I just came from the Downtown Association forum. And there were questions that came up there that I, quite frankly, blew. In my opinion.
The fact is I have been talking for weeks about my years in New Orleans. I lived there for two years, in the French Quarter. I know I used to love to go to the Cafe du Monde at sunrise and have cafe au lait, and beignetts. And read the Times Picayune. And watch the artists set up in Jackson Square.
They licensed the street vendors, and artists, and musicians in New Orleans. There was a row of vendors on one side of Jackson Sqaure, and on the other side the artists, along Pirate Alley. They each had their assigned spot and were licensed by the city.
Royal Street was a pedestrian mall during the day and Bourbon at night. And each block had its street musician, licensed by the city.
These people were not just accepted, but respected and even honored members of the community. And they generated revenue. Both directly and indirectly. They are the core of what made The Quarter unique and special.
There were questions about revenue at both the NEXT forum and the Downtown Association forum, and the idea of licensing street performers and vendors was something I failed to mention both times.
Where it all comes together...