Today the French Quarter is filled with restaurants, antique shops, boutique hotels, museums, bars, lounges, dance halls, strip clubs, museums, and roughly 5,000 residents.
The French Quarter is living history. It is fun, interesting, and exciting. It is a place where a breeze from the Mississippi cools you off as you enjoy the sounds of jazz and blues drifting from almost every open door. On any given street you can find shop owners and locals who take much pride in the cuisine, history, music and arts of their town.
Yet there is an ugly side to the city. On any given day, you could walk down Bourbon Street and catch a glimpse of the very worst of our human nature. In a city where industries such as hospitality, pornography, bars, and nightclubs thrive, so do addictions and exploitation.
The French Quarter is like mixing the seedy part of Vegas with West Hollywood and a small French town while sprinkling in some southern hospitality. It’s a dynamic in which few would ever consider developing a sustainable, ever-present ministry. But with a continued increase in tourism and over 15,000 people employed by the hospitality industry in the French Quarter alone, there is no better place to make some “good noise” and lay down some roots.
There are some obvious (and yet unknown) challenges to this venture, but as we continue to move forward, we are expectant that God will continue to work in this brokenly beautiful city.