The New New Orleans: 5 Things To Do On Freret Street

Here are community leader Greg Ensslen’s top suggestions for visitors to get the most out of a visit to Freret Street.

1) Attend a fair. The Freret Street Market takes place the first Saturday of each month at the corner of Freret and Napoleon (look for the tents in the big parking lot). There’s food, live music, vendors, and it’s easy to shop even if you don’t have cash. Vendors accept tokens that can be purchased at the market’s main table. There will be two markets in December, including Freretstivus, a holiday theme fair on Dec. 8.

2) Have a drink. Cure, the artisanal cocktail bar credited for the revival of Freret Street, opens each day at 5 p.m. Happy hour runs from 5-7 p.m., with classic cocktails for $5 and half price bottles of wine on Thursday. The mixologists will concoct something exactly to your taste. (I brought a bag of grapefruit from the Crescent City Farmers Market and wound up with a refreshing drink.)

If you’d prefer something non-alchoholic, the High Hat Cafe makes its own tonics, lemonades and other sodas. Satsuma lemonade features real orange slices and fresh mint. Company Burger serves its own style of punch, made with iced tea, lemonade and orange juice.

%Gallery-170745%3) Eat something. Choices are expanding every day, but Ensslen considers Company Burger a don’t miss. There’s Dat Dog for gourmet hot dog lovers, and Midway Pizza, an art gallery/pizza parlor with (no surprise) a fully stocked bar. High Hat is kid friendly, as are many places along Freret.

4) Find a bargain. The Junior League of New Orleans operates the Bloomin’ Deals Thrift Shop, which has been a fixture on Freret since 1960. It has a bridal boutique, where all dresses are under $500, which is open one Saturday a month. The shop’s selection ranges from table ware to clothes and furniture.

5) Walk the neighborhood. Like Freret Street, the surrounding neighborhood is in a state of transition. Some homes are still undergoing post-Katrina renovation; others are still boarded up; some are spanking new. It’s a good example of what happened to a typical New Orleans neighborhood as a result of the storm. Just be respectful of homeowners’ privacy – although it’s likely people will be happy to chat.

For more on the New New Orleans, click here.

[Photo credit: Micheline Maynard]

Super (Duper) Market Hits NYC With Artisanal Food From Both Coasts

super duper marketThere are supermarkets and then there are Super (Duper) Markets – in other words, what happens when big names like PAPER Magazine, Target and American Express team up to create a culinary experience. Kicking off Friday, the event will bring together food innovators from across the country for a three-day pop-up supermarket in a raw Chelsea warehouse space in New York City.

The Super (Duper) Market will feature a selection of West Coast imports, like Boulette’s Larder, Humphrey Slocombe, Tartine Bakery and Miette Candy, along with East Coast favorites like Red Rooster and The Spotted Pig. And then there are the wild cards, like organic eggs raised on hotelier Andre Balazs’ Locust Farm and olive oil produced by designer Norma Kamali. There will also be cooking workshops for children and exclusive private dinners in the evenings.

So wait – why are PAPER, Target and AmEx entering the pop-up artisanal food market arena again?

“Instead of starting bands or making art so many young, creative people are baking, cooking, butchering and growing or raising food naturally, sustainably and responsibly,” said PAPER editor and publisher Kim Hastreiter in a release. “Everyone from farmers to cheese makers, organic winemakers to foragers, spice mix masters to amazing innovative chefs. There are even those who are innovating off the grid – baking divine nettles and peach pizza over wood on the back of a pickup truck; or adding truffle and foie gras to ice cream! It is to these idealistic innovators and to this spirit that I tip my hat and dedicate the Super (Duper) Market.”

My curiosity and appetite are sufficiently piqued.

Super (Duper) Market will take place Friday, July 13, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, July 14, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, July 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 410 West 16th Street in New York City.