Adventures at the Bark Park

As newcomers to the New Orleans area, my significant other and I were looking for a place to take his dog, Leila, to exercise and socialize. (As a 4-year-old Whippet and Blue Heeler mix, she never has a shortage of energy.) We knew City Bark required a membership, so we decided to try the Bark Park at Lafreniere Park (3000 Downs Blvd., Metairie).

Being our first time, we couldn’t find the dog park when we arrived. (FYI if you plan to go: If you’re coming off Veterans Memorial Boulevard, take the first left and you’ll come straight to the dog park and parking lot.) When we finally found the place, we were happy to see it’s a large, well-kept area. Like other dog parks, dogs can roam around leash-free while their owners keep a close watch. The good thing about the Bark Park is, like City Park, the area is divided into two sections, one for small dogs and one for large dogs, so Chihuahuas don’t have to mess with Rottweilers.

Leila is about 30 pounds, so we took her to the large dog park. She seemed to enjoy the big area to run and interact with other dogs, until she met up with a four-legged bully. It is a rule – and common sense – at dog parks everywhere to take out aggressive dogs; the bully’s owners didn’t seem to know that. The bully growled at other dogs and started a few small dog fights, so we took Leila to a different part of the area so she could roam in peace. She inevitably rolled around in a huge mud puddle, as dogs tend to find. Unlike many other dog parks, though, the Bark Park had a hose to wash her off, so she didn’t bring the mud puddle home with us.

Lafreniere Bark Park is open from 7 a.m. until dusk Tuesday through Sunday, and from 1 p.m. until dusk on Monday. Find more info at

Bra Genie Bigger and Better Than Ever

2881 Highway 190, Mandeville, (985) 951-8638,

The underwear revolution at Bra Genie continues. To meet increasing demand, the store has added 2,000 more square feet and now boasts 11 fitting rooms and four check out areas. Owner Jeannie “Genie” Emory explains, “I tell everyone, stop wasting your money buying bras that don’t fit. The department stores can only carry a few sizes, we have garments from 28-48, A-K, so we can ensure the right fit for every single person. Bras are the foundation for your whole wardrobe, they make everything look better.” With shape wear, swimwear and bustiers to sports and nursing bras, Bra Genie’s huge selection draws customers from hundreds of miles around.

– Mirella Cameran

Gift Inspiration at Judy at the Rink

2727 Prytania St., 891-7018,

Located in the heart of the Garden District, Judy at the Rink is a trusted treasure trove of home décor pieces, fashion accessories and gift ideas. No matter who you’re buying for, or whatever your budget, you’ll find the perfect item. Among well-loved designers, Kay Fausset showcases new talent and ideas. Pop in and you’ll see beautiful necklaces with interchangeable faces and clocks made with real oyster shells, My Napkins (recently featured on the “Today” show) and Swedish cloths – a green alternative to paper towels and much more attractive.

– Mirella Cameran


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