Decatur Street is New Orleans’ WiFi Hotspot!”

Here’s the current list:

  • Cafe Envie – 1241 Decatur Street
  • Coop’s Place – 1109 Decatur Street
  • J.C. Grocery Deli – 65 French Market Place
  • Mojo Lounge & Cafe – 1140 Decatur Street
  • Turtle Bay – 1119 Decatur Street
  • Whirling Dervish – 1135 Decatur Street

Most of the access points listed are usable in neighboring establishments.

Happy Surfing.

UPDATE: Added the Whirling Dervish to the list. Thanks, Cian

UPDATE: Removed Sarafina’s  (This should get moved to a page, instead of being in a post, so it’s always on the sidebar)

French Market renovations underway.

The $5 Million dollar renovation of the French Market began this past weekend. The usually bustling Farmer’s Market, was bare Friday. Giant dumpsters were delivered, and two small Bobcats were dropped off later in the evening. The project should take 8-10 months to complete, and will be done in phases, with the Farmer’s Market being the first phase.

The Project for Public Spaces was hired in 2004 to redesign the Markets space to physically renovate and remerchandise the market as a local institution. The goal of the project was to make the market more useful for local residents, not just tourists. Plans for the Farmers Market are geared toward incorporating local foods and producers back into the market by providing them with a specific place to sell their goods. Other plans focused on re-designing lighting, storage, and points of entry.

Bare Farmer's Market

Look Ma! No gator on a stick!

Read more at the Times-Picayune

Wayback Machine – City Business Article from December of 2005

While scouring the net for Lower Decatur Street news, this historical right-after-Katrina gem popped up from the City Business magazine. Some of you may not have seen it, so it is posted here for all to enjoy.

Business owners on Lower Decatur Street have been relying on each other to stay afloat. The strip of stores sits behind the French Market, a top tourist attraction. Rhonda Findley and David Gordin own Funrock’n, which sells vintage and retro T-shirts, toys, tin lunch boxes and features a $1 joke rack. Findley says if they can get customers into their store, they can promote other stores on the street. This is a hard-core group of small-business owners, said Findley.

They article also says:

Angel also owns Chi-wa-wa Ga-ga, a clothing store for small- breed dogs. Fiorella’s Cafe, known for its world famous fried chicken, is next to Funrock’n. The Artist’s Market, which features work by local artists, including paintings, photos, jewelry and sculptures, is across the street from the French Market. Le Garage specializes in vintage military surplus, collectibles and other New Orleans themed items. Rock & Roll Collectibles features the largest selection of vintage vinyl in the city. Most businesses on Lower Decatur reopened shortly after Hurricane Katrina. We’ve been open since Sept. 5, said Jan Burrows, owner of The Artist’s Market. Mainly we had relief workers and some locals but not too many.

Read the whole City Business article here.