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The concierge at International House, a New Orleans boutique hotel, recommends tourist attractions, A-list restaurants, or settings for wedding proposals.

He also executes challenging requests, like organizing a crawfish boil at the drop of a hat, securing a belt buckle in the shape of a fleur-de-lis or arranging a meeting with a local voudou priestess.

With a finger on the pulse of what's going on in New Orleans, International House's concierge recommends eight ways to experience quintessential New Orleans:

  • New Orleans Music: Molly's on Rampart Street has live music that appeals to tattoo-covered music lovers as well as buttoned-down business types.
  • New Orleans Shopping: Mirror Mirror, in the French Quarter, takes door and window frames from antebellum homes on the brink of being destroyed and uses them to frame mirrors. Madonna loves this store.
  • New Orleans Food: Chef John Besh, at Restaurant August, has received the Best Chef: Southeast James Beard Award. Just around the corner, Liborio's Cuban Restaurant serves some of the best Cuban black beans.
  • New Orleans People-Watching: Audubon Park, on Saturday mornings, is a local hangout for walkers, joggers, young, old, black, white, politicians and everyone else.
  • New Orleans Souvenirs: The Cajun in your Pocket is a talking toy that offers up a variety of Cajun sayings. It's sold in guest room mini-bars at International House.
  • New Orleans T-shirt: Created by the owner (politician's daughter) of Basics, in chocolate brown and caramel tan, it reads: "Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was gone."
  • New Orleans Excursion: Go over the river to the Vietnamese Farmer's Market on Saturdays.
  • New Orleans Hotel: In the Central Business District, near the French Quarter, International House has a façade in Beaux-Arts style architecture and 117 rooms.