First let me say how honored I am to be included on the St. Charles Avenue team. There have been many great columnists at this magazine and I know I have big shoes to fill. At Trinity and St. Martin’s I was always told to socialize less and write more. I guess now I get to split the difference! Let me start by letting y’all know my thoughts and feelings on New Orleans social life: It’s all about friends and family, no matter if you’re getting beers at Fat Harry’s or swilling champagne at Antoine’s. The setting isn’t made by the name or the price or the prestige but by the people you’re with.

What makes New Orleans society unique from social settings across the South is its tightly knit nature. This is often interpreted as being exclusionary or “elite,” but in my experience that couldn’t be further from the truth. Having lived in New York City and abroad I understand how hard it can be to break into social circles and I’ve never seen a city embrace new people the way New Orleans does.

On a lighter note, I hope that my column can help show that side of New Orleans. It will be all about friends and family, and will include everything from casual lunches to formal dinners. If there’s a side of this great city you don’t think I’m getting, please shoot me an e-mail; I’d love this to be a two-way street. Thanks for everything; I look forward to being your columnist!

Until next month,
Shelby Westfeldt

This year was the inaugural “Hearty Party” which benefits patients with Long QT Syndrome. The Winingder family was very generous to provide the space for the event and it made for a perfect venue to dance the night away to the music of Jimmy Baldwin’s Flambeaux Band. We dined on gator sausage sliders provided by Flavor Box catering, turtle soup from Dickie Brennan’s and the “Heart-ini Martini” concocted by Commanders Palace just for the event.

Women gathered at one of the hosts’ homes in the Garden District to shower mom-to-be Ginger Logan Smith with baby gifts. The party was catered by her closest friends and featured a delicious baked brie with the initial “S” on it and creamy artichoke soup. The presents arrived unwrapped for all the guests to view, including a baby stroller given by Ginger’s aunts.

Over 100 women Women of the Storm (No. 3) representatives from the Gulf Coast states braved the frosty weather in Washington, D.C. to storm the Capitol. The coalition met with senators and congressmen to try to gain support for a proposed bill that would grant the Gulf Coast states 80 percent of the BP oil spill money for Gulf restoration. The trip was only one day long, but these women were sure to cover a lot of ground.

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