Editor’s Note: Time for Traditions

Winters in New Orleans are never that bad, I suppose, but that doesn’t ever stop me from being happy to see spring. I am always delighted to trade hot chocolate for snowballs, thick socks for flip-flops, sweaters for sundresses. And in a city that loves traditions, I have plenty. Every year, I schedule a pedicure; take the streetcar down Canal Street to French Quarter Fest; map out my Jazz Fest plan of attack in terms of both must-see bands and must-eat food; devour at least one Elmer’s Heavenly Hash egg per day (and given that I am pregnant and due in May, this number may increase exponentially this year); and attend my daughter’s school fair, Morris Jeff Community School’s Feria de Primavera.

And of course, my other spring traditions are drooling over all of the amazing kitchens on the Junior League of New Orleans’ Kitchen Tour, which we are proud to showcase in these pages once again, and wandering through the quiet green elegance of the gorgeous gardens on The Secret Gardens Tour, which we preview here, as well.

We’re celebrating spring in other ways, too: a special garden-themed TrendWatch that will make you ready to run out and get your hands dirty – and in Masters of Their Craft, a profile of an artisan soap-maker that will inspire you to hurry back inside and wash up. Speaking of dirty hands, Last Indulgence is an ode to perhaps the best spring tradition of them all, a good old-fashioned New Orleans crawfish boil.

We have some timeless content, too, though. Storage space is always an issue, and Home Renewal offers some great tips on how to scale back and declutter. And given how much we love to eat and drink, we couldn’t overlook the farm-to-table movement’s impact on local restaurants that are increasingly opting to grow their own produce in For the Garden, nor could we neglect to mention the really cool vintage booze bottles and absinthe exhibits at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum in Living With Antiques.

Finally, the eclectic and color-packed renovated Irish Channel cottage of decorator Valorie Hart and her husband, tango instructor Alberto Paz, is absolutely always in style. Blending high-end antiques with thrift store salvages; making wall treatments out of burlap and hot glue; mixing pieces from Magazine Street boutiques with things from national chain stores; and seamlessly integrating local art, bright colors, cowhide and sea grass – Hart somehow makes it all work wonderfully. The end result is anything but ordinary and nothing short of incredible.

All in all, we have put together what we think is the perfect issue to accompany a busy New Orleans spring, a nice intermingling of relaxation and inspiration.

I hope you all are looking forward to spring as much as I am, rejoicing in these few brief weeks before the brutal onslaught of the New Orleans summer, and I hope that you’re anticipating and participating in your own cherished spring traditions.

Happy reading, happy eating, happy gardening – and happy spring!

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