Oh man, this cold snap we are going through is really upping my hot coffee intake! With that in mind, what better time to feature our favorite cozy New Orleans coffee shops. I have a few of my own personal favorites on this list and I also surveyed our student admission interns and staff for their top picks as well. Grab your reusable cup (or wait, don't...Covid) and check them all out!
French Truck: "French Truck gives me great vibes, the workers are so nice, and the yellow building just makes you want to smile! The coffee and tea are great quality and don't have crazy prices!" Thank Y'Vonne, '23, for this pick. Honestly, French Truck has basically become the Starbucks of NOLA as they are popping up all over town- they now have nine locations all over New Orleans (and one in Memphis!) The most popular location for Tulane students is probably on Dryades Street not far from campus. My personal favorite location is the brand new one that just opened up on the Lafitte Greenway. They allow dogs so Vincent and I love it!
Hi Volt: This one comes from TikTok sensation Owen: "I just recently moved to the LGD after 10 years Uptown, and HiVolt is by my new place. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the inside is modern but warm with cool light fixtures and a long bar. The food was top notch and their chai was one of the best I’ve had in a while. I got the breakfast burrito and the French Connection and need to go back soon!" I am in 100% agreement with Owen, as we usually are. HiVolt has these muffins that are massive and incredible - immediately go try one.
Rook: Didi, '21 (see also: our Homecoming Queen) added this Freret Street gem to our list: "Located less than a mile from campus on Freret, Rook is a super convenient walk. The café is extremely cozy with a small couch area in the back and board games throughout. All the drinks are delicious and (as the name of the shop implies) named after chess pieces/moves. My personal favorites are their holy grail (espresso with honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg) or serenity (lavender lemonade)."
Fair Grinds: My colleague Makenzie suggested this awesome spot. "Fair Grinds is located in the heart of Mid-City right next to the Fair Grounds and Race Course where Jazz Fest is held yearly. It is a creaky little two-story with pealing paint and so much charm sitting next to 1,000 Figs, a fabulous Mediterranean place and just across from the Café Degas. Not only is the coffee delicious but it is a mission driven enterprise, and all proceeds go directly to support community organizations in central and south Louisiana. With fresh made bagels and scones it is a great place to study or relax with a book."
Cherry Espresso: This one comes from Val: "Located in a renovated old firehouse in the middle of the West Riverside uptown neighborhood, this eclectic place roasts their own coffee that tasted wonderfully unusual. The baked goods and lunch items are also amazing. There are small tables in a quaint courtyard and on the sidewalk so you can choose indoor or outdoor. The baristas are friendly and laidback. Cherry has a loyal following that includes Tulane’s Provost!"
Baldwin and Co: Okay, full disclosure here: this place hasn't even opened yet, but I just get such a good vibe from their mission. From the looks of it, this independently-owned bookstore and coffee shop will provide some great services for its local St. Roch / 7th Ward Community. Baldwin & Co. will not only have books and coffee, but also a podcast recording studio, local cards and gifts and will regularly host local authors. Their mission is centered around a progressive and inclusive growth mindset. Check it out when it opens on Feb. 20th!
There's our list! The Hullaballoo featured a few more of their favorites in this weeks issue. Go forth and caffeinate!
Well... you're living through history these days! (source)
ECON 3970-02: Economics of the Safety Net
The Covid-19 pandemic has put significant pressure on the U.S. social safety net. This new course focuses on food and nutrition assistance programs and will help you understand: What are the different types of safety net programs, and how many people do they serve? How do safety net programs respond during economic downturns? What weaknesses has Covid-19 revealed about the existing safety net programs? How does economics influence the design of safety net programs? Does participation in food and nutrition assistance programs improve food security and health outcomes? *Pre-requisite: ECON 1010
No shortage of music here in NOLA! (source)
MUSC 1900: Music in New Orleans
This course is intended as an introductory survey of New Orleans music, including jazz, brass band, Mardi Gras Indian, rhythm and blues, funk, and hip-hop, through an intensive exposure to existing research, field trips, and occasional visits from local researchers and musicians. Musical socialization — the role of young people in extending the city's musical traditions — will be a running theme throughout the course and will connect the course materials to the optional service learning project.
ENLS 3010-03: Writing about Race
This section of ENLS 3010 Writing Intensive: Writing about Race explores texts about race and racism that emerge from the US and African Diasporic contexts. Concerning topics ranging from the eighteenth century to the present, it engages work by scholars, poets, artists, and activists rooted in various traditions. Debates around gender, sexuality, incarceration, settler colonialism, medicine, and space are among the key themes that will take center stage throughout the assigned materials. This is a discussion-based course. In addition to active participation, student assignments will include presentations, discussion facilitations, abstracts, writing exercises, bibliographies, and a research paper. *Pre-requisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011
Subject matter in Germ-3510 (source)
GERM 3510: German Culture and Civilization: East Germany
The focus of this course is the representation of East German culture and the construction of identity. Through an interdisciplinary examination of a range of literary and historical texts, film and other visual arts, students will gain insight into the social, historical and political context of Germany behind the Mauer. Students examine both the minutiae of everyday life as well as the broader cultural and historical framework in order to understand and critically approach East German identity and the nature of life behind the wall, as well as the impact of the DDR and the Wende on the culture of contemporary Germany. Class taught in English.
ASTA 3910: Made in China: Material Culture & Crafts Production of Premodern China
Our life is full of products made in China. Known as “the World‘s Factory,” China is not only the main manufacturer in the age of globalization, but also plays a leading role in crafts production during the premodern era. This class investigates the material culture of Chin before the age of mechanical reproduction. Each week, we will focus on a specific medium, including ceramics jade, lacquer, silk, gold, and silver. We will examine the production, circulation, transmission, and reception of artworks made by different materials to reconstruct the social life of things against the historical background. Special attention will be given production technology and the entanglement between people and objects.
CMPS 1100: Foundations of Programming
This is an introductory, practice-oriented course on computer programming. Students design, implement, test and debug programs for computational problems drawn from various fields using Python programming language, while working individually and in groups under guidance of peer teachers. This course emphasizes program design process, object-oriented software development approach, and development of practical programming skills that translate to programming in other modern languages.
Film Production on campus (source)
DMPC 1110: Intro to Film Production
The course addresses what it means to be a director, writer, cinematographer, editor, composer, designer, and more, and how those definitions frame creative work, including the relationship of production cultures to consumers and markets. It considers how creative industries establish business models governing content production and distribution.
ITAL 3330: Italian Identity through Literature and Film
This interdisciplinary course, taught in English, examines representations of Italian identity in literature, cinema, and the mass media: what does it mean to be Italian? What constitutes the Italian "national character?" The materials for this course span a variety of media, from classics of neorealist cinema and commedia all'italiana, to recent movies and film series; from anthropological treatises like Giacomo Leopardi's essay on Italian national identity, to the contemporary satire of Italian society by comedians like Corrado Guzzanti, Paola Cortellesi, and others. We will explore themes like the representation of the Italian family; dialects and regional differences; politics and crime; emigration, and more.
Your service learning partner in CENG-1180, featuring Tulane alumnae! (source)
CENG 1180: Global Impacts and Opportunities in Chemical Engineering
This course will connect core chemical engineering concepts to real-world applications—showcasing the global impact that chemical engineers have on our planet and the grand challenges that they are working to address. Topics include energy generation and renewability, advances in medicine, innovative food production, revolutionary materials, and pollution prevention and sustainability. Students will learn through relevant readings, discussions, tours of local businesses, hands-on projects, and guest lectures from leaders in the field. The course incorporates an optional 20-hour service-learning component. Students participating in service-learning should be enrolled in the co-requisite section CENG 1890.
Service-learning teams will partner with one of two participating community partners.
1) Glass Half Full: a community-run glass recycling organization co-founded by Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering alumnus Franziska Trautman (above). The goal is to recycle glass into sand to create usable products for New Orleans. Students working with Glass Half Full will work on one of two projects 1) formulation of an asphalt mixture using glass-sand for the purpose of filling potholes or 2) developing a streamlined drop-off and pick-up route for glass recycling collection.
2) Home by Hand: strategically uses affordable housing development, neighborhood beautification, resilience & flood remediation tools, and family asset-building activities to spur the revitalization of New Orleans neighborhoods. Students working with Home by Hand will create and buildout a custom internal construction management tool to eliminate the need for costly third-party software.
CLAS 2811: Hate Speech and Politics in the Ancient World
The use of hateful, abusive, and insinuating speech by contemporary politicians and the media is not a novel phenomenon. Forms of verbal attack commonly encountered today have precedents in ancient Greek and Roman writings, and in this course we will examine the diverse forms and uses of hate speech and invective in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Throughout an emphasis will be placed on comparing ancient and contemporary hate speech in order to investigate similarities and differences in terms of speakers, targets, audiences, topics, rhetorical techniques, and cultural and historical contexts. In general, course participants are encouraged to reflect on the cultural assumptions and biases at work in hate speech, how it is used by political actors, and the relationships between rhetoric, persuasion, and truth.One of the many historic moments in Civil Rights history that took place right here in NOLA (source)
AFRS 3300-04: Sociology of Black Resistance
This course explores historical African American resistance in the United States from a critical, Black sociological perspective. This course centers the African American plight beginning with the TransAtlantic Slave Trade to the present. Students learn to recognize and critically think about patterns of power and diverse African American responses to discrimination, and cycles of punitive actions they face as a result and within the context of colonialism, race construction, and the legal system.
Welcome back to part three of our blog series dedicated to enjoying NOLA without breaking the bank. Today's final installment is dedicated to experiencing and enjoying all of the great free and cheap things to do around town. This is a pandemic-centric list, as the majority of our free festivals (of which we have more than days of the school year!) are obviously on hold for now. This list also is for any staff member at Tulane who is about to get a much deserved two week vacation! Pop on that Out of Office, turn off those email notifications (really) and spend two weeks doing some of the activities on this list.
Find me a more magical lobby! (source)
Christmas Hotel Lobby Hop: A very seasonal addition to this list, lobby-hopping in December is one of my favorite free activities. The lobbies of the grand hotels here in NOLA convert to incredible winter wonderlands and halls of lights throughout the month of December. I've done some research and it seems that most of the lobbies are still fully decorated this year, but they are restricting the number of folks allowed in at a time and are of course requiring masks. The two can't miss lobbies are the Roosevelt and the Ritz Carotlon. Here's a pretty comprehensive list.
Just the sight of her will put your mind at ease! (source)
Buy some succulents. Strange tip to have on this list, sure. But let me tell you what- if you have not visited Sunrise Trading in Kenner, well boy oh boy are you in for a treat. Situated on two acres and utilizing ten greenhouses, this is a place where you'll feel you've stepped into another planet. If you like plants or just want something you freshen up your dorm room or house, take the drive out to Kenner and you'll see why I love this price. All of their plants are sold at wholesale so you won't be breaking the bank to scoop up some succulents.
Enjoy NOLA's amazing outdoor spaces. I'm currently writing this blog with my windows wide open as its a beautiful 70 degree day here in NOLA, so enjoying the great outdoors around town is pretty easy these days. In fact, we just filmed a great video featuring our six favorite outdoor spots. From our front yard, Audubon Park, to cross-town along Crescent Park, New Orleans has some of the finest urban parks and outdoor spaces anywhere in the USA and enjoying them doesn't cost a cent.
Free Museums! Thanks to the Helis Foundation, Louisiana residents (and I think college students) can visit a number of our local museums for free. Check out the Contemporary Arts Center on Sunday, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Botanical Garden on Wednesday, and Ogden Museum of Southern Art on Thursday.
Photos just do not do it justice!
Take the St. Charles Streetcar to view the Christmas lights. Another seasonal addition to our list, Saint Charles Ave. is really lit this year (sorry.) Perhaps because viewing Christmas lights is a pandemic-friendly activity, but it seems to me that the families on St. Charles have really gone all-out this year. What better way to take it all in then an evening ride on the streetcar. It's only $1.25 and you'll get to see the my personal favorite house at St. Charles and Cadiz street. It just.... incredible.
Audubon Appreciation Days: Every Wednesday, Orleans Parish residents with one proof of residency get free admission with up to four guests to Audubon attractions. The Appreciation Days rotate each week from the Aquarium, Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Zoo, and Planetarium at the Louisiana Nature Center. You can view the schedule here and thanks to Lela ('22) for this tip!
I took this photo on Royall Street last year during the holidays.
Crate dig at Peaches Records It's free if you don't buy anything! You also can't put a price on talking with the owner, Shirani Rea, about New Orleans' music scene says our admission writer (who is also the incredible editor of this blog!) Ali DeFazio.
$2 Tuesdays at the Broad Theatre. Ali's back with this rec: "This theatre plays cool indie flicks plus blockbusters. The outdoor theatre plays movies for just $2 on Tuesdays - the best budget movie in the city. I saw the new Aubrey Plaza movie, Black Bear, there this week and had a blast. The Broad's popcorn is also the most supreme, butteriest, deliciousness popcorn ever." I was here last week for the NOLA Film Fest and their outdoor theater is just the perfect pandemic spot to check out a flick!
Stroll down Magazine St.: No better place in NOLA to window shop and check out some of the best local shopping on any street in America. Admission rep Bailey says "Magazine St is lined with colorful houses that are fun to look at as you're walking around. There are cute boutiques, art/jewelry stores, and thrift shops to check out too!" Shopping local is also super important this holiday and last year I did 100% of my holiday shopping on Magazine street alone!
Hopefully this list (and our previous two posts about food and shopping) can provide anyone on any budget an opportunity to enjoy all the remarkable, unique and delicious things that New Orleans serves up. Back to my fellow staff at Tulane- read this great article about having a restorative winter break. Part of it suggests making a plan for your leisure time. Welp, you've got that plan! Go forth, have a great break and see you next year!