From above, Jackson Square is an island of green, composed of well-kept palm trees, flowerbeds and golf course type grass. The place itself is rather small, maybe a hundred yards square, towered by a larger than life statue of General Jackson and run over by a circular walkway. Flashy-dressed, camera wielding couples occupy most of the benches; the rest of the spaces are either taken by shopping bags or noisy children urging their parents to get up, to get going.

    Jackson Square is more family friendly than Bourbon Street, but the pervading sour smell that is so distinctly French New Orleans prevails. Behind the clean palm trees is the dirt, much like a mask is the greenery pulled over the dark earth, the street artists are in so many cases no more than homeless people trying to make a living. The visiting families ignore this fact and revel in the belief that the clowns really are happy and the stained blankets in the corners do not serve as beds. But the eyes give it away, behind the worn faces and gestures are men and women who have made the street their home, only interacting with the mainstream through their acts - lining the streets at Jackson Square.

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