Last week, New Orleans yelpers were all about Yelp's Passport To Freret Street. The goal of this week-long event was to celebrate (and infiltrate) Freret via cool & creative connections with local businesses in the neighborhood. Here are some highlights from the action-packed week:
What better way to start gathering those virtual stamps than by crusin' for some boozin' on Friday evening? Bars participating in the bar crawl all offered yelpers something special. We started with frozen margaritas and daiquiris at The Box Office Lounge (at Alamo Underground) where we also enjoyed a smooth jazz acoustic set by LSU Battle of The Bands winner, Hazy Ray. Next, we hit up Dat Dog for deeply discounted drinks and dogs, and then, on to Cure for a special Yelp daiquiri and finally, we closed down the bar Midway Pizza with some cheap and nifty nightcaps.
On Saturday we had our biggest party of the week, the Bon Voyage Bash at Du Mois Gallery. The day's stormy weather didn't stop almost 200 people from coming by to check out all the food, drinks, art, music and fun!
There were offerings from two Freret St. eateries (gourmet hot dogs from Dat Dog and deep dish pizza from Midway), La Cocinita food truck and newest bakery on the block, Pure Cake, plus drinks courtesy of Deep Eddy Vodka and Saint Arnold Brewery. Jubilee Ginger Beer (made locally) provided a crafty non boozy option. The consensus was it was the world's best ginger beer!
More fun stuff: Cameron Kelly provided the soundtrack to the event and Miss Malaprop helped everyone stamp their own Yelpy t-shirts (including a custom Passport To Freret Street stamp… used in quite creative ways!) Du Mois Gallery featured an opening with work from folk artist, Devin Meyers and Fat Kids, who wowed us some of the best New Orleans street art. We were able to raise over $500 for the Freret Street Neighborhood Center, thanks to attendees donating at the door, as well as proceeds from the Elite Auction. Twelve of us auctioned off thoroughly useful/funny/cool services, from legal representation to an architectural tour of New Orleans to shooting lessons. Let's not forget all the special never-seen-before Passport swag available for attendees, no doubt making your world travels hotter than a trip to the Sahara, cooler than a stay at the IceHotel-art opening. Read the reviews here (and add one of your own if you attended and are so inclined!)
The next evening, the most fashion and budget- conscious among us participated in the Thrifty Fashion Contest at La Nuit Comedy Theater. With the theme of cruise wear in mind, participants spent $25 per outfit at Bloomin' Deals (to benefit the Junior League of New Orleans). Then they strutted their stylin' selves on Sunday evening in front of judges Missy Wilkinson editor of The Gambit's Cue Magazine and Christy Lorio of Slow Southern Style. Check out the recap on Missy's blog on BestofNewOrleans.com Our winner of the contest, Ashley Sloan, stole the show with her headpiece fashioned out of a towel in the shape of a swan. So cruisetastic, no? Ashley won two tickets to the Tales of the Cocktail opening events.
Did you know how easily accessible Freret Street is via public transportation? On Tuesday, Transport For NOLA clued us in to this at their Happy Hour at The Box Office Lounge. Those arriving via public transportation showed their ticket to get drink discounts. Speakers from the RTA were on hand to talk about streetcars and safety, revealing many interesting facts, such as, streetcars cannot stop on a dime (or quarter, even). So be careful making those left turns! And don't wear headphones when jogging/biking on the track!
On Wednesday, Cook Dat at Dat Dog was certainly one of the week's highlights, as chef/owner of Dat Dog, aka the "Hot Dog Guy," Skip, gave us a lively cooking demonstration and discussion. Those in attendance enjoyed complimentary drinks and loaded dogs and fries of their choice.
Finally, what a way to end the with with a bang… er, a pie! First there was the Super Supper Club at Midway Pizza where we enjoyed scrumptious salads, apps and of course loads of the 'za and then over to the Pie Pairing with the NoLa Pie Guy. Chocolate stout pie paired with complimentary Saint Arnold beer, anyone? Piesitively perfect!
Thank you to all participating businesses. Looking forward to where Yelp's Passport will bring us next (yes, suggestions are welcome).
Enjoy the pix taken by Carolyn Turgeon from all the major events on flickr.
Excuse me, I'm still recovering from Freret fever… but I can't wait to SYOY! (See You On Yelp!)
Yelp NOLA Community Manager