Date in Feb. 1990 that anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was freed after a 27-year political imprisonment. 496
Year, A.D., that Pope Gelasius set aside Feb. 14 to honor St. Valentine. 4552
Weight, in carats, of the Hope Diamond (housed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.). 120
 Number of single men in their 20s for every 100 women of the same age. 25.5/27.5
Median ages of women and men, respectively, at first marriage (2006). 21,135
Number of florists nationwide in 2005.
DINING Etc.PJ’s quality control
When Phyllis Jordan opened the first PJ’s coffee shop in 1978 on Maple Street in the university district, it quickly became a local favorite for students and neighbors, with its offerings of fresh brewed coffee, tea, pastries and desserts.

Jordan decided that in order to make a truly great cup of coffee, she needed to control the roasting process, says Nicole Hutson, director of marketing for PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans. “The difference is revealed in the consistent quality of all of PJ’s flavor,” she says. The roasting process involves small batches for quality control and freshness and the beans have a “rich”, but not bitter, taste.

In 1989, PJ’s was franchised; today there are 53 locations nationwide. It appeals to all types of people, “those on their way to work, college students and parents.” Some locations even offer a wine bar, so it makes for a “great atmosphere for a first date or a girls’ night out,” says Hutson. She adds that PJ’s also offers free Wi-Fi, which is just right for a studious atmosphere or for those who “just want to enjoy a nice cup of joe while they surf the Internet.” One of the signature drinks PJ’s offers is a granita, which Hutson says is a New Orleans favorite.

Hutson also says the franchise is unique in that all of its locations are locally owned and operated, with each owner taking a great pride in his or her coffee house. The store has recently introduced Shade-Grown Zimbabwe as this season’s Discovery Coffee; it originates from a small, family-run coffee farm in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe.

Information, 5432 Magazine St., 895-2190; 3700 Orleans Ave., 281-4343; 7624 Maple St., 866-7031; 5300 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-2007; for other locations and information visitwww.pjscoffee.com.

Etc.Fisher & Sons Jewelers – for the whole family
After school every day as a kid, Craig Fisher would go to his father Tom’s store and dream of one day creating and selling beautiful jewelry alongside his dad.

Established in 1946, the business has gone by the name of Fisher & Sons Jewelers since 1979. Tom Fisher still co-owns the store with his wife Chloe and their son has joined the couple as a bench jeweler, designer, buyer and salesman. It is not surprising that the Fishers, with their family business, promote getting to know each customer individually. “We actually become friends with our customers,” says Fisher.

He gets to know them on a personal level and asks about their families, children and grandchildren. “We don’t make a one-time customer,” he adds. “We want to make a lifetime commitment and maintain our reputation and trust.”

Craig Fisher says “We specialize in servicing the entire family.” This includes items for a newborn baby, engaged couples and those celebrating various anniversaries.

Some popular trends, he notes, include (of course) the fleur-de-lis motif and pearls. Also, “we have a unique line in sterling jewelry,” he says; this month look for Austrian Swarovski crystals and contemporary styled jewels. Fisher & Sons also specializes in religious goods for christenings, communions and confirmations.

Information, 5101 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 885-4946.