Along The Avenue: Reunions, Books & Holiday Shopping



I can’t quite pin down when it happened, but by the time The Beauregard-Keys House opened its doors, beautiful garden and restored back patio, it felt like this social season had begun.

Jeff Parker strummed on the front porch, Bon Bon Vivant kept them dancing in the patio, Palate did the food and flowers and people poured in; air kisses everywhere and hugs galore for some not seen since the pandemic began. Among those celebrating: Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Hales; Richard and Sarah Freeman; Johnathan McCall; Director of Beaurgard-Keys House Annie Irwin; Larry and Sharon Schmidt; and Scott Tilton, who has returned from France with partner Rudy Bazenet, to found Nous: a multi-platform way to connect Louisiana to the French-speaking world. 

Four local authors rolled out books that are highly intelligent, dreamy and side-splittingly funny. Walter Isaacson’s The Code Breaker about Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna hit the best seller list. Debra Shriver combined a series of dreamlike photographs and knowledge gathered during an extended stay in France before her move to New Orleans. French Leave: From Paris to Orleans Parish will make you appreciate small details, massive bundles of flowers and cafe au lait. Former St. Charles Avenue Editor Sue Strachan may not want to see coffee for a long time. Her book The Café Brûlot is full of interesting tidbits, lore and legend. It’s a perfect hostess present. A.J. Friedman’s incredible dive into the world of Eating the National Food Day Calendar – fried bologna and all – still has me wondering how he’s alive, but he sure is funny. 

Since we’re shopping locally this year, you can pick up all four at The Garden District Book Shop. Then saunter around at the goodies at Judy at The Rink and the Maisonette. 

I love Grace Kaynor’s shop Sotre on Magazine Street, but I love her even more for opening another Sorte in the CBD, just across from Rouses on Baronne Street. Now I can get those Baobob candles, special linens, and other treasures, and then duck into pick up rotisserie chicken. 

Alexa Pulitzer, long a supporter of the Preservation Hall Foundation, is doing it again. At her trunk show at The Chloe she presented chic bags with her signature alligator clasps in fab colors. A portion of the proceeds go to the foundation. Snapped up two, making me feel doubly good for the artist and great cause. Check out her website for other goodies.

Check out The Shop at The Historic New Orleans Collection. I picked up three of Jennifer Schmidt’s oyster tress – decorative all year round. And I was all in with NOMA’s gift shop during a preview of the very talented local artist Dawn DeDeaux’s multimedia “The Space between Worlds.” It was the centerpiece of the “Odyssey Ball”; stunning and moving. “Odyssey” itself was great! Ralph Brennan food, booze beaucoup, two bands and fun galore thanks to glittering Co-Chairs Kathrine and Tony Gelderman and Jennifer and Dennis Lauscha. The frisky Young Fellows Patrons’ Chairs Taylor and Martin Pospisil and Carroll Gelderman and pals closed the place down! 

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