Jul 16

How To Give Your Apartment A New Orleans Touch

IMG_0036New Orleans, The Big Easy, is known for its 24/7 nightlife, vibrant live-music scene and phenomenal cuisine. New Orleans has the feel of an old European capital more than any other American city. Townhouses in the French Quarter, with courtyards and carriageways, are thought by some scholars to be related on a small scale to certain Parisian “hotels” – princely urban residences of the 17th and 18th century. One of the truly amazing aspects of New Orleans architecture is the sheer number of historic homes and buildings per square mile.

Fill Your Home With Lovely Jazz Music.
New Orleans is the birthplace of Jazz music and is home to many distinct musical styles ranging from the modern to traditional. While drinking your morning coffee or getting ready for work, get in tune with jazz music. You are guaranteed to have a more energetic, vibrant day after starting your day off with jazz.

Decorate Your Home.
When you think of New Orleans you imagine a big, bold fleur de lis. And you’re right! Almost every New Orleanians owns something with this symbol embroidered into it. Each small design in a fleur de lis reflects the passion and history of its age. By reproducing them, our history is kept alive. New Orleans’ goal is to celebrate the design heritage of New Orleans, so purchase a fleur de lis and embrace it!

Creole/Cajun & Seafood Galore.
Cajun cuisine is best demonstrated by the country-style items historically found along the bayous of Louisiana. Creole cuisine is a product of New Orleans and mirrors the city’s European and African roots. To execute the perfect creole or cajun meal get saucy in the kitchen with tasty seasoning. Don’t be afraid to pull out the cayenne pepper! During the winters, make gumbo filled seafood.

Apr 16

How To Eat Oysters

6193251586_678ae53f05_qWhat are the best ways to eat oysters? Is there a right or wrong way? The three most popular ways are raw, fried, and char-grilled. When it comes to raw oysters, it’s which way fits your palate. On a cracker, straight out of the shell with nothing on it, or with just hot sauce or lemon juice. The most popular way of eating oysters is with a little cocktail sauce, a mixture of ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Char-grilled oysters are served hot and usually have Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and parsley. Some restaurants even stuff them with seafood. Stuffed char-grilled oysters are very filling. You get a spoonful of a delicious mix of shrimp, crab, and crawfish that’s held together with breadcrumbs and amazing Cajun seasonings. These too are topped with parmesan cheese and fresh lemon juice. Fried oysters are known to be eaten on a po-boy. For those who have yet to venture out and eat oysters, try it fried first, then work your way up to eating them raw. To the adventurous folks, go out there and shoot it right off the shell! One thing to keep in mind is that oysters are better in the colder months. The rule of thumb on this is to eat them only in the months that contain the letter ‘R’. In the summer months, May, June, July and August, oysters have a tendency to be smaller and not as salty. So, to get the best experience of eating oysters, go when it’s cooler and sit down at an oyster bar with good friends and a good beer and simply enjoy!

Dec 15

How to Spend Your New Years Eve in New Orleans


Crescent City Countdown Club With Fireworks And A Fleur De Lis Ball Drop
Grab a bite to eat in the French Quarter then head to Jackson Square for the Crescent City Countdown. This event will feature live music by Luke Winslow King, Cyril Neville’s Swamp Funk, and a unique fleur de lis drop along with midnight fireworks above the Mississippi River.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise
Enjoy fireworks from your favorite Riverboat, the Creole Queen and Steamboat Natchez both feature live music, open bars, and unparalleled views.

Live Concerts
New Orleans has countless live music venues to choose from including Rock’n’Bowl, Howling Wolf, Maison, Blue Nile and so many more! You can’t go wrong in New Orleans with some great live music.

Dec 15

Where To View Christmas Lights in New Orleans

dde3b2f9fbec7a871e7310af00c2f98eWaldorf Wonderland at The Roosevelt
The Roosevelt captures the essence of the holiday season with it’s very own wonderland in the lobby. The Waldorf Wonderland is free and open to the public. The block long lobby is decorated with over 22,000 twinkling lights, festive Christmas trees, and 44 birch trees. The wonderland lobby has been a New Orleans tradition since the 1930s. The Roosevelt also holds the Teddy Bear Tea throughout the season that involves a kid friendly tea party.

Miracle on Fulton Street
During the holiday season Fulton Street is transformed into a winter spectacular. The pedestrian corridor is decorated into a winter wonderland. Guests can shop at the holiday market, sip on festive drinks and enjoy live music.

Celebration In The Oaks
Celebration in the Oaks is a holiday lights festival hosted in New Orleans City Park. The famous oak trees of City Park are decorated with thousands of holiday lights. Throughout 23 acres of the park including through the Botanical Garden, Carousel Garden, and Storyland – where you can ride on amusement rides are various light displays. There is also a two mile train ride throughout the park featuring multiple light displays including Cajun Night before Christmas and Mr. Bingle.

christmas-streetcarjpg-26155c825d7a1fa7Canal Street and St. Charles Avenue
Two of New Orleans most iconic streets, Canal Street and St. Charles Avenue, are decorated for the holidays and are worth taking a stroll down to view the lights and decorations during Christmas time. Canal Street at the Riverwalk features a 950 ft. decorated tree along with other Christmas events throughout the season. Christmas lights line the Downtown streets and the streetcar is even decorated for the holidays. After your exploration of Downtown, head uptown to take a drive (or ride the streetcar) along St. Charles Avenue to view the decorated homes lining the iconic street. Historic mansions are decorated with lights, wreaths and garland.

Nov 15

Football Games and Chick Flicks —They Have Something in Common?

November! The time of year when our thoughts turn to Thanksgiving. Time to gather together to pause in gratitude for what we have, who we are, and for upcoming opportunities. And what better way to celebrate than in your apartment at The Strand with friends, family, food, football, and flicks? The menu for Thanksgiving is a given—turkey and all the fixins; but what about some football fixins or chick flick fare? Here are some fun food ideas for when you are tuned in to a New Orleans Saints football game or swooning over the lead in your favorite romantic comedy.

Photo via mrfood
Football Finger Foods, ( because who has time to go to the dinner table when the game is on? With everything from Tater Skins to Buffalo Wings, these tasty finger foods will be a hit at your next football game night.

Photo via MyRecipes has some great ideas for tailgating ( in style with essential foods like Sausage, Bean, and Spincach Dip—served with chips or chunks of bread, it’s a warm filling dish for a fall day.

Photo via everydayhealth
And for the health-conscious football fan, Everyday Health ( has some healthy options for your game-day goodies. There is no need to give up taste for nutrition. Serving Truffled Popcorn with Rosemary and Garlic doesn’t even sound like it’s something on the healthy side—but it is indeed. Bon Apetite!

What better way to enjoy a chick flick than to invite friends over for a tea party prior to the movie. A quick search on Pinterest (
yielded about a gazillion ideas. Choosing just one could prove difficult.

Rachel Ray has some great options for healthy eating. Find them here: (

And as you share the goodness of friends and food, take a few minutes to think about the things you are thankful for this month. Please feel free to leave a comment and share what recipes you tried or what you are thankful for. Happy November!

Nov 15

What’s Coming Up in New Orleans: November and December

800px-Oak_Street_Po-Boy_Festival_2011_Lobster_Po-BoysDid you know that residents of The Strand live in one of the most visited cities in the U.S.? Get out and see just what brings visitors in to the city. New Orleans is a culturally rich city offering major attractions, from the old-fashioned in the French Quarter (like the charm of nineteenth century mansions) to more modern offerings in the university areas of Tulane and Loyola. Art, architecture, cuisine, music—and of course the annual Mardi Gras—along with other festivals and celebrations, means there is always something happening.

Here are some places to check out in November and December:

November 20th — Jerry Seinfeld will be appearing at the Saenger Theater for two shows at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Get your tickets now!

November 21st — The New Orleans Ballet Association presents the Dance Theater of Harlem.
The classically American Dance Theatre of Harlem makes a triumphant return after 15 years to the Mahalia Jackson Theater.

November 22ndOak Street Po-Boy Festival, held along a strip of Oak Street in the Carrollton neighborhood. The festival is open to the public and free to enter. Come experience a culinary celebration and enjoy a Po-Boy.

Sports — If sports is your thing, check out this page for the scoop of what’s happening in New Orleans sporting events.

December has too many dates and activities to list separately, so we are highlighting this one that looks like a lot of fun:

DecemberCaroling in Jackson Square Join the annual tradition. The event is free and open to the public. Bring yourself and your singing voice. Sunday, 7:00 p.m. (Gates open at 6:30p.m.).

Additionally, Holidays, New Orleans Style has a great listing of over 60 events being held in the city in December.

We hope you take time this month to get out and explore the city. Please feel free to leave a comment about where you went and what you did.

Sep 15

Easy Appetizers to Kick Off a Party

Autumn is here, which means that all of us will soon be embroiled in all sorts of holiday events and get-togethers. This is the time of year where you might want to have some quick and tasty recipes ready at a moments notice. Go ahead and invite some friends over! We’ve gathered together some of our favorite delicious and easy appetizers to help you out.

Easy Appetizers to Kick Off a PartyBacon Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

These look far trickier to make than they are. All you need is cream cheese, bacon, and bread. Cut the bread into bacon-width strips and spread the cream cheese on it. Then set the bread on a bacon strip and roll it all up together. Use a toothpick to keep it rolled up. Set a full pan of these in the oven and bake until the bacon is crispy. They’re amazing!

Brown Sugar Kielbasa

If you want something even easier to make, this is it. Simply chop up a few packages of your favorite kielbasa, drop it in a slow cooker, and dump a package of brown sugar on top. Let it cook for five hours on low or two-and-a-half on high. It’s that easy. You can add onions, peppers, mustard—anything you want to add a little more variety. Or just keep it simple and delicious.

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Looking for something without all the meat in it? We’ve got you covered. Mozzarella cheese sticks are always popular, and they’re better than ever when they’re homemade! You’ll want to prepare three bowls—one with bread crumbs (panko bread crumbs are best!) and italian seasoning, one with a mix of eggs and a little milk, and one with flour. Get some string cheese sticks (yes, the ones you loved as a kid) and cut them into shorter halves. Now roll them in your bowls in this order—egg, flour, egg, bread crumbs, making sure to get them completely coated.

Now you have two options. You can deep fry them (the classic method), or if you’re looking for something a little less oily, you can bake them. If you choose to bake, line them up on a cookie sheet and place them all in the freezer for about half an hour to harden the cheese. Then bake them in the oven at 400°F for about eight minutes.

Cucumber Tomato Bites

These are simple and tasty. First, make your favorite cream cheese mix—cream cheese, some mayo, a bit of green onion, and some ranch mix is a great option. Cut a cucumber into slices of whatever thickness you prefer. Top each slice with a dollop of your cream cheese mix (you can use a cake icing bag if you want it to look really pretty). On top of that, place half of a cherry tomato, round side down, and garnish it all with a bit of your favorite fresh herb. The end result is both attractive and tasty.

Cucumber Avocado Rolls

Now, these recipes have all been great, but they’ve all had meat or cheese in prominent amounts. How about something simple, delicious, and vegan? Just toss some (peeled) avocados, garlic, and basil into a food processer and grind them up until you have a smooth, creamy mixture. Now, get a potato peeler and peel long, length-wise strips off of a cucumber. Take these strips and spread your avocado mixture along them. Then roll them up and sprinkle a little paprika on top. You don’t even need toothpicks to hold them shut, and they’re fantastic!

For more detailed instructions (with pictures) check out the recipes at the links we’ve provided for each one. We hope you enjoy these appetizers and that they help you kick off some great parties here at The Strand! If you’ve got a great appetizer recipe you’d like to share, we’d love to try it out! Please leave it in the comments.

Sep 15

Surprising Things That You Can Recycle

Surprising Things That You Can RecycleIt’s always a great idea to save and recycle anything you can. Most of us know about basic recyclables—things like paper, metal, and plastic. But if you’re looking for a little more that you can do to help the environment, here are a few items that most people don’t know that they can recycle:

Holiday lights—it doesn’t matter what holiday they’re from; if you’ve got a strand of burnt-out old lights, the folks at HolidayLEDs are eager to have them. You can simply mail them in, and they will shred them up and sort out the recyclable PVC, glass, and copper to be used for something new.

Mattresses—because of their size, mattresses can often be difficult to dispose of. Fortunately, services such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK are happy to take old mattresses off of your hands. Recycling factories can separate the wood, metal, foam, and cloth to be used in various recycled products.

CDs—because they’re made of polycarbonate, CDs won’t decompose in a landfill. But you can send them to The CD Recycling Center, where they’ll be shredded and then melted down to be used in automotive and building materials, or could even become part of the pavement in the roads you drive on!

Shoes—There are plenty of charities that take gently-used shoes to be given to those in need. But what about your shoes that have almost fallen apart from wear? Send them to Nike Grind, where they’ll be ripped apart for re-use. The rubber is melted down for running track surfaces, the foam is converted into tennis court cushioning, and the fabric is used to pad basketball court floorboards. So far, they’ve shredded over twenty-eight million pairs of shoes.

Crayons—do you have a box full of broken, worn-down nubs of crayons? Send them to the National Crayon Recycle center, where they’ll be melted down, remade, and resold. The program has saved over forty-seven thousand pounds of crayons.

Roofing Materials—you might not be worried about roofing materials here at Nantucket Gate, but if the day comes where you find yourself with a pile of old roofing materials, make sure you recycle them! Most roofing materials—including tile, shingles, asphalt, wood, clay, aluminum, and steel—can be recycled.

Fishing line—fishing line is specifically designed not to biodegrade, so that it will endure years of use in harsh conditions. However, that also means that it can’t be recycled in normal recycling bins. Instead, you can send it in to Berkley Fishing, where they will recycle the material (along with other recyclables) into fish-friendly habitats.

Wine corks—companies like Terracycle and Yemm and Hart can turn your old wine corks into tile for flooring, walls, and veneer. Another company, Recork, passes them along to Canadian sandal maker SOLE.

Pantyhose—most pantyhose are made of nylon, which can take over forty years to decompose. But if you send them in to No Nonsense, they will grind them up into all sorts of new product—park benches, playground equipment, carpet, and even toys.

We’re sure there’s lots of other surprising things at The Strand that can be recycled. If you know of any, let us know in the comments. If we get enough, we can do another article to let everyone know.

Aug 15

Biking to Work

Biking to work is a great way to take advantage of the great weather in New Orleans, The Strand’s great location downtown, and our on-site covered bicycle parking. Plus, it’s great to do your part to keep the environment a little cleaner. We don’t want your biking to have any problems, so we’ve compiled a list of ways you can make your commute more enjoyable, more convenient, and more safe and sound.

Tuning Your Bike

Before you put your bike through the works, you’ll want to make sure it’s safe enough to ride. Plan on stopping by your local bike shop to have them prep your faithful steed. By utilizing one of their accredited bike mechanics, you’ll be able to make sure you have the right tires and gear to get to and from your destination. If you don’t have a bike, you’ll be able to ask them to help you find the bike that’s perfect for your commute.

Researching Your Route

If this is your first time biking to work, you might not know how to find the right route. Thankfully, someone’s already done most of the research for you. Google Maps includes a comprehensive list of nearly every bicycle-friendly road. By utilizing their street view, you’ll be able to preview your road of choice. We would also recommend taking a test ride with a friend—to and from work—to make sure you feel confident enough for the wonderful rides ahead. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to utilize roads with wide shoulders, protected bike lanes, and less busy roads.

Working Up To The Task

Your first ride to and from work might take the wind out of you if you’re not used to the extra exercise. But don’t give up! It’s going to take a little while to get used to the learning curve, so feel free to take your time. Leave early enough so you don’t have to rush, and start out by commuting a few days a week until you can commit to more.​

Aug 15

Best Apartment Dog Breeds

Apartment Living | Dog Breeds

Yorkshire Terrier

Many of our residents chose to reside here at The Strand because of, among other great reasons, our pet-friendly policy. With our pet park and veterinary house call services, we’re committed to making sure that your pooch is as happy with your home as you are!

But if you didn’t have a pet when you moved in, why not take advantage of the opportunity to find an animal companion now? To help you out, we went to for their advice on the best dog breeds for apartment living.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: These fellas are friendly and easy going, and tend to get along great with other tenants and their pets. Plus, they don’t take up much space.

Pug: Let’s face it—pugs are adorable. They’re also compact and even-tempered, though you’ll want to make sure to give them regular walks to help them keep from getting too roly-poly.

Bichon Frise: These adorable little dogs have lots of energy, so you’ll want to give them plenty of time in the dog park. But they’re much quieter than most people would expect, and they’re lots of fun to play with.

Chinese Crested: Many people might not love the look of the Chinese Crested, but they are loving companions and well-suited to apartment living.

Shih Tzu: Small, happy, and moderate in energy, Shih Tzus tend to be great apartment companions, as long as you don’t mind grooming all of that hair.

English Bulldog: Pit bulls don’t tend to play well with other dogs, but don’t confuse pit bulls with English Bulldogs! There are several physical differences, but the important difference is temperament. The English Bulldog gets along with other dogs and loves to relax on the couch more than he loves to run around the park, which makes him a great apartment resident.

Chihuahua: First, let’s clear up one thing—most Chihuahuas aren’t hairless. The majority have short coats of fur, while a few have quite long, flowing hair, and all of them are adorable. They tend to enjoy barking, but that can be trained down to minimal levels; and once that’s done, you’ll have an affectionate, intelligent, fast-learning companion that will just love every bit of attention you give them.

Boston Terrier: These friendly little guys tend to be clever and inquisitive, but they’re fairly quiet and usually happy with only moderate amounts of exercise.

Yorkshire Terrier: Another great terrier breed, the Yorkie is cute, cuddly, compact, and reasonably quiet. Yorkies are usually great with new people and situations so you don’t have to worry about them causing trouble if you have people over.

What other dogs do we have here at The Strand, and how well do they adapt to New Orleans apartment living? Let us know in the comments!

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