When I was little I'd hide out in my mother's closet pouring through pages of Vogue Magazine. The photographers, editors, designers - they created a dream world I wanted to be in. My grandparents also had those travel maps stretched across the walls, filled with colorful pins and stories.
By the age of seven, I was fully fascinated by the world. As a 'grown-up,' I'm influenced by textiles and wardrobe of people all around the world. Costumes and couture, whatever is unique to the places I visit.
In all my travels, my favorite place to come home to is New Orleans.
There's so many perfect ways to spend a day in New Orleans. I love the oaks at Audubon and a good afternoon champagne picnic. I love strolling Royal Street - window shopping the galleries and boutiques along the way. I find the French Quarter architecture - the European, African and Caribbean blend - to be some of the most beautiful in the world.
I'm often asked where I recommend visitors go, especially if they've only got a weekend or so. The favorites that always top my list:
James’ paintings really capture the surreal and magical bits of New Orleans.
For Sunday brunch and booze, I can't think of a better place to recap a weekend!
It’s my favorite place to take newbies - get a purple drink, on the menu it's a “Voodoo Daiquiri”, and be warned, you don't need more than one!
This shop is packed with denim, fringe and 70's dresses galore. Sam and Akasha have impeccable taste and I cannot get enough!
I love the classic oyster po’ boy, but the roast beef is to die for too.
The big pink building packed with vinyl treasures sits directly next to one of my favorite pizza joints too.
7. Saturn Bar
Check out this lounge in the Bywater on Monday nights for King James and Special Men (get ready to dance all those drinks right out).
8. The Saint
The dive-iest of all dives, get a bottle of champagne for $20 or stick to the champagne of beers, either way take photos in the photo booth to remember the evening.
Make your dinner reservation first, be sure to get the alligator cheese cake and then go see whatever killer band is up to bat at The Maple Leaf late night.
10. Magazine Street
At any given hour music fills the streets. This isn’t just a Bourbon Street phenomenon - the best music in the city is typically tucked away in a side street venue. Do a bit of exploring, peak down those alley ways, and you're likely to find string instruments coupled with brass and a mélange of sounds and languages.
I love the mindset of artistic survival and feel a kinship to people forever on the hunt for the next destination for inspiration! I hope you've enjoyed getting to know a little bit about my home sweet home.
My book "A Wanderful Life" is out now, pick it up (pretty please!) to see more New Orleans and lots of other destinations. Much love to my friend Kendra Jones for spending an afternoon in the French Quarter with me snapping these photos!