Jon Smith, the new head honcho of the French Market Corp. made it very clear that one of his first orders of business is tidying up the 200-year-old open-air French Market. Specifically, he wants to cut back on some of the vendors who are selling "garbage" (e.g. Hello Kitty and Justin Bieber-adorned tchotchkes, designer knock-off satchels, Mardi Gras beads). Smith's plan includes bringing in more local artists and getting back to the market's roots with fresh seafood and produce, The Times-Pics' Richard Webster reports.
Not all vendors are agreeing with this plan. Surely, they don't like their wares being called "garbage" but it's more than that. French Market Vendors Association secretary Heidi Diekelman said handcrafted items wouldn't sell as easily or pull in the same amount of tourists ($$$). She also said a farmers market wouldn't work either because "tourists do not buy groceries (and) there are very few actual residents in the French Quarter anymore." For the record, there were 3,813 Quarterites in 2010, according to the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, although some might just be part-timers. On top of all of this, there's a pending lawsuit between the vendors association and the French Market Corp., so as always, stay tuned.
· French Market vendors clash with ideas of new executive director [NOLA.com]
· French Market vendor rules can be implemented [NOLA.com]
· All French Market Corp. coverage [Curbed NOLA]
· French Market District [official site]