How French is New Orleans’ French Quarter?

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When you think of New Orleans, you think Bourbon Street, Créole, Mardis Gras–all things with roots in French culture. But New Orleans’s most famous neighborhood might not be as French as you might expect.

Edward Branley, historian, writer, and New Orleans native, has made a career on exploring the rich and complicated history of this Louisiana gemstone. Known as “The NOLA History Guy,” Branley has written several books on the city, including Legendary Locals of New Orleans. In this video, he gives a brief history of the so-called “French Quarter” in New Orleans, which he says is really more Spanish and Italian than anything else. The architecture? Spanish. The language? From Africa and Portugual. Even the famous French Market? Italian, says Branley.

So, the next time you’re looking for a little slice of France, maybe check out something a little closer to home. After all, Philadelphia was designed by Ben Franklin, the O.G. Francophile, and you don’t need to look farther than its city hall to tell. And NYC itself has enough places that will make any Frenchie feel right at home.

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