Here is another TREME institution that few tourists ever see. Even locals are mostly unaware of it. I would argue that many New Orleans residents didn’t know what SECOND LINES were until after HURRICANE KATRINA, and the TREME TV series became popular. SYLVESTER and LU FRANCIS own and operate THE BACKSTREET CULTURAL MUSEUM in the heart of the TREME, or 6TH WARD. It is a former small funeral home that is right across the street from its more famous, iconic ST.AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC CHURCH. Sylvester is a self-taught cultural historian which is reflected in his amazing collection of MARDI GRAS INDIAN beaded, and feathered costumes. The majority of his exhibits center around these costumes and those of another local institution, BABY DOLLS. These are women who dress in ornate, hand-made baby costumes, replete with bonnets, and march in parades and SECOND LINES. Similarly, Sylvester has amassed an unbelievable collection of his videotapes of local SECOND LINES for many years! I have sat in his personal backroom area watching these loops with his amazing recital of specific details describing events long past. But MY main interest in this place, is to sit on the front porch with Sylvester and Lu, and all of the neighbors, museum visitors, and local passer-bys sharing CROWN ROYAL and PEPSI with Sylvester!! I look forward to these sessions with every visit!! It is truly, KEEPIN’ IT REAL IN DA HOOD!!