LivingTravelGay guide to shopping in the French Quarter, New...

Gay guide to shopping in the French Quarter, New Orleans

Royal Street is the most exclusive address for shopping in the French Quarter, known for its exclusive antiques and world-class art galleries. The parallel street of Chartres has some of the same types of shops, as well as the blocks that connect them. The most elegant purchases are in the Lower Quarter; Once you venture down St. Peter Street, you will find more original boutiques, such as modern costumes, eccentric costume shops, avant-garde galleries and places with a distinctly youthful vibe.

Decatur Street is equally unconventional when it comes to retail stores, and it’s also a good area for cheesy souvenirs. In such an irreverent and party-oriented city, it’s not surprising that many of the souvenir shops emphasize sex, drinking, camping, and lackluster humor in their gifts, toys, cards, and novelties. Decatur Street also leads to New Orleans’ shopping mothership, the French Market, which contains retail stores, a lively farmer’s market, and a flea market.

Bring out your inner drag queen

Bring out your indoor (or outdoor) drag queen at outrageous Fifi Mahony’s (934 Royal St., 504-525-4343), its one-stop shop and makeup counter for that occasion when you’re trying to make a statement. Visit and explore wigs that come in all the colors of the rainbow (and more), plus body shine, Tony & Tina cosmetics, wild hair care products, and unconventional handbags. The store also features the amazing skins produced by Little Shop of Fantasy. Many of the Mardi Gras masks and costumes and accessories are made locally, others by artists from around the world.

Some of these items are strictly for collecting, not wearing, unless you’re willing to risk beer splashing on a $ 1,200 mask during a crazy Carnival party.

Get in touch with your sexy side

Well you’re in New Orleans and there are few cities with a sexier vibe, so why not check out the neighborhood’s top sex boutique (with lots of gay items) ConXXXion (107 Chartres St.), an open movie emporium. 24 hours, books, lingerie, oils, equipment and assorted toys. It is popular with heterosexuals, homosexuals, and everyone who identifies somewhere in between. In Faubourg Marigny, on bustling Frenchmen Street, FAB on Frenchmen (Faubourg Marigny Art & Books) (600 Frenchmen St., 504-947-3700) is the city’s GLBT bookstore, with a large selection of magazines, books, and art.

Buy till you drop

The Quarter has a couple of decent shopping centers. A more comprehensive mall with a defined gay crowd is the Shops at Canal Place (333 Canal St.), which includes branches of acclaimed retailers such as BCBGMAXAZRIA, Saks Fifth Avenue, Armani, Lululemon, L’Occitane, Michael Kors, Paris Parker Aveda Salon and Tiffany. There is also a very stylish movie theater that sometimes shows independent films and serves food and cocktails as well as the usual blockbusters.

Find art and antiques

It’s the art and antiques that really make the French Quarter one of the best shopping bells. At the Canal Place shops, don’t miss RHINO Contemporary Craft Co. (503-523-7945), whose mission is to promote and sell decorative arts, furniture, art objects, and inventive creations by local artists. garments. Famous “Blue Dog” artist George Rodrigue operated his Estudio Rodrigue (730 Royal St.) in an attractive space behind the St. Louis Cathedral. Although Rodrigue passed away in 2013, you can buy everything from original oil paintings to cheap Blue Dog gifts at this gallery.

Rodrigue’s art model, Tiffany the terrier, entered the gates of puppy dog heaven many years ago. If you’re a fan of Mardi Gras, stop by Gallery Nine-Forty (940 Royal St., 504-558-0000), which contains works with New Orleans themes, including many compositions related to Mardi Gras (as well as Hurricane Katrina official posters, depicting a fantastic purple kitten, benefiting Animal Rescue New Orleans).

Look for original works by Peter Max, LeRoy Neiman, Frederick Hart, and other notables from the contemporary art world at Angela King Gallery (241 Royal St., 504-524-8211). The world famous Martin-Lawrence Galleries have a branch along Royal Street (433 Royal St., 504-299-9055). The list of star artists with works here is staggering: Picasso, Chagall, Warhol, Erte, and more. Callan Fine Art (240 Chartres St., 504-524-0025) has beautiful Impressionist paintings and other fine paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries, with the works of the French Barbizon movement as a particular specialty.

Photo giants such as Ansel Adams, Edward Curtis, Elliott Erwitt, Henri-Cartier Bresson and Helmut Newton have works available at the prestigious Fine Photography Gallery (241 Chartres St., 504-568-1313)

Since 1899, Keil’s Antiques (325 Royal St., 504-522-4552) has specialized in 18th and 19th century French and English antiques, from marble mantels and gorgeous crystal chandeliers to garnet necklaces. You can expect to find some top-notch French antiques in the neighborhood, and indeed, the French Antique Store (225 Royal St., 504-524-9861), which moved to New Orleans from Paris in 1939, has an extensive e impressive Wide range of elegant 18th and 19th century Gallic furniture, as well as some eye-catching Asian vases and accessories.

Don’t forget some memories

Your best bet for souvenir shopping is to just stroll down Decatur Street and visit a few stores, as there are many, and they are quite similar. Perhaps the best, or at least the most camping, of the quirky novelty and gift shops throughout Decatur, Funrock’n (1125 Decatur St.) carries weird, gooey ornaments you probably never knew you needed: Elvis lamps, lunch boxes. Day of the Dead, “Satan Was a Lesbian” refrigerator magnets, The Scream posters, plates, cards and other quirks.

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