Studio Be#12 in Best Things To Do in New Orleans
A massive warehouse facility in the Bywater district of New Orleans, Studio Be is an eye-popping and illuminating display of public art. The creator, Brandan "BMike" Odums, collaborated with more than 40 other artists to create large murals and exhibits that explore activism, resistance and black American history. Most displays use spray paint and graffiti techniques, and the entire project took six months to complete. The expansive facility is 35,000 square feet, and it encompasses four buildings and up to five stories. It is the largest single-site public art exhibition in the American South, and it attracts visitors from all over the globe.
Multiple recent visitors called the art on display "powerful," and almost everyone agreed that the intense art experience was well worth the $10 admission price (various discounts are available). The exhibits are open Wednesday through Saturday from 2 to 8 p.m., and the warehouses are located on Royal Street near a number of other galleries and studios. Check out Studio Be's website if you are interested in learning more about the artist and what's on display.
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#1 Frenchmen Street
If you want an authentic New Orleans experience more removed from the touristy areas of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, head to the lively Frenchmen Street. A popular spot for locals, Frenchmen Street is a four-block stretch of live music, bars, restaurants, night clubs and art galleries. Here, not only will you find fewer crowds (albeit not by much), but you'll also encounter cheaper eats and drinks, and better music – it's kind of like Bourbon Street's hipper, trendier cousin. If you don't consider yourself a night owl, the Palace Market (open daily 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.) is a shopping haven where locals sell homemade art and jewelry.
Recent visitors agreed that a trip to New Orleans isn't complete without stopping by Frenchmen Street. Some even suggest skipping the more crowded and touristy Bourbon Street and instead meandering along Frenchmen Street where you'll find live music, specifically jazz, and great bars. Travelers and locals alike love The Spotted Cat, Three Muses and d.b.a thanks to their extensive beverage selections, fun atmospheres and, of course, talented musicians. "Frenchmen Street is what Bourbon Street used to be ... it's about four blocks of more laid-back, old-style jazz clubs. Nothing fancy to them, very local with great music. A much more laid-back area to stroll from bar to bar and listen to music," said Isabelle Van Bockel, a concierge at the JW Marriott New Orleans for 10 years.
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