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Market Change
The Crescent City Farmers Market continues its Tuesday market Uptown (200 Broadway St.) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., but the organization's leaders foresee big changes in how it will grow. The market was conceived 10 years ago and run ever since by the Economic Institute, a nonprofit affiliated with Loyola University. Since the storm, that organization has revamped itself as MarketUmbrella.org , its new name and Web site. Market co-founder Richard McCarthy remains executive director of the group. He says the aim of MarketUmbrella.org is to continue the market's goal of promoting "ecologically sound, sustainable economic development," but perhaps by other means than reestablishing the three other market days that it ran pre-Katrina. If the markets' former customers and vendors have relocated near other markets, he says, "it makes more sense for us to provide mentorship and support to those markets, rather than recreate our former markets to serve phantom customers here." The group might also create what he calls a "Useful Market," offering services for residents that remain unavailable in some areas, from key-cutting and screen repair to stress counseling and dry-cleaning drop-off. MarketUmbrella.org is now training former market vendors whose crops were destroyed as "deputies" to help other storm-battered farmers and fishers recover. The group is also working with the local chapter of Slow Food (www.slowfoodneworleans.com), an organization that promotes regional foodways, and The Savvy Gourmet (4519 Magazine St., 895-2665; www.savvygourmet.com), a one-time cooking school that is now a budding hub for culinary events Uptown.


Bubbly on the Bayou

Cork & Bottle (3700 Orleans Ave., 934-1386; www.corknola.com) has resumed its Thursday-evening wine tastings at one of the few retail businesses yet open in the Mid-City area. The next tasting is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, and will feature the entire line up of champagnes from Duval Leroy. The DeSoto Street Band will provide music. There is no admission price, but the store asks guests to purchase at least one bottle of Duval Leroy champagne, with prices beginning at $25.


Sips and Cheers

A new wine shop is open Uptown, specializing in inexpensive wines and offbeat special events. Sip Wine (3119 Magazine St., 894-7071; www.sipwinenola.com) was in the works for months before Katrina, and owners Jennifer Powell and Mary Youngblood decided to keep their plans rolling as the city rebuilds. The shop opened Oct. 28. The bulk of the inventory is priced under $15 and is arranged in the store by flavor profiles. So instead of browsing by growing region, shoppers find categories such as spicy, fruity, earthy or herbal. The shop holds free wine tastings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays. On Tuesdays, patrons can pay $10 to participate in the shop's "Sip and Spin" events, where a variety of wines are paired with music. For example, at a recent Sip and Spin, a DJ spun down-tempo music while the owners poured earthy flavored wines. Sip Wine also has a selection of beer and gourmet foods.

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