Monday, January 8, 2018

Falling in Love with Nola

Hi all!  Sorry for the radio silence the past week or so.  To be honest, 2018 has been BUSY.  I'm not going to bore you by telling you how insanely crazy my life has been, because in truth it probably isn't that bad when compared to many of you.  Nonetheless, I needed a bit of a break to ease back in to work, get organized, and most of all- to get inspired again.  Like the rest of the country, New York has been bitter cold and it's hard to get my ass in gear when I'd rather be buried underneath a blanket watching Bloodline.  However, it seems my creative juices are flowing again- thanks in large part to some down time and travel over the holiday.  I spent New Years in New Orleans and saw a part of the city I hadn't experienced before- bustling Magazine Street.   So many designer favorites are located on this street- Leontine Linens, Shaun Smith Style, Rivers Spencer, Perch Home, Amanda Stone Talley's Gallery,... the list goes on and on.  I also popped in to Ashley Longshore's gallery and picked up a copy of her new book, You're Not Fat You're Crazy.  Luckily she was in the gallery when I visited, so I got her to sign my copy like the complete fangirl that I am.   Her work is poppy, bold, and often snarky, which I love:

If you don't follow Ashley's instagram, follow immediately (assuming you are not easily offended :)).  I loved reading her book over the past few weeks- it's essentially her autobiography mixed with gorgeous glossy images of her paintings.  

Down the road from Ashley is Rivers Spencer's storefront and design studio:

{Rivers Spencer store front- the trash can just makes the picture quintessential NOLA}

I love these lucite barstools spotted in the back room of her store:

The entire space was chock full of treasures and aesthetic eye candy:

The French Library children's bookstore may win for "cutest facade" on Magazine Street:

I so enjoyed wandering in and out of the rows of stores.  My heart will always be partial to French and Swedish antiques, and going in to store after store of priceless treasures reminded me why I chose to pursue interior design in the first place.  It's hard to find something else that brings me as much joy as happening upon a Neoclssical harp-back settee upholstered in a pink silk fabric:

Or a pair of adorable scalloped wall lanterns:

Colorful wax busts perched inside Katie Koch Home:

The inspiration didn't stop there.  The best meal we had while in Nola was at Shaya, also located on Magazine:

In truth, this might be one of the best meals I've had anywhere.  Shaya fuses Isreali staples with Southern flavors and "modern techniques, striking a balance between innovation and tradition.  Shaya approacehs Isreali cuisine as a grand mosaic, drawing influence and inspiration from North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Greece.  The contemporary menu reflects the ongoing evolution of Isreali food and celebrates the abundance of Louisiana (Shaya Restaurant).

We visited for brunch and the meal was heavenly.  Wood-rusted brussel sprouts, soft cooked egg hummus and curried cauliflower hummus, warm pita bread, and an isreali salad to start. A falafel sandwich, matzo ball soup, shakshouka, and crispy haloumi came next.  And the cocktails!!  The cocktails.  Everything was absolutely dreamy.

My other favorite meal while in NOLA was at August.  I could go on and on about that experience as well- but suffice it to say the black truffle gnocci is a must:

Gabby and I being gluttonous at Herbsaint.  Learn from our mistake:  don't make a reservation at 10 pm with them.  They fail to tell you their kitchen closes at 10, and as soon as you sit down you have to place your food and drink orders immediately.  All 8 of the small dishes our group of 4 ordered came out at the same time!  Food overload.

All in all, Nola was a great time.  I most enjoyed the antiquing and getting off the beaten path.  However, one night of hurricanes and bead throwing on Bourbon Street may have occurred.

I'm hoping to get back to sharing more of myself here on the blog this year.  I keep blogging because I genuinely love it- the reflection and study of my life through writing has proven to be immensely beneficial over the past 6 years.  I hope you'll keep following along for year 7!

Happy New Year!



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