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The French Quarter is known for its bars, restaurants, and nightlife in general. The tourism industry has been dominant in the neighborhood since the 1984 World's Fair, and some residents moved out, making way for more businesses. Bourbon Street is the most famous street in the French Quarter, and attracts thousands of tourists at all times during the year. Countless restaurants on side streets provide world-class food, and the option of sitting outside in an old colonial courtyard provide an experience like the days of French and Spanish rule. Nightlife in the French Quarter culminates at Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent begins, when Mardi Gras is held.

Businesses on the French Quarter side of Canal Street. Canal Street was the boundary between the French Quarter and the American Quarter in the 1800s, and the median of Canal Street was known as neutral ground. Today, medians in some Southern areas are still called "neutral ground" because of its origins in New Orleans.

The Inn on Bourbon, on the site of the old French Opera House. The only visible trace of the opera house is the width of the street; the street is slightly wider in front of the hotel, so that patrons could be dropped off in front of the old opera house without blocking the street. The was built in 1965.

Bars on Bourbon Street, looking west.

Nightlife on Bourbon Street, near St. Louis Street.

Looking west up Bourbon Street from Conti Street. The structure on the immediate right was the home of Confederate Secretary of State Judah Benjamin, and also was the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis for a brief time in 1876.

Looking down Bourbon Street from Toulouse Street. Bourbon Street is closed off at night to allow tourists to walk from bar to bar.

Buildings at Bourbon & Orleans Street. The Bourbon Orleans Hotel is on the right.

Nightlife on Bourbon Street.

Nightlife on Bourbon Street near Toulouse Street.

Businesses on Canal Street. The Walgreen's Drugstore, at the corner of Canal & Baronne Streets, was built in 1938 and is one of the few examples of Art Deco architecture in New Orleans.

Looking east down Bourbon Street.

Businesses on Bourbon Street at Bienville Avenue. The Old Absinthe House is on the right.

Buildings on Royal Street at Bienville Avenue.

Buildings at Conti & Royal Streets.

Businesses on Royal Street.

The Civil Courts Building, built in 1909. The Civil Courts Building was built to house the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Antique shops on Royal Street.

Antique shops at Toulouse & Royal Streets.

A courtyard typical of the interiors of city blocks in the Vieux Carre.

The Inn on Bourbon, on Bourbon Street at Toulouse Street. The Inn on Bourbon is on the site of the French Opera House, which burned down in 1919.

Businesses on Bourbon Street.

Buildings on Iberville Street.

Galatoire's Restaurant, on Bourbon Street. Galatoire's was started by Jean Galatoire in 1897. After purchasing Victor's restaurant from Victor Bero, patrons began calling the restaurant "Galatoire's", and the name became official in 1905.

The Chartres House Cafe, on Chartres Street at Toulouse Street.

The Cabildo, next to St. Louis Cathedral on Chartres Street. Built in 1796, the Cabildo has served as New Orleans City Hall, the Louisiana Supreme Court, the Louisiana Capitol, as well as a prison, a police court, a fire station, and a library. The Cabildo has been the home of the Louisiana State Museum since 1911.

Buildings at the intersection of Chartres & St. Ann Streets.

The Lower Pontalba Building on St. Ann Street. The Lower Pontalba Building was built in 1850.

St. Louis Cathedral, on the other side of Jackson Square, from Decatur Street. Jackson Square was originally called Plaza de Armas or Place d'Armes, and was the parade grounds for the military protecting New Orleans in the 1700s. Place d'Armes was renamed Jackson Square in 1851 after General Andrew Jackson, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. A statue of Jackson sits in the middle of Jackson Square, with an identical statue in Lafayette Park in Washington DC. St. Louis Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The Cabildo on the left, St. Louis Cathedral, and the Presbytere on the right, along Chartres Street with Jackson Square in the foreground. The St. Louis Cathedral was built built on the site of the previous cathedral in 1851, when the Jackson Square area was . The Cabildo was built in 1976. The Presbytere was completed in 1813, and was originally intended to house clergy, but was used as a courthouse in the early 1800s.

The corner of the Upper Pontalba Building at Decatur & St. Peter Streets. The Upper Pontalba Building continues to the right, along St. Peter Street. The Upper Pontalba Building was built in 1850.

Buildings on Decatur Street at Toulouse Street.

Businesses on Decatur Street.

A statue of Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Seiur of Beinville, in Bienville Place, a small park where Decatur Street and Peters Street split. Bienville founded New Orleans in 1718. The statue was built in 1955 and moved to its current location, in the French Quarter, in 1997.

Buildings on Decatur Street.

The Civil Courts Building, from Chartres Street.

A business on Chartres Street at St. Louis Street, across the street from the Napoleon House. The building used to be a slave dealer's office, and later a grocery.

The Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, on St. Louis Street. The hotel was built in 1960 on the site of the St. Louis Hotel. Part of the St. Louis Hotel's walls were incorporated into the new hotel building.

Buildings on St. Louis Street at Royal Street. Antoine's Restaurant, established in 1840, is on the left.

Antoine's Restaurant, established in 1840 on St. Louis Street. It is said that every President since its founding has eaten here, although it may not have been while they were in office.

Bars at Bourbon & St. Louis Streets.

The Chris Owens and Fat Catz bars on Bourbon Street.

Businesses on Bourbon Street from the Bourbon Street Blues Company.

A street scene on Bourbon Street.

Businesses on Bourbon Street.

Nightlife on Bourbon Street.

Looking west up Bourbon Street.

Bourbon Street from the Bourbon Street Blues Company.

Buildings on St. Louis Street.

Looking south down St. Louis Street.

Businesses on Bourbon Street.

Shops on Bourbon Street.

Many old iron signs are still embedded in the sidewalks along Canal Street, the border between the French Quarter and the old American Quarter.

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