Merry Christmas and happy new year! Thanks for going on this journey with us. My apologies for being MIA on this site and late in responding to your emails for the past few months. My husband and I moved from an apartment to a house, sprained a foot (mine), broke a foot (his) and switched jobs twice. And, we had a baby. It’s been a good year of life changes in our adopted city.
While I’ve lapsed in posting here, our Instagram account continues to be fairly active. Make sure you check out us out (@newinNOLA) for #newinNOLA tips and pictures of pretty houses, sunrises and, of course, food.
Hope you had a wonderful year. Here are the moments you liked best on our Instagram account (via #2015bestnine):
First time in New Orleans? Hosting friends/family who have never been to New Orleans before? We’ve got you covered. The city is jam-packed with things to do, but there are a few classics you need to hit. These are the places everyone is going to ask you about when you get home. This list should keep you busy for a two or three-day weekend trip. And, please bring your appetite.
This is the Louisiana Welcome Center on I-10 near the Mississippi state line. There’s free Community Coffee inside if you stop by. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells, New in NOLA)
Wear comfortable shoes. You are going to do a lot of walking and our sidewalks are uneven. Skip the fashion show and wear something you can walk several miles in. No one cares if you are wearing sneakers, slip-ons or flip-flops. Most places don’t have a dress code and won’t care what your footwear looks like.
In the summer, grab a hat if you are going to be outside. We have plenty of hat stores here if you want to buy one. Here’s more advice about picking a hat and where to get one in New Orleans.
Leave your big purse at home. Minimize what you are carrying around. Get a small, crossbody purse, small clutch or a wallet in your front pocket. Big purses are easy to grab on the street and you don’t want to juggle it in a crowded bar. Continue reading
Hope you survived Mardi Gras. You probably have a house full of glitter and beads now. We sure do. Before you throw away your loot, consider your other options, such as DIY projects and recycling.
Looks for these purple and gold bead recycling bins around the metro area. Arc of New Orleans will recycle your Mardi Gras beads and throws. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)
Mardi Gras beads are a good way to add some flair to your house. One of our favorite DIY bead projects – medallion magnets. See that idea plus 23 other creative things to do with Mardi Gras beads here.
Just want all your Mardi Gras stuff gone fast? Consider donating it to Arc of New Orleans. This nonprofit uses your beads to help employ people intellectual disabilities and delays in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes.
Look for the purple and gold Arc bins at these locations:
Happy Carnival season! One of the biggest misconceptions we’ve run into with new residents about this time of year is that Mardi Gras is a single day. Technically, it’s true – “Mardi Gras” is Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. However, Carnival season – which ends with Mardi Gras – is several weeks. That means multiple days of parades, king cakes and Mardi Gras festivities. This year, we are getting a good three weeks of parades.
Things kicked off last week with the very lewd (and creative) Krewe du Vieux in the French Quarter. Check out our Instagram page for photos or swing on over to LA to NOLA for more pix from that night. Here’s a relatively tamed snippet from it:
Exhibit Be calls itself one of the largest street art installations in the American South. It’s part of the citywide Prospect 3 art event, and it closes today (Jan. 19) for good. Best part – Exhibit Be is totally free.
It’s open from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. today.
For Exhibit Be, several talented street artists covered an empty apartment complex in Algiers with art. The art is meant to spark a discussion about urban blight and affordable housing, among other things. Read more about Exhibit Be.
Exhibit Be closes today (Jan. 19) for good. Here’s the schedule. (image via Exhibit Be)
Today, Exhibit Be is going out with a bang. There’s a full lineup of musicians, with Erykah Badu headlining. Also on today’s list:
Happy New Year! Tonight (Jan. 5) wraps up the Christmas season in New Orleans. Tomorrow (Jan. 6) is the twelfth night of Christmas and officially starts the carnival season, which ends with Mardi Gras. There are two parades Tuesday – Joan of Arc and the Phunny Phorty Fellows.
It’s a nice tradition – extending Christmas and taking more time to enjoy the festivities. Towns, businesses and residents leave their trees and lights up until Jan. 6. Then, the Mardi Gras decor comes out. Some people even transition their Christmas trees to Mardi Gras trees.
Santa visited the fish at Audubon Aquarium. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/NewinNOLA.com)
Before we dive into the carnival season, we wanted to take a moment to say farewell to Christmas and New Year’s. New Orleans, you sure do know how to do the holidays.
We’ve highlighted some of our favorite holiday events and moments below. What were your favorite holidays moments in New Orleans? Suggestions for what we should do next year?
We love free events and LUNA Fete is a spectacular one. It’s a dazzling light show this week only (ends Saturday, Dec. 6).
LUNA fete at Gallier Hall in New Orleans, Dec. 3, 2014 (Carlie Kollath Wells, New in NOLA)
The show is projected on the front of Gallier Hall, which is near the corner of Poydras and St. Charles. It’s show at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Lasts 9 minutes and is a mini history of New Orleans. It’s beautiful and good for all ages.
The show is put on by the Arts Council of New Orleans. Read more about the show here.
Street parking is available, but go early if you want to score free parking. We went last night and fed quarters into one of the street meters.
Here are some of our pictures from Wednesday’s show:
Happy Thanksgiving! Will this be your first Turkey Day in New Orleans? You are in for a treat. Here are some options from our Instagram friends and other people we’ve asked.
• Grab your friends and cook a meal for Friendsgiving. Here are our foolproof recipes for a Southern Thanksgiving, including cornbread dressing.
• Head to a restaurant. These 5 places are cooking a classic spread. Don’t want turkey? All of these other restaurants are open.