NOLA-ing: NOLA Baby Firsts

If you follow cute New Orleans-centric stores like Fleurty Girl and NOLA Gifts and Decor, you might have seen the adorable NOLA Baby Firsts print by local artist Allie Behan. I ogled over this print on FaceBook, thinking that it would be a perfect keepsake to commemorate our daughter’s first NOLA experiences. From going to the zoo for the first time to eating her first crawfish or snoball, this print fits into our interests and lifestyle perfectly. Unfortunately, when I visited two different Fleurty Girl stores, they were sold out out of this popular print (they have since restocked). I was bummed, but figured I could wait; after all, it is not like she can do everything on the print yet.

Nola baby firsts

Image courtesy of Fleurty Girl.

A few days later at work, a coworker of ours gave us gift for our daughter. Happily, it was the NOLA Baby Firsts print! I think I squealed with delight when I saw it. It is so sweet to have such marvelous people in our daughter’s life. We are definitely blessed and started planning out when to start accomplishing some of these firsts. We then picked which first we thought we would accomplish last. My husband guessed her first Saints game since we have only ever been to one and that was during the preseason. I picked her first streetcar ride since in all my time living in and around New Orleans, I have never ridden the streetcar! Though maybe we will purposely ride one now, just to make sure we fulfill all of the firsts.

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NOLA-ing: New Orleans Tricentennial festivities

This year is a big one for New Orleans, as it officially marks the Tricentennial. The Big Easy’s 300th birthday is a year long celebration and this week has some extra-special happenings. We hope to attend a few of these occurrences over the course of the weekend.

NOLA Navy Week: The Tall Ships are coming! To help celebrate the Tricentennial, NOLA Navy Week is bringing up tall ships from not just the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, but from Great Britain and Canada as well.  VIP FastPass tickets available here. Here’s a schedule below of how to see them.

Thursday, April 19
12:00pm Tall ships arrive into downtown New Orleans. All times approximate. Ships will dock at Woldenberg Riverfront Park at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. (No public boarding day on day of arrival.
Friday, April 20
10:00am – 12:00pm Pre-arranged school and social groups
12:00pm – 5:00pm Tall ships open to the public. Admission is free.
Saturday, April 21
10:00am – 12:00pm Pre-arranged school and social groups
12:00pm – 5:00pm Tall ships open to the public. Admission is free.
Sunday, April 22
10:00am – 5:00pm Tall ships open to the public. Admission is free.
Saturday, April 21
6:45pm – 12:00am Tall Ships® Tricentennial Gala – Tall Ships celebrate NOLA’s 300th! On-deck and dock-side black-tie gala in Woldenberg Park. Tickets include drinks, food, dancing and fireworks over the River. Download the Gala invitation (PDF)
Monday, April 23
9:00am Tall ships depart New Orleans. Please note: Navy ships maintain a separate schedule. Visit: NOLA Navy Week for more information.

Tricentennial Dog Parade: The Saints’ mascot Gumbo will lead those “lucky dogs” that call New Orleans home down the streets around City Bark on Sunday, April 22. If you want your dog to participate, check-in is at 10am and the parade starts at 11am. There is also a costume contest for your cute pooch. Registration is $40/dog or $45/dog on site. According to the website:

Dress your dogs up to compete in the following costume contest categories: Best NOLA-centric Attire, Most “Fest”ive Pet, Funniest Costume, and Best Pet Duo (dog and owner). Prizes include tickets to Zoo-to-Do, a membership to NOLA City Bark, a $100 gift certificate to Metairie Small Animal Hospital, a 5-day pass to Dogtopia, a gift basket from Magazine Street Animal Clinic and more.

Tricentennial Citywide Family Reunion: On Sunday, April 22, a celebration of jazz music will occur with music, food, and a nighttime fireworks display at 9pm at City Park’s Big Lake at 9 p.m. In Armstrong Park, there will be performances by Mia Borders, Ivan Neville and Friends, Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers and other local acts. A jazz stage in Congo Square (starting at 2 p.m.) will feature Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Patti Austin, Ledisi and other guests. Guests are welcome to bring their own food, drinks, blankets, and chairs to enjoy the festivities. If you cannot make it, they are filming the performances to be shown online as part of International Jazz Day on April 30.

If these festivities weren’t exciting enough, there is also Kenner’s Italian Heritage Festival.

Located at: 400 Blk of Williams Blvd. (from the River to the railroad tracks)

Italian Fest Lineup 2018 for website.jpg
With so many activities going on during this beautiful weekend, there is no reason to stay indoors!

 

The Nola Nerd Couple Podcast Episode 15: Wizard World New Orleans 2018 Wrap-Up

After a long absence, The Nola Nerd Couple Podcast is back! In this show, we explain why we were gone for so long, what we were up to in that time, and finally, we focus in on Wizard World New Orleans 2018!  Spoiler alert: we had a great con.  Show notes for this episode in the photo gallery below!

 

ComicCon-ing: Some of Our Favorite Eats Near Wizard World New Orleans

This is not by any means a definitive list. We aren’t rich enough to eat at all the restaurants near the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center where Wizard World New Orleans is held.  Looking at the map, there are way more restaurants that we want to try and never have. Therefore these are just some restaurants within walking distance, which actually does cover almost the entire CBD.

Mulate’s New Orleans:  To be honest, I haven’t been here in years. But it does have some decent cajun fare, and if it is a night with live music, that makes it worth it.

El Gato Negro:  There mole chicken is fantastic, and everything else is pretty good, too. (Note: we have not tried this particular location).

Cochon Butcher: This is my number one recommendation. Everything I’ve had here has been great.

Cochon: The fancier big brother is right next door to Butcher.  While I think Butcher is better, this is world class food.

Drago’s Seafood: Don’t look at the menu.  Order oysters either raw or charbroiled…preferably both. If you are still hungry, order another dozen.

Mannings: We find Manning’s hit or miss, but everyone else we know seems to love it.

Lucy’s Retired Surfer’s Bar & Restaurant: This is where we ended up on day one of Wizard World last year. The food was excellent, the company better, and the scorpion was weird.

Carmo: If you are craving something a little healthier, this is the place for you.  They do have vegetarian and vegan options. I have yet to have a bad meal or drink there.

Gordon Biersch Brewery:  If you are looking for a great pub atmosphere, this should be high on your list.

St. James Cheese Company: If you like cheese, these people are the best cheesemongers in the city. (Note: we have not tried this particular location).

Herbsaint:  If you are dressed up (and I mean Sunday dressed), this is our favorite restaurant in the city.

The American Sector Restaurant: This restaurant is attached to the World War II museum. It’s also one of our favorites.  The glazed lamb ribs are to die for.

Some of the other restaurants in the area that we haven’t tried but would love to:

  • Galliano Restaurant
  • Root
  • Emeril’s
  • Grand Isle
  • La Boca
  • Tommy’s Cuisine
  • Peche Seafood Grill
  • Compere Lapin
  • Meril
  • Legacy Kitchen
  • Mother’s (wait…what? We have never eaten at Mothers?)

 

 

ComicCon-ing: Wizard World New Orleans Artist Alley

When we explain comic conventions to our friends, we have to make sure they understand it’s more than just meeting celebrity guests.  We often compare the vendors’ area to a jewelry show for geeks. However, the best part of any comic convention is the artist alley.

Artist Alley is comprised of comic book artists who will sign books and have artwork for sale.  Many, but not all,  sign for free or for a small donation to a favorite charity.  Some do charge, but we understand they have to make a living.

The person we are most excited to meet at Wizard World New Orleans is Howard Chaykin. He is a comic creator who both writes and draws. We met him at Wizard World Philadelphia a few years ago, and he was quickly the most entertaining comic creator we ever met. While we got him to sign a Star Wars comic variant cover he did, we highly recommend his works, American Flagg! and Divided States of Hysteria…and anything else his name is attached to.

The great Neal Adams will also be there.  Neal Adams changed the game of comics and help usher in a social awareness to comics especially in his Green Lantern/Green Arrow run. He has worked on Batman and has done some of the most iconic covers in comics. In fact, we will probably get him to sign a Harley Quinn cover that we did.  He does charge for autographs.

Other comic artists inlcude Jaime Hernandez (“Love and Rockets”), Olivia (“Bettie Page,” “Sideshow Collectibles”), Agnes Garbowska  (“My Little Pony,” “DC Superhero Girls”), David Mack (“KABUKI,” “Jessica Jones”) and Mike Grell (“Green Arrow,” “Batman”), Marat Michaels (“Deadpool Corps,” “Extreme Studios”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies”),  Amy Chu (“Red Sonja,” “KISS”), Stuart Sayger (“ROM,” “Micronauts”), Tiffany Michelle Vollmer  (“Dragon Ball” franchise), Mike S. Miller (“Justice League,” “Game of Thrones”), Phil Ortiz (“The Simpsons”),  Tom Cook (“Masters of the Universe,” “Smurfs”), Mark Kistler (“Secret City,” “Imagination Station”), Clinton Hobart  (licensed Disney Fine Artist), Victor Dandridge (“The Samaritan,” “Origins Unknown”), Dean Haspiel (“Billy Dogma,” “Bored to Death”) and many more.

There is another comic creator that you may have heard of…Stan Lee.  He will only be there on Saturday, and you do need to purchase signatures.  We have already bought our photo op with him!

Plenty of these comic creators will be doing discussions and demonstrations at the Creative Stage so make sure you check it out.

Wizard World New Orleans show hours are Friday, January 5, 4-9 p.m.; Saturday, January 6, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, January 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult.

Comic Con-ing: Mrs. Nola Nerd’s Wizard World New Orleans 2018

As con season approaches, our first con of 2018 will be Wizard World New Orleans. We’ve been to WWNOLA since its inception and have enjoyed ourselves every year. This year will surely follow suit! Here’s a look at some people I am looking forward to seeing.

Mr. Nola Nerd and I decided to do a photo op with Mr. Stan Lee. We have met him three times and have his autograph on a comic, on a photo, and on my Mallrats poster; however, we do not have any photos with him and us. Since he is in such high demand, his people have to move the line quickly and they do not allow photographs at the table. We know he is winding down on the con circuit (we were at the London Film and Comic Con in 2014, which was he final European appearance, and it was INSANE; they had to put him in his own building) and we figured this might be our last chance to have a photo with Stan “The Man” Lee. Like Mr. Nola Nerd said in his last blog, we might bring our baby countdown sign to have in the photo with us. I am sure Miss Nola Nerd Baby will love that photo growing up!

Jason Momoa is attending and although we met him at Space City Con in 2014, that was before I had my Game of Thrones poster. I now have about twenty people on the poster (the latest being Jerome Flynn aka Bronn thanks to my dear friend David getting him for me at Rhode Island Comic Con). He was awesome to meet in person and I cannot wait to meet him again. I would love to have an Aquaman picture signed as well, but thanks to baby, I will be limiting it to just my poster.

The announcement that made me scream with happiness was David Tennant! I never thought I would be lucky enough to meet him in person. I have a Doctor Who poster that I would love to have him sign, but I also want a photo of him as Ten, as Kilgrave from Jessica Jones (WOW that performance!), and as Scrooge McDuck from the new Duck Tales! Of course, that’s simply not possible right now, so I have to narrow my choice down to one. I am fairly certain it will be a photo of Ten. I have to see his wonderful face!

One of my absolute favorite shows growing up was Boy Meets World. In fact, I just finished rewatching the entire series on Hulu. I was the same age as most of the cast, so I completely related to them and their teen struggles. I am super excited to meet Rider Strong, who portrayed Shawn Hunter, and Will Friedle, who portrayed Eric Matthews. I am hoping to get a cast picture with Ben Savage (Cory Matthews) and Danielle Fishel (Topanga Lawrence). Hopefully one day I can meet them as well!

Those are my top celebrity guests. If I were rich, I would meet Jenna Coleman again. I have a picture of her as Clara signed and she is on my poster for Doctor Who; however, Kurt and I are really into the PBS drama Victoria. We would love to get her as that character, but like I said previously, baby comes first.

I would also love to meet Ian Somerhalder. Now, I have never seen a single episode of The Vampire Diaries in my life. So why do I want to meet him. One word: LOST! I was obsessed with LOST and I have several autographs from different cast members. I was crushed when Boone “left the show,” so I would love to add him to my collection. Alas, he will have to wait for another con.

A few other cool guests that we have already met are Nichelle Nichols, who plays Uhura in Star Trek, Jon Heder, who is Napoleon Dynamite, and the Fonz himself, Henry Winkler. All extremely lovely people and if you are a fan, I definitely recommend meeting them.

So that’s it so far for Wizard World. Of course, there are other guests that will be there, but unfortunately I have not seen the shows that they have been in. Besides, I can’t meet everybody, right?! The addiction has to stop somewhere. *wink* Besides, I haven’t even gotten into the comic book artists and creators I want to meet! That will have to be saved for another post.

ComicCon-ing: My Top Two Guests at Wizard World New Orleans

Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple will create a blog for her top guests soon at Wizard World New Orleans, so I figured I would strike first with mine.

Far and away, the top guest for me is Charisma Carpenter. When I started collecting autographs, it was because of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  The first New Orleans Wizard World had quite a few Buffy guests, and yes I met almost all of them. The one I did not meet I met later in Houston.  In fact, in cleaning out the nursery, we realized we have to relocate my photo-op with James Marsters. Every single Buffy guest we have met has been fantastic.  At Star Wars Celebration, we even got to meet Sarah Michelle Gellar, who was someone we never thought I would get to meet.  Charisma Carpenter has attended a lot of cons, just not ones near me. Cordelia is by far one of my favorite characters, and no, not only because she is gorgeous. Over the course of both Buffy and Angel, her role had one of the best and most satisfying arcs of growth on the show(s).  So far so, the writers did not know where to take her character anymore.  That is not a bad thing; in fact, I would argue that she went from a one-note role to a complete character.

Howard Chaykin is next on my list. Yes, meeting a comic book creator is at the top of my list. Why not? We met him at Wizard World Philly, and he put himself at the top of the list for the most entertaining guest of any category at any con. This time I just want to purchase some sketches from him so I can hang up at the Nola Nerd Lounge or, if appropriate, Nursery.

Now, there are plenty of other people I want to meet at the con.  We already have a photo op with Stan Lee (and I am seriously thinking about bringing the weeks until baby sign).  The other people on my list are also on the Mrs.’s list. I let her fangirl about those, but don’t think for a second I am not fanboying about them as well.

Wizard World New Orleans will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Center at 900 Convention Center Boulevard.  There is plenty of parking nearby, but we always opt to park at the far end of the convention center, under the bridge, because it is usually the best deal. The con will be Jan 5 from 4-9pm, Jan 6 from 10-7, and Jan 7 from 10-4. You can buy VIP packages, photo ops, and autograph tickets now!