Tag Archives: Cheap art

The Big Easy – Goods and Wares

25 Feb

It’s no secret that I am a shopaholic in my regular life, but on vacation I really kick it into overdrive. I like to view browsing, perusing or shopping as an anthropological study of what’s going on in the place I am visiting, it’s cultural really.

If only my credit card company understood (just kidding AmEx I love you and I didn’t forget that we have a date March 20th).

I have begun to rely on the eat shop guides, as they fulfill my main goals in life. There is only one problem with these cute little books – they are filled with outdated yet crucial information. A great example is that many stores are closed on Mondays and even Tuesdays to deal with the weekend hangover so common in the Crescent City.

I will attempt to give you my own version of a New Orleans shopping guide and point you in the direction of blissful finds from the Big Easy.

Magazine Street

Magazine Street is ground zero for shopping in New Orleans. It is a great strip about a mile long right off the Garden District, that has boutiques, bars, coffee shops and restaurants. We spent an afternoon there walking around, popping into Rendezvous Tavern for a delicious Bloody Mary, enjoying gelato at Sucre, and wandering in and out of local shops.

Sucre, a sweets shop and gelateria on Magazine street

New Orleans has amazing home wares, antique finds and what I like to call junking – lots of crap that might unearth a diamond in the rough. Because I love a good dig, I headed to Magazine Antique Mall looking for a find.

Champagne glasses from the 1960s

How amazing would these lanterns look lining the pathway in my fictitious Southern garden?

Mason jars for all your pantry needs

Alas I took none of these items home with me because I live in a closet, but I did manage to make up for it at a few other shops.

One thing I noticed about New Orleans clothing stores is just how inexpensive they are. Many items are to be had for a bargain, even in the chicest shops in the city. A few of my favorites are Hemline and Naaz, both of which carry cute clothes by companies I have never heard of, as well as more popular brands like DVF, Vince, Trina Turk, blah blah blah the usual suspects.  I purchased a dress at each shop and can’t wait to wear them in the warmer months.

You might be wondering, where was my boyfriend during this spree? A lacrosse game occupied most of his time but we did manage to find some dude duds at StyleLab, farther down Magazine Street.

French Quarter

Although Magazine Street is the shopping spot in the city, the French Quarter does have some great stores, you just have to toss a few sloshed tourists out of the way to find them.

I could have spent hours in Bourbon Perfume, where they make custom made scents that were utterly intoxicating.

Bourbon Perfume's signature scent

The antiques shops on Royal Street were incredible, tons of salvaged pieces for both the interior and exterior of your home. Folks from New Orleans take their ironwork very seriously and it is a trademark of homes in the region. In my mind I have purchased a second home in New Orleans, which I will outfit with ironwork from bygone eras.

This would make a great installation on a bare wall

Variations in decorative iron for exteriors

Recovered from homes damaged by Katrina and Rita

I had such an awesome time going into the shops along Royal Street, the items inside really do tell a story. I highly recommend getting lost along this three block stretch and daydreaming about your imaginary home along the Bayou.

Stay tuned for my final installment of my trip, tours along the Garden District and the Ninth Ward.

***One note about my photos. I used my iphone exclusively but they regular camera stopped working during part of our trip so I had to rely on the Hipstamatic app. Apologies for inconsistencies.

Mood Elevators

11 Jan

It’s dark when I wake up, when I walk home from work and to top it all of its freezing.

I find myself looking at luxury vacations on Jetsetter, hoping to warm up but I have found something better and more economical to lift my mood, the art site 20X200.

20X200 sells inexpensive prints and helps artists reach a wider audience and connect with art lovers – their goal is to turn any art lover into an art collector. Each week the site introduces two new editions a week: one photo and one work on paper, and most are available in 3 or 4 sizes to suit your taste and space.

Here are some of my favorite colorful prints to brighten up your winter.

Stay Icy by Martha Rice

Praia Piquinia by Christian Chaize

Ideal Bookshelf 101: Robert Verdi by Jane Mount

Sugarcoat by Michelle Hinebrook

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