Named Innovator of the Year in 2007 and 2008 by New Orleans City Business magazine, The Occasional Wife offers solutions for organizing, planning, and de-cluttering everyday life. Their stylish, cleverly-designed organizational merchandise comes in surrounding-appropriate incarnations for every room in the house, even the hard-to-sort kids' rooms and messy oubliette. Tools of the trade include the grassy organizer, whose pointed blades of glory hold pens, rulers, toothbrushes, or real blades of grass. For the migratory mess, The Occasional Wife offers portable solutions such as the Envirosax blue bird bag, an eco-friendly shopping bag that eliminates the need for more than 2,500 plastic bags during its tyrannical, plastic-fisted reign ($10.50). Odds and ends avoid a dusty end behind the couch with the bamboo expandable bath org, a multi-compartment tray that keeps angry nail files away from low-down, two-timing cuticle pushers ($23.00).
Dombourian Oriental Rugs has bought, sold, cleaned, and repaired decorative floor coverings for more than a century. The showroom displays everything from antique Persian specimens from the 1890s and new oriental rugs made of angora wool to handmade 2'x3' rugs imported from India ($170–$225) and 3'x5' handwoven pieces ($225–$325). Professional rug cleaning, available for customer drop-off ($2.50/sq. ft.) or with pickup and delivery service ($3/sq. ft.), evicts dirt, dander, and inexplicable crop circles from floor décor. The shop's expert scrubbers employ a time-honored process, hand-washing rugs with soap and water before hanging them for a thorough air dry, which preserves the color and integrity. Dombourian also sells rug pads, which help curb potentially painful pratfalls and keep absconder carpets from escaping with drop-off ($2/sq. ft.) or pickup and delivery service ($3/sq. ft.).
A Storage Inn gives personal effects a home away from home in a secure and convenient self-storage sanctuary. The facilities boast lockers in sizes to suit any client's needs, from a small space fit for storing spare armadillo suits or areas as large as a warehouse for harboring a runaway T. rex. Whether hibernating belongings take cover in a 5'x5' ($45+/month) or 10'x10' ($75+/month) space, they'll sleep safely under the attentive aegis of a facility manager who lives on the premises. Thermostats in climate-controlled units meticulously maintain precise temperature and humidity levels, sparing delicate clothes, furniture, and electronics the humiliation of frizzy hair and structural atrophy.
An emporium of edible excess, Avenue Restaurant dishes up a palate-pleasing menu of seafood, meaty sandwiches, fried chicken, and other homemade goodies. Launch an edible expedition with a mound of fried pickles ($4.50) or a cup of savory shrimp-and-corn bisque ($3.50). Entree-seekers can dive tongue-first into the country-fried steak ($8.95) to wade with mashed potatoes and vegetables in a pool of gravy. Chomp into a Cajun au gratin stuffed potato ($8.95), an overfed tuber bloated with fried shrimp, mozzarella cheese, and butter with a crab-meat au gratin cloak. Scrumptious bread pudding ($2.75) and slices of creamy cheesecake ($2.75) activate sweet teeth and long-dormant sugar sensors. Avenue Restaurant serves up daily specials in a quaint eatery shaded by luscious trees and hovering spacecrafts.
Founded in 1976 by a group of ambitious visual and performing artists, the Contemporary Arts Center still keeps in touch with its roots as an artist-driven community organization. The award-winning design of its ever-changing gallery, atrium, and theater spaces juxtaposes the original architecture of a turn-of-the-century warehouse building with newer materials and aesthetics. Within its 30,000 feet of open event space, the CAC hosts a range of events, such as curated contemporary exhibitions, world and local music performances, and special galas such as the SweetArts Bash.
When not coordinating exhibitions and performances, the CAC staff also leads educational programs such as one-day art camps, which expose children and adults to the arts. In these programs, professional local artists train groups in drama, dance, music, visual arts, and creative writing.