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Day 2 Blog Tour NOLA

Anne Rice House
Anne Rice house located in The Garden District

Yesterday we really began to experience what New Orleans is all about.  It’s below the surface, you know.  The one thing I learned is that to know the Crescent City is to leave the cliche of Bourbon Street.  Locals pretty much disdain it, so you probably won’t find them there.

Yes they are as good as they look, even better.
Yes they are as good as they look, even better.

A delicious, five star breakfast was hosted by KBIS at Luke’s. This is where I devoured, with relish, my first beignet.  Afterwards we  took a quick ride on the trolley then embarked on a walking tour of the beautiful Garden District.

One of my favorite homes in The Garden District
One of my favorite homes in The Garden District

This tree lined collection of streets was a feast of New Orleans architecture at its best.  The style is a hybrid of Southern plantation, Caribbean and French.  At times Key West and even Lake Worth comes to mind.  I was excited to see the home of “Gothic” author Anne Rice but the real treat was running into Mr. Okra larger than life, after having seen him on this beautiful short film!  Check it out here if you missed it.  It is so worth it, trust me.

 

We have green beans, we have bananas!  Yes, that's Mrs. Okra.
We have green beans, we have bananas! Yes, that’s Mrs. Okra. He did get upset with me when I called his grandson a girl.

The Big Easy is also known for its antiques galore and so that was next on the agenda.  We met up with Shaun Smith of Shaun Smith Home for a tour of some of the best antique shops.

 

Yours truly with Shaun Smith of Shaun Smith Home
Yours truly with Shaun Smith of Shaun Smith Home

Shaun Smith, a New Orleans sweetheart.  Both his smile and his jacket were a refreshing white. His style retains a New Orleans flavor but with a little New York chic which makes it something uniquely his own.

Here's what I mean, a little traditional mixed with a dose of abstract expressionism
Here’s what I mean, a little traditional mixed with a dose of abstract expressionism.  Painting by Brenda Hope Zapitell

We  also explored Petricia Thompson Antiques, Empire Antiques and an interesting eclectic store called Malachite.  Last but certainly not least we met Gerrie Bremermann  in her shop.                                        Let me tell you about Gerrie.  Remember those amazing homes I just mentioned in the Garden District?  Well she’s had a hand in making most of them fabulous.  She is a much sought after designer in these parts but also, on a larger scale, she’s sought out by national publications as a barometer of southern design.  Currently in her mid eighties she continues to immerse herself in her trade.  She loves it and she is a true inspiration.

Gerrie Bremermann
The inspiring Gerrie Bremermann. Staying passionate about design keeps her young.

When it comes to my own personal taste I loved Shaun Smith Home the best.  In fact I believe antiques are at their best when they are a part of a more modern decor where there is enough space for them to be a focal point.  Think about it, in a room crammed with antiquity no one gets to be the star!

Shaun also carries a couple abstract impressionist artists’ work which I admired.  He was a gracious host who showed us what southern hospitality is all about.

Next up was a visit to the Ogden Southern Art Museum for a book signing by the dynamic designer/author Miles Redd.  You can listen to a fabulous interview of him over at The Skirted Roundtable.  Mile’s book “The Big Book of Chic” is BIG and the many takers are evidence that the world of paper books is still very much alive.

The Big Book of Chic by Miles Redd (not kidding about "big" despite the weightiness they all went)
The Big Book of Chic by Miles Redd (not kidding about “big” despite the weightiness they all went)

I loved how Miles is not afraid to work out of the box, in fact he works entirely out of the box taking much of his inspriation from great works of art.  I am a maximalist, he claims!

Bayona is owned by super star chef Susan Spicer.  The food did not disappoint and we all enjoyed our four course meals
Bayona is owned by super star chef Susan Spicer. The food did not disappoint and we all enjoyed our four course meals

The day was made complete by a breathtakingly delicous dinner at Bayona hosted by our sponsor Mr. Steam.  I am really enjoying getting to know all the others on the tour.  It’s amazing how each has such a unique story with creativity and innovative thinking being the common thread.  Three more days to go. Wow.  Stay tuned, more to come.

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Favorites on Friday

Happy Friday peeps!  I’m looking forward to an action packed weekend. You know how it is when you’re trying to get away, life seems to suddenly accelerate.  Tomorrow I’m signed up for an iphone photography class at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre in the hopes I will learn to take the best pics possible in NOLA.  I’ll let you know how that goes and hopefully you’ll soon see the results.

They also host a yearly event called Foto Fusion. A couple years ago I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by legendary photographer Elliot Erwitt
They also host a yearly event called FOTOFusion. A couple years ago I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by legendary photographer Elliott Erwitt at this event.

Every Friday Pinterest tells me my most popular pins for the week.  Since it seems like I should do something with that nifty stat I thought I’d share them with you. Read more

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