Scavenger Hunt With a Smartphone
Two of my buddies – a mechanical engineer and a dentist – joined forces one day this summer to celebrate their 28th and 31st birthdays, respectively, in the French Quarter. These tech-savvy dudes instigated a 20-person “Photo Scavenger Hunt.” We divided into teams of four and received our checklist of “assignments,” which ranged from easy (drink a hurricane) to awkward (kiss a stranger) to silly (race a pedi-cab driver) to seemingly unlikely (find a celebrity). Every feat required photographic documentation that we would later broadcast in a slideshow as we tallied up our points.
After four hours of scouring the French Quarter, discovering new sights and perhaps raising several eyebrows, we all met up at Bootlegger’s Bar on Decatur Street, where we downloaded the evidence onto a laptop and compared to see which team had completed the most tasks.

While my team may have failed to take a photo of one of us getting arrested (it’s shockingly more difficult than you would imagine), we had a shining moment when none other than Allen Toussaint cruised down lower Bourbon Street in his signature convertible – proving once again that the seemingly impossible can happen in the magic of the Vieux Carré.

Top-Rated Spa Arrives in New Orleans
4030 Canal St., 482-6652,
When you hear it’s the fastest-growing spa in the United States and has been endorsed by New Beauty Magazine, you have to wonder what’s so special about it. Well, now you can find out for yourself. The Woodhouse Spa in New Orleans is a 5,200-square-foot full-service day spa that delivers a resort spa experience at competitive prices. The robe and slippers you’re given upon arrival hint at the 99 elements the spa uses to ensure an outstanding experience every time. The only headache you might have is choosing from over 70 treatments on offer, all using certified natural and organic products.

To make it even easier, the spa offers online booking and gift card purchases. With a points rewards program, it’s hard to resist.

Stationery Couture
3638 Magazine St., 891-4664,
If you thought all the best stationery stores or papeteries were in France or Italy, you would be wrong. Right on Magazine Street, Box Paper Scissor takes the art of writing and wrapping to a new level. The gorgeous décor complements the most beautiful handmade papers, personal binders, wax seals, notebooks, lifestyle books and witty cards. The gift-wrapping starts with the unique textured paper that can feel like croc, cork or fabric, and includes customized wrapping, hand-painted boxes and a delivery service. The prices are incredibly reasonable, even for the Christian LaCroix notelets that you’ll find right next to the dreamy ribbon cupboard.