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Get Out of Town – On A New Orleans Swamp Tour!

July 15th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans Swamp Tour - Alligator sunning on a log

New Orleans’ reputation as a festival town is well deserved. We do have an awful lot of fun here! That’s not all New Orleans has to offer, however. After you’ve seen all the museums, shops, and parades, why not get back to nature with a New Orleans swamp tour!

It really can be difficult to see past the French Quarter and Bourbon Street when visiting New Orleans. What many people don’t realize is that the natural world is not that far away. If you’re not familiar with the bayou, visiting it can be just as vibrant and exciting as any Mardi Gras parade.

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2016 New Orleans Bastille Day Fête

June 16th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans Bastille Day Fête 2016Come celebrate French culture and history at the 2016 New Orleans Bastille Day Fête – July 15th, at the New Orleans Museum of Art!

Bastille Day – known as French National Day in France – is similar to the United States’ Independence Day in that it is a celebration of the 1789 storming of the Bastille, a large French fortress and prison in Paris. This act was the first step in France’s move towards democracy, not unlike America’s revolt against British rule in 1776.

New Orleans Bastille Day celebrations last a full week – July 9th to the 16th – and demonstrate the influence and connection the city has to French culture. The centerpiece of these events is the Bastille Day Fête at the New Orleans Museum of Art, a festival that has been called the “third best Bastille Day celebration in the world”!

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Attend the New Orleans French Film Festival 2016

June 6th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans French Film Festival 2016The New Orleans French Film Festival is an annual, seven-day long showcase of classic and contemporary French cinema presented in what is arguably the most French city in the United States – July 7th through the 14th, 2016.

New Orleans is a glorious amalgam of many cultures but one of the strongest threads, if not the strongest, is French in origin. From our city’s name – after the 17th century French Duke of Orléans – to one of our most popular neighborhoods – Le Vieux Carré, also known as the French Quarter – to the French infused cultures of both Cajun and Creole who are synonymous with the region, the Big Easy celebrates French culture in many ways.

Held every summer at the Prytania Theater in Uptown, the New Orleans French Film Festival brings both new and classic French films – or films with an undeniable French connection – to N’awlins for a week of celebratory screenings.

While the dates and times for screenings have yet to be released, this year’s list of films has been:

New Orleans French Film Festival 2016 Lineup

New Orleans French Film Festival 2016 - Francofonia

“Francofonia” from Writer/Director Aleksandr Sokurov

Black Girl (La Noire de…)
65 minutes – 1966
A young girl from Senegal becomes a servant in France.

Courts Métrages (Short Film Showcase)
90 minutes – 2015
Three short films: Don’t Speak About Love (Ne Parlez Pas D’Amour), Mother (Maman), and Breathe (Ses Souffles)

Diary of a Chambermaid (Journal d’Une Femme de Chambre)
95 minutes – 2015
A young chambermaid who has just arrived from Paris to work in the French countryside finds herself having to fend off her master’s advances, cope with his domineering wife, and a mysterious gardener.

Eat Your Bones (Mange Tes Morts)
94 minutes – 2014
Four young gypsies set off on a binge among the “gadjos” in search of a cargo of copper.

88 mintues – 2015
A history of the Louvre during the Nazi occupation and a meditation on the meaning and timelessness of art.

New Orleans French Film Festival 2016 - Eat Your Bones

Director Jean-Charles Hue’s “Eat Your Bones”

The Cowboys (Les Cowboys)
104 minutes – 2014
A father sets out to find his missing daughter with the help of his son.

My Golden Days (Trois Souvenirs de Ma Jeunesse)
123 minutes – 2015
A young man preparing to leave Tajikistan reflects back on the turbulence and joys of his adolescent years.

Summertime (La Belle Saison)
105 minutes – 2015
Carole and Delphine find lesbianism and feminism are not as simple at a rural family farm as it is in the city after they meet and fall in love.

The Innocents (Les Innocentes)
115 minutes – 2016
In 1945 Poland, a young Red Cross doctor discovers several nuns in advanced states of pregnancy during a visit to a nearby convent.

Valley of Love
91 minutes – 2015
An estranged couple answer a post-suicide invitation from their son to a strange appointment in Death Valley, California.

Young Tiger (Bébé Tigre)
87 minutes – 2014
The film follows an illegal worker during his day to day life.

With legendary filmmakers like François Truffaut, Jean Cocteau, Jean-Luc Godard, and Jean Renoir, to name just a few, it is no surprise French films have such a reputation for artistry, honesty, and beauty. The world’s most prestigious film festival, after all, is held in Cannes, France.

For those who can’t make it to the Cannes Film Festival, New Orleans French Film Festival is the next best thing – don’t miss it!

New Orleans French Film Festival

July 7-14, 2016
Prytania Theatre – 5339 Prytania St, New Orleans, LA 70115
For more information:

New Orleans French Film Festival Lodging
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New Orleans’ 2016 James Beard Award Winners!

May 20th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans’ 2016 James Beard Award WinnersThe 2016 James Beard Award Winners were announced earlier in May and New Orleans is proud to have had 14 local chefs/restaurants make it to the semi-finals and, in the end, 3 James Beard Award winners!

Anyone who has been to New Orleans knows how big cuisine is here. Few cities can boast as much food talent, history, and variety as New Orleans and local chefs and restaurants receiving awards for their ingenuity and expertise is nothing new – but these are the James Beard awards.

The James Beard Foundation ( is a national, non-profit, culinary arts organization based in New York City, and named after the “Dean of American Cookery,” legendary food writer, teacher, and cookbook author, James Beard. James Beard Awards are held annually to honor exceptional chefs and journalists and are considered by many the Oscars of the food world.

New Orleans’ 2016 James Beard Award Winners

2016 Lifetime Achievement Award – Chef Leah Chase
James Beard Award Winners - Chef Leah Chase Dooky Chase’s RestaurantLeah Chase is a living legend who has been cooking in New Orleans at Dooky Chase’s since 1946. She helped pioneer the “soul food” genre, was the inspiration for Princess Tiana in Disney’s “Princess and the Frog,” and has garnered numerous previous awards, including the Candace Award, the Freedom Foundation Award, and the NAACP Human Understanding, to name just a few. She was inducted into the James Beard Foundation “Who’s Who in Food & Beverage” in 2010, is the author of the Dooky Chase Cookbook, and was the subject of a biography by Carol Allen: “Leah Chase: Listen, I Say Like This.”
Dooky Chase’s Restaurant – 2301 Orleans Ave. – is known for its incredible array of creole and soul food in a restaurant filled with local art.

Best Chef, South – Justin Devillier
James Beard Award Winners - Chef Justin Devillier - La Petite GroceryNew Orleans Magazine’s 2014 “Chef of the Year,” 35 year-old Chef Justin Devillier is no stranger to accolades. Despite his relative youth, he’s been a finalist for the James Beard Award of “Best Chef: South” three times before, so it was no surprise to see him on the list again – but a real thrill to see him finally take James Beard Award Winners - Chef Justin Devillier - Baliseit home. Known for his lengthy involvement with La Petite Grocery, where he began his N’awlins career in 2003, Devillier has since gone on to own the establishment as well as open another: Balise.
La Petite Grocery – 4238 Magazine St. – is serves up made-from-scratch Louisiana fare in the quaint and intimate surroundings of what was an 1800’s grocery store.
Balise – 640 Carondelet – on the other hand, offers cocktails, wine, and Louisiana fare with a European accent in a warm townhouse setting.

Best New Restaurant- Shaya
New Orleans’ 2016 James Beard Award Winners - ShayaChef Alon Shaya, owner, head chef, and namesake of Shaya is an innovative chef who incorporates influences from North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Greece into his modern Israeli dishes – falafel, kebabs, and baba ganoush. Shaya uses seasonal, locally-sourced and responsibly-grown and harvested ingredients from Louisiana’s abundant local farmers via the Crescent City Farmer’s Market. Like Chef Alon’s other N’awlins restaurants – Domenica and Pizza Domenica – Shaya’s centerpiece is a wood-fired oven. Chef Alon Shaya was the James Beard “Best Chef: South” in 2015 for his work through Domenica, among other honors.
Shaya – 4213 Magazine St

New Orleans Lodging
Food isn’t the only thing New Orleans does right – we also know lodging – and I’m not talking about those stale, impersonal hotels or motels. For real southern hospitality, great breakfasts, lush appointments, and tips on the local scene from someone who knows the area like the back of their hand, stay at an authentic, locally owned and operated New Orleans Bed and Breakfast Inn.

Celebrate Summer with New Orleans June Festivals!

May 9th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans June Festivals

Known as the Festival Capital of the World for good reason, New Orleans always has a celebration of some kind just around the corner or going on right now! With dozens of festivals all year-long, it can be hard to decide which to attend. We’ve put together this guide to New Orleans June Festivals to help you make that decision.

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The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

April 25th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
If you’re a fan of history, medicine, or just interesting collections of unusual and mildly creepy antiques, then a visit to the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is just what the doctor ordered!

You could be excused for thinking that a pharmacy museum sounds a little dull – but before you dismiss it, check out this quote from Rand McNally’s Best of the Road: “Almost every cobbled street in the Big Easy houses some eclectic museum or another, and the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is one of the best.”

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Opa! It’s New Orleans Greek Festival 2016

April 4th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans Greek Festival 2016If you’re a fan of Greek food, drink, culture, and music, then you’ll want to head to Bayou St. John, Memorial Day weekend – May 27th through the 29th – for the 2016 annual New Orleans Greek Festival!

New Orleans is nothing, if not a melting pot of culture. As with many other groups, the Big Easy has long been home to a sizable Greek community. Every year, for the past 43 years, members of this colorful community have put together a festival celebrating one of the Western world’s oldest cultures: The New Orleans Greek Festival.

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Celebrate at Freret Street Festival 2016

March 11th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Freret Street Festival 2016New Orleans’ annual Freret Street Festival is a colorful start to New Orleans’ celebrated festival season, with live music on 3 stages, food & drink, and over 200 vendors: April 2, 2016 – 11am to 6pm.

Held the first Saturday, every April, Freret Street Festival celebrates the street’s lively culture. Considered a gem of the Uptown district, Freret Street is home to singular cocktail bars, eclectic boutiques and galleries, and to-die-for restaurants.

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New Orleans Spring Fiesta 2016

March 1st, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans Spring Fiesta 2016The 80th anniversary of the annual New Orleans Spring Fiesta, March 5-6, 12-13, 2016, is an excellent opportunity to explore the interiors of 20 privately owned, historic New Orleans homes!

Begun in 1937 by the New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association, New Orleans Spring Fiesta is a multi-faceted event encompassing the first two weekends of March and celebrating the arrival of spring with a parade of horse-drawn carriages through the French Quarter, historic home tours, a special brunch at Antoine’s Restaurant, and presentation of the Spring Fiesta Queen and her court at Jackson Square.

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Hogs for the Cause 2016

February 12th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Hogs For The Cause 2016, April 1 -2Hogs for the Cause – April 1–2, 2016 – is two days of mouth watering BBQ and foot-stompin’ live music in New Orleans’ City Park, with all proceeds going towards the fight against pediatric brain cancer. Can it get any better?

Hogs for the Cause 2016, marks the 8th annual return of this popular charity barbecue competition and Americana music festival. Held in New Orleans’ City Park, Hogs for the Cause 2016 will once again bring out numerous, 6-person teams – more than 90 registered so far! – to compete in a variety of categories for the honor of being awarded the title of High on the Hog Grand Champion!

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