3 Prime Spots for People-Watching as a Tulane Student

People-watching. We’ve all done it at some point or another, and if you’re like me, you take immense joy in this hobby. There’s nothing like a good crowd to get your imagination flowing with hypothetical backstories and situations. As a whole, New Orleans is a great place to practice this art, but as a student it’s not always easy to access the wide array of locations scattered throughout the city. If you can get there, then by all means do so! But if you want the pleasure of people-watching without the hassle of going too far off-campus, here are a few places from personal experience that I have found to be the most rewarding. So sit back, relax, and observe away!


1.     A table at Café Du Monde

Just a streetcar ride and short walk away, this café is popular among people of all ages. Constantly bustling with energy and hordes of people, nothing screams more discrete in the French Quarter than sipping a café au lait and eating beignets at this tourist magnet.

Make sure to seat yourself at a table facing Jackson Square and bask in the glory of observing over-zealous visitors, ridiculously talented street entertainers, persistent panhandlers, and authentic locals as they go about their day.


2.     The Boot/Palms/any other bar

Tired of dancing to the same playlist night after night at your favorite bar while simultaneously hoping that those ghost hands that just grabbed your waist finally belong to someone decent rather than the usual thirsty little animals that inhabit these dives?

Change it up! Grab a drink and watch all the late-night action unfold right in front of you with no involvement on your behalf. Is that guy really getting girls’ numbers with his clearly fake Irish accent? Is that group over there actually in a heated debate over the correct way to twerk? Sure, you can create backstories for everyone if need be, but in most cases, there’s enough going on and being said to just watch and enjoy as your peers drunkenly repeat that they are, in fact, sober.

So go ahead and dance to a few hit tracks. But when you realize your body has stopped swaying to the music and you’re taking the Which “Gone Girl” Character are You? quiz in the middle of the dance floor, take a break and treat yourself to people-watching at its finest. Because there’s only so many times we can turn down for Lil Jon, throw it back with Smash Mouth, and pretend like we know the lyrics for every one of Nicki Minaj’s raps.


3.     The Fly

When the sun’s out and the weather is just perfect, everyone seems to rediscover that the outside exists for reasons other than giving you a layer of body sweat on the walk between classes. As a result, the Fly draws in more people than usual, making it a great place to apply the pastime of, you guessed it, people-watching. Here, get a nice tan as you watch on one side a group of bros throw a football, a group of bros play Dizzy Bat, and/or a group of bros just chill and discuss the meaning of their existence.

Turn to the other side and see families/friends having a picnic, dogs frolicking in the sheer happiness that is their life, and a group of sketchy-looking kids near the waterfront who may or may not be doing drugs. A perfect representation of life, don’t you think? Come here when you’re stressed out, and the people/dog-watching will immediately put your mind at ease and renew your sense of purpose in life.

So go forth and conquer, fellow creeps! There's plenty of people and places to be seen in our weird, little city:)