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Located just across Esplanade Avenue from the French Quarter, the Faubourg Marigny was developed as New Orleans’ second suburb in 1806 and received the first historic zoning since the Vieux Carre. This eclectic neighborhood, which follows the southward flow along the Mississippi River from the Quarter for about sixteen blocks, has everything that is uniquely New Orleans – jazz clubs, trendy restaurants, galleries and antiques. You can find everything from museum-quality art galleries to thrift-shop chic in the Marigny.The Faubourg Marigny is known world-wide for its bohemian atmosphere as it is home to many artists and musicians, as well as a sizable gay and lesbian population. The area is a diverse mixture of homes, condominiums and businesses nestled closely together, and the combination displays nothing less than a vibrant palette of color. Late Georgian, Creole, and Greek Revival homes co-exist with historic banks, corner stores and bakeries that have been refurbished into homes and apartments.The Marigny consistently ranks well for property appreciation. Now with the awesome new Reinventing the Crescent Riverwalk expansion open, and 2015 start to a new street car line on Rampart and St. Claude (watch a great video), there is little reason to think this winning streak won’t continue.
“The Marigny” or “the Triangle” – It’s All Good
You know you’ve come across a local when she refers to part of the Faubourg Marigny as “the triangle.” This lively section is next door to the Quarter and features Frenchman Street — home to some of New Orleans best live jazz today. Every night of the year, live music is the heart and soul of this mostly residential neighborhood, and it has been like this for decades if not centuries.
What began in 1805 as a French-speaking suburb, soon flourished with Caribbean free people of color, German immigrants fleeing political oppression, and Irish folks looking for a better way of life. By the early 20th century, Spanish and Italian immigrants were flocking into this neighborhood. And today, it’s a melting pot of all cultures and all walks of life and that’s what makes this close-knit neighborhood so unique. It’s no surprise that the American Planning Association in 2009 named Faubourg Marigny one of the great neighborhoods in America.
Weekends bring shoppers to independent galleries and second-hand stores in lower Marigny while jazz clubs and restaurants and draw people from everywhere. When you have seen enough of Bourbon Street, you can experience life in New Orleans the way the locals do by experiencing the Faubourg Marigny and all it has to offer.
Some Great Local Eateries and Bars In the Marigny
You will never find yourself with options when it comes to dining and entertainment in the Faubourg Marigny. Since this neighborhood is a small area, you’ll have easy access to your favorite hangouts — and that’s a good thing since the exercise will allow you to indulge in a glut of culinary delights!
Some of the local favorites in the Marigny are Feelings Café, The Marigny Brasserie, Praline Connection, and Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro. The Marigny is also dotted with literally dozens of coffee shops and bars. The Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association keeps a great list of businesses on their website.
Residents in the Faubourg Marigny are extremely active in their community as well as the city as a whole. The main association for this neighborhood is the strong Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association (FMIA). The Association was established to preserve the unique architectural and cultural heritage of our historic district. FMIA hosts several events during the year including the Fete’ in the neighborhood’s oak-filled Washington Square Park, potluck suppers, Meet the Neighbor events, walking tours, and annual Christmas Caroling. There is also the Faubourg/St. Roch Improvement Association.
Bernard de Marigny’s Sordid History
The Faubourg Marigny was founded by one of New Orleans’ most colorful figures, Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, known as Bernard de Marigny. Bernard was born in New Orleans in 1785 into the Marigny family who was at the time one of the wealthiest in the New World. The land in the Faubourg Marigny once housed the plantation home of the Marigny family, and they also owned considerable land all over what is now southeast Louisiana.
They say money doesn’t buy happiness and apparently that was the case with Bernard who at the age of 15 inherited his father’s fortune of seven million dollars becoming the wealthiest teenager in America.
Money didn’t help as his guardian, who had pegged Bernard as nothing but a headstrong, spoiled child, shipped him off to England for what he hoped would be not only a good education, but a taming of his obstinate attitude. About the only thing his jaunt overseas did was give Bernard the opportunity to learn about the game of craps, which would eventually be his undoing as he later died bankrupt.
It was in 1806 that Marigny began dividing his plantation into lots that created the Faubourg Marigny, a new alternative to the French Quarter. Some of those original residents’ descendants remain in the Marigny today. Shotgun cottages began appearing in the area in the late 1840s and continued to be built until the early years of the 20th century. By the end of the 19th century, ornamental cast-iron fences outlining small front yards that became popular. Today’s Marigny is still cosmopolitan and is known as a singles-friendly and artist-friendly neighborhood where people from all over the world have chosen to make their home.