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Best of New Orleans 2014: Local Life 

click to enlarge darrin-shirt_copy.jpg

Photo by Lyn Vicknair

BEST GRAMMAR SCHOOL

1. Lusher Charter School
7315 Willow St., (504) 862-5110; www.lusherschool.org

2. Isidore Newman School
1903 Jefferson Ave., (504) 899-5641; www.newmanschool.org @isidorenewman

3. TIE: Holy Name of Jesus School
6325 Cromwell Place, (504) 861-1466; www.hnjschool.org

3. TIE: Academy of the Sacred Heart
4521 St. Charles Ave., (504) 891-1943; www.ashrosary.org @ashrosary


BEST NURSERY/PRESCHOOL

1. Cub Corner Preschool
Sisters of Mount Carmel, 420 Robert E. Lee Blvd., (504) 286-8673; www.sistersofmountcarmel.org

2. Academy of the Sacred Heart
4521 St. Charles Ave., (504) 891-1943; www.ashrosary.org @ashrosay

3. TIE: The Little Red Schoolhouse of Metairie
2055 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 838-7979; www.littleredschoolhouseofmetairie.com

3. TIE: Little Gate at Louise S. McGehee School
1538 Philip St., (504) 523-9911; www.littlegate.com


BEST HIGH SCHOOL

1. Benjamin Franklin High School
2001 Leon C. Simon Drive, (504) 286-2600; www.benfranklinhighschool.org @bfhsfalcons For the second consecutive year, Franklin wins this category. The lakefront school (Franklin is located on UNO's campus) is a perennial favorite to land in the top three choices of our readers.

2. Jesuit High School
4133 Banks St., (504) 486-6631; www.jesuitnola.org @jesuitnola

3. Isidore Newman Upper School
1903 Jefferson Ave., (504) 899-5641; www.newmanschool.org @isidorenewman


BEST LOCAL UNIVERSITY

1. Tulane University
6823 St. Charles Ave., (504) 865-5000; www.tulane.edu @tulanenews

2. University of New Orleans
2000 Lakeshore Drive, (504) 280-6000; www.uno.edu @uofno

3. Loyola New Orleans
6363 St. Charles Ave., (504) 865-3240; www.loyno.edu @loyola_nola


BEST PELICANS PLAYER

1. Anthony Davis @antdavis
23 No contest here. The face (and eyebrows) of the Pelicans' franchise (entering its second-ever season) was also an NBA All-Star and member of Team USA. The 6-foot, 10-inch Wildcat finished the 2013-2014 NBA season averaging more than 20 points per game and led the league in blocks per game. He'll take flight in the Pelicans' season opener on Oct. 28 against the Orlando Magic.

2. Eric Gordon @theofficialeg10

3. Ryan Anderson @ryananderson33


BEST SAINTS PLAYER

1. Drew Brees @drewbrees

2. Jimmy Graham @thejimmygraham

3. Pierre Thomas @pierre_thomas


BEST FOOD FESTIVAL

1. Oak Street Po-boy Festival
www.poboyfest.com @poboyfest

2. New Orleans Oyster Festival
www.neworleansoysterfestival.org @nola_oyster

3. Hogs for the Cause
www.hogsforthecause.org @hogs4thecause


BEST LIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL

1. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
www.nojazzfest.com @jazzfest

2. French Quarter Festival
www.fqfi.org
@fqfestnola

3. Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
www.worshipthemusic.com @voodoonola


BEST DOG PARK

click to enlarge New Orleans City Bark - PHOTO BY JEANIE RIESS
  • Photo by Jeanie Riess
  • New Orleans City Bark

1. New Orleans City Bark
New Orleans City Park, Zachary Taylor Drive at Magnolia Drive; www.nolacitybark.org Happy dogs make happy dog owners, and canine New Orleanians say (OK, their humans told us) they like their off-leash play dates at City Bark. Maybe it's the dog-level water fountains, or the pavilions that provide shade so canines' humans let them romp longer, or the 4.6 acres of room to play with friends.

2. Bark Park in Lafreniere Park
Lafreniere Park, Madewood Drive, Metairie, www.lafrenierepark.org

3. Levee park at The Fly
Zoo Drive, behind Audubon Zoo


BEST GOLF COURSE

1. Audubon Golf Course
6500 Magazine St., (504) 212-5290; www.auduboninstitute.org

2. New Orleans City Park North Course
1051 Filmore Ave., (504) 483-9410; www.cityparkgolf.com

3. TPC Louisiana
11001 Laplaco Blvd., Avondale, (504) 436-8721; www.tpc.com/tpc-louisiana @tpcla


BEST LOCAL 5K/10K RACE

1. Crescent City Classic
www.ccc10k.com @ccc10k

2. New Orleans Red Dress Run
www.nolareddress.com @nolareddress

3. TIE: The Color Run
www.thecolorrun.com/new-orleans @thecolorrun

3. TIE: Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
www.komenneworleans.org @komenneworleans


BEST LOCAL ARTIST

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY ART4NOW
  • Photo courtesy Art4Now

1. Terrance Osborne
www.terranceosborne.com @terranceosborne
Painter and muralist Terrance Osborne is a New Orleans native best known for his brightly colored, often whimsical paintings of his hometown's distinct houses, street scenes and culture. In recent years, he's created several official New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival posters, including the 2014 poster featuring the Preservation Hall Jazz Band second-lining out of its French Quarter headquarters and the 2012 poster featuring Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews playing trombone on his porch in a neighborhood of shotgun and Creole cottage homes. Osborne also rendered a portrait of beloved drummer "Uncle" Lionel Batiste for the 2010 Congo Square poster and the Rebirth Brass Band's Phil Frazier for the 2007 Congo Square poster. Osborne has partnered with the New Orleans Pelicans, created the massive-scale New Orleans skyline mural on the Hilton New Orleans Riverside and created images for the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club. He's captured the vibrancy of local life and caught our readers' eyes.

2. Frenchy
Frenchy Gallery, 610 Toulouse St., (504) 581-3522; 8319 Oak St., (504) 861-7595; www.frenchylive.com@frenchylive

3. George Rodrigue
George Rodrigue Studios, 730 Royal St., (504) 581-4244; www.georgerodrigue.com@georgerodrigueEditor's note: George Rodrigue died in December 2013


BEST LOCAL JEWELRY DESIGNER

1. Mignon Faget
The Shops at Canal Place, 333 Canal St., first level, (504) 524-2973; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 835-2244; 3801 Magazine St., (504) 891-2005; www.mignonfaget.com @mignonfaget

2. Gogo Borderding
Gogo Jewelry, 2036 Magazine St., (504) 529-8868; www.ilovegogojewelry.com

3. Tom Mathis
Symmetry, 8138 Hampson St., (504) 861-9925; www.symmetry-jewelers.com @symmetrygallery


BEST LOCAL CHARITY EVENT

click to enlarge Hogs for the Cause - PHOTOS COURTESY HOGS FOR THE CAUSE
  • Photos courtesy Hogs for the Cause
  • Hogs for the Cause

1. Hogs for the Cause
www.hogsforthecause.org @hogs4thecause
Hogs for the Cause grew from a pig roast among friends to porkapalooza, a two-day spring music and food festival in City Park featuring more than 90 teams competing for top honors cooking traditional and innovative barbecue and roast pork dishes. In 2008, Rene Louapre and Becker Hall turned their pig roast into a nonprofit dedicated to supporting families affected by pediatric brain cancer. The 2014 event drew more than 20,000 people to City Park's festival grounds to enjoy live music and an array of pork dishes presented by teams with clever names, including Piggy Stardust, Hupig's, Captain Porkenheimer and Notorious P.I.G. Hogs holds its first Charleston, South Carolina, event Oct. 4.

2. Zoo To Do
www.auduboninstitute.org/ztd @zootodo

3. New Orleans Red Dress Run
www.nolareddress.com @nolareddress


BEST LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER

1. Beebe Tran
www.studiotran.com

2. Zack Smith
www.zacksmith.com @drumtographer

3. Frank Relle
www.frankrelle.com @frankrelle


BEST TOURIST THING LOCALS SHOULD DO MORE

1. Day trip to the French Quarter

2. Ride a streetcar

3. TIE: Take a swamp tour

3. TIE: Visit the National World War II Museum


BEST STREET FOR BIKING

click to enlarge Esplanade Avenue - PHOTO BY JEANIE RIESS
  • Photo by Jeanie Riess
  • Esplanade Avenue

1. Esplanade Avenue
Pedal beneath an oak tree canopy, passing the kinds of New Orleans houses that would be at home in tourist manuals. The only thing separating you from the days of Degas, whose family's Louisiana residence is one of the landmarks you'll roll by, is that you're on two wheels, not horse and buggy, within the confines of a spacious bike lane to which cars must yield.

2. St. Charles Avenue

3. Magazine Street


BEST NONPROFIT

1. Louisiana SPCA
1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., (504) 368-5191; www.la-spca.org @laspca
Begun in the 19th century as the Louisiana State Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the LA-SPCA contracts with the city of New Orleans to provide animal-related services, from animal control to a spay-neuter program — and, of course, shelter, foster lost-and-found and adoption services. The organization also provides educational outreach and advocates for laws that benefit the welfare of animals. After its longtime shelter on Japonica Street was destroyed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the LA-SPCA relocated to Algiers and reopened in 2007 with a new facility. Last year the LA-SPCA broke ground on Phase II of its construction, which will include a public veterinary clinic and a new adoption facility to show off the animals looking for a home.

2. Team Gleason
www.teamgleason.org @teamgleason

3. Bridge House/Grace House
www.bridgehouse.org @bridgegracehous


BEST MUSEUM

1. New Orleans Museum of Art
1 Collins Diboll Circle, (504) 658-4100; www.noma.org @noma1910

2. National World War II Museum
945 Magazine St., (504) 527-6012; www.nationalww2museum.org @wwIImuseum

3. Ogden Museum of Southern Art
925 Camp St., (504) 539-9650; www.ogdenmuseum.org @ogdenmuseum


BEST ART GALLERY

click to enlarge Arthur Roger Gallery - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Arthur Roger Gallery

1. Arthur Roger Gallery
432 Julia St., (504) 522-1999; www.arthurrogergallery.com @artrogergallery
Arthur Roger positioned himself at the forefront of the local art scene when he opened his namesake gallery in the Warehouse District in 1988 and helped establish Julia Street as the hub for local contemporary art galleries. He represents a diverse array of local and nationally known artists including Douglas Bourgeois, Edward Burtynsky, Willie Birch, Dale Chihuly, Lin Emery, Deborah Luster, Bruce Davenport Jr., David Halliday, Gene Koss and Bunny Matthews as well as the late George Dureau, Ida Kohlmeyer, John Scott, Robert Colescott and Gordon Parks. His gallery also has hosted photography shows by filmmaker John Waters, whom he also represents. In 2008, the gallery expanded with an adjoining space at 434 Julia Street, and more recently, Roger added a room for video art.

2. Rodrigue
730 Royal St., (504) 581-4244; www.georgerodrigue.com@georgerodrigue

3. Martine Chaisson
727 Camp St., (504) 302-7942; www.martinechaissongallery.com@martinegallery


BEST NEW LOCAL BOOK

1. Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere by Richard Sexton

2. Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas by Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedeker

3. The Inevitable City: The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America by Scott Cowen


BEST MARDI GRAS WALKING/DANCING GROUP

Best Mardi Gras walking/dancing group

1. 610 Stompers

www.610stompers.com; @610stompers

2. Pussyfooters

www.pussyfooters.org; @pussyfooters

3. Pete Fountain’s Half Fast Walking Club


BEST PLACE FOR A BREAKUP

1. New Orleans City Park

2. Lakefront

3. Bourbon Street


BEST MARDI GRAS PARADE

click to enlarge Muses - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Muses

1. Muses
www.kreweofmuses.org
@kreweofmuses
The all-female Krewe of Muses is a perennial favorite with its biting satirical themes and bounty of original throws. It's known for riders' colorful and creative wigs, glittered shoes, shoe medallion beads and cosmetic sundries throws, but this year, it remodeled the entire parade with the fashion theme "Ready to Wear You Out." Gov. Bobby Jindal sported a new look in an "insinceresucker" suit. The Times-Picayune/NOLA Media Group executive editor Jim Amoss was depicted nude in the "TP Streak." Orleans Parish Prison's unofficial self-release program was lampooned in "Project Runaway," and festival emergencies were celebrated in "Pret-A-Portolet: Ready to Pee." The parade also debuted "glambeaux," Muses' version of traditional flambeaux. The krewe also distributed mini comic books penned by Caesar Meadows.

2. Endymion
www.endymion.org

3. Bacchus
www.kreweofbacchus.org


BEST NEW ORLEANIAN WHO REPRESENTS US WELL NATIONALLY

1. Harry Connick Jr.
Harry Connick Jr. been introduced to a new generation as one of the judges on the latest incarnation of American Idol, where he even busted out a few lines of Big Freedia's "Excuse" on the judging panel. While many local celebrities helped out in the days after Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods, Connick may have set a record; He went to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to console residents and plead for help; he co-hosted the telethon A Concert for Hurricane Relief, which raised more than $50 million; and he and Branford Marsalis, along with Habitat for Humanity, created Musicians' Village in the Upper 9th Ward. Add to that his status as Billboard's artist with the most No. 1 jazz albums, an entertainment career that includes film scores (When Harry Met Sally), TV (Will & Grace) and Broadway (The Pajama Game).

2. Ellen DeGeneres @theellenshow

3. Drew Brees @drewbrees


BEST PLACE FOR A WEDDING RECEPTION

1. New Orleans City Park
www.neworleanscitypark.com @nolacitypark

2. Audubon Tea Room
Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., (504) 212-5301; www.auduboninstitute.org @audubonzoo

3. Southern Oaks Plantation
7816 Hayne Blvd., (504) 245-8221; www.southernoaksplantation.com


BEST SUMMER CAMP FOR KIDS

1. New Orleans Jewish Community Center
5342 St. Charles Ave., (504) 897-0143; www.nojcc.org @nojcc

2. TIE: Kehoe-France
720 Elise Ave., Metairie, (504) 733-0472; www.edline.net/pages/Kehoe_France_School

2. TIE: Ripples Camp
Tulane University Reily Center, 31 McAlister Drive, (504) 865-5431; www.reilycenter.com @reilycenter

3. Audubon Zoo Camp
Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., (504) 861-2537; www.auduboninstitute.org @audubonzoo

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