Kiss me, I’m Irish. A visit to the Irish Channel will reveal the diverse history of this neighborhood that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. No matter their heritage, everyone in the Irish Channel will be claiming their Irish Heritage this weekend. And you should too.
Historically, this neighborhood (bound by Tchoupitoulas, Louisiana, Magazine and Jackson Avenues) was extremely diverse-filled with working class Irish, Germans, Italians, Americans and free people of color during the mid 1800’s. It built up around the thriving wharf scene of lumberyards, cotton presses, tanning factories, etc.
These immigrant families began to develop the area and building homes around existing homes – which tended to be more large scale single family dwellings. The population and architecture continue to reflect its diverse history, with shotgun houses next door to grand Greek Revivals.
Another legacy of the area that continues today is the corner bar. Stop in any one of these colorful joints to meet the neighbors. You are guaranteed to encounter young and old, old-timers and newcomers, all with a broad spectrum of heritages and incomes.
An enjoyable Irish Channel outing should include a roast beef po-boy at Parasol’s followed by a stroll around the block. The 2600 block of Constance Street (catty corner from the bar) showcases the shotgun home. Head around the corner on Fourth Street to gander at the grander of a fine Greek-Revival home (1022 Fourth St.). Then turn the corner again down Laurel Street and check out the row of late classic double shotgun houses in the 2300 block.
Any day this week you can compliment your outing with one of the many Irish events going on. Wednesday night it is “Fun under the Frescoes” at the magnificent St. Alphonsus Arts and Cultural Center at 2025 Constance St. This week’s edition of “Fun” hosts an Irish celebration featuring the Crescent City Celtic Band plus the McTeggert Irish Dancers. Plenty of eats and treats around the corner from St. Alphonsus on bustling lower Magazine Street.
Thursday don’t miss the all day Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day block party from 10 AM – 6 PM at the Annunciation Square Playground. The usual Irish offerings: beer, music, beer, food, beer and fun…oh yeah AND KISSES.
Friday head to the Irish House on St. Charles Avenue for their “Cocktails and Kilts” party. Wear a kilt and get a complimentary Tilt your Kilt cocktail. The party starts at 3 in the afternoon. The concert featuring Kendall Rogers starts at 7:30 PM. Needless to say he’ll be playing songs from the Celtic folk genre.
Saturday and Sunday are the big days. The Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day parade begins at 1 PM on Saturday. All you need to do is show up and you are certain to pass a good time! You may want to bring a sturdy bag with you to carry home the throws you catch…cabbage, onions, carrots, etc. One time I even caught a wooden spoon, to stir my cabbage stew.
Same on Sunday. Show up near the corner of Constance and 1st Street and the good times are certain to find you!
Embrace your Irish heritage this week while you get out and about.
Out and About is a weekly blog by Leslie Compton of Every Thing Lovely, a special event and creative consulting team, and is sponsored by Key to NOLA Properties, a full service real estate brokerage firm specializing in furnished rental properties in New Orleans. Key to NOLA Properties and Every Thing Lovely have joined forces to provide a full array of services for travelers’ (and locals’) personal and professional needs while in the Crescent City.