Thank you everyone who threw your suggestions for eat and play into the pot for our New Orleans trip! A marvelous time was had by all and it was great having these tips up my sleeve!
To break up our drive to the beach, we spent Sunday night in New Orleans. New Orleans is like a second home town for my family - both of my uncles (and my mom for a short bit) went to Tulane, my uncle and his family lived there for a while and it was the spot of a few family vacations. The first time I went with Markus we were only there for a day and kept it to the tourist area by the water. This time I wanted to show him some of the real gems in the city, like City Park and Magazine Street.
One shop by Magazine that really intrigued me was Signs by Simon (pronounced all Frenchy like see-moan). My creole friends were getting these gorgeous painted signs for their homes, but when I asked how and where I could order one for our house, they said "You just have to go see Simon." No website, no Facebook page, just a phone number for his wife, Maria's, antique store next door. Something that I was just going to have to get in the car and go see for myself if I really loved it so much.
I now knew what my Monday morning cardio would be. I was going to find Simon and get a sign for the hippie house. I did not know what an adventure it would be, but it was a great way to spend a morning in New Orleans!
Simon's shop is located at 1028 Jackson Ave in New Orleans. If you park on Magazine and turn onto Jackson, you'll see the signs poking out the front of his studio. When we walked in I felt like I had stumbled into a paradise of color and words. Paint and signs in different states of process were everywhere. I spotted a few assistants working at first and I asked to speak to the big guy.
You'll know Simon by the curly hair that is as thick as his French accent and his paint splattered outfit. When you see him just grab on and hang for the ride. He is a whirl of spirited energy!
In Simon's studio, anything creative goes. People were painting and one assistant was adhering a vinyl print of one of the signs to the floor, since "You know, zee floor is zere so why no just give a little bit of colour to eet, no?" (As said by Simon.)
I totally dug these people.
To pick out a finished sign for my place, Simon sent me down to Joey K's at Magazine and Seventh to buy one from there. Bring your cash with you, as the restuarant takes cards for food but cash only for art by Simon. Also be prepared to weave around people eating to shop for and select your sign. I think this works well for the restaurtant, since Markus spotted one dude's fries and decided to place a to-go order for himself.
I was at the advantage of knowing where at home I wanted to put my sign and the size/orientation I was looking for. Had I walked in blind I might have decided that I couldn't decide and I was just going to have to make my home look like the colorful glory of text that is the interior of Joey K's.
In the end I found a piece that took the gorgeous artistic skill of Simon in New Orleans but reminded me of one of my favorite parts of home and being an Irish gal: the St Patrick's Parade on Greenville, y'all!
Looking forward to getting this hung and having a gorgeous reminder of one of my favorite cities in our home.
What kind of things and experiences are you looking for when you travel? I love to taste the food, meet the people and see the art!