The lovely, old city is still alive in its own funky and decadent way. I spent four days and nights there urban hiking, riding the trolley, studying city planning, listening to music, and eating. I left exhausted in a most satisfying way. It took me days to recuperate. I spent time in the beautiful Garden District with its old southern mansions and in the older French Quarter. Except for Bourbon Street, which is increasingly sleazy and oriented to drunk tourists, the city is incredibly authentic. One block off of Bourbon are the interesting shops of charming Royal Street, and off of the commercial streets there are beautiful old residences.