> Goddess Gaze

On Friday, the New Orleans Museum of Art debuted its latest exhibit, “Queen Nefertari’s Egypt,” and I was lucky to get a sneak peek. “Nefer” means “beautiful” and appears as part of many Egyptian names at the time of the queen’s reign. Queen Nefertari was indeed beautiful, as were the many dazzling objects found hidden within her palatial burial tomb. Her husband, King Ramesses II, even referred to her fondly as “the one for whom the sun shines.” Forget girl power, this exhibit is all about goddess power. On display are astounding works of art, statues and sculptures, but also everyday items, which I found to be some of the most profound artifacts in the collection. Make-up pots, jewelry, containers that held beer or wine, tools and, most impressively, a dainty pair of sandals the queen may have worn. The exhibit is on display through July 17 when it returns to its home collection in Turin, Italy. It’s a definite must-see.

 

> Sculpture Garden

While you’re in the neighborhood, take advantage of the nice spring weather and tour the adjacent Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, open seven days a week. The garden is resplendent with evocative works of art, the gift and vision of philanthropist Sydney J. Besthoff, III who passed away at the age of 94 on February 26. Besthoff, along with his wife Walda, gifted an enduring legacy to the city by encouraging the support and appreciation of the arts. Learn more about his life and read tributes from visitors from around the world here.

 

 

> Beyond the Po-Boy

I finally got the chance to grab a bite at the new Magazine Street location of Banh Mi Boys. While the menu has all kinds of options, from braised pork and Bang Bang shrimp banh mi to oyster Rockefeller and roast beef po-boy, what spoke to my (mostly) plant-based-eating heart was the vegan Bulgogi po-boy. I’m always on the lookout for places that have menu items for everyone, and the Banh Mi Boys’ menu truly has something for literally everyone. I’ll be back, and next time the “Puff Daddy Ice Cream” will definitely be a part of my experience (hello, toasted marshmallow custard, chocolate fudge and graham cracker crumble!)

 

> Nothing to Sneeze At

Sunday marked the official first day of spring. The tulips are blooming in City Park. Sno-balls stands are open across the city. The humidity has yet to return in full force. Aaaaand the pollen is back. For the most part, it’s a small price to pay for spring in New Orleans. I’ve invested in a steady supply of Claritin and some other simple items to help ease into the season. Home Malone has a selection of cute, unscented eye masks to relieve any sinus headaches or migraines. For relief on the go, try these cute tissues that come in a colorful cardboard container sized to fit right in your car’s cup holder. Or invest in some snazzy handkerchiefs. These are the brainchild of Colin Hanks (yep, the actor and Tom Hanks’ son) with the sales of each going to various charity projects. Finally, some report that consuming locally produced honey can help lessen the symptoms of allergies. While this may or not be true, I can’t think of a sweeter way to try, especially with Capstone Honey, made right here in the Lower Ninth Ward. What are your go-to tips for dealing with allergy season in New Orleans? Let us know!