Geeky Survival Guide to Summer in NOLA” & Events this Week!

Season’s Greetings Everyone!
Hope this friendly message finds you in good spirits or at least in
😎✨good company & cool surroundings😎✨
🌞🌞🌞
We are now entering into July & Summer Solstice
has officially begun!! The great & glorious Sun has been spending extra time keeping us. nice & toasty & sweaty, lol
(Weather in New Orleans feels like 🌋 vs. 🏖)
And with the weather is being So HOT & HIGH, people’s general positive energies and patience level tend to LOWER! (You might even see more angry folks on the road or hear more complaints in general)
💁 So…
With That in Mind: GeekOutNOLA presents
“Geeky Survival Guide to Summer in NOLA” & Events this Week!
Special Note: Check Out Awesome Issa Rae’s “We Are Series” on YouTube
(Performed by EvelynfromDaInternets….So Good!!!)
😸😸😸
Follow Us on IG @geekoutnola & Share Da Love)
Survival Tip #1: Stay Hydrated & Be Cool & Find the Nearest Pool!
(or body of water…so many to choose from here!)
* Keep Water or Iced Beverage (of Your Choice)
with You & On Your Free Time Go Lounge in the Shade🌳 or
Eat, Nice & Cold Fruit (🍉🍍🍓 or Fruit Popsicle or Snoball 🍧)
***GoodEatsSpot:
Cafe Porche SnoBall Stand on 1625 Baronne St
&
Vegan Pop Up by Ital Garden
(follow #VeganNewOrleans or @italgardennola)
***GoodFruitSpot: FrootOrleans at 2441 Bayou Rd. (Follow @frootorleans)

🏖🏖🏖

PoolsToEnjoy: Ace Hotel on 600 Carondelet (Rooftop Bar & Food)
&
NORDC *Free* Family & Adult Swim Classes at their Pools!!!
(More Info Here: Aquatic Classes)
Bigger & Better List of All Pools in the City Here!
Tip #2: Chill Out Time!
As a kid, Summer was the best! You spend more time with family&friends; went outdoors (via summer camp or a nearby park) or indoors to the Mall!
(We know Mall scene is low-key dead….but they still exist & have A/C!
And for free, you can browse RiverOutlet or St.CharlesPlace Downtown 😉or You can chill by lake CityPark or Audubon Park or LakeShore)
So Go Out & Be Freeeee!
GeekOUTRecommend: Free Outdoor Yoga. Every Monday @ 6pm
by
awesome yoga teacher Valerie of TheOhmWell @ theLafitteGreenway
& Every Thursday @ 6am (for those early risers!)
TODAY (It’s FRIDAY) 6/29
Art Exhibit Opening @ 6pm
ASHE POWERHOUSE on Baronne

Birthday Special & Comedy Party
Comedy Performed by Camille of BlackGirlGiggles
So Lady Jade is turning 25 & is inviting all to party down with her tonight!

It’s a Backyard Comedy Party at 4127 Cleveland Ave Apt B.

Bring a chair & drink!! Party starts at 8pm – til…
Black Girl Giggles presents Camille, one show tonight! Starts for 9:30pm!
9:30 PM 11:00 PM
VooDoo Lounge
718 North Rampart Street New Orleans, LA, 70116 United States
Free Concert Friday: Brassholics & Cool Nasty Band 🎷🎺🎺🎺
This Friday @ Tipitinia’s 🍌🍌🍌 501 Napolean Ave (Uptown)
Miss CoolNasty on Wed? We’ll Catch Them Again Tonight at 10pm -2am for free.99
😆This WEEKEND😆 in Closing in JUNE and Opening of JULY!!!
So Much is Happening especially with #EssenceFest2018 & #BlackGirlMagickTrain on its way. Arriving July 5th!!!
🚂🚂🚂
Let’s Celebrate This Week: Friday – Wednesday (June 29th – July 4th)
with Black Girl Giggles
SATURDAY. 6/30
#SaturdayLife #FullMoonRitual #MoonYoga
#BlackMarketPOPUP 3pm – 7pm at Lyons Center

✨✨✨

🎶🎹😸😸😸
SUNDAY. July 1st
Blaze & Worship Day Party hosted by DC Paul @ (1032 Maurice St) @ 12noon – 3pm
That’s all for now folks!
New Segment: GeekOutNOLA Podcast or Series Alert🎧
Who Are You Listening to Right Now? I’m Giving My Ears To the Great Levar Burton
For His Epic 2nd Season of LeVar Reads
A Podcast of Short Stories Narrated by His Great Geeky🌈 Rainbowness

Listen NOW & Review!
Late Night WHENEVER hosted by Guest Host Sasheer Zamata !
BEST PODCAST SHOW EVER. If YOU need more laughter in our lives. Check Em Out!
🛍Late Night Whenever Here
✨NOLA Podcasts Alert: ✨
Black Girl Giggles Festival Comin’ Up for Essence Fest 2018
& Now they have a Podcast!!

BlackGirlGiggles Podcast. Listen on Spotify (if you love New Orleans, you’ll love em!)

Another NOLA Podcast. For Your Life

The Misbelief: Listen Here
Thanks People For Your Awesome Support & Love for NOLA!
When You Can 🤓Please Send Your Recommends to Me via EMAIL or IG!
*I’m Open to Any Recommendations

on my New IG @geekoutnola*
You Can Follow Us 👉 @geekoutnola (for awesomeness)
I send out more content & photos & events via IG.
So plz follow & support da page!
🙏🙏🙏

Thank you for being awesome human beings & lovely geeky folk in this magical city with me!

Sincerely,
Your Geeky Friend,
🖖E #livelongandprosper

New Orleans Urban Success Story: Reebok collaboration with Polo NOLA & Chase N. CASH

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10212256832115491&id=1218678471

Did you get you a pair of Soldier’•Reebok Classics•Reebok NOLA’s?? I hv mines!! It was going down at footlocker this evening and tho my boy @polonolaphotography came while I was leaving out @theheir was a gracious host.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10212257872541501&id=1218678471

I must say I like this Chase N Cash cat, he is such a great guy. I can feel it in his spirit. He had not only us laughing but himself too! I actually had a nice time at Footlocker watching him interact with everyone. It was like Happy Hour with no liquor or food! It was actually fun! Plus, he made us feel like we were the celebrities!
Truly a gracious host, he engaged with all his fans and customers.

The Footlocker staff was great and the DJ did the thang!

This is not only a big deal for Reebok, Chase N Cash and Polo, but this is a Big Deal, A Legacy & History for Urban New Orleans & our NOLA Black Men 💯⚜👑 #fortheculture

It was a great #meetandgreet was a success in my eyes.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10212258602239743&id=1218678471

I received a very nasty horrible comment from a woman and this is what I told her and if by chance you feel the same way, I would prefer for you to not follow my blog as well. My life has no room for hate and New Orleans is a gumbo pot full of all races and that’s why you all come here…

“Ms this is very much culture. It may not be your New Orleans culture but its definitely a part of mines. It’s the whole reason behind the reason why Reebok selected two black men from New Orleans to represent their brand. You may not know what Reebok Soldiers are but they helped put courage in alot of New Orleanians feet as they trekked through the flooded streets of New Orleans after Katrina. This is a part of New Orleans culture and if you are saying so bcuz of race then that’s something you need to deal with and pls let me know bcuz you do not need to view my post. We can block each other.”

NOLA Foodie

My family always give my grief about my lack of cooking at home and think I should have a delicious pound cake underneath my crystal cake stand. I can see their disappointed faces as they lift up the dome.. After years of restaurant ownership and baking in my sleep, I feel as if it’s my time to enjoy someone else’s cooking and I do not care who has a problem with it.

I take pictures of just about every event in my life and was surprised to see how much I dined out in two months, not that it will stop me from eating out lol. I think that it may serve a great purpose for my blogging. I think I may surprise my family and friends by keeping a lil something sweet under my cake dome too…

With that being said here are a few pictures of what I devoured in two New Orleans months.

Shrimp Boogaloo Benedict at the Ruby Slipper. I looked so good I couldn’t resist eating before taking a pic, it was worth it too.

https://www.therubyslippercafe.net/

Late night breakfast at Anita’s Grill. If you want some real New Orleans comfort food at affordable prices, you have to go here. Locals go after a night of partying. The grits, OMG I do not know how grits can be so good! Steak, grits and eggs, red bean & rice, over easy eggs, grits and hot sausage patty.

http://worldfamousanitasgrill.com/

Late Night at Dots. Crawfish Creole Queen, open face grilled biscuits covered with 2 eggs and Crawfish Julie sauce was a winner for me.

Our Story

 

Seafood Pasta, Crabmeat dip, crawfish beignets and pomme frites

 

Neighborhood Crawfish Broil

Broil shrimp and crawfish at the French Market Restaurant

Broiled Crawfish, Smoked Sausage, Corn and Potatoes at Blind Pelican

I found this at the Essence Fest and it was delicous, Seafood Nachos

Charbroiled Oysters during Happy Hour at the Blind Pelican 50 cents each!!

Home 3

Raw Oysters 25 cents at the Blind Pelican

Now, may favorite restuarant to get Charbroiled Oysters is at Jaeger’s in New Orleans

 

Crabmeat and Eggplant Stack, fried eggplant, crabmeat stuffing and fried green tomatoes covered with crawfish and mushroom cream sauce.

At any bar, well any bar outside of the tourist area of New Orleans, you can find someone selling some sort of NOLA cuisine at half the price. My fave is Vee’s Food truck that sits outside of 2nd & Dryades Bar in Uptown New Orleans. I drive across town to get his Charbroiled Oysters, $12/dz

Bayou Shrimp Pasta with Fried Shrimp and a crawfish mushroom sauce. I usually get my sauted, ya know the traditional way, but the fried shrimp added texture which was a good thing.

My favorite Hickory Bacon Blue Cheese Burger with garlic herb fries.

Seafood Platter At New Orleans Creole Cookery. There’s always an offer on groupon.com

http://neworleanscreolecookery.com/

Blackened Redfish, Jamabalya and string beans

Crab Dip at Basil’s, this is my favorite. It’s loaded with crab meat!

Stuffed Bell Peppers by Chef Rodney

New Orleans Trio at Deanie’s Crawfish Etouffee, Seafood Gumbo and Shrimp Creole

Crawfish Ravioli at Deanie’s

Seafood Platter at Deanie’s, featuring Stuffed Crab & Crab Meat Stuffed Shrimp sooo delicious! Deanie’s is a must for locals and tourist!

Deanie’s Seafood

 

Don’s Seafood Charbroiled Oysters

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Shrimp & Beef Yaka Mein

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Zucchini Spaghetti w.crabcakes covered in shrimp cream sauce

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Beignets

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Chicken & Biscuits

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Fried Redfish

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Omelet and home fries

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French Toast Bites w/Berries at Biscuits & Buns w/Chef Rodney

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Big Breakfast at Biscuits & Buns on Banks

Must-do New Orleans list: Sno-balls, beignets, Treme and 12 more delights

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While the Crescent City is never entirely predictable — and a good dose of whimsy is always the best preparation for a trip to New Orleans — the following must-do list could serve as a guide for visitors.
While I could write an encyclopedia on the city’s food and music options alone, these 15 suggestions will help you start to experience the heart of this low, lovely, lyrical place.

1. Eat with your hands.

Among the benefits of dining in a shellfish culture is that silverware is frequently optional.
Eating with your hands is the only way to get through a bowl of buttery, pepper-spiked BBQ shrimp at Pascal’s Manale Restaurant, where the iconic dish was first conceived.
Boiled crawfish is the seasonal delicacy from roughly January through May, and it’s arguably best eaten on a park bench with a cold one. Big Fisherman in Uptown and KJean in Mid-City are reliable crawfish takeout spots.
And locals tend to tip oysters on the half-shell up to their lips rather than mess with those awkward, tiny forks. At Bourbon House Restaurant in the French Quarter and Casamento’s Restaurant in Uptown, no one expects you to use those forks for anything besides squeezing the juice from lemon wedges over your catch.
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2. Browse a supermarket.

Especially at locally owned grocery stores like Rouses Supermarkets and Langenstein’s, you can stock your suitcase — and, later, your pantry — with Louisiana dry goods staples like Camilla red beans, Cajun Country rice, Zapp’s Potato Chips (try the Cajun Crawtator), Creole-style coffee, crab boil and boxed jambalaya mix.
Even if you can’t find room among your boas and beads for smuggling food products home, it’s worth a wander down the spice aisle to observe in what amazing quantities New Orleanians stock up on bay leaves and cayenne pepper.

3. Cool off with a sno-ball

New Orleans’ best ammunition against the subtropical heat of its eight-or-so summer months is, perhaps counter-intuitively, not alcoholic.
Sno-balls (not snow cones) are simple but culturally important treats of finely shaved ice drenched in sugary syrups. They come served in cups or Chinese take-out containers and are generally sold from trucks, takeaway windows and small sweet shops.
Your favorite sno-ball vendor is generally the closest sno-ball vendor, though our pick is Uptown’s Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, where the syrup flavors range from the traditional (nectar, chocolate, cream of strawberry) to the uber-contemporary (satsuma, cardamom, ginger).
willie maes fried chicken

4. Get your bounce on.

Miley Cyrus might have brought twerking — a dance move that involves shaking one’s rump at the speed of a hummingbird’s wings — to a popular audience at MTV’s Video Music Awards in 2013, but New Orleans dancers have been “popping” since the late 1980s.
In a NOLA.com/Times-Picayune article, local music writer Allison Fensterstock even presented evidence that Miley learned to twerk to New Orleans bounce music while filming a movie here in 2010 and 2011.
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5. Take a literary tour.

New Orleans collects literary ghosts, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Eudora Welty among them.
Besides reading works penned while writers were encamped in the city, the best way to channel the city’s literary life is by touring the French Quarter’s numerous and wonderfully atmospheric used and new book stores. Call it antiquing for the mind.
Our favorites include Crescent City Books, Librairie Book Shop and Kitchen Witch, a store specializing in used cookbooks. Local author Susan Larsen’s book, “The Booklover’s Guide to New Orleans,” is a great resource for unpacking the city’s literary dimension.

6. Eat beignets.

The centenarian, open-air coffee and beignet spot Café du Monde might be the most obvious tourist attraction in the French Quarter, if not the entire city.
As we’re in the business of steering visitors to New Orleans’ more genuine experiences, you might expect us to avoid such clichés.
On the contrary. A beignet-free trip to New Orleans would be a travesty of the first order, and Café du Monde has a high batting average for serving a consistently hot and well-sugared product.
The queue can be excruciating, though, so keep the nearby Café Beignet, as well as the City Park location of Morning Call Coffee Stand, in your back pocket.
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7. Marvel at the Mississippi.

In a city surrounded by water — the Great River, Lake Pontchartrain, the ever-encroaching Gulf of Mexico — it’s sometimes surprising how infrequently you encounter water views.
Woldenberg Park, adjacent to the French Quarter, is an exception; it’s also a wonderful place to pass a breezy hour or two. But for a birds-eye view of the winding Mississippi and its workings, take the elevator at Canal Place (located at the foot of Canal Street) skyward.
Alternately, “The Fly” at Audubon Park, just behind the Audubon Zoo in Uptown, is an expanse of ball fields and green space from which you can watch magnificent barges push down the river at eye level — and practically at arm’s length.

8. See Treme off-screen.

Experience the real-life companion to David Simon’s HBO series “Treme” by exploring what is sometimes referred to as America’s oldest African-American neighborhood.
You could begin just across Rampart Street from the French Quarter at Armstrong Park. Then make your way to Backstreet Cultural Museum for a Mardi Gras Indian history lesson, worship at a jazz-filled Mass at St. Augustine Catholic Church and lunch on Creole gumbo, seafood platters and po-boys at Li’l Dizzy’s Café.

9. Take a Katrina tour.

Katrina tours are touchy, and with good reason. Cruising in air-conditioned buses or vans through previously flooded neighborhoods where the worst possible scenario occurred — and where, more than a decade later, life is hardly back to normal — is inherently controversial.
But seeing the altered neighborhoods with a knowledgeable guide is also the best way to unpack the natural and human-wrought causes behind Hurricane Katrina’s remarkable losses of life, land and property.

10. Drink a Sazerac.

New Orleans had a cocktail culture long before “mixologist” entered the popular lexicon and specialty cocktail bars augmented the nation’s bar topography. Though it’s also drunk in other cities, New Orleans has laid claim to the Sazerac, a stiff drink of rye whiskey, bitters, sugar, absinthe or pastis and a twist of lemon.
Mixologists make reputable versions in their cocktail bars around town, but the best places to drink Sazeracs are where they’ve always done well — in historic hotel bars like the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone or the Sazerac Bar in The Roosevelt New Orleans; and in the city’s oldest restaurants, like Tujague’s and Galatoire’s.

11. Go to Mardi Gras.

If you can’t make it down for the actual holiday, you can still peek at the pageantry.
Tours at Mardi Gras World offer spectacular behind-the-scenes looks at float production and costumes, as well as off-season tastes of king cake.

12. Lunch on fried chicken in the Seventh Ward, twice.

Just two blocks apart, the kitchens at Willie Mae’s Scotch House and Dooky Chase’s Restaurant arguably put out the city’s most consistently fine fried chicken, though only at lunch.
The restaurants and their 90-plus-year-old matriarchs are not at war, but instead coexist peacefully, with differences in ambiance and chicken-frying styles. Willie Mae’s is a more casual restaurant with chicken cooked to order, while Dooky Chase is a white-tablecloth establishment with a lunch buffet.
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willie maes fried chicken

13. Turn on the radio.

Wherever you listen to 90.7 WWOZ community-supported radio (you can stream online from anyplace), it sounds like Louisiana. Horns. Accordions. Carnival tunes. Listen long enough and you’ll find your favorite DJs and shows — for us, it’s Bill DeTurk’s New Orleans Music Show on Fridays and the back-to-back Gospel and bluegrass programs on Sunday mornings.
Local food media personality Tom Fitzmorris hosts a three-hour radio show about New Orleans food every weekday afternoon on 1350 AM. It also airs on 105.3 FM on Saturdays. And the local NPR station, WWNO 89.9 FM, is rife with local programming.

14. Find some brass.

Especially in the spring, around Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, it’s nearly impossible to walk down a New Orleans sidewalk without eavesdropping on some school kid practicing his trumpet or her trombone. Music begins in the schools and in the neighborhoods.
Second line parades, which include brass bands, roll every Sunday during the cooler months. And in-between the beads and masks in Carnival parades are junior high and high school marching bands high-stepping and getting the crowds moving.
For nighttime brass sounds year-round, you can count on clubs like Blue Nile, Hi Ho Lounge and Maple Leaf Bar, where the Rebirth Brass Band raises the roof every Tuesday night.
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15. See some art, and eat some too.

New Orleans has a centrally located arts district, commonly called the Warehouse District, which is a little-known relative to the city’s more historic and heavily toured neighborhoods. The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) is the district’s anchor, though it’s no longer the only attraction.
Additionally, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the National World War II Museum, the Louisiana Children’s Museum and numerous galleries and art spaces have built a neighborhood where you could easily spend a couple of days.
To sweeten the pot, the Warehouse District happens to be a culinary hotbed, with top-tier restaurants like the Link Restaurant Group‘s Cochon and Peche, Emeril Lagasse’s flagship restaurant Emeril’s New Orleans, Adolfo Garcia’s steakhouse La Boca and American Sector at the World War II Museum.
New Orleans transplant Sara Roahen is the author of “Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table.” This story was first published in 2014 and updated in February 2015.

Shopping in NOLA Sucks

Dress shopping did not go well today and I did not get the dress in the mail either.. We were out in Kenner, Esplanade Mall and Metairie, Lakeside Mall today, I went to a few boutiques downtown too,but I just can’t find what I’m looking for. What is it that I’m looking for you may ask, one thing for sure is not a repeat of years ago attending a function and seeing another chic with the exact dress on… Also,I want something that speaks for my personality, which is why I opted to rent a gown. I posted the dress last month, not knowing that the boutique offered Dress Rental in Miami. It was a hand painted black and gold gown priced at $2500, but I paid $150 for a 4 day rental, beautiful. No matter how much money I have I will not spend it on labels, clothes depreciate in value as soon as you take it to the register and labels and spending thousands on clothes do not make you a fashionista.

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esplanade

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One of the things I can’t stand about New Orleans is the shopping, there aren’t but three malls since Katrina, hardly no boutiques, No good shopping on Canal St at all, unless you go into Canal Place or the Riverwalk, but that’s more for tourist. Shopping here is just lame, dead and if you do find something, you will not be the only one with it and yall will bump into each other, wearing it the same day. The mall was dead, its always dead, food court empty, I can hear my echo, it was lame. I love shopping and this experience left me bag less and wondering if I can pull of making my own dress. My mama is a seamstress and I have great fashion sense which would create something fabulous!

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FreeVector-Fashionistas

I have memories of shopping with my Daddy on Canal St at Krause, Masion Blanche, Lords & Taylor and the list goes on and all those places are gone and it looks like they never will return. We had good times, shopped til we dropped, but my daughter complained about being bored and not finding anything cute. She’s only 7yr old!!! She left without a cute purse, but she did find some hair bows and earrings for me to buy for her.. But going in she was so excited to tag alone asking if she can buy this or that and knowing she would see kids, but nope. It was dead and half of the mall was actually opened. I’m thinking stores closed, because the lack of business or never returned since Katrina.

Will good shopping ever return to New Orleans?? One would think with all the tourist and people on business there would be more shopping options. I know we are known for partying, but you need a nice dress and etc to do that and what if you lose your luggage. Come on New Orleans bring back good shopping!

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Here’s an article about the effects Katrina had on shopping.

deadmalls.com/malls/plaza_at_lake_forest.html

ARTIST Mykia Jovan Essence Festival Superlounge

Mykia Jovan is a vocalist and songwriter from New Orleans, Louisiana and she just so happens to be my cousin!

We are elated, proud and ohh so happy for Mykia!

Her unique voice has drawn natural comparisons to the great Billie Holiday and Erykah Badu, while her original compositions and live performances have established her as a singular voice in the modern progressive soul scene. Her debut record, Elliyahu is currently available at mykiajovan.com and streaming on all digital music outlets.

Get your tickets to see Mykia Jovan, she will give a soulful epic performance!

Sitting on my porch spilling the Tea on Women Safety Tips in New Orleans for Essence Festival

Here’s a short video of me speaking on safety here in New Orleans, as well as things happening on my block today.

If you practice safety awareness you will have the upperhand no matter where you live at.

Use common sense

Really, it all comes down to this. If you feel like you’re somewhere you shouldn’t be, then leave. Don’t carry cash and show off aka stunt the street.

Nola Chic

NOPD SAFETY TIPS

With the summer travel season heating up, New Orleans police have released a comprehensive list of safety tips.

Whether you’re planning a “staycation” or going somewhere far away and exotic, here’s what police say you should do to avoid becoming a victim of crime:

Parking at a Hotel

• Park your car in a well-lit area close to the lobby or use valet parking.

• Do not park in a space with your room number on it, if possible.

• Before getting out of your vehicle, check your surroundings for suspicious-looking people.

• When you get out, lock your vehicle. Do not leave valuables in the vehicle or in the trunk.

• Walk confidently and briskly from your vehicle to your destination.

• Be aware of loiterers when moving valuables from your vehicle to your room.

• Memorize your vehicle’s license number so you will not have to go outside to get it when

registering.

Checking In

• Always make reservations ahead of time and secure them with a credit card. Otherwise, if desirable facilities are not available, you may become stranded or in an unsafe room.

• If your room is not ready when you attempt to check in (e.g., if you arrive early in the day), ask to store your luggage in a locked room. Many hotels and motels have a “day room” where you can temporarily store your luggage.

• When completing the guest registry, some women prefer to sign their name in a gender neutral fashion using only their first initial and last name, such as M. Johnson.

• Register with your business address rather than your home address.

• Advise the front desk never to release your room number.

• Avoid “shortcuts” such as back stairwells when moving about the lodging.

• Ask the front desk clerk specific questions about the hotel’s security features:

If there are hotel security officers, how can they be reached?

Does the hotel lock the outside doors at a certain hour?

If they do, what is the best way to re-enter?

Room Location

• If the hotel has more than one building, request a room in or near the main building.

• Request a room that faces inward toward other rooms or toward the lobby.

• Request a room that does not have easy access to its window, such as from the roof or street.

• Request a room on the second floor, but no higher than the seventh floor, near a fire exit, away from stairwells, elevators, ice machines, vending machines, basements or garbage/refuse rooms.

• A room near (but not next to) the elevator helps to avoid long walks down stairways.

• If you are a woman traveling alone, request the concierge or key service floor, if there is one.

When You Arrive at Your Room

• If a bell person shows you to your room, ask him or her to point out the room’s safety features, locks and exits.

• If you are not shown to your room by a bell person, conduct a quick visual check of your room to see if anything appears to be out of place. Leave immediately if it appears like someone may have been in your room.

• Do not let strangers show you to your room or carry your luggage if they are not affiliated with the hotel.

• Do not enter your room if someone appears to be watching you or loitering nearby. Walk confidently by such people, but not into a dead end. Go where there are other people. If that is not possible, enter your room quickly and report your concerns to the front desk.

• Never leave money, checks, credit cards, car keys or valuables in a hotel or motel room. Take them with you.

• Particularly if you are staying in a hotel or motel more than one night, unpack and place belongings in the room closet and dresser. Arrange your belongings so you will know if anything is missing.

• Maintain a daily check of your belongings.

• Lock your empty suitcases so they cannot be used to carry your belongings out of your room.

Valuables

• If you have valuables or important documents (e.g., a passport or airline ticket), store them in the safety deposit box at the front desk and get a receipt.

• Use an in-room safe to store only items of moderate value. Large sums of money and jewelry should be placed in the safe at the front desk.

• If there is not an in-room safe, put valuables in a money belt you wear, or possibly bring a “portable safe” such as hollow books, shoes with hollow heels, suitcases with secret compartments, etc.

Elevators

• When riding on an elevator, always stand next to the elevator controls.

• Do not enter an elevator if it is occupied by anyone you consider to be suspicious.

• If someone is watching when you enter an elevator, press several floor buttons so they will not know which floor you got off on. Notify the front desk if the person made you feel uncomfortable.

Door and Window Security

• Things to look for in hotel or motel door security include:

Sturdy locks

Reliable key system

Visibility to the hallway

• When occupying or leaving your room, use all auxiliary locking devices on doors and windows. (You may want to purchase a portable door lock for traveling).

• Windows should open and close easily from the inside.

• Use the extra lock or stick on windows, sliding or patio doors so they cannot be lifted out of their tracks.

• If you have a physical disability, request a room where locks are reachable and easy to operate.

Telephone Tips

• Learn how to use the room telephone to summon help quickly in the event of an emergency.

• Learn the number for the front desk.

• Learn how to call 911. (Different states/countries may have different numbers)

• Memorize your room number and the name of the hotel.

• Read any information printed on the face of the room telephone, if available.

• If you receive unwanted, harassing or threatening telephone calls, hang up immediately and notify the front desk.

General Hotel Safety Recommendations

• Keep your room key in a safe place, such as safety-pinned to the inside of your pocket.

• Request a key that does not have your room number on it.

• Report missing or lost keys immediately and move to a different room.

• Use the door viewer to identify anyone requesting entry. Open the door only if you are certain the person has a legitimate reason to enter your room. If in doubt, call the front desk.

• If you are expecting someone to come to your room, pre-arrange an exact time of arrival, as well as some form of introduction or identification.

• Completely close the room curtains, especially in the evening or if you will be away from the room for some time.

• Do not leave magazines around your room or the pool that have your home address on them.

• Ask the front desk staff for the safest areas for jogging, walking, shopping, etc. Ask for a map of the area you are staying in.

• If you feel uneasy about going to fax, telex, photo copying, laundry, pool, or exercise facilities alone, have someone go with you or tell the front desk where you will be.

• Hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the outside door knob when you exit, and leave a light and radio on. These discourage burglars.

Credit FOX 8

NOLA Chic’s Essence Festival Tips: Getting to NOLA, NOLA Life, Swag Bags, Eats and more

It’s that time of year once again in New Orleans, no its not Carnival Time, better known as Mardi Gras, but it’s festival time! New Orleans has 130 festivals per year, with an average of 1 festivals every 3 days per the New Orleans Tourism Official guide website.

Source: NewOrleansOnline.com

Out of all the festivals one of my favorites is the Essence Festival. 2018 Essence Music Festival will begin on Thursday, July 5th and ends on Sunday, July 8th in New Orleans, La, my city, my home, my birthplace, my NOLA.

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Source: Essence.com

Moving back to New Orleans has impacted the way I attend any festival. Living in New Orleans with so much going on can be great and has it’s perks, but also disadvantages and we try our best to live somewhere along the middle. New Orleans is a city of never-ending events, music, food, partying, but living here and being a part of all our city offers requires having a master plan, at times we have to plan more than the average tourist.

Yeah We Going to New Orleans for the Essence Festival!!!!

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Yes, planning in advance and your arrival time for any festival or event in New Orleans can be the deciding factor on how fabulous of a time you will have. Time is key, can you imagine living here and dealing with the craziness.. Yes, we live here, have no need for hotels or car rental, but we deal with the same issues as a tourist, maybe more. New Orleans has constant activity 24/7; events and festivals every weekend may sound exciting, but there are days when you’re like sick of traffic. Our lives, schedules needs adjusting.

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Over the years I would plan my visit home to coincide with the festival, because Essence is the must black girl event to attend, nothing but, #MyBlackIsBeautiful in New Orleans day and night!!! Year after year I would travel to New Orleans to get my annual sprinkle of #BlackGirlMagic glitter dust. More often than not, I would hit the road with my Auntie and cousin, making it an official “Girl’s Trip!”

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We had one up on the other tourist coming into town, family living in New Orleans. My family more often my grandmother would host our stay, this allowed us to save our coins by not staying at the overpriced hotels. There were times when I needed to have the total Essence Experience; you know be my very own star, act like a diva and to be that Essence Girl. To be all things fabulous I needed to stay at a hotel, but I had a regular chic bank account, therefore I booked my rooms months prior.

Planning is key to getting the most out of attending the festival. There’s so much to do and if you do not plan accordingly your trip can end up with you bummed out at the hotel. Planning, includes planning for convention center, day parties, restaurants, the Superdome and Bourbon St.

Don’t try to do it all. Make a list of your must do, ya know the things you really want to see, do and eat, leaving room to do something that will pop up. It’s very hard being here, seeing and smelling everything, the smell and sights of the city are intoxicating alone, adding Essences will have you OD’s off New Orleans. Pace yourself and do not trip out if you just cant do something.

  • Make sure to include rest and wardrobe change in your time management plan.

I’m here to give you Essence Tips from a local perspective, who’s better to tell you anything about and the things happening here, but a New Orleanian. I will help you not only a slay Essence, but also enjoy all my city. If this isn’t your first trip to New Orleans, I guarantee this will be the best of the best.

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Let me show you My Nola as you stay and party in NOLA for the Essence Festival. My hope is that you will leave New Orleans feeling as if you are a New Orleanian!

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Transportation

Let’s start off with the obvious, which is planning your trip to New Orleans for the Essence Festival early. Some people start planning while they are in the midst of the festival for the next year, yes it’s that real. The sooner the better, especially for those of us who are on a budget, both airline and hotel prices are increased to the tune of 300%, but hey if you have it like that, then do you, Chic.

There were times when I came home for a visit a week before an event and the cost get a 4 star hotel for under $125, but during the Essence Festival, actually any festival or event that same hotel, same room will run you about $400. You can cut cost by booking early, more than 60 days prior, because once the rooms get booked means the prices increase, the same goes for airfare.

As I mentioned before I’m all for saving and I have no qualms with flying on Spirit Airlines. I’m not sure what all the gossip is for but for under $100 round trip I will fly into New Orleans on spirit with no problems. Yes, I have to pay for my bag, but there is no beating $100 round trip ticket. I suggest if you’re not too bougie and you’re not coming with over two bags, I highly recommend you using Spirit Airlines.

  • Tip for Spirit Airlines: Go into the airport to buy your ticket you can save almost $40 per ticket at the counter, this option is not for other airlines.

Prices increase once the rooms and airline seats are just about at full capacity, not the opposite. Some people think a deal will pop up when this is the case, they are wrong. Don’t wait til the last minute you will spend hundreds more on that ticket you saw for $89 months ago.

  • The only way to get a deal is to buy when no one else is buying. You will notice when more than half the seats or rooms are open is when prices are at their lowest.

Also, I use discounted sites such as Hotwire, Priceline and etcetera to purchase airline tickets, hotels and car rental. You can save hundreds of dollars by booking on these sites, especially if you do it months in advance. Often there is code for these site via Retailmenot that can save you a few more dollars on top of the savings.

  • For example hotels and airlines sell a block of rooms/seats to discounted sites such as Hotwire, Travelocity and etc, these sites offer a greater discount, but there are only so many offers they can sell, booking early is the only option to get a great deal on these sites.

  • Special Offer! $25 Off of Your App Motel Reservations Of $100+

    Get $25 Off your hotel reservations of $100 or maybe more when you buy throughout the Hotwire App. Promo Code: WELCOME25

If you’re coming with a group, I would recommend driving depending on where you’re from, but you can share driving and the gas cost. An added plus with driving is you can bring some New Orleans delicacies home. There have been times when I was craving a hot sausage PoBoy after I left New Orleans and how happy I was skipping to my kitchen in Minnesota. Yasss driving can be wonderful!.

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I’ve noticed over the years that there are buses that come here leaving out US cities such as Atlanta and Houston offering day and overnight trips to the Essence Festival, freeing you from the worry of driving to New Orleans as well as driving in the city. I think the bus option would be really cool for someone who is traveling alone, as well as for a group. There’s the opportunity to you meet people on the bus from your town, networking and meeting new friends is always a good thing. You and your new friends may decide to hang out in New Orleans and when yall get back home. Whatever, you mode choose to get here, I highly suggest that you start planning early and don’t be afraid to save money, but hey if you have it like that, go ahead and spend it.

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Essence Music Festival 2018 – One Day Trip – From Atlanta, GA to New Orleans $25-$125

Accommodations

Now, on to accommodations. As a local of New Orleans I do not support Airbnb, none of us support Airbnb. Why you may be wondering? Airbnb has made it not an option for natives to live in homes they can afford in the same neighborhood we lived in prior to Katrina. The very people who work in the tourism industry can not stay in New Orleans anymore. Then the housekeepers work for $7.50 at these million dollar hotels, but hey they are working. AirBnB does not employ workers, literally taking away income from the natives. We have been pushed out of the wards, well our neighborhoods, because they are located within minutes of downtown, Bourbon St, French Quarters… These very neighborhoods were avoided by these same people who have the moved in. Natives were given pennies to rebuild and it wasn’t enough to rebuild, which resulted in them selling their property. The city, the government, FEMA knew what they were doing. Now these same homes that they tricked residents into selling for $50K or less are on the market for $180+ and the wealthy non-natives, transplant come in town and buy up the property like it’s Monopoly.

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Gentrification… It’s all about gentrification. I know you all want to live how we live, that’s a whole other bowl of gumbo, but if you just have to stay at one please patronize the community you are staying in. Go to the corner stores, patronize black own small businesses and tip the waiters/waitress.

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  • I have blogs about our neighborhoods.

  • My favorite hotels: The Saint Hotel, Queen & Crescent, Intercontinental, Omni, Chateau LeMoyne – French Quarter, A Holiday Inn Hotel and Embassy Suites, St.Pierre Hotel French Quarter

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The Saint Hotel

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The red room at The Saint Hotel

Lobby at the Intercontinental

I had to take off my wedges… Intercontinental Hotel

Rooftop pool at the Intercontinental

Rooftop pool at the Intercontinental

St.Pierre Hotel

St. Pierre Courtyard

St.Pierre Cobblestone sidewalk

Lobby

Traffic and parking Tips

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To avoid getting caught in traffic and paying for parking I recommend getting a hotel that’s close to the convention center or Superdome area, which will be the downtown/French Quarter area. There is also the option of getting a hotel on a bus line or streetcar line which would be great, because it would give you the opportunity to see the city. Tourist who stay within walking distance of the events have one up on all of us, yes, including the locals. All they have to do is get dressed and walk, saving major time and money. Most hotels that aren’t located downtown do not offer valet or charge for parking another savings as well because, if you do come in a car you do not want to pay $40+ a day for parking.

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Parking garages, ramps and lots get pretty spendy during this time as well, prices can be as high as $50 depending on the location. The parking meters are designed to trap you into an expensive ticket, on-street parking meter rates in the French Quarter, Marigny, Central Business District and Warehouse District are $3.00 an hour. Parking meter rates are $2.00 an hour everywhere else in the city of New Orleans. Operating hours for the meters are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday-Saturday.

Parking Panda

Use the Parking Panda online platform and mobile app to find, reserve and pay for parking in advance. This mobile reservation service operates in selling reservations for a variety of companies at over 30 locations in New Orleans.

Premium Parking

New Orleans Parking

Premium Parking also offers online reservations at several locations in the New Orleans Area. To reserve parking, go to www.premiumparking.com/park and click the red pins on the Google Map for your desired location. You then follow the links and instructions to complete your parking reservation. Their overnight rates offer a significant discount from the rates hotels charge.

Do not take any chances with parking, you will get a $150 boot or towed to impound lot. If you rented a car and it gets towed you will need to contact the rental company to get permission to have it released to you. These people do not play, do yourself a favor and bypass the rental car..

Numbers to Know

General Parking Questions & Parking Enforcement: (504) 658-8200
Administrative Hearing Center: (504) 658-8250
Booting: (504) 565-7451
Towing Information/Auto Pound: (504) 658-8284
Parking Enforcement: (504) 658-8200

  • Plan accordingly giving yourself more than enough time to consider sitting in traffic.

Bus, Streetcar and Ferry

New Orleans is just a big circle which is why I do not understand how people get lost. It takes one to get off the I-10 to exit onto another highway to get out of here and the same goes for the bus. The main buses and street car that travel downtown are very easy to navigate on, just don’t transfer to another bus and come back on the same one, well number.

The street car can pick you up on Canal St, downtown and bring Uptown or City Park are allowing you to see the all the beautiful New Orleans architecture . The street car has the round trip option if you are using it for sight seeing. All you need to do is get off at the end of the line, allowing the driver to get a short break, after he is done he will let you know when it’s time to depart back to Canal St.

I love the streetcar, especially the traditional green ones that take you down St.Charles Ave, they have that woodsy spicy old smell, the sound of the seats and the windowing clicking as they go up and down takes me back to my childhood. Riding the streetcar is a must no matter what you are here for.

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Located at the end of Canal St is the Ferry which will bring you across the river for $2 each way. The ferry was such a nice ride across the Mississippi River. If you’re debating on a boat ride to see the New Orleans skyline, I recommend just taking a round trip on the ferry. It cost only $2 each way, so that’s $4 and you’ll have a great view. It’s cheaper than buying a dinner boat ticket that cost like $50 and more. I recommend checking what time the sun sets and go then. The ferry comes every 20 minutes. The ride last about 5 minutes each way. If you don’t plan to get off on the other side, just know that you’ll need to get off, and go around back in line and pay to get back on the boat.

  • RTA’s Standard Ticket One-Way Fares are $1.25 for the Streetcar and the Bus, Express Bus is an additiona $1.25 and Transfers are 25 cents.

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Canal Street Ferry

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  • Bring exact change like small bills or coins. There is a vending machine that will give you change if you forget. Hopefully your smallest bill isn’t a $20. I got dollar coins and those are so heavy.

  • RTA offers discounted daily passes and there’s an App you can download as well via RTA’s GoMobile app: http://norta.com/Getting-Around/GoMobile-App

RTA’s GoMobile app lets you purchase and use passes instantly on your smartphone! Buy tickets anywhere, anytime in just seconds! GoMobile offers a variety of RTA pass options. The app also offers an Integrated Ferry, Bus, and Streetcar Pass that allows you to ride on all RTA ferries, buses and streetcars using one pass!

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Chilling on my porch with a short safety tip

Please check out part 2 for tips on concerts, swag bags, convention center and much more!!

Let me apologize in advance…all of my 3500 words just pooped off my page, but I was able to save some of my work/tips and U noticed how popular the 1st blog was that I decided to upload what I have in picture form til I get a chance to retype later.

Thanks for reading! Nola Chic

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Essence I’m here!!

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Thank you for supporting me at our WSBN Networking Happy Hour Event at the Half Shell

The Networking event was a success!!!My Big Cousin Eric Hollins called me while I was at the event to tell me how proud he was. I’m pretty sure he is cuz he was here just yesterday when NOLA Chic came out to Nola and even though this doesnt seem like much to me and others, I can only imagine how it feels to a male relative who had a part in my growth and I want him to know he probably the reason why my axx always nervous, always watching my words 🤣😂 nah let me stop, l am who I am because of my family, I love my people, I want to keep on pushing and striving to do my best out here in this world to make them proud and continue our Momo’s and my Daddy’s legacy while creating a branch of it under the Hollins namesake. I hv another male cousin coming out with his brand real soon here in New Orleans, so we will hv our footprints embedded in Da Boot ⚜💯👑

About the WSBN Networking Party! If ya wasn’t there ya missed a very nice event if I can say so myself.
But here I am with my #cohosts #mediapersonality and #broker @tnotjustanybodyjones and Glynis of BHG ⚜❣💯

The #Ladies of #WSBN

I had a great time with all of you! Thank for making the event a success ⚜💯

About the WSBN Networking Party! If ya wasn’t there ya missed a very nice event if I can say so myself.
But here I am with my #cohosts #mediapersonality and #broker @tnotjustanybodyjones and Glynis of BHG ⚜❣💯

THANK YOU TO Mark Johari Lawes AND THE HALF SHELL ON THE BAYOU STAFF FOR LAST NIGHT’S EVENT!

Nola Chic talks about her love for NEW ORLEANS CULTURE* COMMUNITY *CAUSES with Creole T at New Orleans Access Television, channel 78 airs Friday & Tuesday 2am & 2pm in New Orleans ⚜💜💚💛 ⚜🖤💛😃

It’s not over but this was a great event, Thank you all, I had a ball and I was able to do like my good ole Arnellias/Nardies ‘s Cafe days and be a hostess !! I loved it & can’t wait to do it again⚜

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