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Don’t let the skinny jeans and hippie fro fool you. I, Justin Shiels, am a nerd. I

watch my fair share of Dr. Who; I geek out over graphic design trends; and most


of my nights are spent in a dark room with the soft glow of a computer screen.


That’s why when I thought of the first issue of Volume 2, I wanted to make something that celebrated the hip side of being a geek. In this issue, Dorothy takes us on an adventure through the New Freret; Nathan interviews three great people that are redefining the word geek; and the entire staff pitched in to give a report on the thriving New Orleans tech scene. Its nice to know that “geek” is the new “cool.”

Justin Shiels Founder and Publisher, InvadeNOLA

INSTRUCTIONS Flip through this digital issue to see stories from a crosssection of NOLA based young professionals Click the links to visit the web sites of the great people, places, and projects featured in this issue. Support the great advertisers that have funded the production of this issue. Share this issue through your Facebook and Twitter with your friends.

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ADventure in pictures:

THE NEW freret B y : DORO T HY YO U NG The revitalization of the Freret corridor is already stuff of New Orleans legend: with a diverse mix of residents and businesses, this Uptown neighborhood has frequently had the spotlight shone upon it as an example of post-blight rebuilding. Support from Freret’s residents and an active business association ( has made the stretch between Napoleon and Jefferson an inviting locale for new businesses and sparked revitalization of the old. From university students to colorful locals, The New Freret Street offers dining and play for all.


Crescent City Comics

Marvel new releases? Check. Batman back issues? Check. The newest Chew trade? Check. CCC was one of the first denizens of The New Freret, relocating post-Katrina from their original UNO neighborhood digs. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, offering reasonable prices and plenty of promotions inside an invitingly signed and postered locale.

4916 Freret St. (504) 891-3796

4701 Freret St (504) 872-9676


Freret Street Po-Boy and Donut Shop Family ownership is evident in this no-nonsense comfort food emporium. Young folks clear tables while sweet smiling aunts layer shrimp po-boys behind the counter, placing chocolate twists carefully in a white paper bag. Freshly baked donuts and daily specials comprise the best home-cookin’ you’ve never had because—let’s face it—owning a deep fryer filled with lard is a commitment that few mothers have truly achieved. Once, my friend walked in towards the end of the day for some red beans and walked out with the rest of the pot and two boxes of donuts. This hole-in-the-wall find will take care of you like they would one of their own.


Dat Dog

5030 Freret (504) 899-6883

The new digs across the street have increased Dat Dog’s staff from 10 to 50, if that’s any indication of the change in the air. Indoor and outdoor seating has increased, yet continues to come at a premium: I’ve watched some serious hovering occur to claim a table when the weather was nice out. I’m digging the additions to the menu (nothing has been removed as far as sausages are concerned), and as a self-considered frites connoisseur, I’m a fan of the loaded options beyond plain or cheese (White Trash Fries are as delicious as they would be an excellent band name). Prices have gone up approximately 25%, perhaps to absorb overhead in the newly painted and flag-hung building. A full bar gives you the option to imbibe beyond the basic Abita, and can be taken advantage of during happy hour from 4-7 PM. Try coming between peak hours to avoid the inevitable-of-late lines.

4719 Freret St. (504) 324-4227

4 Beaucoup JUICE When on the lookout for that sweet treat cool down, don’t give in to chemical syrup cravings. Beaucoup Juice serves snoballs and freshly squeezed juices made from real fruit and straight up ice. Flavors range from the simple Night Tripper (Beet, Orange, and Ginger juice), to the exotic Cantaloupe Basil Lemon snoball special. I’ve picked out crunched up pieces of watermelon seed missed by the human doing the fruit squeezing, except she’s so nice I can’t bring myself to complain about the extra effort. Warning: their hours say Monday – Saturday 11-7 PM, but their laid back New Orleans attitude means at any time the owners might leave for an impromptu trip to South America and not update their Facebook, leaving you at a sweaty humid loss.


Company Burger

Considered the leader of the New Orleans burger bar charge, Company Burger and their organic grass-fed patties more than deserve their spot at the helm. Before tomato season ends, get yourself right and enjoy a double-patty with a fat slice of Creole tomato. The committed-to-simplicity old school cheeseburger, undressed, with melty American cheese, offers up a limited-time fibrous addendum. Due to Chef’s vow to stay as local and organic as possible, June through August is going to be your only chance to dress a Company burger with a tomato delight. Add a Southern Star blonde ale, an order of tater tots, and some chipotle mayonnaise, and you’ve got yourself my planned exit-meal.

4600 Freret St. (504) 267-0320

5035 Freret St. (504) 872-0065

6 Pure Cake Porphyrophobia means fear of the color purple and if you suffer from such, you will be unable to walk through Pure Cake’s joyfully vanilla scented lavender doors. I pity you. For behind the violet fondant wedding cake display lays a case of wedding cake, bread pudding, or salted caramel-filled cake pops and red velvet miniature cakes. Daily business for this newer kid on the block, only open since February, revolves around keeping the aforementioned case full, as well as baking and decorating made-to-order specialty cakes for birthdays and weddings. Let’s adapt that salted caramel pop into a cake flavor and decorate it in black and gold for my birthday. Please.

INt e r v i e w


i n t e r v i e w s B y : N a t h a n S a v i n S c o tt P HO T OGRA P HY B y : j a m e s b . St i r e THREE interviews with new orleans changemakers

Molly Oehmichen Editor-in-Chief, Silicon Bayou News

Molly Oehmichen What brought you to New Orleans?

looking forward to taking everything in my

really about highlighting and learning from

I was born in New Orleans and I have

life to the next level and having even more

our successes, failures, and opportunities

strong family ties to the area. We moved

successes to share in the future.


few different states growing up. My entire

Who are you doing it for?

Who is your dream interview for

family has always considered New Orleans

Everything I do, at the end of the day, I have

your site?

home, so when I had the opportunity to

to say I do it for myself. Selfishly, I want

My dream interview for Silicon Bayou News

attend Tulane it was a no-brainer. I moved

New Orleans to be a better city to live in

right now is probably Brad Feld. He’s been

back permanently in 2004 to attend Tulane

because I live here. I want the tech and

a huge part in the start-up success of

and bought a duplex in the Irish Channel in

start-up community to grow and flourish

Boulder and the growth of TechStars as a

2010. I’m here to stay!

because I’m a part of it. I want better work

national accelerator movement. He’s also

opportunities, safe streets, and top notch

very real, personable, and actively trying

What keeps you here?

schools so that we can recruit the best

to get more women involved in venture

The same thing that keeps most New

talent and I can one day raise my own

capital and entrepreneurship. Overall, he’s

Orleanians here keeps me here: an intense

children here.

someone I think we can all appreciate and

away when I was three and I lived in a

look up to as a great community leader.

passion for the people, history, culture, and undercurrent of emotion that makes this

I don’t think I know everything about what’s

city so special. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices

best for New Orleans or even for myself. I

What’s one thing I haven’t done in New

to be here and I will make many more to

do know what my long term goals are and

Orleans that I need to?

stay here without thinking twice.

(almost) everything I do is done with those

Find a good clean levee and roll down it.

goals in mind.

We’re all working hard - sometimes it’s

What are you doing to change the world?

good to take a little break and remember

I like to think I’m doing my part to

What is the perfect Silicon Bayou

what it feels like to be a kid again. Just

change the world by living openly and

News story?

watch out for those sneaky red ants.

passionately. I care about what I work

The perfect Silicon Bayou News story is a

on: making good connections and good

story of success. I love getting the chance

products, writing something worth reading,

to write about companies that have raised

and creating value at every opportunity.

funding, launched successful products, and

Channeling my passion for technology and

brought high value jobs to the region. It’s

entrepreneurship into Silicon Bayou News

also important for us to cover challenges

has been a great learning experience. I’m

and growing pains. Silicon Bayou News is

Ruth Vernotico What brought you to New Orleans? I went on a super busted trip around the

Who are you doing it for?

Who is your dream caller in to WTUL?

world in 1999. I was dangerously broke,

When I started doing radio I was doing it

What does he/she request?

but I managed to make it from Hawaii, Fiji,

for my friends. I played things that I knew

Our dream callers are really the people

New Zealand, Australia, Thailand to Greece

they would like, that I was sure they hadn’t

you wouldn’t expect to be calling a show

and every country in Western Europe. From

heard yet. I loved to think that these songs

like ours. Anything that sets expectations

England I went to New York, Florida, and

I was playing would end up on repeat on

and stereotypes on their asses makes me

finally New Orleans. I was here for four

my friends’ iPods and phones.

feel like all the long hours are worth it. We have these two ladies who work downtown

months before moving back home to Los Angeles. I lasted two months in L.A. before

Now, I would have to say we do it for the

across from the Superdome and have eight

I moved back to New Orleans. I did the

callers. When we hear from someone that

grandchildren between them. They work in

back and forth trip of denial three more

they like our show, we always make sure to

the same building and didn’t realize they

times before I finally gave in and realized

ask his or her name. We put those names

were calling the same radio show until we

that New Orleans was home. I moved here

on a shout-out list on our website, and

put them in touch with each other. We’re

for good in February 2005.

every week we recite the growing list. It

working on bringing them in the station

keeps us focused on the purpose of POOF!,

together and having them host a show

What keeps you here?

because it’s easy when you’re on a project

with us.

The insanity: this place is like Wonky World

like this to get stranded on some crazy

and I love it.

trajectory. The callers really keep

We don’t really get a lot of requests for our

us focused.

show because most of our listeners know

What are you doing to change the world?

that it’s pre-programmed. Plan B and I

I make radio. I cohost a queer focused

Last radio show you do before you die.

spend all week combing the interwebs

neo-music radio show called POOF! The

What song do you kick off with? What do

for new music, fielding submissions, and

Pop Show on WTUL, which hopes to be an

you end with?

answering e-mails to produce POOF!.

alternative voice for the queer community

The song I would open up with would be

When we do get requests we ask if the

and a presence for my people on the

“O Mio Babbino Caro (Hudson Mohawke

song they want to hear is newer and if it is

airwaves. I like to think that my cohort,

Remix).” What can I say, this is a fantastic

we try to slip it in, absolutely.

Plan B and I, make agenda radio without

song. It was released by Rockstar Games

an agenda. Being ourselves is sort of the

as a single for their 10th anniversary of the

What’s something I haven’t done in New

plan and in doing that we are making

family friendly game, Grand Theft Auto.

Orleans that I need to?

something really honest and heartfelt that

The closer is a bit tougher, but without a

Have you ever scattered pigeons in

is also really fun and has mass appeal.

doubt Moby’s “The Right Thing (Kleerup

Jackson Square at sunrise? Try it

When I hear from grandmothers and

Remix)”, would be it. The original song

sometime. Cup of Café Du Monde coffee

gangbangers that they love our show

is ridiculously good in its own right, and

in hand, be the first thing that the birds,

and all its panty tracks, I know that we

on first hearing that there was a remix I

sleeping homeless, and the Cabildo gates

are doing something extraordinary and

approached with caution. After hearing the

see at 6 a.m. There’s nothing like it. It’s like

that makes me happier than I could ever

Kleerup version however, I was cured of

you know a secret about New Orleans that

intelligibly convey in words.

my love for the original.

nobody else does.

Ruth Vernotico Radio DJ, WTUL “POOF! The Pop Show” Fridays from 4-6PM on FM91.5

Patricia Quinn Stokes Owner, P.S. Creative

Patricia Quinn Stokes What brought you to New Orleans?

am a firm believer in community and that

signage painted on the sides of some of the

I came to New Orleans in 2001, sight

working as a team can reach far better

buildings along Canal Street and the CBD.

unseen, to study graphic design at Loyola

results than working as individuals. I try

As New Orleans makes its mark as a 21st

University. I grew up in a small suburb of

to apply that idea to all aspects of my life,

century city, a great eclectic niche is being

Boston. Needless to say New Orleans was

and I find that it is a fairly common belief

carved out by young creatives like myself,

a HUGE adjustment. Homesickness almost

among the people of New Orleans (another

who want to bring bigger city ideas to our

got the better of me a few times but I

reason I love it here).

humble town, and that entrepreneurial spirit drives me.

toughed it out and now wouldn’t have it any other way. What keeps you here?

Who are you doing it for? The common good. No one person or group

What marks a great designer?

in particular.

Being open to constructive criticism, understanding that you can never stop

First and foremost my wonderful husband and an amazing group of friends. Many

Tell me about P.S. Creative.

of them are locals. My husband was born

Based in New Orleans but accepting

and raised here, he runs his family’s

clients from all over, P.S. Creative offers a

What’s something you haven’t done in

small business, Leah’s Pralines, a

variety of packages from invitation suites to

this city that you are dying to try?

French Quarter sweet shop. We are firmly

full event styling. My dream client will let

There are so many quintessential New

grounded in this city and its history.

me bring their vision to life in every detail,

Orleans restaurants I haven’t tried:

Secondly the culture and lifestyle solidifies

from beautiful invitations to stunning decor

Commander’s Palace, Dooky Chase, Willie

my decision to make New Orleans my

and personal touches, but I am more than

Mae’s. Oh, and I’ve never had a Sazerac.

adopted home. The people, the food, the

happy and eager to assist on any scale and

culture, the varied neighborhoods all make


me love New Orleans. How does this city inspire your design? What are you doing to change the world?

The history of this city is steeped in graphic

That’s a big question! I think the best

tradition: from typography to advertising

answer I could give would be that I try to

there is an endless supply of inspiration.

live my life with awareness of others. I

Some of my favorites are the old business

learning and being inspired by others.


THE new orleans tech report INVADENO L A S T A F F Get Wired into the New Orleans Tech Scene

i ntro For generations, the most forward thinking artists, doers and makers have flocked to New Orleans as a place where creativity and innovation reign: your most outside-the-box idea elsewhere in the United States may very well incite yawns in a city accustomed to year round festivities and revelry. Building upon this rich literary and artistic heritage with a next generation direction, New Orleans is currently experiencing a boom of entrepreneurship and technology that is unprecedented, with social entrepreneurs, education technology and mobile app companies turning the city into a veritable magnet for start-ups, engineers and programmers alike. Want to learn about some of the major players on the scene? Check out five of the leading hot spots for hackers across the city:

Launch Pad Anchoring the IP Building in the ever-burgeoning Warehouse District, Launch Pad is a coworking space which serves as the unofficial hub of the tech community here in New Orleans. Launch Pad offer various shared or permanent desk options and office space over three well-decorated, inviting floors, with a secret passageway to a bar next door from inside the building. From LaunchPad Ignition, to weekly Hack Nights, TribeCon and beyond, Launch Pad is the place for smart, tech-inclined folks to mingle, share and launch their best start-up ideas.

Idea Village Recognized by the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and beyond as a linchpin catalyst for start-up growth in New Orleans, Idea Village is working to grow not only individual companies through technical support, incubation and individual consultations, but develop an entire entrepreneurial ecosystem in the greater New Orleans area. Idea Village’s services and collaborations have generated over $100 million in annual revenue and nearly 2,000 jobs directly in New Orleans, while placing our fine city firmly on the national map as a place for larger technology corporations—such as GE—to locate outposts. The official host of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week—seven days full of pitching and funding opportunities for local businesses—Idea Village is pushing New Orleanians to “trust their crazy ideas” and take the plunge into entrepreneurship.

BikeBus NOLA

Pop quiz: What do you do when, while riding your bike in the blistering sun down St. Charles, one of the following happens: the heat gets to be too much for you, a ferocious thunderstorm starts pouring down, or you get a flat on our pothole festered roads? Solution: use BikeBus NOLA to help you find the nearest bus stop. This innovative app offers directions by public transit and bicycle, and can be accessed via text or internet-access smartphones.

A.M.P.S. Is it magic? Nope, just wildly innovative, cutting-edge science right here in the Crescent City. Aquaponitics Modular Production Systems (A.M.P.S.) builds sustainable urban farms without using soil. A.M.P.S. recently partnered with Rouse’s, creating an urban farm on the roof of the grocery chain’s downtown branch. The garden grows upward and is aeroponic (plant roots suspended in the air). The endeavor, called Roots on the Rooftop, is the first of its kind in the U.S.

Turbosquid News flash: the army storming the castle in your movie usually isn’t real people, but computer generated.TurboSquid provides 3D models and software to the entertainment industry (including work seen on House and The Office). A hub for digital artists to sell their work, TurboSquid international clients come from a wide range of industries including architecture, advertising, and web design. If you want a digital alligator, car--or a human skull-TurboSquid has it: their digital marketplace is vast and impressive.


dear sallie mae By: rachael kostelec confessions of a young professional with too much student loan debt

Dear Sallie, When we first met back in 2001, you were like a breath of fresh air and quickly became someone I heavily relied upon. You helped me get into college and, despite many attempts of partying my way out, you helped me stay there. You paid for my ridiculously overpriced tuition when my parents refused, and even gave me extra money for books (which I never bought), a sweet apartment with my best friend, all the latest fashions, and bar tabs at all the local watering holes. When the holidays came around, it was you who financed my trips home to see my family and it was you who bought all of their gifts (or maybe I didn't get them any gifts, because I was seemingly a broke college student and bought myself some new shoes).

I was not old enough to legally drink or gamble but was apparently old enough to sign my life away to you You were like my rich grandmother spoiling me for years, and then just when I needed you most—after graduation when I couldn't find a job—you cut me off cold turkey. I am adult enough to accept the fact that you probably thought you weren't doing me any favors by continuing to support me, but it's this Indian giving to which I take offense. Not only did you decide that—six months out—I was to give it all back, now you want every penny I have ever earned on top of that.

I will probably never be able to own a home because of you: the monthly payments you are requesting would surpass a mortgage on St. Charles Ave, and I still have rent to pay. I am afraid to have kids, because I know by the time they are ready to go to college, I will still be indebted to you and would never want you exposing yourself to them. I probably can't get married because there's some bullshit about your debt becoming their debt and I am a hard enough sell without looking into my financial records. In short, you ruined my life. My therapist (which is free, by the way, because of you I can't afford a decent one) told me that I have a problem keeping toxic people in my life and that the best way to end that is to write them a letter telling them how they hurt me and to say goodbye. I was not old enough to legally drink or gamble but was apparently old enough to sign my life away to you, letting you destroy my credit score and drown me in insurmountable debt. The way you prey on our youth should be a crime.  It doesn't help that the economy went to hell as I was entering it, but that didn't stop you from salivating at the mere crumbs I was bringing home—even if it was from an unemployment check. The only thing my education has gotten me thus far is the knowledge to know better than to ever get caught up with the likes of you again. So, I am saying goodbye. That means no more calling: me, my family, or any prospective employers. You clearly can't take the hint and I have nothing more to say to you. In short Sallie, Mae I suggest you leave me alone?

x0x0 Rachael

Corey is wearing a jean shirt from Gap and suspenders from Clares. Chelsea is wearing a jacket from Gap.


REVENGE of the nerds S T Y L ED BY : b r o o k e l a r s e n P HO T OGRA P HY B y : r a c h e l m a l o n e y Whether you're in love with video games, mathematics, anime, science fiction, or even fashion, you’re a total geek. A geek is simply someone who is so passionate about something they are willing to build a shrine to it. Let’s face it – we’re all geeks. Don’t be afraid to show it off.

Mario and Yoshi backpacks from Target.

Handmade Star Trek bag and Pac Man and and Power Rangers clutches from Bonga Chop Shop.

Comics loaned by the NOLA Nerd Podcast. Star Wars dress from Bonga Chop Shop. Shoes from Target.

Chelsea is wearing a ModCloth top, thrifted skirt and her headband is actually a Ravenclaw tie.

Plushies and action figures donated by NOLA Nerd Podcast. Cory is wearing a jacket from Urban Outfitters, a Levi’s shirt and jeans from Buffalo Exchange.

Brooke's gameboy, which she's owned since elementary school. It still works.

Products featured: Bonga Chop Shop Andrea Loest Oh My Clementine ohmyclementine UP/Unique Products Miette 2038 Magazine St The hosts of NOLA Nerd Podcast, Matt Finneman and Chris Robinson donated additional props Models Chelsea St Juniors Cory Dumesnil

Chelsea is wearing an Andrea Loest dress, Nintendo earrings by Oh My Clementine, and GEEK necklace by Unique Products. Cory is wearing a T-shirt from Woot!

Video games and controllers donated by the NOLA Nerd Podcast.

No. 2 The FashioN issue debuTiNg sepTember 24 For advertising inquiries, email

InvadeNOLA Mag Vol 2. Issue 1

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