I am Mary Blanchard Sonnier (@chefmarysonnier). I live in deep Uptown New Orleans.
I am a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, retired chef / restauranteur; full time foodie and #WhoDat - doing it all in the most interesting city in the USA - New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA).
I have been eating since I was born and cooking since I was five years old. As the eldest child of six, I could cook an entire meal for my family, including my momma and daddy, at the tender age of 10. I’ve always been hungry to try something else delicious, whether I’m cooking it, eating it or drinking it!!
I was an apprentice to Chef Paul Prudhomme in the early 1980’s and a first hand witness to the explosion of the American dining scene as we know it today. I also met and fell in love with my husband of 26 years there, Chef Greg Sonnier.
Greg and I owned and operated a lovely restaurant in New Orleans called GABRIELLE (named for our oldest daughter and Greg’s grandmother) from 1992 until August 27, 2005 when it was shuttered by Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the US Federal levee system.
Soon after we purchased a catering/special event facility, near our home, to relocate GABRIELLE. However we were met with strict opposition from a few neighbors with strong political ties to NOLA and all hell broke loose. So for the past 8 years we have been fighting a few legal battles as well. Greg is now executive Chef at Kingfish Kitchen in the French Quarter and I am his biggest fan and supporter.
I am Lizy Freudmann (@Leafeaf). I live in the Lower Garden District.
Hello Internet, I am Lizy. I grew up in the suburbs of NYC, and I consider myself a New Yorker, though its been ages since I’ve really lived there— after high school I moved to Rhode Island for college, and then to Los Angeles for 6 years. In LA I worked in the music industry, in jobs that straddled the line between the entertainment industry and the tech industry. When I decided it was time for me to go to graduate school (business), I crossed my fingers for almost a solid year that Tulane would accept me, so I could live out my dream of moving to New Orleans. They did and here I am. I graduated with an MBA and an MGM in May, and now I work remotely for a start-up ed tech company in Boston, and take on other marketing and strategy consulting projects that interest me. I love New Orleans passionately, I feel so much more at home here than I ever did in Los Angeles. My favorite part about being a New Orleanian is talking to other New Orleanians— everyone here has an interesting story or perspective, and I am constantly learning from everyone around me.
This week is Thanksgiving, and in adherence to a family tradition, my parents are coming to me in New Orleans. We have some exciting plans, but if you have any recommendations of fun things that are going on around town, please let me know. I love showing my family the many amazing things about this city. I’m so excited to tweet with you!
I am Clint Durrett. I live in the Lower Garden District. This is my life.
I work at WDSU on the digital medium side of things. I write stories, work on digital ventures, and run their social media.
I moved to New Orleans in 2001 from Nashville and have never left. I love music, food, and culture, so it’s hard to leave. NOLA is my home now.
I’m also a big comic book junkie.
I live in the Lower Garden District. Follow me around this week.
I am Chris Trew. I live in the Garden District.
My name is Chris Trew. Priority #1 is putting New Orleans on the comedy map. I operate a theater and training center, The New Movement, that programs over 40 local shows a month in various venues. This month is our flagship event, Hell Yes Fest, taking place November 12-18 in various venues throughout the city. It’s the biggest comedy event ever attempted in the Gulf South.
I’m also a working comedian - I perform standup and improv weekly through The New Movement. My wife, Tami Nelson, and I just wrote a book about improv, Improv Wins. I also dabble in professional wrestling (ACW in Austin) and maintain a weekly sports column and podcast, Trew 2 the Game, found on ESPN Truehoop Network and It’s New Orleans.
I am Mark Bologna. I live in the Fontainebleau neighborhood of New Orleans. This is my life.
I was born and raised in the city. I grew up in Gentilly not far from my family’s restaurant, Teddy’s Grill. I attended St. James Major, Brother Martin (1988), and USL (1992). For nearly 21 years, I’ve worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs serving our nation’s veterans. In 1997, I left New Orleans to further my career. I moved around the country for the next 15 years, spending the last 7 years in Northern VA. In 2009 I married my wife and 2 years ago we welcomed our twin daughters into the world. In January 2012 life came full circle as we returned to my beloved New Orleans, this time as parents. It was also a return to the VA Regional Office where I began my career. Only now I am the Director of that office where we help the nearly 375,000 veterans who call Louisiana home.
I am unapologetically in love with New Orleans and am proud to say ‘born and raised’ every chance I get. I thought go cups were universal until I moved away, and I believe Popeyes chicken, king cake and Abita beer comprise the appropriate breakfast on Mardi Gras. I have a last meal. I cried when Tracy Porter made that interception in the Super Bowl. I can pronounce Calliope (Cal-e-o), Tchoupitoulas, and corn macque choux. I know where I got my shoes, and I know it ain’t carnival ‘til I see Rex. I am unbelievably happy to be raising two little New Orleanians. Katrina took many things away from all of us who are from here or who lived here at the time. What it brought to us, however, was an influx of new New Orleanians to help continue the mix of cultures that makes this place special. Welcome y’all and welcome to my stint as Curator XXII of @BeingNOLA.
I am Sig. Marketing, Partnership and little event called Voodoo. I live in the Uptown / Carrolton area of New Orleans. This is my life.
My wife Christine and I moved to New Orleans in 1999 for an afternoon radio job on 106.7 the End. We moved here from Los Angeles and while we loved the food, music and the spirit of celebration it was a bit of a culture shock. But we fell in love with the quirky things we didn’t first understand. We fell in love with the people, the traditions, the Saints and all the things we couldn’t pronounce. After 19 years of marriage we now have two daughters Megan 12 and Amanda 10 years old + an adopted stray pit lab named Butterbean. I am the CMO of North American Festivals for Live Nation. I am in the process of earning my MBA at Tulane. I am a beginner surfer and I have an uncanny ability to make any night an all nighter. The best way to connect the dots and retrace my steps is @sigfest.
I am Ian Kramar, Entertainment Professional and Sandstep International. I live in Marigny, New Orleans in one half of a more than century-old double shotgun.
I was born in the piney woods of West CenLA, in Leesville, home of Ft. Polk. With the Army’s massive 5th Mechanized Division (aka tanks, M1 Abrams to be exact) stationed there, my friends growing up were from all around the world. There’s a strong possibility I was conceived in New Orleans, because my mother tells me that every Friday she begged my father to take her to New Orleans for the weekend.
I graduated from Leesville High School (go Wampus Cats!) in 1996 and applied to LSU and Tulane. I was awarded a full ride to LSU, and a partial academic scholarship to Tulane, but I had no intention of going to school anywhere other than New Orleans. I started pre-med, but shifted into communications and film my Junior year. After spending a summer “abroad” at the NYU film program, I ended up in the newsroom at WVUE Fox 8, and worked some freelance gigs for The Travel Channel, History Channel, HBO and local film production companies. I left New Orleans for 2 years to take my first full-time job as a news producer in Omaha, Nebraska in January of 2004. I watched Katrina arrive and the levees fail via satellite, and a few months later, as soon as I possibly could, I returned to New Orleans to produce the news for ABC26, when we were still working out of a pair of trailers in the shadow of the Superdome. In 2008 I took a job at the #1 station in Louisiana, WWL-TV Channel 4, and that’s where I currently work producing newscasts and special projects like the new Guardians of the Groove series we’re working on with WWOZ.
I’m also a photographer. I shoot film and I love funky, old or toy cameras. I’ve been published in a couple of books by Lomography and my photos have been exhibited in New Orleans, NYC, Napa, California, St. Petersburg, Russia and Hong Kong. That’s where the Sandstep International comes from. One of my favorite things to shoot with is my iPhone. I use a gazillion different photo editing apps and you can check out my Instagram ( http://instagram.com/sandstep# ) for a taste of that side of my photography style. Hopefully my own book, “Smartphone Image Manipulation, The Early Years” will go on display at the CAC in New Orleans. And I’m also lots of other things. I refer to myself as an Entertainment Professional, and sandstep was originally my DJ name. You’ll learn much more about me and my New Orleans as this week unfolds. Please check out my tumblog at sandstep.net, which has links to many of my other presences on the interwebs. I’m @sandstep on twitter and most other places.
And yes, not only is the mustache real, it’s award-winning.
I am Hattie, I live in Fontainebleau with my husband and two dogs.
I was born in Houston, but we moved around a bit so I grew up several places—Houston, Aspen, and the Texas Hill Country. I am the second of six girls and the daughter of a creative mother and a entrepreneurial father. I attended Texas Christian University for college where I received a degree in Art History & Business. After college, I accepted a scholarship to attend Tulane and receive my Master’s Degree in Art History and moved down here at age 22. I had visited New Orleans several times in college, and it only took me about 2 months of living here to really become hooked. It is the only place I have ever felt truly at home and a city that, if you love it, will love you back. I met and married my husband here, a 4th generation New Orleanian, and cannot imagine my life anywhere else. I’ve lived in New Orleans for almost 5 1/2 years and have seen it experience a beautiful and inspiring growth—one that’s rooted in the pride of its citizens and a knowledge of this city’s specialness that you can only truly understand if you live here.
I own the boutique Hattie Sparks, Uptown on Adams Street, which opened in February of 2012. Our focus is on emerging, independent, and Southern designers. We carry lines from designers and artists who possess a unique aesthetic and point of view, with an emphasis on quality and design. The commitment I make to local and Southern designers goes beyond just finding things that are different & look great—it’s a pledge to promote fellow businesspeople who are forward-thinking and bring fresh, innovative ideas to the table.
When I’m not working at the shop, I love to explore the city through running—it’s a great way to see the quirks and personality of different neighborhoods. My favorite route is a 6-mile loop that takes me through Fontainebleau, Tulane’s campus, St. Charles Avenue, and past the amazing houses on State Street. After all that running, I usually need a drink and you’ll find me having a beer at Henry’s Bar or glass of wine at The Delachaise. You can find out more about my business at www.hattiesparks.com or follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @hattiesparks
I am Shandrell. I live in Gentilly New Orleans. This is my life.
I am Shandrell although many refer to me by my nickname, Shandy. I was born and raised on the Westbank of New Orleans. I’ve lived here my entire life outside of a four month exile to Atlanta for my freshman year of college due to Hurricane Katrina. Recently, I moved to the Gentilly neighborhood with two of my close friends and I am loving my new surroundings! I am a graduate of Edna Karr High School, Xavier University of Louisiana and most recently, the University of New Orleans’ graduate school. Currently, I work at Beuerman Miller Fitzgerald, an awesome public relations firm in New Orleans. I have a deep passion for the city of New Orleans - its culture, cuisine, and soul. There’s no place like it and I am proud to call it home.
I am Chris. I live in Old Jefferson but born and bred in Uptown New Orleans. This is my life. / A new New Orleanian every week.
I am Chris. I was born in New Orleans almost a month late on July 4th, 1979 because I like to be patriotic and to procrastinate. I was brought home from the hospital as Hurricane Bob was hitting the city, and have had a love hate relationship with hurricanes ever since.
I grew up with Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, and boiled crawfish, and try to go to every festival around the city that I can. The Saints are my favorite team followed by whatever team the Falcons are playing that week.
When it was time to go to college I decided that I needed to get away because I knew I’d be back. So I spent 4 great years in Athens, GA. After that I moved back to New Orleans, with no intention to ever leave,because I don’t understand why anyone would want to live anywhere else. Of course Katrina had other ideas.
My parents moved out of the house I grew up in 3 weeks before Katrina hit. They went from a house that had virtually no damage and no flooding to the Broadmoor area where they had 8 feet of water. Nearly all of their things were destroyed with lots of stuff still in boxes yet to be unpacked. Kicking the door down to get into the house after the water had gone down was one of the worst days of my life. I will never forget the utter dead silence in the city then. No noise at all. Not even bugs. I was forced to move to Houston for a year because of grad school but even with all the death and destruction from Katrina it still never crossed my mind to live anywhere else.
I moved back in May of 2006 and finished grad school. I now work in healthcare on the West Bank, and am getting married in May. The character, culture, creativity, cuisine and other words that start with C make New Orleans unlike any other city anywhere. It gets its claws into you and never lets go, and I don’t mind at all.