|The Picayune's Guide to New Orleans for 1900 included this sketch of
Sunday in the French Market, and its commentary described the typical turn-of-the-century scene:
The market is open daily between 5 a.m. and 12 a.m., but Sunday morning, between 8 and 9, is the best time to visit it. Every stranger goes to see the French Market. There is no more remarkable or characteristic spot in New Orleans. Under its roof every language is spoken. The buyers and sellers are men and women of all races. The French Market comprehends four distinct and separate divisions, each under a special roof. These divisions are the "Meat Market," the "Fish Market," the "Fruit" and "Vegetable" markets. Around these various markets is a fringe of fruit stalls and coffee stands. . . . These are the celebrated coffee stands sung in song and story, where a delicious cup of cafe noir,' or cafe au lait,' may be obtained at all hours, and with this cup of Creole coffee is served a peculiar wafer-like pastry called coffee-cake.' . . . The French Market is a great promenade of a Sunday morning for the Creole belles and beaux, after they have heard mass at the old Cathedral.
All in all, the description is not so terribly out-of-date after 100 years!