What’s Now in NOLA: April 2019

New, notable and not to be missed in New Orleans

SEE

The Historic New Orleans Collection throws open the doors to its new Royal Street campus April 6, after 15 years in the making. The $38-million expansion adds more than 35,000 square feet to the HNOC’s French Quarter footprint and breathes new life into the historic Seignouret-Brulatour building at 520 Royal. Along with a permanent exhibit tracing the evolution of the Vieux Carré, the new facility features rotating exhibitions (kicking off with Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina), interactive displays, a much larger gift shop and an on-site café. In celebration of its long-awaited debut, the HNOC hosts an all-are-welcome block party May 18. —DB

Historic New Orleans Collection

EAT

No matter our current weather is a mix of winter and spring, this month there's a lot budding on New Orleans’ blooming food scene. Restaurant openings are coming fast and furious, with the recent debuts of Costera, Dian Xin, Bordeaux, Justine, Kolache Kitchen and on and on. Highly anticipated spots, such as Blue Giant, Gianna and Thalia, also have us tapping our last season’s Pradas (don’t mind the “Legally Blonde” reference). But now—right now—to put together a spring-fresh meal, it’d be composed of some insanely good newbies beginning with the morning meal and nibbling all the way through to dessert...no skipping dessert, so save room. Here’s April’s bouquet of best bites:

Start with Jamboree Jams’ jelly donuts at Solo Espresso (seriously fantastic coffee brewed here), or at the Thursday Crescent City Farmers Market. Follow that with a lunch of fish tacos and a silky, cinnamony horchata at Barracuda, and/or chef Kelly Mayhew’s new jambon-beurre (ham and butter) sandwich on his glorious fermented-dough baguette. Settle in at Broad Street Cider for a bright, bubbly elderflower-infused cider, then beeline for a scoop of Roasted Strawberry ice cream from Just Delights NOLA. Mission complete. Spring sprang sprung satisfied. —LG

Jamboree Jams

HEAR

Music isn’t just in the air in April; it’s in the streets. Some of the city’s brightest talents have gained fame busking in Jackson Square or along Frenchmen. Take Alicia Reneé aka “Blue Eyes,” who caught my ear last fall, belting out Billie Holiday in front of Rouses on Royal, and again in February, serenading a slow-dancing couple next to Café Du Monde. Hardly an upstart, Reneé has toured internationally (most recently France and Switzerland) with her spot-on renditions of timeless jazz standards. Locally she’s played everywhere from Preservation Hall and the Jazz Playhouse to the Spotted Cat and the New Orleans Jazz Museum. This month you’ll find her performing at the Little Gem Saloon (April 2, 9 and 23) with the Shannon Powell Trio, Thursdays at Vaughan’s with Corey Henry and the Tremé Funktet and—if you’re lucky—in the streets. —DB

Jazz singer Alicia Renee New Orleans

PLAY

Remember the joy of finding the golden egg at Easter? City Park keeps the springtime tradition alive with its annual Egg Scramble April 13-14, which features more than 36,000 eggs hidden in and around the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, in addition to 100 golden eggs containing free tickets to park attractions. A new nighttime version allows big kids to revisit their childhoods April 20. The appropriately named Bunny Hops event includes open beer bars, springy Jell-O shots, a costume contest, a DJ, carnival rides and an adult-minded egg hunt…with boozy prizes. The following day, head to the French Quarter and bunny-hop between the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade (10 am), Chris Owens’ Easter Parade (1 pm) and the Gay Easter Parade (4:30 pm). —DB

Easter in New Orleans

Lorin Gaudin
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