The Braille Monitor                                                                                               April 1997

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New Orleans--Something for Everyone

by Jerry Whittle

From the Editor: In about two months the largest gathering of blind people to take place in 1997 will be about to begin. You still have time to arrange to be a part of the fifty-seventh convention of the National Federation of the Blind, but you had better hurry. Call Mr. Cobb at the National Center for the Blind today to make your room reservation. The telephone number is (410) 659-9314. Meantime, to whet your appetite for what you will find in New Orleans, here is Jerry Whittle's latest evocation of the Crescent City:

As most Federationists already know, New Orleans is one of the most popular convention cities in the world. Noted for its myriad of so-called adult attractions, New Orleans also affords ample wholesome entertainment for the entire family.

This year's National Convention also offers one of the most spacious and elegant hotels in the Crescent City as our headquarters--the Hyatt Regency--just a few blocks from the French Quarter. Connected to the Superdome and a massive shopping complex, the Hyatt-Regency usually serves as the main hotel for major sports events, such as the Super Bowl. Here is a brief description of the Hyatt Regency--just one more reason why this year's Convention of the National Federation of the Blind, June 29 through July 5, is the place to be.

Hyatt Regency New Orleans:

Discover a city known the world over for its soulful jazz and its Creole cuisine. Located in the heart of downtown just minutes from the historic French Quarter and the scenic riverfront, Hyatt Regency New Orleans captures the flavor of the Crescent City with rich mahogany, beautifully appointed guest rooms, and wrought iron grillwork crafted by talented artisans.

Savor famous New Orleans cuisine in its three restaurants and lounges, serving such regional dishes as muffalettas, Crawfish Etoufee, and other tantalizing Cajun creations. Relax in the whirlpool spa, take a dip in the heated pool, or work out in the fully equipped health club.

Experience the magic of the Big Easy as only the people of Hyatt can deliver.

* Thirty-two-story atrium hotel, including 1,084 guest rooms, 100 suites, and exclusive Regency Club accommodations

* Twenty minutes from New Orleans International Airport

* Complimentary Hyatt Express shuttle to the French Quarter, Mississippi Riverfront

* Heated rooftop pool, whirlpool and fully equipped health club

* Business center on site

* Connected to the Louisiana Superdome and New Orleans Centre Shopping Mall, featuring Macy's, Lord & Taylor, and more

The Courtyard Restaurant: located on the third floor, is open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Top of the Dome Steakhouse: Enjoy a fantastic view from New Orleans's only revolving rooftop restaurant, located on the thirty-second floor. Menu suggestions include filet mignon, New York Strip, and T-Bone, Smokehouse Ribs and much more. Chocoholic bar and cocktail specials are featured nightly.

Hyttops: Located on the third floor, Hyttops Sports Bar offers casual fare and friendly competition with tables, video games, pool, and more.

Fitness Room/Swimming Pool: The fitness room, accessible from the fifth floor of the main tower or seventh floor of the Lanai tower, is adjacent to the pool and jacuzzi.

A magnificent hotel is only the beginning. New Orleans is dotted with hundreds of interesting shops of every description, and men, women, and children should have few problems finding that special shop of their dreams. In addition to a variety of quaint shops, New Orleans also offers plenty of family entertainment. Enumerated below is a partial list of the places that help to make the Crescent City one of the most popular convention sites in the world.

Southern Fossil & Mineral Exchanges

A Natural History Gallery, 2045 Magazine Street The South's first gallery to showcase artifacts of nature. In addition to spectacular displays of fossils and minerals, insects, butterflies, meteorites, shells, and skulls are featured.

Children's Hour Book Emporium
3308 Magazine Street

"One of the best new bookstores of '94," according to the Times-Picayune. New and classic titles, audio and video cassettes, software, compact discs, and artwork by young artists.

All That Jazz
829 Decatur Street

An impressive selection of CD's, records, and tapes.

Art to Wear
910 Decatur Street

Hand-painted and appliqued women's and children's wear and accessories are sold at this family-run shop.

Lazybug
600 Royal Street and Riverwalk at Poydras

Women's contemporary clothing and the store's signature line of wearable art.

Payless Souvenirs
New Orleans Centre

Shopping for Super Bowl souvenirs? Payless is one place not to be missed.

Jackson Brewery
600-621 Decatur Street

It's jewelry and fashions. It's spicy shrimp and Creole cuisine. It's fireworks and festivals--a unique collection of shops, restaurants, stores, and boutiques.

Louisiana Music Factory
210 Decatur Street

Offers both new and used music products, giving shoppers a larger selection of rare tunes on both vinyls and CD's.

Audubon Zoo
6500 Magazine Street

See more than 1,800 endangered or rare animals, including the exotic white alligators.

City Park:
City Park Ave.

City Park has something for the whole family. It features a world class botanical garden, storyland (a children's wonderland of rides), the Carousel Gardens, paddle-boat rentals for two, horseback riding, and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Louisiana Children's Museum:
420 Julia Street

Features two floors of colorful, educational, and imaginative hands-on exhibits.

Louisiana State Museum:
701 Chartres Street

Five important historic properties make up this expansive complex in New Orleans: The Cabildo, Presbytere, Arsenal, and 1850 House on Jackson Square plus the old U.S. Mint on Esplanade Avenue.

Louisiana Superdome:
Connected to the Hyatt Regency

Tour one of America's largest and finest domed stadiums.

Nottoway Plantation:
White Castle, Louisiana (a one-hour drive from New Orleans)

Experience and savor the aristocratic splendor that was the Old South. Nottoway is the ultimate in Southern grandeur, Southern hospitality at its finest.

Aquarium of the Americas:
1 Canal Street

Explore underwater worlds teeming with exotic marine life.

Entergy Imax Theatre Film Special Effects:
1 Canal Street

A behind-the-scenes-look at Hollywood magic. Come experience the magic of illusion on a screen ten times bigger than a traditional movie screen.

Riverwalk:
On the Mississippi River at Poydras Street

This unique center features 140 stores and restaurants stretching a half mile along the Mississippi riverfront.

The Big Easy truly aims to please everyone, but the real entertainment will be the opportunity to attend the largest gathering of blind people in the world. Despite all the distractions of the Crescent City, the major focus will still be the wonderful general sessions, the informative speakers, the division meetings, and the banquet. New Orleans truly teems with life, but above all this is our chance to work together for a brighter future for all blind people. Take advantage of this opportunity to make new friendships and renew old acquaintances in a wonderful spirit of camaraderie. Laissez le bon temps roulet!