Its stores are richly laden with goods, and its windows display choice French importations of dress fabrics, kid gloves and fancy articles. Other windows have tempting exhibits of choice French candies and elegant displays of boned turkey hid in crystal jellies, together with other appetizing dishes of the French restaurant. The signs of the drug stores are: "Pharniacie Francaise," or "Botica Espanola." Upon the pavements are flower women in attitudes like those of ancient Rome, surrounded with huge boquets of roses and chrysanthemums, in combinations peculiar to New Orleans. Here sits the old turbaned negress, brushing with peacock feathers the flies that gather over her sweetmeats while she laughingly mutters French at the fezed Turk as he passes by in his flowing robes.
Richly attired ladies and children meet nimble Chinese: Boston and New York young men; copper colored Choctaws ; black-eyed Creoles with fine forms and well fitting costumes; Spanish Creoles in mourning, whole families, the children in deepest black with the whitest of stockings; bronzed Mexican greasers, with dull eyes, few hairs upon their chins, and covered with the queer sombrero; Mexican military officers wearing eye glasses; Mexican soldiers with ill fitting garments; British sailors in slouchy corduroys; French sailors better dressed; Mississippi stevedores with cotton-hooks hanging from their belts; the black plantation hand with bulging eye-balls and clothes shining with cane juice. All these may be seen any pleasant day; but Canal Street is broad, broad enough for all this queer conglomerate medley of people of such diverse individualities.
During the carnival season, the store fronts above the awnings have tiers of seats from whence thousands of spectators view the processions.
The Clay statue on Canal Street is the centre of gravity for all crowds and open air meetings. Henry Clay stands there with outstretched arm, which, to the angry crowds of labor strikers or excited political gatherings, is a presence of peace and moderation. It is said that a portion of the inscription on the base was partially obliterated during the rebellion; but on the other hand it is denied that any obliteration has taken place other than the action of the elements.