The French Quarter, the Central Business District, and the Garden District are well-trodden neighborhoods—and it's there that you'll find the largest concentration of hotels, restaurants, and bars. But it's worth checking out the rest of the city, especially if you're a repeat visitor. On the border of the French Quarter, the Marigny is best known for Frenchman Street, a stretch of bars and restaurants that is the local alternative to Bourbon Street. And beyond the Marigny is the Bywater, New Orleans' hippest new 'hood, where you'll find artists, entrepreneurs, and yogis. Uptown is home to Loyola and Tulane, as well as Audubon Park and the shops, restaurants, and cafes along Magazine Shops and Mid-City is worth a trip for two iconic New Orleans restaurants: Dooky Chase and Willie Mae's Scotch House.
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Since Katrina, graffiti has gained legitimacy as a form of art—especially after Banksy, the famous U.K.-based graffiti artist, produced a series of works to mark the third anniversary of the storm. Not everyone is in favor of the spontaneous street art installations: The so-called Gray Ghost covers poorly-done tags and art with gray paint, though his coverups are a form of art in and of themselves. Most recently, in a tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat sponsored by hotelier Sean Cummings, a group of artists including Al Diaz (the other half of the SAMO duo), Dylan Roscover (the young artist behind the Obama-Romney cover of Time), and local graffiti artist Brandan Odums, unveiled a series of works on shipping containers in the Bywater.