Hi everyone, Clarisa here! I’m one of Spruce’s newest additions to the team. During the past month, I’ve been marketing the Spruce book tour through our social media outlets and reaching out to our connections in every city, trying to help get the word out. This week, the tour stops in New Orleans for a couple of days before concluding our tour in Houston. Since Amanda is on the road, I have the pleasure of blogging about The Big Easy, a city famous for its delicious Cajun food, sazeracs, jazz, and festivals (Mardi Gras anyone?).
Deciding what to see and do in NOLA can be a little intimidating considering there’s always so much going on, so we tapped Sherrie Hope, proprietor of Modern Market, where we’ll be hosting our bench and lampshade classes. Modern Market is a lifestyle and furniture shop that has furniture you’ll swoon over. Just take a look at these photos taken at the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center by local photographer Karley Frankic.
Here are Sherrie’s recommendations. Enjoy!
What are the best off-the-beaten-path restaurants and bistros you love?
Sherrie: Jacques Imo’s Cafe, La Crepe Nanou (above, photo by Amy Castaño) and Lilette.
What do you like to do on your days off?
Sherrie: I like walking down the beautiful Audubon Park (above, photo via Wikimedia Commons), kayaking Bayou St. John, discovering new shops and eateries, or heading to a festival!
What is New Orleans best known for?
Sherrie: The food, of course; the people, architecture, festivals, and music!
If a visitor were coming for only one day, what is the MUST-SEE/DO recommendations you would give them?
Sherrie: Start the day at Commander’s Palace (above, photo via Wikimedia Commons), which has great Bloody Marys and 25 cent martinis, for a great NOLA-style breakfast. After, walk across the street and visit the cemetery and the surrounding area. Stroll over to Magazine Street for six miles of local shopping, eateries and galleries. Take a ride on the St. Charles Streetcar line and get off at Canal Street to walk through the French Quarter, which has several galleries, shops, artists and musicians. Go to Café Du Monde for beignets on Decatur Street. Take the streetcar back to the Black Pearl neighborhood and have dinner at Jacques Imo’s Cafe, and then hear live local music next door at Maple Leaf Bar.
What is something unique about New Orleans that it can claim as its own?
Sherrie: Food, the birthplace of jazz and it’s a melting pot of amazing culture!
Tell us more about Modern Market!
Sherrie: Modern Market (above, photo via GoNOLA) promotes progressive design and ideas for a modern lifestyle. We believe living creatively inspires us and makes us unique. Celebrating three years and going strong, we hold events, DIY classes – and we are community based, spreading the love of design! Proudly owned and operated in New Orleans!
Several friends and fans of Spruce have also given us some great recommendations of what to see while in town, including Suzonne Stirling – a New Orleans-based crafter and blogger behind creative lifestyle blog Urban Comfort. She compiled a list (below) of all of the essential places people need to visit while in town. Thanks, Suzonne!
Surrey’s Cafe and Juice Bar – Order the breakfast sandwich on their whole grain bread. It’s the perfect start to the day.
Boucherie – It’s a small, neighborhood restaurant popular with the locals (above, photo via Fleurdelicious). A must-order: the collard greens with grits fries! Wagyu brisket is also very good.
Root – Unusual and extraordinary, not at all traditional, but I think it’s some of the most exciting food that’s happening in the city right now.
Cochon – Not off the beaten path, but still so good! Cochon Butcher (right around the corner) is also a great stop. Their pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw is out of this world.
Magasin – A great lunch or dinner stop on Magazine Street with fresh, bright Vietnamese food.
Ps & Qs – Have a great pie!
Café Amelie – Great for an afternoon or evening cocktail in the beautiful courtyard (above, photo via Facebook).
Sylvain – Another bar with a courtyard that’s nice for late evening cocktails.
Bellocq at The Hotel Modern – Stay for the ambience.
The Spotted Cat Music Club – Great for live jazz (above, photo via GoNOLA).
FURNITURE AND DESIGN SHOPS
A.K.A. Stella Gray – One of my favorite stores on Magazine Street (above, via Facebook). The owner has a wonderful sense of style, and I go as much for inspiration as to shop. I stop in regularly since the inventory is constantly rotating.
Dunn & Sonnier Flowers – a flower shop with unique garden finds.
Julie Neill Designs – for lighting
Promenade Fine Fabrics – I head here if I’m looking for beautiful fabrics, vintage ribbons, and gorgeous buttons (above, photo via Facebook).
SCHEDULED NEW ORLEANS CLASSES
We’ll be at Modern Market on Wednesday, November 13 (1-5pm) teaching a bench class (our class in action, above) and on Thursday (1-4pm) teaching a lampshade class. Both classes will be at the shop’s warehouse (NOT at their retail location) at Elmwood Business Park, 1105 North Al Davis Road, Suite A, Jefferson, LA 70123. Register HERE! During our bench class, we’ll award Leslie Marcello, the winner of our Spruce Book Tour contest, an upholstery hand tool kit and $125 gift certificate for fabric!
NEW OREANS BOOK SIGNING
Come out and say hi and get your Spruce book signed on Thursday (5:30-7:30pm) at Modern Market’s Retail Shop (3138 Magazine St Unit C, New Orleans, LA 70115). We’ll have some treats and a DIY pincushion table just for you!
UPCOMING BOOK TOUR EVENTS AND CLASSES
Our last stop of the book tour is Houston, a city we wrote about in this blog. We’ll be teaching a bench class on Friday (12-4pm) at Metamorphose Furniture Studios. Register HERE! Also, join us for a book signing that same day at Brazos Bookstore at 6pm.
Amanda will give an upholstery presentation at Book People on Monday, November 25 (7pm). You don’t want to miss seeing the Sprucettes back in their hometown – especially if you couldn’t make it out to our Spruce Book Launch Party at Mockingbird Domestics.