Favorite sights on self-guided New Orleans tour

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

I drove 90 miles from my hometown of Gulfport, Miss., to New Orleans on Sunday for the Bywater Bakery king cake party, and after attending the celebration, I took a self-guided tour through the Bywater and the Marigny to check out familiar and unfamiliar sights.

Here’s what captured my interest with a timeline included.

The new Anchor & Arrow, 3528 Dauphine St., Bywater, 3:15 p.m.

Vintage clothing store is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The shop’s grand opening was on Dec. 8.

Euclid Records, Piety St., Bywater, 3:30 p.m.

Euclid Records is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and specializes in new and used vinyl. The selection is tempting and overwhelming.

Crescent Park from the Bywater to the Marigny and back to the Bywater, 4:05 p.m.

I used the Runkeeper app to track my walk, which was nearly two miles. The distance included the streets I walked through after  I left the park.


Crescent Park features a running, walking and biking path with unique urban scenes and Mississippi River views. The park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. It is between the railroad tracks and the Mississippi and has entrances at  Bartholomew Street, Piety Street and Mandeville Crossing.


Friendly Bar, 2301 Chartres St., Marigny, 4:30 p.m.

Nola.com says “this joint serves as a neighborhood watering hole for a widely varied crowd” including the LGBT community.


Crescent City Conjure, 2402 Royal St., Marigny, 4:35 p.m.

The shop offers spiritual services, oils, soaps, candles, herbs, incense, tarot readings, curios  and gris-gris. It is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily except Tuesday.

Flora Coffee Shop & Gallery, 2600 Royal St., Bywater, 4:50 p.m.

Open 7 a..m. to midnight every day.

Bywater signage, 4: 55 p.m.

Blessed Francis Seelos Catholic Church, 3053 Dauphine St., Bywater, 5:05 p.m.

Founded in 1866. The church is “always open,” its Facebook page says.


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Festival vibe kicks off king cake season in NOLA Bywater

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

I took the 90-mile trip from my home in Gulfport, Miss., on Sunday for the opening of the king cake season in New Orleans.

Bywater Bakery was my top destination, one of the many places in the city celebrating not only king cakes but also Kings’ Day, the start of Carnival season, which runs until Fat Tuesday on March 5.

After I parked my SUV a few blocks away, I thought I would just walk into Bywater Bakery, check out the variety of king cakes, perhaps buying one and then walking to some of my other favorite places in the Bywater such as Euclid Records and Crescent Park.

The sunny spring-like day brought out a lot more people than I ever expected to see. A line was out the front door of the bakery and folks were hanging out in the middle of the street waiting to hear the next band play across the way outside the Bywater Art Lofts.

One guy was selling Mardi Gras jewelry next to what looked like a small Carnival float serving  drinks and a juggler entertained kids on the river side of the street.

It was a festival atmosphere, but the bakery line barely moved. It was no second line, so I walked through the side door of the bakery with no fear of getting blocked or knocked down and I found treats I have never seen before: Carnival cinnamon rolls topped with sugary sprinkles in Mardi Gras colors. I got two of them, spotted an opening in the line, paid for the rolls and was out the door.

I’ll wait for another day to get a king cake.

I took a lot of iPhone photos outside and inside the bakery.  One is at the top of this post and seven more of mine are down here.

In the street at the corner of Dauphine and Independence, people wait for the next band to play outside the Bywater Art Lofts. 

The scene on the lake side of the bakery. In the background is what the shop called a king cake driveup and pickup.

It would have been more entertaining to see that guy juggle three King Cake Baby bobbleheads.

One of the King Cake Baby bobbleheads given to the first 8,000 fans before a Pelicans game in 2017.

The Carnival cinnamon rolls weren’t blurry. This picture just makes them look that way.

King cakes were also sold by the slice. The one at bottom left was filled with crawfish.

That’s king cake bread pudding. Is there a king cake bread pudding baby?

Because of that line inside the bakery, I bypassed king cakes for the rolls and made an easy exit through the side door.

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