A letter to Essence Festival Travelers

Hello, everyone, my name is Dee Hollins, Nola native and resident. I’m one of the top NOLA Bloggers and Media Personality, NOLA Chic. I wanted to share my blog and open up my Facebook pages to yall just in case you needed any NOLA tips while you are here for Essence. Please do not forget that New Orleans, our culture, delicious food or good times are created by the natives & we welcome you into our neighborhoods and small businesses. Please do not get think New Orleans is within the circle of the tourist trap of downtown. There’s so much more to New Orleans and we are a loving people who will go out of our way to make sure you have a ball while you are here.

Do yourself a favor and get your po-boys at a corner store, theres one a few blocks off Canal st on Basin, well it’s called Basin St Grill, there’s corners stores in every neighborhood just about within blocks of each other. The best soulfood, cooked by someone who will remind you of your long lost Auntie is cooking her you know what off for ya back there. You can get a full breakfast for like $3.00, grits, eggs and hot sausage will cure any hangover. Triangle Deli which is a gas station on Broad has some of the best gumbo.

Please do not buy any boiled seafood downtown you can get that from most corner store as well, but places like Canjun’s Seafood shld be where you get crawfish & etc from, but ish if you got it like that and not wanting to experience our NOLA flavor you go on ahead a ball out and eat some high priced crawfish in the Quarters.

If you like spicy food please try our Hot Sausage Po Boys which you can not find in the French Quarter’s at all and even though it’s a sausage its 100% beef.

We may have a 2nd Line, but sometimes its cancelled because of Essence but I’ll keep yall posted.

I have tips on my website


Yall can here me on WBOK on Saturday at 1030am and I’ll talk about some happenings around NOLA.

Ya’ll keep me in yall prayers, I’m gracing the Golden Carpet at the McDonald’s 365 Black Awards for the 1st time!!! Who shld I interview, what to wear like omg I need some tips too!!

But seriously I’m hear if yall need me and if I can give like the ultimate tip that would be to SPEAK to everyone who crosses your path!!! You are in the city of hospitality and we speak to everyone. Give eye contact and SPEAK please.

Speak to that homeless guy who will ask you for a dollar, just say “Man, I don’t have no cash on me and keep on pushing. That acknowledgment will mean more than you know. The very ppl you mean mugging and turning your nose up to will be that same person to have your back. Just because they are down on their luck doesn’t mean they don’t deserve respect. Contrary to popular belief they are not the ones pickpocketing or robbing ppl.

That’s another thing, dont believe that hype on the news, crime happens everywhere, you all see what goes on here, because the spot light is on us. Just about all the crime that happens involve people who know each other. There’s always that one fool, but if you practice the same safety precautions you wld in your state you will be fine. If you plan on getting sloppy drunk then have a sober buddy and leave cash and bling at the hotel if you walking on Bourbon St..

Well that’s enough I’m giving all my lil tips in one post lol, but in the meantime Laissez les bon temps roule, Nola Chic

NOLA Life group page
The Nola Chic- IG and Twitter
I hv a FB Biz Pg- Neauxla Chic ⚜

A native of New Orleans, who left her beloved New Orleans to spend twenty years of living in the land of Minnesota Not So Nice. Minnesota was full of opportunities but would learn that the soul of the state and the people who made it was just as icy cold as the temperatures. After the years and my 40th birthday flew by, I decided it was time to pack up my youngest child and come back to my roots, my birthplace the city that not only birthed me but gave me life. I would not be who I am without my New Orleans beginnings. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a premature baby born with a severe medical disability. And only With the help of my mother, was it possible for me to BE! I was able to endure and survive the obstacles laid before my child and me. In a city that was built by my family, but did not allow for us to reap the benefits I overcame. Charity Hospital was my second home — a building filled with miracle workers who made it possible for my daughter to have life. I have lived a life of rainy days with peeks of sunshine, that are my children, including those not of my womb. I'm the proud mother of three and a grandmother of three. My dream was to live the life of the nursery rhyme of ”The Old Lady Who lived in a shoe,” and for the most part, I did. I cared for several children over the years as a special needs foster parent. I would learn that my love was not enough for some children, but I loved them through their pain. I'm not sure if I ever had a case of true love or came close to what love looks like on television, but I had my share of men and the mirage of love. I survived two abusive marriages. Though I longed to return to New Orleans on a daily bases, I must admit my move was one of the best decisions made for me. I am a college graduate; I was a successful entrepreneur. I coowned a soul food restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I developed the talent of creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul. He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute. But with the challenge of creating a simple wedding cake, I was able to find healing. I created the House of Cakes in honor of him. Minnesota life had me pretty materialistic. I worked to the point I do not remember much, but work and handing my children love money. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, the ultimate provider and being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me of what I was told was a generational curse of lack of everything from money, love to even self-love. But for the most part, that life poisoned my heart and soul. I was blinded by visions fed to me by the media. I was told I wasn't anything unless I was better than the Jones's. I lived being ok with a broken, bleeding heart. Life like this did not exist in my family while living in New Orleans from what I viewed with my eyes and soul. We may not have had all the things I acquired over the years, but we were happy, we were together. Family outside of New Orleans wasn't family anymore. We lived separate lives and had awkward moments when we bumped into each other in public. I hated living in Minnesota even though life their helped me in so many ways. I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home, myself, my New Orleans. I'm here, and I love it. Even being in the so-called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes, New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together, we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up!. I just know in my heart that New Orleans will provide for me. There's a bank account with funds in it owed to me by way of back pay for my ancestors. And I will receive my inheritance, and I will continue the traditions and customs of the old to keep the heartbeat of New Orleans beating. I'm down in the boot, living the life that feels right to me awaiting my destiny...

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