NOLA X SAN FRANCISCO

It had been a little over 3 years since I visited the Bay Area and San Francisco specifically. Basically within 5 hours or so, one could travel from the deep south to one of the most eclectic cities in the world. I can't believe it's taken me this long to get back. Even though I spent 3 days in the city, it's the FOMO that always gets me when I think about my experiences. Per usual, I spent most of my time eating, drinking and walking around. To be honest, because of the eating and drinking, I didn't do enough walking around. With that said, this San Francisco feature is the first in several I'll be posting towards the end of the year, titled NOLA X "City - fill in the blanks". So below you'll see where I stayed, what I ate, and some of my street pics. Even though we all know New Orleans is magical, and no one ever really wants to leave, but if you do, there are the places to visit. So here's my NOLA X SAN FRANCISCO.

STAY

HOTEL CARLTON — 1075 Sutter St

Located in the Nob Hill neighborhood, Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre Hotel, is on several best places to stay lists, and it was a fantastic place to stay. Based on what I had planned to do around town, and with the short amount of time I had, Hotel Carlton was perfect for me. Colorful, historic, and supremely comfortable, Hotel Carlton was one of the most interesting places I've ever stayed in. One of the coolest features of the hotel is the daily wine hour and see a Local Vocals show. It's a great opportunity to meet some of the guests staying in the property as well as pre-game before the nightly festivities. Hotel Carlton also has a sublime house restaurant that just killed it. You'll see that below. Here's some images from Hotel Carlton...

Hotel Carlton


EAT + DRINK

Phlox Commons - Located inside the Carlton Hotel. This was an oasis for me. To have such a cool and intimate place to relax, begin and end the day was a fantastic part of my trip.

"Approachable appetizers and hearty entrees are supported by a thoughtful and extensive curation of locally produced beer and wine. Phlox Commons is a gathering place for friends and strangers to enjoy the flavors of California."  — The Absolute best description of Phlox. I loved my time at Phlox. Whether it was the fantastic fruit plate I had for breakfast or the dinner I had that brought me back to my childhood, Phlox is totally gush worthy. Nestled quaintly within Hotel Carlton, the staff could not have been more considerate and accommodating. The food and the experience are top notch. I have recently switch over to tea, and Ryan made me the best Chai latte I've ever had. Kudos to the team over there for sure.

Phlox Commons

Miller's Rest - 1085 Sutter St. 

Located next door to Hotel Carlton, Miller's Rest is a substantial and inviting modern pub. After a good flight, I made a few stops right off the plane, and found myself slightly early for check-in. Luckily around the corner I found this great pub and grub spot. Miller's Rest is a new spot that was just what I needed. It's a great space with a super comfortable bar, open late-ish, has a great selection of booze (which I later learned a liquor license is hard to come by) and beer. I spotted the fried chicken sandwich with poutine and I was in heavy. Cracked open a beer and slowed it down a bit.

Wes Burger N' More - 2240 Mission Street

Located in the heart of The Mission, Wes Burger is burger and visual heaven for me. Walking right in from the street, I was immediately taken back by the super cool 70's inspired interior, including the bright orange chairs, green stools, and the baddest mother fucking jukebox I've seen in a long time. The burger was ridiculously good and you can't beat the tots. After a long morning, it was exactly what I needed.

Wes Burger

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse - 1042 LARKIN ST

Home of the unavoidable "Cruffin" (croissant + muffin mutant delight), Mr. Holmes Bakehouse was another place that's right around the corner from Hotel Carlton. Thankfully I was there early enough to capture one of the elusive creatures and it was like nothing I had every had before. Their sign, which you see below is certainly one of the most instgammed signs on the planet, is as clever and fun as their products. By the time I finished devouring my purchases, a lined formed around the block and scores of folks with iPhones in hand began capturing every inch of the small footprint. Like I said, glad I got there early. The image below at the bottom of the collage, is totally not from Mr. Holmes, but it was a little reminder of home. I did find out that Zapp's are huge in the bay area. Kudos to Ron and them for sure.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

 

STREET IMAGES

Zack Smith opens brand new studio + gallery

Long time friend and super talented photographer Zack Smith recently opened his brand new studio space and gallery off of historic Magazine St. Zack has come a long was since we first met and he's the epitome of professionalism and hustle. Zack has photographed and captured every inch of New Orleans and shares his passion for image making through his many workshops and his editorial work.  Zack Smith Studio & Gallery

Zack's current exhibition titled "The Battlefield Oak : A Year in Photographs" chronicles his own inspirational personal journey photographing a very special tree in St. Bernard Parish over the course of a year. The images are each unique in their composition and lighting and shows a dedication to his craft. Whether it's editorial, headshots, live music, or fine art photography, there's not a whole lot Zack hasn't captured or isn't willing to do so. Below you'll find some of my favorite images from Zack's Instagram page.

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Favorite New Nola Coffee Shops

Make no bones about it, and I've said this before, if I could walk around with a coffee drip running through my veins I would. The act of fetching/having/going out for coffee is a huge part of my process as a photographer, or for that matter a creative. I've featured lots of coffee shops over the years, and these are a few I'm currently obsessing over. Follow them and show them some love when your own craving kicks in.

Cherry Coffee

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The Station 4400

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Ignatius - Rue De La Course

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Mammoth Espresso

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Fat Boy Pantry

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Andi Eaton's WANDERFUL

My friend and frequent collaborator, Andi Eaton has recently released her super impressive and comprehensive new book titled "Wonderful — The Bohemian's Guide to Traveling in Style". Below you'll find the description of the book... Andi Eaton

A girl with a love for off-the-beaten-path destinations, fashion maven Andi Eaton found herself putting aside the Lonely Planet and Condé Nast Traveler guides and, instead, looking to bohemians and artists for travel and style inspiration: What do the flower children wear on their excur­sions? Where are the creatives’ favorite vintage shops? And where do the musicians go late-night dancing after the last encore? The dreamer in her wanted more than what a standard travel guide could offer, so she decided to create her own.

Wanderful is a stylish lookbook and travelogue for the adven­turous and nomadic at heart. Follow in Andi’s footsteps as she travels the United States to discover some of its most effort­lessly chic destinations—and the fashionable free spirits and wanderers who live there. Nine intimate and exciting road trip routes explore cities, forests, and in between, and will make you feel like you’re traipsing the country with your best, and best-dressed, girlfriends by your side. Every route features a peek into the closets of area tastemakers, and many routes lead to favorite trendy destinations, including Joshua Tree, New Orleans, Marfa, and Santa Fe. Throughout, there are photos, stories, and recommendations for where to shop, dine, and find music and fun, just like a local.

Perfect for anyone with a wandering spirit, Wanderful will make you want to pack a cute bag, throw on your best outfit, and hit the road for a stylish adventure.

Wanderful

After spending a few hours flipping around the fantastically printed, photographed, and designed book, I wanted to instantly pack a bag, grab the keys, and hit the road. Andi's authentic approach to travel is well curated, and I found myself getting caught up in the people and the destinations within it's pages. Speaking of destinations, Andi basically covers America from edge to edge, but offers up advice and suggestions for each stop based on the type of traveler you are and not just based on her own desires. Whether you're a "long weekender", "day tripper", "music lover", "explorer", or a "wanderer", this manual will lead down the right path. It truly, pops with color, inspires an open ended journey, and makes me want to leave it all behind and just let go.

 

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"That One Thing" with Sheba Turk

Nola Native, WWL TV's Eyewitness Morning News Co-anchor, and all around hustler, Sheba Turk is one of the hardest working folks in the local spotlight. My family has always caught the news on WWL each day, but it's when my momma says "that Sheba is something else", I tend to pay closer attention. Vibrant, professional, and down to earth Sheba is absolutely one of the stars in the Nola media. Sheba is also the host of the New Orleans lifestyle tv show "The 504" where she chops it up with folks from around the city and focuses on "the latest in entertainment news, pop culture, lifestyle, music and trending topics." As if that wasn't enough, Sheba has recently launched her own blog where she gives us all insight and a peak into her life on the air and off. I was thrilled to catch up with Sheba recently and discuss the city with her. Check her out blog, catch her on WWL + The 504, and of course check out her "That One Thing" she loves about New Orleans below.

"The one thing I love about New Orleans is the spirit of the people. Happiness is always the ultimate goal for me, and I think I get that from growing up in New Orleans. We are the only place were people ask, "How was the funeral?" We celebrate death, life, and everything in between. New Orleans is all about having a good time in spite of whatever is going on, and I keep that in mind with everything I do. Who cares what my job title is, how much money I make, what other people think about me...Am I having a good time? If so, I'm on the right track."

Amanda Ducorbier releases "Hold On"

Tour-re-force and one of our favorite singer/songwriters, Amanda Ducorbier has released her latest single "Hold On". Soulful and melodic, "Hold On" puts Amanda's talent on a pedestal, and it oozes groove. After nearly 3 minutes, I can't wait to hear more. Check out the single below and swing by the Orpheum Theater's Ice Pit Lounge to here her perform "Hold On" in person tonight at her official single launch party.


Hold On

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Potence Collective

Located in the riverbend, uptown on Magazine St, Potence Collective (5700 Magazine Street) is a center for healing through the arts.  As a "Medicinal Artist Collective Gallery", Potence Collective IS a collective that includes works of at by Paraph Studio (stain glass artist), Isla Moon (painter), & Teragram Design (jewelry design), wrapped up in an eclectic, inviting, and spiritual space.

I love the idea of healing through art and the 3 super talented artists inhabiting the space at Potence have really harnessed it's true power in spirit. Check out the images from my recent visit as well as some other shared images...

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Blonde Roses premier "One Ways"

Earlier this year, alt blues powerhouse Blonde Roses released their stellar EP "Hell or High Water". The moment it was released I made sure to add it to my Apple Music library to swing back to and give it a listen. Life happened, and as other tracks and bands entered the fold, the EP kind of tumbled a bit. I never got a chance to feature it and just lost track of time. Singer/guitarist Molly Portier (who I've known since the days of her previous project Wooden Wings) recently reached out to share with me the band's latest un-released track, "One Ways". The moment the track begins, the dirty and bluesy intro sets the tone as the track builds up a melodic frenzy via Portier's soulful voice. I'm a sucker for blues organ, and "One Ways" has just the right amount for me, meandering through the very Queens of The Stone Age esque chorus. The song is a 2 1/2 minute tour-de-force and I'm so thrilled and honored to premiere it here at IHN. I'm done talking, click below to listen, and enjoy the sonic ass kicking you're about to receive.

https://soundcloud.com/user-794875398/one-ways-blonde-roses/s-MDPWa

Bywater Bakery

I'm not sure why, but I haven't been in and around the Bywater in a few months. So weird since it's absolutely one of my favorite neighborhoods for all things food, music, and of course the photographic opportunities. With that said, I've been seeing a ton of great images rolling through my feed for The Bywater Bakery and I stopped in recently to check it out. The Bywater Bakery

Bywater BakeryLocated next door to the Bywater Art Lofts on Dauphine, The Bywater Bakery has some super cool and innovative offerings for breakfast/lunch and of course the all important brunch. Coffee is done well and they offer all the crowd favorites. The innovation I spoke about is where they shine. Some of the really cool stuff includes, breakfast "go cups", ya-ka-mein (brothy and super flavorful soup) , and the super cool and overflowing "mason jar salads". Everything is baked and prepared in-house, including their one of a kind "unicorn poop" which totally looks magical! I can't to go back and try everything. Check out my favorite Instagram snaps from the bakery below...

 

 


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The Nopsi Hotel

It actually doesn't get any more New Orleans than NOPSI. Short for "New Orleans Public Service, Inc.", NOPSI was who you paid back in the days for your utility service in Nola. Such an institution for so long! The original 1927 constructed building where folks used to among many other things, pay their utility bills every month, has recently been transformed into one of the cities premier luxury hotels. Just this past week, the NOPSI hotel opened in the CBD which is the area of the city that continues to just kill it. A property owned and operated by Salamander Hotels & Resorts, the NOPSI is ornate, sophisticated, and modern, all the while paying intimate tribute to what 'aint there no more. Here's some more info directly from The NOPSI...


"Located in the vibrant Central Business District, the nine-story brick building was originally constructed in 1927 by New Orleans’ former utility company and transit operator. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, NOPSI Hotel now features 217 refined guestrooms –including 76 suites – a lively and regionally inspired restaurant, 14,000 square feet of architecturally significant indoor and outdoor meeting space, and a sophisticated rooftop pool and bar. 

Dedicated to providing an authentic experience inspired by the rich history of the destination it proudly again serves, the newly re-imagined NOPSI Hotel has undergone a meticulous restoration, returning each space of the grand dame to its original splendor including the building’s street facades, cast iron rails and stone panels. Inside the sweeping lobby, guests will discover faithfully renovated vaulted ceilings, graceful arches, ornamental columns, brass grills and stone terrazzo flooring. 

Within a short walk of The French Quarter, The Warehouse District and The Garden District, NOPSI Hotel is located near Lafayette Square and close to major attractions like the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the World War II Museum. Thousands of manhole covers still bear the NOPSI name, which inspired the hotel’s unique logo, adding a sense of nostalgia to a walk down many of The Crescent City’s streets."


Besides the wide range of rooms you'll see below, the property also boasts some really great social touchpoint to lose yourself in.


Public Service – The Central Business District’s most dynamic community gathering place, Public Service is a casual-yet-sophisticated restaurant respecting the civic spirit of the former New Orleans Public Service, Inc. With a menu honoring the Gulf Coast’s hard-working fishermen and farmers, Chef Dustin Brien and team prepare contemporary cuisine in an open-display kitchen, highlighted by a modern raw bar and open-flame rotisserie. The vintage design features a two-story glass façade, exposed brick and a custom-built craft bar.

Above the Grid – NOPSI Hotel’s shimmering rooftop pool and bar, Above the Grid, offers a hot spot for hotel guests, visitors and locals with a unique view of the city’s skyline. By day, the pool is a peaceful oasis for hotel guests with indulgent cabana service. In the evening, the energy level increases and the setting transforms into one of New Orleans’ coolest scenes.

underCURRENT Bar & Patio – Located in the hotel’s classic lobby, underCURRENT Bar & Patio features iconic, vaulted ceilings as the quintessential backdrop for light snacks and an afternoon cocktail experience. Patio guests can enjoy “life as a local” surrounded by wrought-iron accents reminiscent of a Crescent City courtyard.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BWVNnIjl6HD/

Billed as one of the most animal friendly properties in New Orleans, The NOPSI caters to our true best friends!

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I had planned to stop in during their actual grand-opening last week, but didn't get a chance to, and found myself stumbling in for a drink recently as I escaped the rain. I was super impressed with insanely vaulted ceilings, as well as the extremely comfortable living room style lobby. I grabbed a few drinks during my tour as well as few bites along the way! Check out the images below...

 

Alexis & The Samurai - Move Into View

Alexis Marceaux and Sam Craft, the duo that make up Alexis & The Samurai have recently released their most bombastic record to date in "Move Into View". Melodic and stereophonic, "Move Into View" truly shows off the range and confidence both  Alexis and Sam have in their ability to create their own unique and intoxicating music.

Tracks like "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter" shows off the pure power and intensity of Alexis's voice spread across a fantastically expansive beat. This song to me is the standout track and reminds me very much of some of the greatest Beatles songs. "Pots and Pans", as you'll see in their Sofar Sounds New Orleans performance shows off the duo's chemistry and artistry. Below is a little info about the band...


Exiled after having lost everything in hurricane Katrina, Alexis Marceaux has spent the last decade returning home and building up a career from scratch. The meantime has been hard-fought but fruitful, with appearances at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Voodoo Music Experience, SXSW, and several tours of the US and Europe. Alexis and bandmate Sam Craft met in 2009 and initially teamed up for Alexis' sophomore effort Orange Moon (2011). Under the tutelage and engineering of The Polyphonic Spree’s Rick Nelson, the duo drew an all-star cast, 25 of NOLA’s finest musicians of every genre for a big, lush, indie-pop opus with a distinct Louisiana flavor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF3fmOhHoEo Marceaux put out her solo release Dandelion in '09, and its songs were picked up by various television shows (MTV's The Real World, E!'s Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and others), but with Orange Moon, she’s elevated herself into a "songwriting force to be reckoned with" (No Depression), securing more media placements, as well as rotation in Starbucks cafés and other stores.


Alexis and Sam are also part of a larger group, and another one of our favorites, Sweet Crude. Just last month, while on the road touring in San Francisco, their sweet band van was broken into and completely emptied on a busy street in SF. They are doing their best to get back on their feet, and a close friend of the band has setup a GoFundMe page in their honor. Click the image below to contribute!

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That one thing : Katherine Rowan

Since the beginning of this year, I've been following the super talented Katherine Rowan (@katherine_rowan) on Instagram, and have been extremely impressed with her point of a view as well as her focus on the culture and beauty of New Orleans. Her second line work shows the joy and excitement of one of the most treasured events in our history. Great emotion and character is shown in here work.  I spent some time walking around one my favorite parts of the city with Katherine,  and getting to know her and her approach. I was thrilled to have met her and talk about her love for the city. Even though she's originally from Maryland, her work reflects the affection of a native. Below you'll find her answer to our favorite question "What's that one thing you love about New Orleans" as well as my favorite images from Katherine's feed. Enjoy...

"The one thing I love the most about New Orleans is the color. New Orleans overflows with color. Colorful shotgun houses, colorful street art, colorful personalities. Nothing about life here is dull. In every neighborhood and on every street there's something beautiful to be seen."

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One Poetic Stay

In my humble opinion the New Orleans CBD is where it’s at. A resurgance of entertainment in The Civic, The Orpheum, and Saenger Theatres along with developements like South Market District and the like has really helped turn the CBD into a true cosmopolitan destination in town. Just blocks away from the French Quarter and right down the street from my favorite venue, The Orpheum Theater, The Troubadour Hotel (1111 Gravier Street) has become one of the hottest properties as of late.

I recently stayed over for a night, and was blown away by how centrally located it was. I caught a show down the street, met some friends at the stunning and spacious Monkey Board (rooftop bar), had a few drinks and it became a night for the books.

The room I stayed in could have easily become my next apartment. Top notch tech and super comfy bed with a livish and beautiful bathroom it reminded me of my perfect place. If only It made sense to live there. There’s a tablet at the side of the bed that offered all the hotel’s services and support at your fingertips.

I had both dinner and breakfast at Petite Lion (helmed by Executive Chef Phillip Lopez) and was blown away by both the cheeseburger and the very special pancakes the following morning. Below you’ll see some of the highlights from my time at The Troubadour. Check it out, and I hope it becomes your next favorite spot.