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June 2015




President and CEO Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller; Event Co-Chairs Carolyn and Gary Lorio; and Event Co-Chairs Jan and Col. Larry Merington for The National World War II Museum’s “Whitney Bank Victory Ball.”



on the cover

Come celebrate the “Whitney Bank Victory Ball” in honor of The National WWII Museum’s 15th birthday. The ball is in commemoration and acknowledgement of the museum’s friends and supporters who, throughout the years, have helped the museum grow and develop since 2000. Fabulous new additions to the annual ball include a chef John Folse-styled menu, an exciting post-party lounge and even a live luxury auction. Event Co-Chairs Col. Larry and Jan Merington and Gary and Carolyn Lorio, and President and CEO Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller invite you to celebrate on Friday, June 12. From its opening in 2000 to

the upcoming completion of the “Campaigns of Courage: European and Pacific Galleries,” the museum works hard to achieve educational outreach to students to enlighten them to the accomplishments of the WWII generation. Funds from the ball will provide scholarships for incoming high school juniors to participate in the museum’s Summer Residential Program, their Student Leadership Academy and Normandy Academy. The Patron Party starts at 5:30 p.m., and the gala at 7 p.m.; tickets start at $500 each. The climax of the evening with be the presentation of the new “Crystal Achievement Award.” For more information about this special event, or for more details about tickets, please call 528-1944 extension 365 or visit n

Photographed by Jeffery Johnston Special thanks to Michelle Moore, PR Manager of The National World War II Museum | 1


features 24 Live and Let Live Legacy Donor Foundation raised awareness for

organ, eye and tissue donors.

26 Standing Strong

PRC”s “Julia Jump” was thrown to protect New Orleans’ architectural heritage.

28 Celebrating City Park

“Lark in the Park” supported Friends of City Park’s efforts to keep New Orleans beautiful.

30 Wining and Dining


Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses brought out the bottles for a benefit toasting historic landmarks.

32 A Gathering for Generosity

The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans honored the generosity of community members.

34 Unmasking Education

UNCF raised $1.5 million to provide students with the opportunity of a college education.

36 Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

The National Council of Jewish Women honored members for 50 years of service with a “Gem of a Party.”

38 Fostering Families


Raintree Children and Family Services raised funds to “Paint the Town Green” to provide services to at-risk children and families.

40 Treasures in St. Tammany

The primary fundraiser for the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany unveiled seven new customized exhibit concepts.

42 A Very Merry Un-Birthday

The Women’s Guild of the New Orleans Opera tipped their hats to 31 years of supporting opera in New Orleans.

45 2015 Encore! The past social season in review

by Marilee Hovet

50 Kids’ Fashion Chic outfits for your tiny adventurers

56 2 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

styled by Tracee Dundas

56 Summer In the City 11 tips for your staycation

by Kelcy Wilburn

contents in every issue 10 Editors’ Note 12 Making a Difference Presenting the Past: Hermann-Grima + Gallier

House Museums

14 Kids Play Sun, Sand and History: A visit to Ship Island 16 Southern Glow Skinsense: Introductions and nighttime rituals


18 What’s Hot Beachwear 20 On the Menu

Summer Lovin’: Logan Burke, Director of Sales, Catering and Digital Media, shares Marti’s Eggplant Caponata with Housemade Ricotta

22 The Dish

Summer Bounty: Tables are brimming with fresh, local produce

59 Vintage Wedding

Florence Weiland to Richard Schornstein Jr.: September 3, 1955

60 With This Ring Hoesley – Slater


62 Young Bloods

FitLot’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, Adam Mejerson

63 Student Activist

Bond Nicole Bordelon – Academy of the Sacred Heart

63 OnStage Performance Calendar 64 Shop Talk

Judy Caliva, Owner, Haase’s Shoe Store

65 Shop Talk

Kevin Gillentine, Artist and Proprietor, Kevin Gillentine Gallery

66 Snapshots

62 4 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

72 Nostalgia The Pagoda House: Raoul Vallon’s dream home

2138 magazine street new orleans, la 70130 504.524.3235 mon-sat 9am-5pm | 5

New Orleans’ definitive social magazine June 2015 / Volume 20 / Issue 1

Editorial Executive Editor Bev Church Editor Morgan Packard Art Director Sarah George contributing editor Mirella Cameran Beauty Columnist Lorin Gaudin Society Columnist Marilee Hovet Food & Dining Columnist Jyl Benson Associate Editor Melanie Warner Spencer web Editor Kelly Massicot Event Photo Coordinator Jeff Strout intern Lani Griffiths advertising vice president of sales Colleen Monaghan sales manager Brittany Brady (504) 830-7248,

Account Executive Erin Duhe (504) 830-7226,

Production/Web Manager Staci McCarty Production DesignerS Ali Sullivan, Monique Di Pietro, Claire Geary traffic coordinator Jess DeBold Administration Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne President Alan Campell Executive Vice President/Editor-in-Chief Errol Laborde vice president of sales Colleen Monaghan DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND EVENTS Cheryl Lemoine Distribution Manager John Holzer Subscriptions Sara Kelemencky (504) 830-7231 ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Denise Dean

A Publication of Renaissance Publishing, LLC Printed in USA 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Ste. 123 Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 The entire contents of this magazine are copyrighted by Renaissance Publishing, LLC, © 2015 with all rights reserved. Reproduction or use, without permission, of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. St. Charles Avenue is not responsible for photos or artwork and assumes that all releases have been cleared upon submission to the magazine. St. Charles Avenue is published monthly by Renaissance Publishing, LLC, 110 Veterans Blvd., Ste. 123, Metairie, La. 70005, (504) 828-1380. Subscription rate: one year $17.95, two year $31, three year $43 — foreign rates vary call for pricing. It is the policy of this magazine to employ people on the basis of their qualifications and with assurance of equal opportunity and treatment regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or handicap.

6 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

Meet our sales team Colleen Monaghan Vice President of Sales Colleen Monaghan is a seventh-generation New Orleanian and member of the Mayflower Society who loves her city with a passion. She is an alumna of the University of New Orleans and has more than 30 years of experience in both publishing and the nonprofit sector. She enjoys art collecting, traveling the world and living life to its fullest, and has been known to organize fabulous events both for herself and many charities in the New Orleans and San Francisco areas. You can reach Colleen by calling 830-7215 or emailing

Brittany Brady Sales Manager

Brittany Brady was born in the depths of Mississippi, and she has led a nomadic lifestyle since. After graduating from Louisiana State University with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in Business Administration, she migrated to New Orleans and is currently residing in the Warehouse District. In addition to being a part of the St. Charles Avenue team, she enjoys being involved in the city’s music scene, craft cocktails, being an eccentric “foodcentric,” having more knowledge of the NBA than the average male and learning from people of all walks of life! You can reach Brittany by calling 830-7248 or emailing

Erin Duhe Account Executive

Born and raised in the heart of New Orleans, Erin Duhe embraces all of the qualities that make this city special. She is an active member of the New Orleans social scene and a professional at wining and dining. After graduating from St. Mary’s Dominican High School, she followed her educational path to Louisiana State University and earning a degree in Business. She can be found at any and all festivals and loves reading a good non-fiction book, scoping out the best restaurants and aspires to become a master at Pilates – to offset finding the best restaurants. You can reach Erin by calling 830-7226 or at

8 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015 | 9

Editors’ Note

New Views Every time we go to The National World War II Museum, there’s another exciting project or event going on, and we’re so excited and proud that this incredible museum is in New Orleans! The museum is 15 years old and they’re celebrating all of their accomplishments and thanking all of their original supporters from 2000 up to the completion of “Campaigns of Courage: European and Pacific Galleries” with the bigger and better 2015 Whitney Bank Victory Ball on Friday, June 12! Thanks so much to our cover participants: the museum’s President and CEO Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller; and Event Co-Chairs Col. Larry and Jan Merington and Gary and Carolyn

Lorio. The funds raised from sponsorships to this event will provide scholarships for incoming high school juniors to participate in the museum’s Summer Residential Program and Normandy Academy. This amazing night at the museum will feature menus by celebrity chef John Folse, a lively post party lounge and a live luxury auction! You don’t want to miss this, so get your tickets now by calling 528-1944 extension 365. Tickets start at $500; the Patron Party starts at 5:30, with the main gala beginning at 7 p.m. We also want to congratulate and thank Joy and Bosie Bollinger for their incredibly generous donation to the World War II Museum. Boysie has been a

driving force since the beginning and of course was honored as one of St. Charles Avenue’s Activist of the Year in 2013. Speaking of the museum, this month we have a feature on staycations, which means staying right here in our most incredible city and enjoying every thing we have to offer, starting with our museums! We are featuring 11 places to make vacationing in your own town the best time ever! Soon you’ll be able to add the new YAYA Art Center to places to go! Gene Menarey is our new YAYA CEO, and we’re very excited to have him on board. For the second year, we are presenting Encore! The Past Social Year in Review, this year sectioned into seasons and including a “Mosts” list to make choosing which nonprofit events to attend easier than ever. Have a great summer! Bev

As you begin going through your checklist for heading to the beach, check out What’s Hot this month for the latest from your new favorite swimsuit and sunglasses to the chicest bag in which to carry them. For your little ones – or the little ones who may not be yours biologically but are yours to spoil (I’m looking at you, goddaughter!) – our Children’s Chic feature will show you the best local looks in which to take them adventuring. And if you’re looking for an adventure, check out Lynne Gibbons’ Kids Play column for her latest tips for a trip to Ship Island. We are celebrating St. Charles Avenue’s 20th Anniversary all year long, and encourage you to celebrate with us! To that end, look below for a quick tease about our “Wine, Dine & Design” luncheon, which we will be hosting for the second year this October! We will have more surprises and events coming soon, so make certain to look to this space for all of our Avenue’s Anniversary updates. Enjoy your summer and the sunscreen that comes with it, Morgan

St. Charles Avenue magazine will support Operation Homefront and its Executive Director Spencer Hayman (right) at our second annual “Wine, Dine & Design” tablescapes luncheon on October 7 and 8, and we’re pleased that Erica and James Reiss (left) will be Co-Chairing the event along with Michael and Marley Lebourgeois (not pictured)! This year we have expanded with a Preview Party on the evening of the 7th and the luncheon on the 8th – more exciting and even better than last year! One hundred percent of the proceeds raised will go to Operation Homefront, which assists veterans, their families and wounded warriors in Louisiana and Mississippi – so all funds stay local! We would like to invite you to join us at the Sponsor level for $5,000, or purchase a table (eight tickets) for $1,000! Email James Reiss at to reserve your seat at the luncheon and glass for the Preview Party today!

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events June 5 “Juleps in June,” benefiting the Faulkner Society, 524-2940, 6 “Tour de Cure,” benefiting the American Diabetes Association, 899-0278, extension 6075 11 “Mr. Legs XV,” benefiting Bridge House/Grace House, 821-7288 11 “Pause 4 Paws,” benefiting The Louisiana SPCA, 762-3307 11-14 “FestiGals,” a festival for women, 425-9563 12 “2015 Whitney Bank Victory Ball,” benefiting The National World War II Museum, 528-1944, extension 365 12 “Spotlight on Success,” benefiting the March of Dimes, 264-9288 13 “FestiGals Bodacious Bras for a Cause,” benefiting the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans and Breastoration, (855) 425-9563 13 “2015 Patient and Family Education Conference,” benefiting the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Louisiana and Mississippi, 408-2119 13 “Opening Night Party,” benefiting The New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, 865-5106 13 “610 Stompers Ball Crawl,” 14 25th annual “Le Gala de la Bonne Vie,” benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of Louisiana, 861-4500 17 “A Night Out with the Akula Foundation,” 881-0452 19 “Father of the Year,” benefiting the American Diabetes Association, (888) 342-2383, extension 6072 24 Fourth annual “Gold Medal Chefs Gala,” benefiting the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, 913-5980 | 11

making a difference

By marilee hovet

Presenting the Past Hermann-Grima + Gallier House Museums When my youngest son was born, his older brothers decided that they should bring him to school for show-and-tell. Remember how in elementary school show-and-tell was one of the highlights of the week? It is a simple concept, but it’s a pretty brilliant one – and one that forms the foundation for the educational concept of experiential learning. What better way to learn about 12 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

baby brothers than to bring an actual baby brother to school? Experiential learning, at its best, is lively and engaging. Here in New Orleans, a city that’s steeped in its own past, we have unique opportunities for experiential education in the study of our city’s history. Just walking down a cobblestone street or strolling past an antebellum house in the Garden District brings our city’s history front and

center. Physical pieces of the past help us imagine what it might have been like to live in this city in the 1800s. For an even deeper look at the New Orleans of the 19th century, there’s no greater venue than a historic house museum. By their very nature, historic houses are driven by the concept of experiential learning. In the French Quarter we happen to have two of the most respected historic house museums in the South: the Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses. Under the guidance of Museum Director Mamie Gasperecz, for whom education is a clear passion, and Education Coordinator Jenny Dyer, these museums offer a dynamic learning program that’s memorable, educational and engaging. The Hermann-Grima House, as anyone who has been there knows, has a beautifully preserved 19th century kitchen. When a student has the opportunity to stand in that outdoor kitchen and watch a cook pull freshly baked bread out of the open-hearth, it’s a multi-sensory experience. (There aren’t a lot of museums that smell like a bakery; the courtyard at Hermann-Grima frequently smells so good that it isn’t unusual for visitors to feel suddenly quite hungry.) After the cooking demonstration, a student might create a 19th century-themed craft or get in character by trying on the hoops of a hoopskirt. The possibilities are vast, and the staff tailors visits to suit the needs of all ages and fields of study.

There are limits, however, to the reach of any museum. Anyone who wants to see the Mona Lisa in person has to go to Paris. Anyone who wants to visit the Gallier House has to go to the French Quarter. For students, this requires transportation; not every school has the ability to transport an entire class of students to and from a French Quarter museum. Undaunted by this stumbling block, the educators at the houses are building an outreach program, known amongst the staff as the “Traveling Trunk,” that allows them to make classroom visits to schools all across New Orleans. They enter classrooms and basically do an extended version of show-and-tell, albeit a much more professional one than the average first grader’s show-and-tell. The Traveling Trunk brings the interactive museum experience to all who seek it, regardless of their ability to visit the houses. The staff and volunteers of these museums are uniformly dedicated to the concept of educating through experience. They are presenting the past in a way that inspires a lifelong understanding of and appreciation for the history of our city, and in doing so they’re most definitely making a difference. I hope you’ll visit the HermannGrima + Gallier Historic Houses website at, where you’ll find detailed information about the educational programming at these phenomenal museums. n

Heard something interesting for “making A difference?” If so, please send it to: St. Charles Avenue, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 or email with the subject line “Making A Difference”

O ak Creek b y Kevin Gill en ti ne 72” x 6 0 ”

kevin gillentine gallery 504.891.0509 | 3917 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA |

fine art


custom framing | 13

kids play

By lynne gibbons

Sun, Sand and History A visit to Ship Island Even in my 40s, I still look forward to the arrival of summer with as much anticipation and excitement as any kid I know. There are so many things I adore about summertime, but the common thread that runs through all of them is my kids. I cherish the extra time that summer allows us to play and reconnect with each other, friends and extended family. The busy schedule that seems to rule our lives during the school year takes a back seat to a more laid-back version of our family. Instead of looking ahead to the next few days on the calendar and wondering how I’m going to fit everything in, I look ahead and think, what shall we do today? It was answering that very question that led us to a quick, one-hour road trip from New Orleans and a day of fun on the water and the beach. With cousins in tow, we drove to Gulfport, Mississippi, and made our way to the Ship Island Ferry terminal. In the summer months, the Ship Island ferry runs 14 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

seven days a week with three round-trips on Saturdays and two round-trips on all other days. Since the crowds can get large on Saturdays, advance purchase is recommended for these peak days. Ship Island Excursions has been in operation since its founding by Capt. Pete Skrmetta in the 1930s and still remains under the reigns of the Skrmetta family today. Capt. Pete’s son, Jimmie Skrmetta, expanded the fleet with two new vessels: the 110-foot Gulf Islander in 1990 and the 100-foot Captain Pete in 2000. These boats, in addition to the 65-foot Pan American Clipper, are the vessels used for the daily trips to Ship Island. All three boats offer outdoor sun decks as well as enclosed cabins and restrooms, while the two newer vessels boast cabins that are climate controlled. The 11-mile ride from Gulfport out to the island takes about an hour. On our particular day, it wasn’t long into the ride when we spotted our first visitors

– dolphins! Many Atlantic bottlenosed dolphins make their home in the waters off the Mississippi coast and around the barrier islands, so it’s very common to see them peacefully swimming and diving along the surface. Once we arrived at the pier on Ship Island, we grabbed our gear and headed to the beach. Storage space on the ferry vessel is limited, so it’s helpful to pack light, but soft-sided coolers and collapsible chairs in canvas carrying bags are allowed. You will also want to make sure you have snacks, drinks and of course a lot of sunscreen. Our gang set up on the south side, the Gulf of Mexico side, of the island. Chairs and umbrellas are available for rent in the peak summer season. In no time, the kids were swimming in the Gulf, hiking around the interior marshes and playing on the beach. The island has a serious side as well, as it has played an important role in the history of the Gulf region and still is a crucial part

of protection for the region. Ship Island was discovered and named by the French in the 1600s. So many immigrants landed on Ship Island before making their way to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, that the island was nicknamed the “Plymouth Rock of the Gulf South.” Today, Ship Island is actually two islands called West Ship and East Ship. In 1969, the powerful storm surge from Hurricane Camille left the island battered and separated into two smaller islands. The small islands, along with neighboring Cat Island to the west and Horn Island to the east, are part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and are managed by the National Park Service. Not only do these barrier islands provide protection from storm surges, but Ship Island also offers a fun walk through history, as it’s home to Fort Massachusetts. During the Civil War, Union troops under Admiral David Farragut launched offensives against New Orleans and Mobile from this fort. The fort is also an example of the effects of coastal erosion. When it was originally built more than 150 years ago, the structure was 500 feet from the shoreline. But now, it’s right at the water’s edge. Visitors can tour the fort on their own or take the 30-minute guided tour led by a park ranger. Having had our fill of sun, sand and history, we made our way back to the West Island pier to board the ferry for our return trip. The dolphins reappeared to entertain us once again. But this isn’t good-bye; we will be back! If you’re interested in a day-trip to Ship Island, visit MsShipIsland. com for the ferry schedule, prices and additional information. n | 15

southern glow

By lorin gaudin

Skinsense Introductions and nighttime rituals I am a long-time beauty junkie. All the women in my family have been beauty-conscious: hair in place, makeup done, nails manicured, perfume dabbed behind the knees. We are possessed by the need for good coffee, and for the latest fragrance, skincare and cosmetics. My first skincare routine (a gift from my grandmother) was a multi-step, lotions and potions bonanza from the Erno Lazlo counter at Chicago’s Saks Fifth Avenue. I was 12. I have always loved big, old school department stores – Saks, Marshall Fields, I Magnin, Bonwit Teller – and have spent many hours wandering, spritzing and sniffing to stay up on the latest beauty trends. I have worn and collected fragrances since I was 13 (I still wear a perfume oil from back then), and I’ve worked at cosmetic counters in Lord & Taylor (Chicago), Godchaux’s (Uptown 16 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

Square) and a Mac Cosmetics store on Maple Street. In 2000, a friend and I opened a beauty boutique on Magazine Street called, “Rare Beauty.” Gone a scant year or so after we opened, I politely call that experience, “avant guard.”. So, here we are: me, you, beauty – an opportunity to talk the cosmetics current, fab products, beauty tips and more. Ready? June is the beginning of hurricane season and the month when it starts getting really hot and sticky, a disaster for those with oilier skin and a boon those whose skin is drier. In any case, it all starts with cleansers, treatments and moisturizer. I do a serious cleanse at night, every night. Right now waters, balms and oil cleansers are having a moment. They are easy to use, emollient but non-greasy and excellent at removing makeup, as well as

really cleaning the skin. At night, for those who like a two-step cleanse (take off makeup and then clean) micellar waters are the rage. Micellar water takes its name from tiny cleansing bubbles (micelles) that float in the water. When applied to the skin they cling to dirt and oil, which can then be efficiently swept away. Soak a cotton pad with cleansing water, sweep it across the face to remove makeup and mascara. No rinsing required. Bioderma, a European brand that’s difficult but not impossible to come by, is a cult favorite, but Sephora has a fantastic house brand “Triple Action Cleansing Water” with a convenient pump-top, for one-handed dispensing. There are designer versions (Dior, Mac, Nars, etc.) for those who are bound to their brands, but a standout drugstore alternative, “Simple Micellar Cleansing Water,” is great. For that nighttime “second cleanse,” the one that deep cleans the skin, I’ve been using (and loving) several balms and oils. Colleen Rothschild’s Radiant Cleansing Balm smells a bit medicinal, in a

spa-like way, and is pure genius at cleaning the skin without stripping it or leaving a film. This balm is hands-down one of the best, and it comes with a nice muslin square to use. I have enjoyed the muslin so much I ordered a set of three so I can always have a clean one on hand. I have also been using Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, a balm-gel that smells lovely, does a terrific job and is a bit more drying; Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

is anti-aging, nourishing, leaves skin super soft, smells heavenly and is free of mineral oils; and

Shu Uemura Blanc Chroma Cleansing Oil that targets surface dark spots

with brightening properties. Do not fear oil, even if you have oily skin. The luxurious slippery texture, once emulsified with water and rinsed or wiped away with cloth, is glorious and leaves no slick trace. When my skin is misbehaving,

nothing saves me like Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Cleanser, a gel formula that helps soother, heal and clear spots, but doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry and tight. After cleansing, it’s time for treatment. Skin recovers during sleep, and before bed is the optimal time to use active creams, lotions and gels. Sunday Riley Good Genes and Luna Oil are both game-changers with virtually overnight results in smoothness and glow. I am also a big fan of DermAware Vital Retinol Gel from EarthSavers (all New Orleans and metro locations). Thanks to genetics, my skin tolerated “strong” (7x concentration of vitamin A, retinol and peptides) right off the bat, but the range spans from “gentle” (4x) to “extra strong” (10x) and up, up to 30x. A skin consultant at EarthSavers can offer guidance. Moisturizer comes next. My current favorites include Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream for its light texture, beautiful scent and silky feeling skin; fast absorbing, stunningly soft and dewy Trilogy Rosehip Oil; or, when my skin is acting hormonal (yes, I’m in my 50s and I get pimples), orange flower-scented Michael Todd Citrus Cream with DMAE and moistureholding hyaluronic acid. Just before getting in bed, spritz on an alcohol free (always go alcohol-free on the face), hydrating mist. From the girls who author the blog, “Into the Gloss,” comes Glossier, their skincare line, which includes a luxurious, soothing and gorgeously rosescented facial mist. Nighttime cleansing routine complete. Preparing your skin for the heat of summer can be daunting but is totally doable. No matter what your skin type, proper cleansing, treating and moisturizing is as essential as drinking a lot of water and a necessity for achieving that beautiful Southern glow.

Have questions or products to recommend? Email SouthernGlow@ n | 17

what’s hot

by amy gabriel


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At last, the vacation you booked six months ago is just a hop, skip and a sunscreen application away. Soon your dreams of sand in between your toes, chilled gazpacho on picnic tables and paperback book reading under a beach umbrella will be a reality. Whether you’re lazing in the sun, lounging on the deck or having an al fresco seaside brunch, these beach chic looks will have you set from sunrise to sunset.

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1. The T-Bags Los Angeles tunic dress is the ideal swimsuit cover-up for heading from seaspray to casual cocktails. The half sleeves with vented cuffs and shirttail hemline are light as a breeze. FeBe, 474 Metairie Road, 835-5250, 2. Show off your sun-kissed skin with a chunky beaded stone and wood bracelet from Treska. California Drawstrings, 812 Royal St., 523-1371; 3650 Magazine St., 702-8515; 3. Block out the bright sun in a pair of Leonard tortoise glasses from Illesteva. The blue mirrored lenses are ideal for wave watching. Clover, 2240 Magazine St., 272-0792, BoutiqueClover. com 4. Your swan dive will look divine thanks to an Esther Williams classic solid two-piece swimsuit. Vintage-inspired, the ruched bust with halter tie and high-waisted ruched bottoms are fit to flatter. Trashy Diva, 2048 Magazine St., 299-8777; 537 Royal St., 522-4233; 5. Enjoy your morning coffee on

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feet first photo by Bernardo; select photos by cheryl gerber



7 8

the veranda while donning your Sleep Chic pajama set from Eberjey. The classic menswear design and piping details are the perfect combination of demure and playful. Basics Underneath Fine Lingerie, 5513 Magazine St., 894-1000, 6. Soar from shore to shore free as a bird in a flowy Mara Hoffman embroidered cotton tank maxi dress. Haute, 725 Magazine St., 522-8687, 7. Carry your weekend getaway essentials in this canvas cityto-seaside bag in a jelly blue and Tory navy color-block design. Emma’s Shoes & Accessories, 115 Metairie Road, 407-0668, 8. Go from patio to pool in a Bernardo Mistral Jute thong sandal. The calf leather T-strap and espadrille-inspired details in platinum linen make for an ideal daytime shoe. Feet First, 4122 Magazine St. 899-6800; 526 Royal St., 569-0005; 200 Metairie Road, 324-9124; | 19

on the menu REcipe Eggplant Caponata: 1 eggplant, partially peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes Canola oil to sweat and sauté eggplant 2 ounces medium yellow onion, diced small 2 ounces red pepper, diced small 1 teaspoon garlic, minced ¼ cup canned tomatoes, crushed 1 ounce capers 1 ounce balsamic vinegar (more if needed to taste) Salt and pepper to taste Fresh basil or oregano to taste if desired Crostini In a large pot sweat onions, peppers and garlic until tender. In a very large, very hot, well-oiled sauté pan brown eggplant until evenly colored all over (do this in batches so as to not crowd the pan).  Once all eggplant is browned, add to pot with onions and peppers.  Add all other ingredients and cook covered for 15-25 minutes stirring occasionally until eggplant is cooked through. Add basil or oregano at end if desired.

Ricotta: 1 quart milk ½ cup heavy cream 1 ounce lemon juice Salt to taste Bring milk and heavy cream to a light simmer. Add lemon juice and allow milk solids to separate. Strain mixture through fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.  Allow liquid to drain and cheese to cool. 

To Plate:

Summer Lovin’ Logan Burke, Director of Sales, Catering and Digital Media, shares Marti’s Eggplant Caponata with Housemade Ricotta 20 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

Use a spoon full of the caponata, place on crostini. Place half a spoon full of ricotta on top. Finish with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and a small pinch of sea salt. Serves 8 as appetizer

Marti’s 1041 Dumaine St., 522-5478

jeffery johnston photograph

the dish

By jyl benson

TRY THIS Not much to look at but still the rightful pride of Plaquemine’s Parish, Creole tomatoes are misshapen with mottled skins and ridges that often crack open. They range in size from medium to huge and they’re dense and meaty, rich in fragrance and flavor. To be classified as a Creole a tomato must be of no particular cultivar or pedigree. But, and this is the most important part, if the tomato wasn’t born forth from the rich alluvial soil and sweltering climate of Plaquemines Parish, it may be close but it isn’t the real deal. This specimen is all about the dirt and the humidity. On June 13 and 14 the French Market will host the 29th Creole Tomato Festival to mark the official opening of the season with music, a Creole tomato eating contest and food booths with dishes based on the favorite summer delicacy from area restaurants and caterers. For the second year the festival will hold a “Best of the Fest” food booth judging contest. Last year’s winners were a Savory Crepe with Creole Tomato, Bacon, Basil and Mozzarella; Jumbo Lump Crabmeat and Avocado Salad with Creole Tomatoes and Fried Plantains; Creole Tomato Eggplant Parmigiana with Homemade Spaghetti; “Creole” Shrimp Creole; and Beaucoup Salad, a paring of tomatoes with Hass Avocados, Vidalia Onion and Green Vinaigrette.

Fingerling Potato dish from MoPho

Summer Bounty Tables are brimming with fresh, local produce Nick Usner’s father was an organic farmer and fitness buff who suffered a fatal heart attack while jogging at age 44 when his son was just 13. Though his time with his son was cut short, the impact of Thomas Usner’s long days “in the dirt” with his son was profound. He left Nick with the passion for organic farming and love of the land that have shaped his life. Three years after his father’s death Nick Usner began his own agricultural operation, GROW Farm, at an age when most young men are consumed by more carnal obsessions. He soon became one of the state’s

22 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

first farmers’ market vendors to gain organic certification. The young farmer, who recently turned 31, now owns 12 acres of land in Waldheim, five of which he farms along with another two-acre plot planted with massive 350-foot lateral rows on a neighbor’s nearby property. His is an unusual operation in so many ways. In an era of computerized this and machinedriven that, he eschews outside help, rising before dawn each and every day to till, plant, pick and cut by hand all alone, save for the company of Eula May, his young and friendly black-and-tan female

coon hound. Usner further distinguishes himself with the varieties of unusual, often heirloom, produce he grows: Exquisite root vegetables such as baby beets, Easter-egg radishes, nutty sun chokes and brilliantly hued Evangeline sweet potatoes; a rainbow of herbs, lettuces and greens; 35 varieties of plump, luscious figs; 50 varieties of crisp, tender okra – many of which he propagated himself; 60 to 70 varieties of vine-ripened tomatoes; tender eggplant; exotic varieties of shelling peas; edamame and red beans. He inspects each and every vegetable for perfection, harvesting only when a specimen is at its absolute prime for same-day delivery to area chefs and farmers’ markets. Eateries showcasing Usner’s stunning produce in daily specials

include Ristorante del Porto and OxLot 9, both in Covington, and MoPho in Mid-City. At del Porto, chefs Torre and David Solazzo recently featured a Puréed Soup of Grilled Okra, Prosciutto and Sweet Corn; Fresh White Bean Ragout with Grilled Ciabatta; and Braised Beef Short Ribs with Summer Shelling Bean Stew. Just across the street, chef Jeffrey Hansell

incorporated a rainbow of exotic okra into his presentation of Pan Roasted Mangrove Snapper, Sautéed Okra, and Corn Cream with Tasso, and Chili Vin. MoPho’s chef, Michael Gulotta has used Usner’s candy-like

Fingerling Evangeline Sweet Potatoes in a stew with Coconut and Sweet Spices.

Usner’s produce is also commercially available at the Covington Farmer’s Market, the Crescent City Farmers Market at the French Market and by appointment at GROW Farm. n

Covington Farmers Market Saturdays 8 a.m.-noon, 609 N. Columbia St., Covington, on the side lawn of City Hall Crescent City Farmers Market French Market, Wednesdays 2-6 p.m., 1235 N Peters St., 596-3420, French Market Wednesday 2-6 p.m., 1235 N. Peters St., 596-3420, GROW Farm 80181 Bob Baxter Road, Waldheim, (985) 373-3016 MoPho 514 City Park Ave., 482-6845, Old Ironworks/Piety St. Market Wednesdays 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 612 Piety St. OxLot 9 428 E Boston St., Covington, (228) 216-1806 Ristorante del Porto 501 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 875-1006,

sara essex bradle y photograph | 23

philanthropic fun

by shelby simon

Live and Let Live


Legacy Donor Foundation raised awareness for organ, eye and tissue donors. Tables, chairs and bistro lights adorned Third Street creating a beautiful, rustic block party for Soul Revival on March 7. Chairs Mullady Voelker and Victoria White organized this year’s event. Bars and food stations made from whiskey barrels and reclaimed wood served scrumptious food and spirits to the over 700 guests in attendance. Heart-shaped signs highlighted the evening’s largest supporters along with signs to promote attendees to register as organ donors. As they say at the Legacy Donor Foundation, “Live and Let Live, There Is So Much To Give!” Every year since the inception of “Soul Revival,” a gospel choir has kicked off the event, and this year was no exception. The New Orleans Gospel Soul Children started at the Patron Party and formed a second line with guests to move the party across the street to the main event! Band Camp had the crowd dancing on stage, and emcee DJ Rob Nice kept the party going into the late night hours. Dickie Brennan’s Tableau served soulful creations including baby back ribs, smoked beef brisket, barbecue chicken and shrimp skewers along with cole slaw, cornbread, red beans and rice and monkey bread pudding. HARO Coffee & Chocolates served an array of desserts; highlights included homemade s’mores, complete with torched graham crackers and smothered with chocolate. The event also included a wine pull provided by Chateau St. Michelle Winery. Athletes from Team Louisiana for the Transplant Games, all who are transplant recipients or donor families, were Legacy Donor Foundation’s special guests. Along with the host, honorees and event chairs, the transplant recipients wore hand-decorated heart pins adorned with glitter crafted by Cari Rhoton and Kimberly Vega. Over $150,000 was raised for organ, eye and tissue donor awareness. n



event at a glance What: “Soul Revival,” benefiting Legacy Donor Foundation When: Saturday, March 7 Where: Home of Lauren and George Brower

1. Co-Chair Mullady Voelker, Executive Director Nicole Labadot and Co-Chair Victoria White 2. David Briggs, William and Ransdell Prieur and Mark Romig 3. Bradley Beard, Lindsey Brower Beard, George Brower II, Lauren Brower and Trist Brower 4. William Buras Sr. and David Schulingkamp 5. Chefs Darin Nesbit, Gus Martin, Stephanie Bernard and Dickie Brennan 6. Soheila and Fred Holley with Dolph and Mary-Sue Parro

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photographed by Jeff Strout



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philanthropic fun

by shelby simon

Standing Strong


PRC’s “Julia Jump” was thrown to protect New Orleans’ architectural heritage. The Preservation Resource Center opened the 38th annual “Julia Jump: Our City, Our Home,” to support the restoring, rebuilding and revitalizing the historic architecture and neighborhoods of New Orleans. The patron party featured specialty cocktails and cuisine from Emeril’s and champagne from Republic National Distributing Company, as well as an auction item preview and music by Maggie Bell. Patron Chairs were Nancy and Stephen Hales, alongside Junior Patron Chairs Elizabeth and Tim Soslow and Honorary Chairs Alma and Bob Pettit. At the main gala, The Wiseguys performed as guests purveyed dining options from 20 of New Orleans’ local food favorites and sipped on specialty cocktails by Cane & Table and Locally Preserved. Firefly Ambiance provided lighting and décor. Brandy Whisnant and Maria Huete served as Event Chairs, and Auction Co-Chairs were Julie Kenter and Courtney Lane. The event included an expansive auction and a raffle for a 2.5-carat diamond hoop earrings in 18-karat white gold donated by Wellington & Co., Fine Jewelry. Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Councilwoman Susan Guidry were VIP attendees. n



event at a glance What: “Julia Jump: Our City, Our Home,” benefiting Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans When: Friday, March 6 Where: Kingsley House

1. Event Co-Chairs Maria Huete and Brandy Whisnant 2. Ryan and Auction Co-Chair Julie Kenter with Auction Co-Chair Courtney and Casey Lane 3. Amy Harang, Board Member Will Hales and Committee Member Jeanne Boughton 4. Tyson Geary, Committee Member Katie Hardin, artist Nurhan Gokturk and Brandy Lanegilly 5. Don and Committee Member Tara Luparello with Committee Member Skye and Matthew Fantaci 6. Michael and Committee Member Allison Plaisance with Committee Member Gina and Kevin McMahon

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photographed by Kenny Martinez



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philanthropic fun

by shelby simon

Celebrating City Park


“Lark in the Park” supported Friends of City Park’s efforts to keep New Orleans beautiful. The theme of this year’s “Lark in the Park” was “Celebrate Your Park: Here’s to Past, Present and Future Memories!” Over 800 patrons attended the event, and proceeds went toward the continued preservation of New Orleans City Park through the endowment fund. “You will be investing in the legacy of City Park for generations to come,” says park CEO Bob Becker. The Patron Party kicked off the night in the Pavilion of the Two Sisters with a center bar surrounded by oversized draping. Catering was provided by Commander’s Palace, and John Michael Bradford provided entertainment. The gala opened up into the New Orleans Botanical Garden with a relaxed atmosphere of beautiful clear tents and string lights. Savory delectables from more than 45 New Orleans were served, and libations were provided by Republic National Distribution Company, with specialty cocktails by Hotel Monteleone. Luke Winslow-King had everyone jiving during his two set blues jazz performance, and Brian Coogan played on a piano, generously donated by LaFarge Pianos. Outside, patrons sang along into the late hours of the night while sipping cocktails in the Prêt a Fêtê Piano Bar. Live auctioneers Mark Romig and Liz Reyes announced 12 one-ofa-kind packages, featuring: a FrenchLive painting of the gala; a music festival package with VIP tickets to Jazz Fest, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits and Voodoo; a trip for four to Oregon Wine Country with a personalized tour of Moises-Wahle Vineyard and a two-night stay at Allison Inn and Spa; and round-trip tickets for two via JetBlue and a stay at the Roosevelt Hotel NYC. Raffle tickets were available for a 2015 Bryan Subaru XV Crosstrek 2.0i Premium donated by Bryan Subaru and a yellow gold bracelet donated by Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry. n



event at a glance What: “Lark in the Park,” benefiting Friends of City Park When: Friday, March 13 Where: Botanical Garden in New Orleans City Park

1. Emily Shaya, with Co-Chairs Annie Orillac Thibodeaux, Leigh Morgan Thorpe and Robin Bordelon Borne 2. Executive Director Cassie Duplechain and Honorary Chair Councilwoman Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson 3. Committee Member Suzy Rivera and President Susan Hess 4. Chad Berg, Board Member Karen Adjmi and Jason Villemarette 5. Board Member Mary Johnson with Robert Taylor and Holley Haag 6. Mary and Robert Lupo

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photographed by Kenny Martinez



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philanthropic fun

by Shelby Simon

Wining and Dining


Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses brought out the bottles for a benefit toasting historic landmarks. Myriad wines for tasting and bidding brought new flavors to Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses’ “Amazing Grapes” wine auction hosted by Event Chairs Elise Lapeyre Merlin and Pierce Jonassen Young and Auction Chairs Tricia King and Stephanie November. Broussard’s Restaurant provided exquisite food for the evening. What was different this year? For starters, the event was held for the first time at the Hermann-Grima House. The organization disproved the expression “You can’t go home again” as the event was brought back to one of the historic house museums. Zaid Ammari and the staff of Broussard’s partnered with HGGH to design the new layout for the gala. The gate separating the courtyards between the buildings was thrown open for the evening! James Moises of Bizou Wines led a wine tasting of over 60 wines from around the globe. Champagne, collectibles and oversized bottles made a presence at the silent auction. Top packages included a case of Veuve Clicquot, bottles of Laurent Perrier, Pol Roger, Perrier Jouet, Rouinart and Dom Perignon; fine wines from Kistler, Moises Wines, Golden Eye, La Sirena, Caymus and Lynch-Bages; and a six-liter bottle of Duckhorn, magnums of wine from Stuhlmuller, Sequoia Grove, Silver Oak, Antica, Ramey Wine Cellars and Swanson Vineyards. The live auction featured 11 lots, including standouts such as a bottle of 1990 Chateau Margaux, 2010 Opus One, 1990 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion and a Tim Trampolin original watercolor. n



event at a glance What: “Amazing Grapes,” benefiting Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses When: Friday, February 27 Where: Hermann-Grima House

1. Camille and Scott Zander, with Event Co-Chairs Pierce Jonassen Young and Elise Lapeyre Merlin 2. Charles and Auction Chair Tricia King with James Moises of Bizou Wines 3. Chris Costello, Executive Director Mamie Gasperecz and John Deveney 4. Buck Taylor, Vice President Caroline Ferguson and President Stephanie and Kenneth Carroll 5. Vera Dickey, Monica Frois and Stephen Dickey 6. Tom Young, Pierre and Elise Lapeyre and Max Merlin

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photographed by Kenny Martinez



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philanthropic fun

by shelby simon

A Gathering for Generosity


The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans honored the generosity of community members. The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans held its fifth annual “Goldring-Woldenberg Major Donor Dinner” at the Windsor Court Hotel. Fifty-seven major donors to the federation were in attendance. The evening was a black-tie affair, generously underwritten and hosted by Darryl and Louellen Berger and the Windsor Court Hotel. The intimate setting featured ivory linens and centerpieces of white roses and tulips. Guests partook in an open bar and passed hors d’oeuvres, with wine and liquor provided by Alan and Diane Franco. Musical entertainment was performed by Deborah Mintz. Guests dined on a three-course meal topped off with a chocolate mousse bomb with a passion fruit explosion. Amongst those in attendance were Event Co-Chairs Dr. Michael and Lynne Wasserman and Sidney and Joyce Pulitzer; the 2015 Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans Annual Campaign Co-Chairs Joshua Force and Cathy Glaser, current President Morton Katz, Immediate Past President Alan Franco and Incoming President Dr. Edward Soll. n



event at a glance What: “Goldring-Woldenberg Major Donor Dinner,” benefiting Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans When: Thursday, February 26 Where: Windsor Court Hotel

1. Event Co-Chairs Sidney and Joyce Pulitzer and Lynne and Dr. Michael Wasserman 2. Eleahn Kahn, Lis Kahn, Hugo Kahn and Therese Stiss 3. Darryl and Louellen Berger with Diane and Alan Franco

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photographed by Melissa Calico

a d v e r tis e m en t

philanthropic fun

by shelby simon

Unmasking Education


UNCF raised $1.5 million to provide students with the opportunity of a college education. Over 800 guests clad in ball gowns and black-tie wearing elaborate masks entered a ballroom adorned with spectacular decorations compliments of Mardi Gras Productions. Receiving the UNCF Masked Award for his 47-year tenure as president of UNCF member institution Xavier University of Louisiana was Dr. Norman C. Francis. Host Mayor Mitch Landrieu presented a key to the city to Mistress of Ceremonies Hoda Kotb of NBC’s “Today Show.” Actress and Louisiana native Lynn Whittfield was also in attendance. New Orleans celebrity chefs John Besh, Leah Chase, Kelly Fields and Brian Landry whipped up the outstanding four-course menu for the event. Comedian Jonathan Slocomb kept the audience engaged with his comedic relief throughout the night, and Grammy Award-winning Nicholas Payton Trio and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly provided live entertainment. In keeping with the theme there was a parade, and Stephanie Burks took home the prize for having the best mask of the night. Auctioneer Mark Romig urged the audience to bid on exciting items such as tickets to the 2015 “American Idol Results Show” and a once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York Fashion Week, along with a raffle for a new Nissan Maxima. Silent auction pieces included hotel stays, weekend getaways to neighboring states, memorabilia and exquisite jewelry pieces. Michael Smith, General Manager of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, served as Event Chair. The Host Committee included Major Mitch Landrieu; Dr. Michael Lomax, President and CEO; Therese Badon, Vice President of Development; and LaJuana Chenier, Regional Development Director. This year’s UNCF “Mayor’s Masked Ball” raised $1.5 million. The funds assist students at UNCF member institution schools Xavier and Dillard Universities, investing in better futures for students and providing the opportunity for many students to realize their dream of a college education. n



event at a glance What: “Mayor’s Masked Ball,” benefiting the United Negro College Fund When: Saturday, March 14 Where: Hyatt Regency New Orleans

1. Co-Chairs Ronald and Sheila Burns with William A. Oliver 2. Event Chair Michael O. Smith, Honoree Dr. Norman C Francis and Rod West 3. Mistress of Ceremonies Hoda Kotb and Host Mayor Mitch Landrieu

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photographed by Kenny Martinez

philanthropic fun

by Shelby Simon

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend


The National Council of Jewish Women honored members for 50 years of service with a “Gem of a Party.” The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) held its annual spring fundraiser “Puttin’ on the Glitz With a Gem of a Party!” on Sunday, March 15 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside’s Napoleon Room. The event kicked off with a Patron Party chaired by Joyce Pulitzer and Mimi Schlesinger, and entertainment by John Rankin. The main event included a dinner, which finished off with a chocolate moelleux cake topped with sugar diamonds. The jewel theme was further carried out in tones of emerald, ruby and sapphire-colored feathered arrangements illuminated with LED lights to add sparkle to the dinner tables. A silent auction included items such as a Doncaster handbag and restaurant gift certificates. The Big Easy Buddies, a seven-piece band and male quartet, performed popular hits from the 1950s and ’60s. The event paid tribute to Honorary Section Vice Presidents Joan S. Berenson, Celia Katz, Flo Schornstein and Sara Stone. These past presidents of the NCJW New Orleans section have been recognized as permanent honorary Vice Presidents because of their continued involvement and commitment to the New Orleans section for more than fifty years. Orchestrating the event were Co-Chairs Betty Kohn and Loel Weil Samuel; President June Leopold and Development Vice President Barbara Greenberg; and Committee Members Shellye Farber, Amanda Herman, Sherril Herman, Barbara Kaplinsky, Tricia Kirschman, Fran Koch, Millie Kohn, Amy Malish, Gale Pick, Joyce Pulitzer, Rollie Rabin, Beth Rosenthal, Mimi Schlesinger, Dana Shepard, Kathy Shepard and Sue Singer.   NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. n



event at a glance What: “Puttin’ on the Glitz With a Gem of a Party!,” benefiting the National Council of Jewish Women When: Sunday, March 15 Where: Hilton New Orleans Riverside

1. Patron Party Co-Chairs Joyce Pulitzer and Mimi Schlesinger 2. Diane Africk, Honoree Celia Katz and Steve and Mary Sue Katz 3. Ellen Schornstein Williams, Richard and Honoree Flo Schornstein, Wendy Good and Susan Haskell

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photographed by Jeff Strout

philanthropic fun

by shelby simon

Fostering Families


Raintree Children and Family Services raised funds to “Paint the Town Green” to provide services to at-risk children and families. True to its name, “Paint the Town Green” featured centerpieces of paint cans sprouting trees and green décor all over. The Patron Party was held at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, where patrons enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres, an open bar and charbroiled oysters from Drago’s. At the main event, 12 restaurants provided special dishes. Participating restaurants included: Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Andrea’s, Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, Chateau Gold and Country Club, Drago’s, Gordon Biersch, GW Fins, La Louisiane Bakery, Mr. Budbug Catering, Palace Café and Royal Sonesta’s Desire Oyster Bar. The Yat Pack provided live entertainment. The live auction highlights were a Saints Experience package with tickets in a suite to a home game, hotel stay and Ruth’s Chris Steak House gift card; an embellished giclée from James Michalopolous entitled “Step Child;” and David Yurmann gold earrings donated by Aucoin Heart. The silent auction displayed a huge variety of items including pieces by Terrance Osborne, a membership to the New Orleans Athletic Club and numerous hotel and restaurant experiences. Approximately 300 patrons attended the event in support of needed services for at-risk children and families in the Greater New Orleans Area. n



event at a glance What: “Paint the Town Green,” benefiting Raintree Children and Family Services When: Saturday, March 7 Where: Harrah’s Theater

1. Price LeBlanc Jr., Co-Chair Christine Bondio and Sid Lewis 2. Executive Director LaShawna Schofield, Co-Chair Cindy Paulin, John Stassi and President Lana Duke 3. Board Members Connie Kitchen, Lauren Tafaro and Debbie Alciatore

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photographed by Kenny Martinez | 39

philanthropic fun

by Shelby Simon

Treasures in St. Tammany


The primary fundraiser for the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany unveiled seven new customized exhibit concepts. “Celebration: A Treasure Odyssey” sold out again this year with a crowd of 1,300 guests to support the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany. The Castine Center in Mandeville’s Pelican Park was transformed into an underwater voyage “Treasure Odyssey.” Large jellyfish moved above guests as they were tempted by the artistic edible Zoë’s Bakery display that ventured to the ocean floor. The event’s culinary showcase placed more than 40 area restaurants’ best offerings to vie for Celebration’s Choice honors. The Dakota Restaurant took first honors as the evening’s winner, offering a delectable crab and brie soup. Guests were delighted with superior offerings brought out by friendly competition. To round out the good food and good times, guests enjoyed expert mixologists shaking up concoctions by Glazer’s Companies. Live entertainment was provided by Groovy 7 and Fontainebleau High School Jazz Band. The event included nearly 250 live and silent auction items, a treasure chest prize game, a raffle of three Apple product packages, a balloon drop and more. Young artisans featured their work for visual pleasure and sale. Guests at “Celebration: A Treasure Odyssey” received a firsthand look at seven Children’s Museum exhibit galleries custom-designed by Argyle Design, Inc. for the children of St. Tammany Parish. Holly Cain served as Chair. Emcees for the evening were Margaret Orr, WDSU Chief Meteorologist, and Curt Sprang, WGNO Newscaster. n



event at a glance What: “Celebration: A Treasure Odyssey,” benefiting the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany When: Sunday, March 8 Where: Castine Center

1. Donald Villere, Emcee Margaret Orr, Tony LeMon and Chair Holly Cain 2. Nicole Gonzales, Melissa Hodgson and Dr. Ed and Jan Martin 3. Trey and Patty Folse with Sheila and Jack Loup

40 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

photographed by Jeff Stout

philanthropic fun

by shelby simon

A Very Merry Un-Birthday


The Women’s Guild of the New Orleans Opera tipped their hats to 31 years of supporting opera in New Orleans. The Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, White Rabbit and Alice herself made a special appearance at the New Orleans Opera Women’s Guild’s annual “Mad Hatters 31st Un-Birthday Luncheon,” chaired by Karen Villavaso and Dr. Jane Miller. Margaret Orr served as Mistress of Ceremonies, President Betsy Dowling delivered welcoming remarks and Jean Rice specifically composed the invocation for Mad Hatters. A champagne Patron Party preceded the luncheon in the Grand Ballroom of the New Orleans Hilton Riverside. Guests dined on crawfish and mirliton bisque, Abita beer braised short ribs, rosti potato haricot verte and cliptop carrots. Cakes made in the form of a hat served as centerpieces for each table. Chairman Mary Dana Dandry organized a hat fashion show with Saks Fifth Avenue, with categories including Most Whimsical, Most Beautiful, Best Ensemble, Festive Fascinator, Best Original Theme, Best Group and the Mad Hatter’s “Choice” Award. In addition to an auction, the Wonderland Raffle included prizes such as a two-night stay at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside, a $500 gift basket from Saks Fifth Avenue, a $350 wine and liquor basket and a one-night stay at the J W Marriott for two. A game of 50/50 made $2,500, and the winner took home half the pool. The Women’s Guild of the New Orleans Opera is entrusted with raising money to support opera in New Orleans, running the national historic landmark “Opera Guild Home” and exposing opera productions to children to provide educational opportunities and the encouragement of talented young voices. n



event at a glance What: “Mad Hatters 31st Un-Birthday Luncheon,” benefiting Women’s Guild of the New Orleans Opera When: Tuesday, March 10 Where: Hilton New Orleans Riverside

1. Co-Chairs Karen Villavaso and Dr. Jane Miller with Steven Putt and Carolyn Elder 2. Damon Singleton, Suzanne Parron, Teresa Guzetta and Terrance Osborne 3. Ed Marshall, Peggy Scott Laborde, Camille Whitworth and Joseph Parrino

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photographed by Jeff Strout

Tickets on Sale Now!

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A gathering spot just for the guys presented by AMA Distributors | 43

44 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015


encore! the past social season in review By Marilee Hovet We have all heard of (and of course seen photographs of) the famous Costume Institute Gala or, as it’s more commonly known, the Met Ball. With Vogue’s legendary Anna Wintour presiding over the event, it has become one of the most successful nights of fundraising in the history of fundraising. Rumor has it that in recent years the Metropolitan Museum of Art has raised something in the neighborhood of $12,000,000 from that night alone. Not an easy thing to do. It

certainly helps to have honorary Chairs like Bradley Cooper and Beyoncé; nevertheless, it’s a feat of fundraising that most nonprofits can only dream about. But there are all sorts of fundraisers with impressive levels of success that don’t involve celebrities and $25,000 ticket prices. In a recent conversation with a friend of mine who was Chairman of a major event this year, we were marveling at the amount of preparation the average fundraiser requires.

Literally hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours drive the New Orleans fundraising circuit every year; it would be hard to find someone who doesn’t give back in some way. Restaurant owners, artists, gallery owners, boutique owners, printers, party supply rental companies, sponsors, patrons, ticket taking volunteers, florists … I could go on and on. And that doesn’t even cover the nonprofit staff members. All of the people I’ve come across who work in the nonprofit world go above

and beyond their prescribed duties on a regular basis. Planning a fundraiser involves a lot of nittygritty details, and many events necessitate a full year of planning. With that in mind, consider what it takes to produce the sheer volume of events here in New Orleans. New Orleans fundraisers come in all shapes and sizes, and unlike many cities, New Orleans doesn’t limit itself to a gala season. Winter, spring, summer or fall – there are numerous fundraisers for us all. | 45

2015 "Go red for women" Madalyn Schenk, Diane Lyons, Jack Pruitt, Purseanalities Chair Betsie Gambel and Stephanie Miller Murphy



Let us start with winter. January 2015 brought out the stars for Each One Save One’s “Mentor Magic Gala.” Between “Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts and her sister, local anchor Sally-Ann Roberts, the spotlight was shining on the Hyatt Regency Hotel for this event. An organization dedicated to reaching at-risk kids, Each One Save One takes a personal approach to effecting change through individual mentors. Using a brilliantly simple model, the organization pairs each

mentor with a student who needs guidance. Mentors go through a mandatory training program and commit to meeting with mentees for one hour each week throughout the entire school year. The cold days of January were warmed up by yet another fundraiser that works to effect change through hands-on volunteering: The “Good Apple Gala” benefiting Louisiana Appleseed. With a focus on reversing social injustice, Appleseed recruits professionals, primarily lawyers, to donate their time in ways that will advance the public interest by addressing societal issues at a systemic level. Held at the

National World War II Museum, the “Good Apple Gala” is a festive and fun evening that also honors the “good apples” who have gone above and beyond in their volunteer efforts to advance the mission of Appleseed. February and the American Heart Association's “Go Red for Women” are a natural fit; with everyone thinking about hearts for Valentine’s Day, it’s the perfect time to heighten awareness of the important work of the AHA. A national movement that has been steadily gaining momentum over the past decade, “Go Red” reminds us of the sobering fact that

heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. On February 6, hundreds of women gathered at the Hyatt Regency to celebrate, advocate and learn more about how to stay healthy and save lives. Because drinking moderate amounts of red wine is thought to benefit a woman’s heart, the Heart Association would likely approve of the “Amazing Grapes Wine Auction” benefiting the Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses. This magical event combined wine tastings, an auction and a gourmet buffet at Broussard’s restaurant all in the name of raising funds for the educational programming at HGGH. The courtyard of the Hermann-Grima House is a cultural treasure, a jewel in the crown of the French Quarter. By opening the gate that separates Broussard’s from the Grima courtyard (which, by the way, is a recipe for a gorgeous party), the event took on a poignancy that added to its success. Standing in the courtyard of the Hermann-Grima House, it’s easy to envision the benefits that come from using historic houses as educational tools for all who walk through their doors.

Most Glamorous: “Mayor’s Masked Ball,” benefiting the United Negro College Fund Most Exciting: “Make It Right Gala,” benefiting the Make It Right Foundation Most Fanciful: “The Opera Ball: Flights of Fancy,” benefiting the Women’s Guild of New Orleans Opera Most Dazzling: “Denim & Diamonds,” benefiting the Louise S. McGehee School Most Aquatic: “Scales and Ales,” benefiting the Audubon Nature Institute Most Retro: “The Classics: Sugarplum Ball 60th Anniversary Gala,” benefiting Children’s Hospital

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Photo by Jeff Strout

SPRING The month of March is one of the prettiest times of year in New Orleans, and every March “Art In Bloom” seems to usher in springtime on a bed of flowers. Benefiting the New Orleans Museum of Art and the projects of the Garden Study Club, this event is like no other. On a beautiful spring evening, more than 1,000 people gathered at NOMA to marvel at the jaw-dropping arrangements offered up by local flower lovers. If you’ve never been to “Art In Bloom” (and trust me, if you haven’t been you should go!), it’s difficult to imagine the magnificent level of creativity and talent on display. A multi-day event that starts on a Wednesday and displays its flower arrangements through the weekend, “Art In Bloom” isn’t to be missed. In addition to a tremendous silent auction and a fun party (at which, and I’m not exaggerating, you see flowers everywhere you look), there’s the Saks Fifth Avenue fashion show, the luncheon in the Pavilion of Two Sisters and lectures that are guaranteed crowd pleasers. (This year, party-planner Bronson van Wyck had everyone completely engrossed with tales of his starstudded spectacles.) Spring wouldn’t be spring without outdoor events. “The Secret Gardens Tour” benefiting the Brain Injury Association of Louisiana is the perfect way to sneak a peek into some of the most glorious private gardens in town. One of the highlights this year was the garden at Katherine and Tony Gelderman’s house.

With a side parterre garden that literally stops tourists in their tracks when they’re touring the neighborhood, the Geldermans' garden is a joy to behold. “Lark in the Park” benefiting New Orleans City Park is yet another outdoor spring event. Held in the Pavilion of the Two Sisters and the adjacent New Orleans Botanical Garden (where, incidentally, the dazzling and always sold-out “Magic in the

Moonlight” seated dinner is held in the fall), “Lark in the Park” is always a blockbuster event. As anyone who has set foot in City Park in the last five years will tell you, it has undergone an exciting transformation; proceeds from “Lark in the Park” benefit the continued maintenance of City Park. One of the most heartrending fundraisers of the year was the “Light of Hope Gala” benefiting CASA Jefferson, Inc. The mission

of CASA (which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates) is to “break the cycle of child abuse and neglect through volunteers advocating for safe, nurturing, and permanent homes for foster children in our community.” CASA is an organization that impacts lives on a daily basis, and the “Light of Hope Gala” is an important and meaningful event; to support CASA is to change the life of a child in need.

2015 "art in bloom" Auction Co-Chair Mathilde Currence, Douglass Meffert and Auction Co-Chair Anne Villere

Most Inspiring: “Mentor Magic,” benefiting Each One Save One Most Tasty: “Come Grow With Us,” benefiting Liberty’s Kitchen Most Fragrant: “Art In Bloom,” benefiting the New Orleans Museum of Art and the projects of The Garden Study Club Most Optimistic: “Light of Hope Gala,” benefiting Court Appointed Special Advocate Jefferson Parish Most Sparkly: “Puttin’ On The Glitz,” benefiting the National Council of Jewish Women in Greater New Orleans Most Clandestine: “Secret Gardens Tour,” benefiting the

Photo by kenny martinez | 47

2015 "Whitney zoo-to-do" Past Queens



First winter, then spring and now summer. Even the infamous heat and humidity cannot stop the people of New Orleans from planning and attending fundraising events. Every year the wildest party in town, Audubon Zoo's “Whitney Zoo-To-Do,” kicks off summer in style. What is there to say about this party? To see our beautiful zoo lit up for the annual black-tie (or white linen

suit) gala is breathtaking. With the wonderful Sally and Ron Forman setting the festive tone for the evening, this event is a fundraising showstopper. For those of you who have children, don’t miss the “Kids Zoo-To-Do;” be prepared to stay until the bitter end, however, because your children won’t want to leave. Proceeds from both of the “Zoo-To-Do” events benefit a different project within the Audubon Zoo each year and help the Audubon Nature Institute

continue to enhance our world famous zoo. From one great New Orleans attraction to another, the National World War II Museum’s “Whitney Bank Victory Ball” heated things up last summer. A truly glamorous black-tie event, the party flowed between the US Freedom Pavilion, the Stage Door Canteen and the American Sector Restaurant. Whether you’re a World War II aficionado or just a lover of all things New Orleans, this party hit the mark.

One of the highlights of summer in New Orleans is “White Linen Night,” benefiting the Contemporary Arts Center. Every year thousands of people brave the sultry August heat and flock to the New Orleans Arts District for White Linen Night. With its food trucks, cocktails, music and galleries, Julia Street is the place to be for this event – the people-watching alone is worth the trip. DJs and dancing at the CAC are the perfect way to round out the evening.

Brain Injury Association of Louisiana Most Organic: “Country Day’s City Nights: Farm to Table Feast,” benefiting Metairie Park Country Day School Most Anglophilic: “An Afternoon Tea with ‘Downton Abbey’,” benefiting WYES Most Heartfelt: “Go Red for Women Luncheon,” benefiting American Heart Association Most Important: “Blues Night,” benefiting Crimestoppers Greater New Orleans Most Lively: “Art & Soul: Raise the Roof,” benefiting NOCCA Most Perfect: “St. Jude in the Big Easy,” benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Most Powerful: “10th Anniversary Gala,” benefiting the Youth Empowerment Project Most Illuminating: “Entrepreneur

48 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

Photo by Jeff Strout

FALL As the heat of the summer gives way to fall, art once again takes center stage. “LOVE in the Garden” benefiting the New Orleans Museum of Art always draws a great crowd, and last year’s party was no exception – particularly because of 2014’s “LOVE for NOCCA!” In honor of the 40th anniversary of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the New Orleans Museum of Art honored a handful of artists who are affiliated with the school either as faculty members or alumni. A fun party every year, this one raised the bar when it instituted a cocktail challenge that definitely got people talking (and drinking!). Fall also finds “Come Grow With Us,” benefiting Liberty’s Kitchen. This party, having garnered support from a particularly impressive group of restaurants ranging from Commander’s Palace to Whole Foods, happened to have fabulous food. The Liberty’s Kitchen goals are to teach, nourish and empower by instilling important life skills in at risk young people. A seriously impressive organization, it physically and emotionally nourishes its participants, and it empowers them to lead healthy and productive lives. Liberty’s Kitchen works with young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are out of school and out of work. The program opens their worlds and gives them the skills

2014 "Key to the Cure" Dr. Prescott Deininger, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Dr. Augusto Ochoa

they need to thrive. “Come Grow With Us” is a marvelous event benefiting a marvelous cause. October in New Orleans is jam-packed with events, but one that stands out is the “Key to the Cure.” This is an easy event to support – just go shopping at Saks! For four days in October, Saks Fifth Avenue New Orleans donates 2 percent of sales to the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium. The gala that kicks off the event is always a phenomenal success, attracting a fantastic crowd of supporters. Over the past 13 years, Saks has raised over $34,000,000

on a national level for cancer charities through Key to the Cure. Of that number, New Orleans has contributed more than $1,550,000. If you want to support cancer research, the Key to the Cure is an excellent way to do so. The St. Charles Avenue Magazine Registry of Charitable Events lists well over 1,200 fundraisers. We may not have Bradley Cooper and Anna Wintour at the Met Ball, and we may not stage an event that raises $12,000,000 in one night. But we have a year-round supply of events that support every kind of charitable cause that any

of us could possibly imagine. We also have a city full of tremendously generous people who contribute, in one way or another, to nonprofit organizations that better the lives of everyone in our city. In winter, spring, summer and fall the city is full of options for giving. Next year’s Chairs are already gathering committee members, booking bands and choosing dates. Stay tuned for what’s sure to be another year of unparalleled fun, food, cocktails and entertainment – all in the name of fundraising in New Orleans!

Season,” benefiting The Idea Village Most Charming: “Sippin’ in Seersucker,” benefiting the Ogden Museum of Southern Art Most Fun: “Laissez Le Bons Temps Rouler,” benefiting Boys Hope Girls Hope Most Delightful: “Recycled Fashion Show,” benefiting Bridge House/Grace House Most Enchanting: “Martini Madness,” benefiting the new Ladybug Rollercoaster at City Park’s Carousel Gardens Most Bookish: “Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulker,” benefiting the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Most Creative: “Just Say YAYA,” benefiting Young Aspirations Young Artists

Photo by Jeff Strout | 49

Prep glasses at Angelique Kids

Chic outfits for your tiny adventurers styled by Tracee Dundas // photos by Theresa King // illustrations by Sarah George

Whether you’re heading out for a day at the beach or on safari at Audubon Zoo, seek out these 14 outfits and accessories from 10 local retailers. These looks will help your little ones discover every adventure along the way.

Angelique Kids 5519 Magazine St. 899-8992 // Banbury Cross 100 Atherton Dr. 837-0447 // B Kids 115 Metairie Road, Suite B, 301-2954; 5422 Magazine St., 218-4210 // Haase’s 8119 Oak St., 866-9944 // NOLA Couture 2928 Magazine St., 319-5959; 528 St. Peter St., 875-3522 // NOLA Kids 333 Chartres St., 566-1340 // Palm Village 2735 US-190, Suite C, (985) 778-2547 // Pelican Coast 5509 Magazine St., 309-2314 // Perlis 6070 Magazine St., 895-8661; 600 Decatur St. #104, 523-6681 // Zuka Baby 2122 Magazine St., 596-6540

Beige pinstripe jacket, dog T-shirt and navy shorts at Angelique Kids; snowball belt at Nola Couture

50 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

Floral cat ears headband, two-piece set print top and skater skirt at tassel necklace Angelique Kids; pink-and-aqua glass bead bracelets at B Kids

Pink swan T-shirt, pink tutu skirt and stuffed rabbit doll at Angelique Kids; glitter silver hair bow at Nola Kids

Orange polo shirt and plaid shorts at Perlis | 51

White floppy hat at Haase's

Elephant print shift dress at Palm Village; white sunglasses at Angelique Kids

Blue hippo T-shirt, khaki shorts and monkey watch at Nola Kids; stuffed chameleon at Zuka Baby

Zebra backpack at Zuka Baby

Reversible animal print aviator hat at Zuka Baby

Red gingham romper at Banbury Cross

52 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

Multi-print wrap dress at Zuka

Pink sunglasses at Angelique Kids

Two-piece set: swan T-shirt and chevron leggings at Nola Kids

Stuffed pink gator at Nola Kids

Stuffed flamingo at Haase's | 53

Aqua polo, white T-shirt and red seersucker crab shorts at Pelican Coast

Two-piece set: crab T-shirt and striped shorts at Banbury Cross

54 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

Blue-and-red sailboat print dress at Haase's

One-piece striped sun suit at B Kids

Stuffed gator at Nola Kids

Blue-andwhite striped hair bow and blue striped sailor dress at Nola Kids | 55

New Orleans locals are constantly reminded of their proximity to one of the nation’s largest tourist attractions – between bike and bus tours, bead-wearers in business suits and backpacktoting streetcar riders, locals consistently encounter vacationers throughout the year. How fortunate we are though to be in a city so enchanting and full of life that people will spend days exploring its magnificent history and culture. New Orleans is a perfect location for the summer “staycation,” with its variety of experiences and offerings that can make even locals feel far from home. Whether you’re looking for family fun, a weekend with friends or a romantic getaway, a number of French Quarter and CBD hotels offer a home away from home, even if home is just down the block. Between charming French Quarter courtyards, the welcoming waters 56 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

m m e r u S in the


11 tips for your staycation by Kelcy Wilburn • photos by Cheryl Gerber of swimming pools or the free entertainment that comes with a street-view balcony, the one-of-akind atmosphere provided by area hotels can enhance a staycation. “We have for many years seen our loyal clients coming back again and again to the French Quarter,

and a surprising number are always local or from the Northshore during the summer,” says Craig Hulford, General Manager of the New Orleans Hotel Collection, which includes the famous Bourbon Orleans and the boutique Hotel Le Marais among other properties.

Court of Two Sisters

“They have told us that they find it relaxing to take a ‘staycation’ as it has become known during the slower season to reconnect with the wonderful restaurants and cultural attractions of the French Quarter,” says Hulford. Situated between the Marigny and French Quarter, the grand Melrose Mansion offers convenient access to a couple of the city’s liveliest neighborhoods. “The grandeur of the historic main house, the tranquility of the private grounds and the singular poolside glimpse of Esplanade Avenue offers locals the sense of being somewhere else and somewhere familiar all at once,” says Kenny Marrs, General Manager of the French Quarter Hotel Collection. “Glad” to welcome locals year-round, the Melrose Mansion is offering readers a 10 percent discount with promo code GLAD.

With a location on the opposite side of the French Quarter, the Hampton Inn & Suites New Orleans Convention Center is just steps away from the World War II Museum, The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Harrah’s Casino, Fulton Alley, Entergy IMAX Theatre and The Shops/Theaters at Canal Place. “The area we are located in is filled with new eateries and packed with museums and art galleries,” says Kiki Mannear, Marketing Support Manager. “The location allows you to see more than the French Quarter, which is just a short walk from our doors,” she says. Things to do and places to see obviously abound across the city, but one particular compact area offers more than many locals may realize. The French Market District is appreciated by tourists for its reputation as a one-stop-shop for all things New Orleans, but it’s much more than souvenirs. “We have wonderful free offerings pretty much every day, whether it’s a jazz piano concert, walking tour, cooking demonstration, children’s workshop or concert or farmers market,” says Amy Kirk, Marketing Director. This July, the 29th annual “Creole Tomato Festival” returns to the market with a new Abita Beer Main Stage located at the Old US Mint. In August, the Abita Springs Opry returns to the Farmers Market every Saturday that month. Located centrally in the French Quarter, Martin Lawrence Galleries is a popular stop for art-loving tourists and certainly worthy of local attention as well. “Locals who have not yet discovered Martin Lawrence Galleries may not know we exhibit and sell original fine art, including original Rembrandt, Picasso, Chagall, Warhol, Erté, Deyber, Murakami and more,” says Mary Coxe, Gallery Director. Additionally, the gallery hosts monthly exhibits

of contemporary and modern artists, each with their own Artist Reception. This month, Martin Lawrence exhibits ‘New Modern Artist’ René Lalonde with a collection of works that spans from the psychedelic 1960s to today. (Artist Reception will be held Saturday, June 20, 6-8 p.m.) If you’re planning a more family-oriented staycation and need to entertain the little ones, the Louisiana Children’s Museum presents an option for indoor, air-conditioned fun that comes with a healthy dose of learning. “Our education team prepares and plans for new experiences each week of the year, ensuring that every visit to the Louisiana Children’s Museum builds on prior knowledge and sparks curiosity for future exploration and discovery,” says Julia Bland, CEO. With two floors of interactive exhibits and weekly programs, the museum also features some well-known New Orleans highlights: the Mississippi River and the Little Port of New Orleans, Jackson Square, and southern food at the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation Kids’ Café.

With kids in tow, another great local spot for fun and laughs is New Orleans City Park. With attractions such as the Ladybug Roller Coaster in the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park and mini-golf at City Putt, City Park is undeniably one of the city’s greatest assets for outdoor fun. According to John Hopper, Chief Development Officer, adults taking a staycation and looking to beat the heat while enjoying the park should check out the verdant and shade-filled Botanical Gardens. “Stroll at a leisurely pace, rest a spell in one of the swings and take in all the beautiful plants. When you’re done, head over to Morning Call for an iced coffee,” he suggests. Located on the edge of the park, Ralph’s on the Park is a convenient stop for dinner and drinks and boasts a relaxing atmosphere with its large windows overlooking the centuries-old oaks. This month, the restaurant revives its annual summer small plates promotion, which features three appetizers and a glass of wine for an enticing price. “It’s a light way to dine during the warm summer months

and an exciting and easy way to sample all the options,” says Executive Chef Chip Flanagan. Sharing is encouraged and allows guests the ability to taste a number of small plates from Flanagan’s inventive menu. A vacation isn’t complete without a leisurely summer brunch, and a staycation shouldn’t miss out on a boozy breakfast either. The good news for locals is that you don’t have to wait for the weekend at The Court of Two Sisters. “Jazz Brunch is not just served on Sunday at The Court of Two Sisters, but seven days a week!” says Michelle Fein Morantez, Director of Marketing. Morantez recommends dining in the courtyard while listening to a jazz trio and enjoying a variety of traditional New Orleans dishes such as jambalaya, turtle soup, shrimp etouffée and grits and grillades. “Variety” is the key here, too, as Court of Two Sisters’ jazz brunch is an epic buffet full of both hot and cold dishes that change with the season and the time of day. Indulging is the name of the game with a staycation, and don’t

New Orleans City Park | 57

Melrose Mansion

forget a little pampering as part of your locally sourced vacation. Located Uptown in the Riverbend area, Le Visage Day Spa is a great destination for rejuvenation of the body and mind. When you walk in, expect something special. Owners and skincare gurus Patricia Bereciartua and Marlen Mendares have eschewed standard services for personalization. Every client coming for facial, massage or nail service will have their treatment tailored to their specific needs for maximum benefit. As well as taking care of their loyal clienteles, they ensure that clients also benefit from products incorporating the latest technology and highest quality ingredients. A well chosen retail section makes it hard to leave for clients to leave without picking a little something extra to go with their guaranteed glow.

58 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

Ralph's on the Park

In similar fashion, Waxing the City is another local business looking to build confidence and comfort in locals aiming to hit the town. “Our goal is to make our clients feel confident and smooth in the skin they are in,” says Amanda Cannon, owner. “As we all know, summer in New Orleans is hot. Waxing is the perfect way to get ready for shorts, tanks, dresses, and swimsuits,” she says. Waxing the City employs highly trained cerologists (estheticians) and uses a gentle wax exclusive to the company. The studio offers 50 percent off your first service, and according to Cannon, you will be hair-free for a minimum of 1-2 weeks, plenty of time to enjoy the city’s extensive vacation options. Summer’s here, and so are you. Time to make the best of it! Stay and play – it’s as simple as that.

New Orleans Hotel Collection (855) 798-6642 • Melrose Mansion / French Quarter Hotel Collection 937 Esplanade Ave. • 944-2255 • Hampton Inn & Suites New Orleans Convention Center 1201 Convention Center Blvd. • 566-9990 French Market Corporation 1008 N. Peters, 3rd Floor • 522-2621 • Martin Lawrence Galleries 433 Royal St. • 299-9055 • Louisiana Children’s Museum 420 Julia St. • 523-1357 • New Orleans City Park 1 Palm Drive • 482-4888 • Ralph’s on the Park 900 City Park Ave. • 488-1000 • Court of Two Sisters 613 Royal St. • 522-7261 • Le Visage Day Spa 8110 Hampson St. • 265-8018 • Waxing the City 4121 Magazine St. • 899-1500 •

vintage wedding


Florence Weiland to Richard Schornstein Jr. September 3, 1955 Richard and Flo met at Lynn Goldman’s wedding in 1954. Flo was in the wedding, and Richard asked his cousin who that beautiful girl was and to please introduce them. Richard asked Flo to dance; she was thrilled and thought he looked like a movie star. Richard asked Flo out that very night,

and the rest is history. They dated each other exclusively. While at Bert and Joelle Myer’s wedding, Richard said to Flo, “Do you think we should get married, too?” Flo said, “Yes!” Richard had a ring designed just for her by Milton Adler! Both wedding and the reception were held at the Roosevelt Hotel’s

University Ballroom. Flo’s mom had Scheinuk’s create the flowers, which started with a backdrop of greenery accented with roses. There were huge bouquets of flowers everywhere. Even the bride’s dress was created with tiny pockets around the neckline so they could add fresh lilies of the valley, which matched her

bouquet. The bride’s dress as well as the bridesmaids dresses were from the Liberty Shop; Flo’s dress was blush pink and the bridesmaid’s dresses were crushed strawberry. The Roosevelt created the cake, complete with long-ribboned cake pulls – still a tradition today! After the wedding they were off to Point Clear, Alabama, for their honeymoon. Richard had just been hired by the Reily family and had only been with them for six months, but they were so impressed with his abilities that they gave him a bonus and a week off. Richard and Flo have been married for 60 wonderful years! n | 59


By Mallory Lindsly

Hoesley – Slater During the summer of 2006, Meredith “Mimi” Drews Hoesley and Benjamin “Ben” Richard Slater IV met at a bar in Union Square through a mutual

friend. The two briefly dated in ‘07 but didn’t reconnect again until ‘11, while Ben was in Business school at Columbia and Mimi was applying to graduate schools.

One evening, Ben surprised Mimi at their home with breakfast from her favorite restaurant. During breakfast, Ben had another surprise for Mimi: A proposal. Ben and Mimi had an intimate wedding at Trinity Chapel with a reception following at Antoine’s. After the wedding, the two went to Ambergris Caye in Belize for a week.

Mimi and Ben live in Union Square in Manhattan – just a few blocks from where they first met. Mimi is the global beauty marketing manager at, a luxury online women’s retailer, while Ben is a hedge fund analyst at Tipp Hill Capital. n

Bride: Meredith Drews Hoesley Groom: Benjamin Richard Slater IV Bride’s Parents: James and Sandra Hoesley Bride’s Grandparents: The late John and Virginia Hoesley; Frederick and Loretta Drews Groom’s Parents: Ben and Kathy Slater Groom’s Grandparents: Gloria Slater and the late Ben Slater Jr.; Alberta Elliott and the late Marvin Elliott Rehearsal Dinner: Groom’s parents’ home Date of Wedding: January 31, 2015 Ceremony Location: Trinity Chapel Reception Location: Antoine’s Celebrant: Rev. Hill Riddle and Rev. Henry Hudson Ceremony Music: Elliott Slater and Albinas Prizgintas Wedding Gown: Elie Saab, Maid of Honor: Elizabeth Garrabrant Ring Bearers: Oliver and Eli Hoesley  Best Man: Elliott Slater Readers: Connor Hoesley Florist: Dunn & Sonnier Favors: Local goodies, including bloody Mary mix, Zapp’s chips and cookies from the Cookie Lady Wedding Cake: Maurice’s Photographer: Patrick Niddrie Hair & Makeup: Just Face It Music: Algiers Brass Band and Charmaine Neville

60 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015 | 61


By Lindsay Mack

FitLot Co-Founder and Executive Director, Adam Mejerson FitLot is a New Orleansbased nonprofit that repurposes vacant lots into outdoor fitness parks. Vacant lots around the city are not only an eyesore, but also a factor that diminishes property values. FitLot’s aim is to transform these underutilized lots and provide everyone in the city with easy access to free exercise spaces. Thanks to sponsorship from Whole Foods and Propeller, FitLot’s flagship park at Lafitte Greenway is fully funded. It should open this spring, with three more parks following soon after. In the future, FitLot hopes to build an entire network of parks around the city that are connected via bike paths. Accessibility is the goal, and the organization hopes to provide a FitLot within walking distance of most city neighborhoods. From the start, FitLot was conceived as a long-term project. “We hope to be able to support the parks over the next several years,” says Adam Mejerson.

Furthermore, FitLot aims to involve the neighborhood around each park so that locals can give input into the building process. After 90 days of planning and preparatory work on each park, FitLot will host a community build day to let area volunteers finish building and landscaping their park in one afternoon. This involvement allows community members to develop a sense of ownership with their neighborhood park. This spring is an exciting time for FitLot. A lot of hard work and planning are culminating in the launch of new initiatives, such as the Neighborhood Coaches program. Community members can take free eight-week classes with a coach to learn how to use the fitness park and develop positive, safe workout habits. The coaches get certified through a program at Ochsner, and then train after-school groups at fitness parks around the city. n

At this time, FitLot needs more local businesses to support the idea of outdoor business parks and to help make these spaces more accessible. FitLot is still raising sponsorship and support for each project. Furthermore, anyone interested in becoming a Neighborhood Coach (in particular returning veterans) are encouraged to contact FitLot for more information: FitLot Office, Propeller, 4035 Washington Ave., 264-1568,,

62 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

cheryl gerber photograph

student activist

By Mallory Lindsly

Bond Nicole Bordelon Academy of the Sacred Heart

“I believe it’s extremely important to be involved in your community. Being involved with the issues and needs of the people in your own backyard creates a type of awareness that’s sometimes hard to find in the world we live in,” says Bond Nicole Bordelon, a senior at Academy of the Sacred Heart. Bordelon is the head of the community outreach club where she organizes outreach opportunities for Sacred Heart students. In addition to the outreach club, Bordelon volunteers for the Jesus Project Ministries in Holly Grove, where she tutors once or twice a week. This past summer, Bordelon was a camp councilor for the 4 to 10 year olds. She also works with Jesus Project Ministries with the Back Pack Outreach program. The program’s mission is to bring children and families from the neighborhood together so they can eat lunch, listen to music, play games and receive a new backpack and supplies for the new school year. Volunteering with this project has a long-term commitment, because the volunteers raise money, shop for supplies and plan the back to school event. The neighborhood

was so excited for this event that children lined up three hours early to receive a backpack. Bordelon has also gone on service trips to Nicaragua for Amigos for Christ. “The people of Nicaragua completely embody the qualities that I want to possess,” says Bordelon. “I was so touched by my time there that I’ll be spending a month in Nicaragua as a short-term service leader this coming summer. I knew from the moment that I stepped on the Amigos for Christ compound that I was meant to spend time there and do what I could to help.” Bordelon has grown as a person through volunteering and service trips. She has learned not only from the people she has helped, but also through the people who started the organizations. Bordelon’s mother implanted the need to give back to her community. For as long as she can remember, her mother touched those around her. “I can remember from an early age my mother would always stop and give a dollar to the homeless people on the street,” she says. “When people ridiculed her for it, claiming that they would just use it for drugs, my mother would say ‘everyone deserves a chance.’” Bordelon will attend George Washington University in the fall, where she plans on studying international relations, majoring in conflict resolution. She isn’t sure what she wants to do as a career but has researched opportunities with the Peace Corp and Doctors Without Borders. She would love to be able to travel while giving back to the world. n

performing arts

By Lauren LaBorde

Performance Calendar June through June 6 Merrily We Roll Along

20 Sandra Bernhard is #blessed

The musical follows the life of a composer who left his music and friends behind to be a Hollywood producer. Le Petit Théâtre,

The comedian known for her in-your-face style and caustic pop culture commentary performs.

616 St. Peter St., 522-2081,

through June 14 The Color Purple

The theater presents the musical based on the Alice Walker novel. Anthony Bean, 1333

S. Carrollton Ave., 862-7529,

18-21 Damn Yankees

The Joy Theater, 1200 Canal St., 528-9569, 21 MOVE Live On Tour with Julianne and Derek Hough

The siblings known from “Dancing With the Stars” present their touring dance show. Saenger

Theatre, 1111 Canal St., 525-1052,

The Summer Lyric season kicks off with the musical about a middle-aged baseball fanatic who sells his soul to the devil for a chance to lead his favorite team to victory against the New York Yankees. Tulane Summer Lyric,

Tulane’s Dixon Hall, 865-5269, | 63


By Mirella Cameran

Judy Caliva Owner, Haase’s Shoe Store

How did Haase’s start? In 1921 with Boris and Della Haase; my husband Kevin is their grandson. How do you compete against online and big-box retailers? Service.

We treat every customer like family. We fit the shoe to the foot and also to the person wearing it. It is a personal service shoe store in an age of self-service.

Tell us something surprising about Haase’s As well as children’s

clothing and footwear, we offer men’s dress shoes from Johnston & Murphy and G.H. Baas & Co. We have onsite monogramming, and people come to us from all over the place – New York City, San Francisco and Boston – looking for styles they cannot find elsewhere.

What are your most popular lines?

At Haase’s, it’s more about a quality product than the label, but we do sell many brands: Kepner Scott, New Balance, Salt Water Sandals, Feltman Brothers and Florence Eisman.

What are you most excited about for summer? Water shoes, sandals,

backpacks, bathing suits, towels and clothes for the kids!

Is there anything else you would like to tell us? Every day someone

comes into the store and tells us about getting their first pair of shoes at Haase’s. It is humbling and rewarding to know that this store means so much to generations of New Orleanians. What are your current favorites?

Palladium flex slip-ons and our new Asics tennis shoes. n

Haase’s Shoe Store 8119 Oak St., 866-9944,

64 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

cheryl gerber photographs


By Mirella Cameran

Kevin Gillentine Artist and Proprietor, Kevin Gillentine Gallery

How did you become an artist? In my teens a friend of mine took a drawing class. When she showed me some pieces she had drawn, I became fascinated and was hooked. Why did you set up your gallery? I

moved from New York 20 years ago, where I was producing artwork for movies and Broadway shows. My partner, Vincent Bergeal, had been marketing a line of hand-dyed scarves that we had designed together. The gallery was the way to get started.

Why are you unique? My art has

its own style, and we probably have the best selection of high-end, conservation and handmade frames in the city.

Tell us about your favorite pieces in the gallery A painting called

“End of the day” and a set of 18th century prints of Egyptian influenced Roman statues.

Who does your art appeal to? All

types; I’ve seen it in ultra contemporary as well as traditional homes.

You have famous clients? Troy Aikman, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones to name a few! What makes your art popular?

My color palette is soothing and my paintings are meant to give a feeling of quiet. I think people are looking for that.

Why do you think people in New Orleans love art? New Orleanians

like originality and individuality.

Is there anything else you’d like to share? Come to the first Saturday

of the month art openings, there’s so much to see. n

Kevin Gillentine Gallery 3917 Magazine St., 891-0509,

cheryl gerber photographs | 65


by lani griffiths







1. Nicky Gardiner Bruce Bertram attend the opening of Wayne Amedee’s new show at Octavia Gallery. Wayne Amedee was granted the honor of 2014 Louisiana Artist of the Year at the “2014 Louisiana Culture Awards.” 2. Robin O’Bannon, Pamela Bryan and Wayne Amedee are pictured at Amedee’s second solo exhibition at Octavia Gallery on January 3. 3. Robin O’Bannon, Katie Rafferty and Richard Bertram pose at Wayne Amedee’s Octavia Gallery show. Three distinct series of the artist’s work were featured, entitled “Consolation,” “Selvedge/Microcosm” and “Chrysalis.” 4. Connor Lambert, Kathy DiCocco, Lou DiCocco and Taylor Berry attend the 30th annual “Louisiana American Italian Sports Hall of Fame Banquet.” Kathy and Lou DiCocco, directors of The H.O.P.E. Foundation, presented Lambert and Berry with the “Coach Frank D.B DiCocco Memorial Scholarship” for responsible, academically driven athletes. The H.O.P.E Foundation helps underprivileged student athletes to attain academic and intellectual excellence. 5. Rabbi Alexis Berk, Bob Berk and Carol Good attend “L’Chayim” at the Touro Synagogue honoring Susan and Lou Good, along with their children, grandchildren, and Lou Good’s mother, Carol Good. The Goods have made significant contributions to the Jewish community and the greater New Orleans community. 6. Dave and Jill Israel and Ruth and Larry Kullman are pictured at the “L’Chayim” dinner honoring the Good family on January 25. Jack Alltmont was the emcee for the evening, and dinner was catered by Rommel’s. 7. Martin’s President and Owner Cedric Martin, CEO David Gladden and Mayor Mitch Landrieu attend the ceremonial ribbon cutting of Martin Wine Cellar’s

66 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015







Baronne Street store’s Grand Opening. 8. Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development Pat Forbes; Council Member Jason Williams; Council Member Latoya Cantrell; Senior CPD Specialist at US Department of Housing & Urban Development Earl Randall; Mayor Mitch Landrieu; Martin’s President and Owner Cedric Martin; Senator Edwin R. Murray; and CEO David Gladden attend the ribbon cutting of the reopening of the original Baronne Street location of Martin Wine Cellar on January 30. 9. Past President of the Saint Charles Avenue Association (SCAA) Robert Hassinger, Current President of SCAA Camille Strachan and Mayor Mitch Landrieu are pictured in front of the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar following the press conference for the Streetcar receiving a National Historic Landmark Designation. 10. Executive Vice President of Iberia Bank Cleland Powell and Justin T. Augustine III, General Manager of the Regional Transit Authority and Vice President of Transdev, attend the Iberia Bank-sponsored party following the streetcar’s designation as a National Historic Landmark on December 9, 2014. The SCAA has been pursuing this significant designation for more than 10 years. 11. Co-founders of Refuge127 Mandy Holloway and Shay Holloway attend the Refuge127 gallery show by artist Shelley Aucoin. 12. Artist Shelley Aucoin, Communications and Marketing Manager of New Orleans Museum of Art Allison Gouaux and Abby Lupo are pictured at Shelley Aucoin’s gallery show through nonprofit Refuge127; all profits went to support over 1,000 orphans in Uganda. | 67

adver tisin g s e c ti on

A Tisket A Tasket New Orleans Books & Gifts Baskets 910 Decatur Street, 524-8482 Create-A-Book customized children’s books. Make your child the star of the story! They encourage reading and are a lifetime keepsake.

kids gifts Pelican Coast Clothing 5509 Magazine Street, 309-2314 Keep your little man stylish with Youth Zipper Ties designed in New Orleans! These 100% silk ties are also available in Bow, Regular and Long Styles.

68 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

adver tisin g s e c ti on

Haase’s 8119 Oak Street, 866-9944 These unisex flex slip-ons from French based brand, Palladium, come in sizes 5 (toddlers) - 1 (young boys and girls/ adolescents). The vulcanized rubber helps with the heavy wear and tear kids tend to put on shoes!

NOLA Couture 2928 Magazine Street, 319-5959 528 Saint Peter Street, 875-3522 Nola Couture offers something for every guy in your life. Come check out our New Orleans inspired and bespoke, youth bow ties and belts.

Feet First 4122 Magazine Street, 899-6800 526 Royal Street, 569-0005 200 Metairie Road Suite 102, 324-2194 Keep your little ones warm with this Organic Cotton Knit blanket in a New Orleans map print.

PUBLISHER’S NOTICE: All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Ace and the Louisiana Open Housing Act, which make it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. For more information, call the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-273-5718.

70 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015


Properties Mississippi Gulf Coast Specialist call/text 228-216-7649


1213 Tidewater Drive, Kiln-Delisle, MS

+ _ Secluded waterfront & hunting estate an hour from the city! 400 acres with waterfront leading to Jourdan River! 4422 SF main house w/ 6 bdr 6 ba main house plus 3600 guest house, caretaker cottages, pool, stable, tennis, no flooding. Appointment only. $2,600,000

513 East Scenic Drive, Pass Christian, MS

ELEANOR FARNSWORTH Top Residential Producer CRS, GRI, BRC, HRS Office: (504) 891-1142 Home: (504) 891-9023


5631 St. Charles Avenue..........SOLD...................$6,185,000 4717 St Charles Avenue...........SOLD...................$6,000,000 1004 Falcon Road.....................SOLD...................$5,600,000 3 Audubon Place ......................SOLD...................$5,250,000 16 Audubon Place ................... SOLD ..................$4,500,000 295 Walnut Street ....................................................$4,400,000 8 La Salle Place .........................SOLD...................$3,650,000 1527 Sixth Street......................................................$3,560,000 4831 St. Charles Avenue.........................................$3,000,000 525 Madison..............................SOLD...................$2,800,000 1776 State Street .......................SOLD...................$2,300,000 3 Poydras Street #9E/F ..............SOLD...................$2,300,000 906 S. New Hampshire Avenue...............SOLD...................$2,199,000 2600 Gay Lynn Drive .............................................$1,950,000 841 Barracks Street ..................SOLD...................$1,850,000 1427 Eighth Street ...................SOLD...................$1,850,000 7 Rosa Park................................SOLD...................$1,800,000 1518 First Street .......................SOLD...................$1,750,000 1328 Felicity Street ...................SOLD...................$1,700,000 1538 Fourth Street ...................SOLD...................$1,700,000 1415 Cadiz Street ....................SOLD...................$1,700,000 1800 Jefferson ..........................................................$1,700,000 1732-34 Palmer..........................SOLD...................$1,650,000 2708 Coliseum Street ...............SOLD...................$1,625,000 1233 Second Street...................SOLD ...............$1,600,000 576 Audubon Street .................SOLD...................$1,595,000 1641 State Street......................................................$1,475,000 4613 St. Charles Avenue..........SOLD...................$1,495,000 2707 Coliseum Street ...............SOLD...................$1,490,000 2507 Prytania Street .................SOLD...................$1,490,000 6433 Paris Avenue ....................SOLD...................$1,450,000 1542 Calhoun Street ................SOLD...................$1,450,000 5726 St. Charles Avenue...........SOLD...................$1,400,000 1205 Philip Street ......................SOLD...................$1,399,000 4917 St. Charles Avenue...........SOLD...................$1,370,000 1413 Philip Street .....................SOLD...................$1,370,000 447 Audubon Street ................ SOLD ..................$1,300,000 9 Blanc Place .............................SOLD...................$1,300,000 1578 Calhoun Street ................SOLD...................$1,300,000 1207 State Street .......................SOLD...................$1,250,000 571 Audubon Street .................SOLD...................$1,220,000 1539 Soniat Street ....................SOLD...................$1,220,000 6554 Oakland Drive.................SOLD...................$1,200,000

441 Audubon Street .................SOLD...................$1,199,000 2006 Jefferson Avenue.............SOLD...................$1,100,000 17 Chateau Palmer ...................SOLD...................$1,085,000 1701 Valence Street ..................SOLD...................$1,075,000 1919 State Street .......................SOLD...................$1,050,000 1221 First Street .......................SOLD...................$1,050,000 1221 Exposition Blvd ..............SOLD...................$1,045,000 3225 Prytania Street .................SOLD...................$1,000,000 1844 State Street .......................SOLD......................$995,000 1022 Webster Street .................SOLD......................$995,000 3447 Camp Street .....................SOLD......................$985,000 45 Savannah Ridge Ln .............SOLD......................$950,000 1543 Henry Clay Avenue.............SOLD......................$950,000 1729 Jefferson Avenue.............SOLD......................$950,000 4525 Prytania Street .................SOLD......................$950,000 3937 Camp Street .....................SOLD......................$950,000 508 Walnut Street .....................SOLD......................$950,000 2331 Chestnut Street................SOLD......................$949,000 1922 State Street .......................SOLD......................$899,000 6161 Loyola Avenue.................SOLD......................$895,000 1205 Arabella Street .................SOLD......................$895,000 3200 St. Charles Avenue..........SOLD.......................$889,000 6047 Camp Street .....................SOLD......................$850,000 836 State Street .........................SOLD......................$849,000 500 Walnut Street .....................SOLD......................$825,000 5951 Tchoupitoulas..................SOLD......................$815,000 5933 Camp Street .....................SOLD......................$799,000 6131 Coliseum ..........................SOLD......................$795,000 7328 Plum Street ......................SOLD......................$795,000 1443 Calhoun Street ................SOLD......................$789,000 2818 Laurel Street.....................SOLD.......................$775,000 405 Exposition Blvd ............... .SOLD .....................$755,000 630 Eleonore Street..................SOLD.......................$695,000 5349 Prytania Street ..................................................$690,000 282 Audubon Street..................SOLD .....................$599,000 5520-22 Camp Street................SOLD .....................$595,000 2511 St Charles Avenue #505........SOLD ..............$465,000 7337 W. Roadway Street ...........3 Slips ........................$20,000

6257 Highland Rd., Baton Rouge..SOLD ..$2,200,000 71607 Riverside Dr., Covington...................$1,250,000

Historic treasure on coveted Scenic Drive in Pass Christian! Over 5500 SF, 6 bedrooms, 5.5 baths w/ pool and guest quarters. Lot measures 100' by 594'. Walkable to harbor, restaurants and shopping. Appointment only. $1,650,000 | 71

new orleans nostalgia

By Seale Paterson

The Pagoda House Raoul Vallon’s dream home Insurance broker Raoul Vallon was an active participant in New Orleans high society; he was a member of the Rex organization and the Bayou St. John Fencing Club, where he excelled and won many medals. He married Eleonore “Ella” Sinnott in 1896, and a few years later they began the process of building a family home for themselves and their two children. The Oriental styling of the house was conceived by Vallon, who hired architect Frank P. Gravely to execute his vision. And so in 1904, for just over 72 | St. Charles Avenue June 2015

a building cost of $15,000, the Pagoda House appeared at 2037 Napoleon Ave. The design was said to have been inspired by Vallon’s friend Lafcadio Hearn, who moved to Japan after living in New Orleans. His experiences there led him to believe the pagoda style would well suit the New Orleans climate, catching breezes and letting heat out of the belvedere at the top of the house. The extended rooflines also help provide shade and shelter from the Louisiana sun and rain, while the pagoda-

style upturned corners of the red tile roof were traditionally said to keep out evil spirits. The Vallon family lived in the house until they sold it in 1925. It was sold again in the late ’30s to importer Eduardo Massa and his wife. They decorated the home with many Oriental furnishings – teakwood furniture,

fine china, silk tapestries, and inlaid tiles – gathered during their trips to Europe. They also added extra porches and fireplaces to the home. The Simkin family bought the house in the 1960s for about $38,000 and lived there for over 30 years. It was last sold in ’99 for $325,000. n

The Pagoda House photographed on September 19, 1948. The raised basement has at times contained two apartments. There are two floors of living area containing four bedrooms, two baths, a library and five fireplaces, with a belvedere on top. The leaded-glass front door features images of bamboo and the rising sun.

Photo by Dorothy Violet Gulledge; image provided courtesy of the New Orleans Public Library.

Profile for Renaissance Publishing

St. Charles Avenue June 2015  

St. Charles Avenue June 2015