New Orleans – Andi Eaton of Oui We Girl’s Guide to New Orleans
Andi Eaton, director of Andi Eaton Creatives and writer behind her travel blog Oui We Girl is no stranger to New Orleans – the melting pot of a city, bubbling with dreamers and artists of all sorts. She has been living in the city since 2007. Eaton has over 10 years of experience as a creative in the beauty industry and is passionate about holistic self-care and natural beauty. Traveling around the states and chronicling her adventures is also something she does in her free time. We spoke to her about some of the best places to go to in New Orleans.
What do you love about traveling?
I’m a serious romantic and believe in the manifestation of dreams into reality. Traveling gives me an opportunity to fall in love with the world at large and the people in it. I feel a kinship to people that live their lives on the hunt for artistic inspiration. I adore collecting fresh perspectives and engaging in the self-exploration that happens along the way in my travels.
Share with us a beauty regime that you live by.
When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is take a few moments to do a little Ayurvedic detox. This may seem obvious but the first thing on your morning list should be to brush your teeth and scrape your tongue (I have a copper tongue scraper that cleans easily). Don’t wait until after your morning tea, you need to release the toxins first!
Next, I spend 3 minutes massaging my face with oils. The massage activates the lymphatic system and releases endorphins.
Your favourite tea is…
I’m excited about The Seventh Duchess Radiance Organic Detox Tea! In the evenings, I do make my own golden milk tea using coconut milk, fresh ginger and fresh turmeric.
Your way to unwind after a long day is…
A hot bath with lavender essential oils and a glass of red wine is great. I also destress by spending a night cooking in my kitchen with friends around the table. It’s truly my favorite way to relax.
NEW ORLEANS GUIDE
What is New Orleans to you?
I say this often – there’s no city that encourages its residents and visitors alike to chase the muse like New Orleans! My nomadic self finds the blend of European, African and Caribbean to be very enriching.
If you could pick two words that captures the essence of New Orleans what would they be?
Authentic and soul-filling.
Best time to visit?
The Spring for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival or the fall for the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. The weather during these two seasons is glorious too.
Where would be somewhere luxurious yet charming to stay in New Orleans?
Boutique hotel, The Catahoula. It is in a restored creole townhouse on a side street away from the hustle of the Central Business District.
The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, full of local artists’ works and vintage charm, is in a renovated port warehouse just a few steps from the French Quarter.
There’s also the Ace, which has become a local hangout of sorts. In the summer you can’t beat the Ace rooftop pool!
What is an off-the-beaten-path experience you’d recommend us to do on a trip to New Orleans?
I love taking new visitors on neighborhood explorations. History is fully alive in the Tremé: the brass bands, second lines, and Mardi Gras Indians parade through the streets as they always have, creating a pulsating experience. The Marigny is a favorite for artists and musicians. It’s hipster cred is long term: Jack Kerouac jumped off the cross-country train in this spot in the ’40s to visit New Orleans. It’s an eccentric neighborhood, full of music halls, tucked-away restaurants and boutiques. The residents have an unwritten agreement to keep it chill.
FOOD & DRINKS
Where is one place that captures the food culture in New Orleans?
That’s almost impossible! It’s New Orleans. Every meal — whether it’s authentic Louisiana home cooking or dishes from the award winning new guard of chefs — is good. Like, way good. I almost always bring friends for gumbo and Po’boys and when it’s in season crawfish is a must. The best way to do crawfish is to get invited to a boil or stop into seafood stand and take your meal to the park.
Your go-to spots for:
– Breakfast: Toast, Uptown.
– Best View: The waterfront at Crescent Park or the lobby at the Westin Canal Place.
Share your favourite boutique..
Spend an afternoon on Magazine Street, making sure to hit Funky Monkey for eclectic vintage rompers, sunnies and T’s and Lili Vintage Boutique for feminine, southern silhouettes. The street stretches several miles and is packed with shop after shop – from beauty bars to nuevo cool boutiques and more.
Where can we find antiques?
Besides Magazine Street, shop the Bywater neighborhood for antiques and thrift finds too: first go to Sterling Provisions for vintage housewares, and then visit the Bargain Center and The Pop Shop—neighbouring junk shops tucked along Dauphine Street for knick knacks and thrifty costume style fashions.
SEE & DO
Where would you take us to experience the vibrant culture and history of NOLA ?
I love the oaks at Audubon and a good afternoon Champagne picnic. I love strolling Royal Street – window shopping the galleries and shops along the way. I love a night out at Maple Leaf or Tipitina’s sweating and dancing with a few hundred other music lovers.
The architecture is something beautiful in NOLA. Where would you recommend us to go to get inspired?
Most certainly visit the Garden District. It’s considered one of the best-preserved collections of historic Greek Revival and Italianate mansions in the country, with lavish gardens and scenery. An absolute must is a street car ride along Saint Charles Avenue as well!
Beautiful photography courtesy of Andi Eaton.