New Orleans is back! When the Saints won their first Super Bowl Championship on Sunday, they proved just how resilient the people are and how far they’ve come since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. What an inspiration!
I’ve always loved New Orleans for its rich mixture of music, art, antiques and old world charm – it lives deep in my soul. When I was invited to attend the Jazz Aspen Snowmass National Board Meeting there last November, I welcomed the opportunity to visit the city I love. We toured the 9th Ward where I saw some of Brad Pitt’s innovative redevelopments that are breathing new life into the city.
If you don’t make it in time for Mardi Gras celebrations this year, I recommend you take a trip to the French Quarter to do some antiquing.
I started coming here in the early 90s and was introduced by my client to the fabulous Windsor Court Hotel. Over the years I have met and developed relationships with many antique dealers, purchasing beautiful estate pieces from many of their shops.
While I was there, I led a tour to some of my favorite shops on Royal Street and Magazine Street – the hubs for antiques from around the world. A block over from Bourbon Street, it’s known as the epicenter of local artistic culture with high-end antique shops, art galleries, boutiques and fine jewelry stores.
Here are a few of my favorites:Ida Manheim Antiques – Ida Manheim 409 Royal St. New Orleans LA 70130 (888) 627-5969 www.idamanheimantiques.com
At the age of nine, Ida began accompanying her father, Abe Manheim, considered to be one of the most important dealers in the world, on his legendary buying trips throughout Europe. The family traveled all over Europe buying exceptional antiques to sell at the gallery in New Orleans. More than an occupation, antique dealing was a way of life for the Manheim family and the Manheim name soon grew synonymous with superior quality.Royal Antiques – Neil Shapiro/George Polito 309 Royal St. New Orleans LA 70130 (504) 524-7033 www.royalantiques.com
With over 20,000 square feet of showrooms, Royal Antiques has one of the largest selections of traditional and country or provincial furniture. A fourth generation family business founded in 1899, Royal Antiques counted among its customers Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.Keil’s Antiques – Peter Moss/Michael Patrykus 325 Royal St. New Orleans LA 70130 (504) 522-4552 www.keilsantiques.com
A fourth generation family business, Morris Keil developed a love of French and English antiques and when he took over from his mother in the 1920s, he began to import eighteenth and nineteenth century pieces—including Louis XV, Louis XVI, Chippendale, and Georgian styles—and Keil’s Antiques established itself as an acclaimed authority in these areas as well.French Antique Shop – Henry Granet/Alex Asprodites 225 Royal St. New Orleans LA 70130 (504) 524-9861 www.gofrenchantiques.com
A family owned business representing 3 generations of antique connoisseurs, the shop had it’s beginnings in Paris when Marie and Marcel Garnet opened their first shop when they married in 1927. They moved it to New Orleans just before the outbreak of the World War II.