Greeking Out

The New Orleans Greek Festival is back this weekend with food, family fun and more. I’ll be running in the Friday night Fun Run/Walk 1 mile and 5k taking runners and strollers from Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral to the lake and back. Better yet, race bibs give participants entry to the festival, free beer and access to all the fest has to offer. It’s a great way to work up an appetite for all of the traditional foods available at the fest, from souvlaki to feta fries and a variety of pastries (baklava sundae?!) for dessert. Wine, Urban South beer, daiquiris, ouzo, pomegranate iced tea and a mastiha bar offer up refreshment.

Refresh and Renew

I recently had the opportunity to check out The Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans. I chose a signature facial (complimentary thanks to the staff) and was excited to learn about the unique techniques used by my aesthetician. No steam or hot towels or compresses are used, rather a series of cool skin care applications. On super-hot New Orleans summer days, this is a most refreshing relief, and leaves your skin looking renewed rather than red or stressed.

Bonus pro-tip: if you celebrate Father’s Day and are looking for a great gift for a dad or father-figure in your life, The Spa features a one-of-a-kind “Southern Gentleman” massage experience. Inspired by the Sazerac cocktail, the back, neck and shoulders are treated with deep tissue techniques and a rye-whiskey infused massage oil. The spa experience is topped off with, appropriately, a cocktail and bar snacks in the relaxation lounge. Splurge on your own, or get your siblings to chip in, for a true treat.

Travel Pod

We will forgive “Not Lost” podcast host Brendan for pronouncing it New Orleeeens…many, many times… but this fun new travel podcast explores the city in a refreshing way. The host and his friend Danielle Henderson meet locals and newcomers, have open and frank conversations about Hurricane Katrina, race and culture in the city, and celebrate with a special dinner party. Local writer and novelist Maurice Carlos Ruffin meets up with the pair at the Carousel Bar; they experience the lives and histories of enslaved people at Whitney Plantation; visit with voodoo priestess Madame Cinnamon Black; and enjoy visit and music from Kermit Ruffins.

“Not Lost” host Brendan Francis Newnam created the podcasts “The Dinner Party Download” and “The Paris Review Podcast,” and his writing on food, travel, and design has appeared in publications from The New York Times Magazine to Saveur. Newnam Other cities that the pod has visited to date include Montreal, Portland, Maine and Bozeman, Montana.