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Take a Trip to Rivertown in Kenner

Though it’s just a short drive from Metairie, River Ridge, and downtown New Orleans, Rivertown in Kenner feels like you’ve traveled much farther to a quaint and picturesque village along the Mississippi River. In 2014, Rivertown was selected as a “USA Main Street” community for its charming historic district. Even though the area is small, it packs in a whole lot of things to do. Ready to make the (quick) trip to Rivertown? Here’s what you’ll find: 

Kenner Planetarium & Megadome Cinema

The 50-foot high, domed screen at the Kenner Planetarium & Megadome Cinema makes for an incredible viewing experience. Events like laser light shows and presentations related to astronomy will have your head in the stars. And at a cost of just $5-6 per show, it’s an affordable, educational alternative to your usual action films or romantic comedies.

kenner planetarium

The Rivertown Planetarium. (Photo courtesy Kenner.la.us)

LaSalle’s Landing

At the foot of the levee on Williams Boulevard, you’ll find LaSalle’s Landing, a historic spot that also offers stunning views of the Mississippi River. Flags from ten different countries along the levee represent all of the different nations who governed Louisiana at one time or another. At the top of the levee, you’ll find yourself in a prime spot for watching ships cruise by, as well as paths for biking and walking. Fun fact: LaSalle’s Landing was also where the first heavyweight boxing championship took place, way back in 1870. 

lasalles landing

Steps take you up to LaSalle’s Landing. (Photo courtesy Kenner.la.us)

Castle Comedy Theatre

Work in a good laugh during your trip to Rivertown at Castle Comedy Theater, a small, intimate venue to enjoy up-and-coming acts or even take a comedy workshop. The space only seats about 80 people, so make sure to look into getting tickets in advance.

Rivertown Science Center

This science center is truly for people of all ages. Although there are special sections devoted to younger kids, older children and adults alike will enjoy features like a full-size NASA International Space Station prototype (fondly called “Kenner Space Station”) – it’s one of only two prototypes in existence today. The museum also features exhibits on minerals, insects, optical illusions, and waterways plus interactive components like a green screen to test your skills at forecasting the weather.

The Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

Professional theatrical performances and musicals all happen at the Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts, a duo of theaters linked by a picturesque outdoor courtyard. Performances range from well-known stage productions like “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “The Producers” to theater adaptations of films like “The Wizard of Oz” and “Shrek.”

Farmers Markets and Other Events

Rivertown often holds seasonal events like Oktoberfest and a holiday market and craft show in addition to an ongoing farmers’ market with produce, handicrafts, and more.

Rivertown Heritage Park

The 16-block historic district of Rivertown also includes the Rivertown Heritage Park, featuring a beautifully landscaped green space that often includes special events like movie screenings or live music. The park is only open to the general public on Saturday mornings from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., so be sure to go on a Saturday morning to enjoy sights like a pond, covered bridge, and replicated turn-of-the-century buildings like an ice house and traditional blacksmith shop.

A quaint replica building in Heritage Park. (Photo courtesy Kenner.la.us)

A quaint replica building in Heritage Park. (Photo courtesy Kenner.la.us)

 

 


Get Pedaling! Biking in Elmwood and River Ridge

Biking in Elmwood, Harahan, and River Ridge is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, and get some exercise. Whether you pedal around Lafreniere Park or use online tools like Map My Ride or Trail Link, riding your bike is one of the best ways to explore Elmwood, River Ridge, and beyond.

The Mississippi River Trail winds along the levee, offering a scenic route for cyclists. (Photo via Trail Link user Britte Lowther)

The Mississippi River Trail winds along the levee, offering a scenic route for cyclists. (Photo via Trail Link user Britte Lowther)

One of the most popular areas to bike in this area is the the Mississippi River Trail, a 60-mile long series of paved trails along the levee of the Mighty Mississippi, sometimes also known as the levee bike path. The section that stretches between Audubon Park in New Orleans and the Bonnet Carré Spillway in St. Charles Parish is a favorite among local cyclists.

Take a look at some of the best reasons to incorporate biking into your fitness routine, as well as tips for cyclists and motorists to keep everyone safe as they share the roads.

Why Bike? Top 3 Fitness Reasons

  1. You’ll build strength and muscle tone. Of course riding your bike is good for your legs, but it’s also an activity that can strengthen your full body, including your core and arms. As you’re riding, notice how you use your abdominal muscles to help stabilize you and keep you balanced – they’re constantly contracting to keep you in motion, which can help lead to lean, tone abs. Even your feet will benefit from a bike ride! The pedaling motion helps strengthen muscles in the feet including the dorsiflexors and plantar flexors.
  1. It’s a stress buster. Any kind of exercise can aid in stress reduction, but bike riding in particular can help you feel relaxed. As you breathe in fresh air and admire the scenery of nature around you, you’ll be able to put your stress in perspective and save it for another day.
  1. You’ll see improvement in your coordination. Biking is one of those full-body activities where everything needs to be working together in order to keep riding. Arm-to-leg coordination, feet-to-hand coordination, eye coordination as you watch the road, and overall balance are all required to ride a bike – not to mention your brain as you work out which paths to take during your ride.
bicycle

Bicycling is a healthy activity any time of year in Louisiana. (Photo via Flickr user Ethan Lofton)

How to Bike Safely

Biking is a fun and healthy activity, but it’s important to take safety precautions whether you’re a cyclist or a motorist sharing the road with bike riders. Here are a few best practices from the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development:

For Cyclists:

First things first, remember that bikes on the roadway are vehicles, meaning they have all the same rights and responsibilities as a car, truck, motorcycle, or any other vehicle on the road.

  • Follow the rules of the road. Cyclists are required to stop at stop signs, follow traffic signals at traffic lights, and be mindful of any other rules of the road.
  • Ride in the direction of traffic. And stay as far to the right as you can!
  • Shine bright. If you’re riding at night, you are required to use bike lights and reflectors (white for front, red for the back).
  • Give yourself a hand. Use hand signals when you are stopping and when you turn.
  • Respect vehicles and pedestrians. Remember, you don’t always have the right of way! If you’re exiting a driveway, for example, you’re required to yield to pedestrians and any oncoming traffic.

For Motorists:

First things first: you have your lanes, and bicyclists have theirs. Be mindful of any bike lanes!

  • Pass safely. If you need to pass a bicyclist, give as much leeway as you safely can. You’re required to provide at least 3 feet of passing space.
  • Remember to share. If you’re in a shared lane, it’s your responsibility to make room for any bicyclists.
  • Easy open. Remember to check for bicyclists before opening your car door!
  • Be respectful. Avoid harassing bicyclists by yelling or honking your horn.
Bella Ridge Apartments in River Ridge, LA offer spacious storage, perfect for cycling enthusiasts.

Bella Ridge Apartments in River Ridge, LA offer spacious storage, perfect for cycling enthusiasts.

Where Local Biking Enthusiasts Choose To Live

Our newest property, Bella Ridge Apartments in River Ridge is located just minutes away from the Mississippi River Trail, and these spacious luxury apartments offer plenty of closet and storage space for storing your bicycle and cycling gear. This apartment community also features a 24 hour fitness center on-site as well as “Bella Bark,” a gated dog park just for your four-legged friends!


Caffeine Fix: Where to Get Coffee in Metairie and Kenner

Iced, hot, morning, night – there’s no wrong type or time of day when it comes to coffee. While you can always head to Starbucks or local favorites CC’s and PJ’s for a caffeine fix, we’re taking a look at a few other coffee shops and cafes near our properties. Sip a la carte or pair your drink with a pastry or even a full-blown breakfast meal at select cafes. Below, the perfect ways to perk up:

French Press Coffeehouse. (Photo via French Press Coffeehouse on Facebook)

French Press Coffeehouse. (Photo via French Press Coffeehouse on Facebook)

Caffe! Caffe! With locations on Clearview Parkway and N. Hullen Street in Metairie, this local shop has received awards for the past 5 years honoring its standout brews.

Royal Blend Coffee & Tea Much like Old Metairie itself, Royal Blend is a charming and picturesque spot to order a drink. Sip inside its café interior, or take your drink to go and browse the surrounding shops in this small shopping center just off Metairie Road.

French Press Coffeehouse With locations in Metairie and Kenner, this coffee shop has all the convenience of a Starbucks, but better because it’s locally owned and operated. You’ll find comparable drinks to a Starbucks menu (think frappe-style frozen blends, flavored lattes, and more) made lovingly and at a more reasonable price. They also offer loyalty perks like a punch card and coupons for your birthday. Comfy, booth-style seats are an unexpected change from typical cafe seating.

Lakeview Brew – Local art adorns the walls, and both indoor and patio seating let you choose where you want to enjoy your cappuccino, iced coffee, or whatever you consider to be your signature brew. Despite the coffee-centric name, this spot on Canal Boulevard in Lakeview also offers a large food selection. Try the breakfast “brew-rito” with a strong, hot latte to start the day.

Puccino’s Coffee With several locations in Metairie and Harahan, this local chain prides itself on Italian-style coffee. The simple Iced Puccino is a solid choice: just slightly sweetened, the mix of espresso and milk over ice is tasty any time of day. The Skinny Wedding Cake Latte is another favorite, topped with low-fat whipped cream and slivered almonds.

Morning Call Coffee Stand – It’s open 24 hours a day, so you can get your caffeine fix at any time. Another draw? Beignets. Head to locations in City Park and on Severn Avenue in Metairie.

 

 


Commemorate Hurricane Katrina with Local Events

There isn’t much to say about Hurricane Katrina, the natural disaster that prompted failure of the federal levees and left much of New Orleans and the Gulf South submerged and in shambles. But we can reflect.

The City of New Orleans, through its Katrina 10 program, features several events happening in connection with the anniversary of the storm, which happened 10 years ago as of Aug. 29. Take a look at some of the Katrina-related events happening around New Orleans – whether you choose to remember is up to you. You can also visit Katrina 10 for a full list of events.

nola skyline

Photo via Flickr user Infrogmation New Orleans

Katrina 10 Media Center Events

When: Friday, Aug. 21, 2015 – Friday, Aug. 28, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal Street

What: This weeklong series of panel discussions focuses on stories of organizations, government officials, and individuals on subjects like civic engagement, criminal justice reform, and culture and tourism since Hurricane Katrina. Registration required. Learn more here.

Katrina Memorial Wreath-Laying Ceremony

When: Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015 at 8:29 a.m.

Where: Hurricane Katrina Memorial, 5056 Canal Street

What: A morning prayer service at the Katrina Memorial commemorating the unidentified and unclaimed bodies from the storm.

Citywide Day of Service

When: Saturday, Aug. 29 starting at 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Where: Various locations throughout the city of New Orleans

What: A day of service where thousands of volunteers will focus on service across seven parts of the city. All in all, volunteers will help support more than 100 different projects. Learn more here.

Ten Years Gone at New Orleans Museum of Art

When: Through Sept. 7

Where: New Orleans Museum of Art, 1 Collins Diboll Circle

What: A multimedia exhibit focused on themes of memory, loss, and revitalization. The exhibit features abstract visualizations rather than overt references to the storm. Learn more here.

The Katrina Decade: Images of an Altered City at The Historic New Orleans Collection

When: Aug. 22 through Jan. 9, 2016

Where: The Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal Street

What: A collection of 77 photographs from local photographer David Spielman touching on themes of destruction and stunted recovery. Learn more here.

Homage: New Orleans at the New Orleans Healing Center

When: Now through Aug. 30

Where: The New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave

What: A fine art photographic journal that will eventually become a coffee table book of the same name. Browse images capturing some of the most influential jazz, blues, soul, and roots musicians as you read accompanying text about these important members of the community. Learn more here.

 

 


Back to School! New Orleans Resources for Moving, Start Dates, and School Supplies

Back to school is sort of the “spring cleaning” of the summer – a chance to get organized, regroup, and start the fall on a fresh note. For students, we’ve collected a list of pertinent school supplies and start dates for area schools below. We also know that the beginning of the school year is often a time when college students move into new apartments, which is why we’re including top tips from our Moving Checklist. Check out the full list here! Is it your first apartment? We have all the resources you need with our First Apartment Essentials Checklist.

And remember – tax-free shopping happens this Friday and Saturday, so stock up on back-to-school items all over town during this statewide tax holiday.

tulane

Photo courtesy Tulane Public Relations on Flickr.

Top Moving Tips for One to Two Weeks Before Your Move

  • Focus on those nitty-gritty details to make your move seamless. Make sure to:
  • Stop or transfer all of your utility services like electric, cable, and water. Don’t forget to transfer your magazine subscriptions!
  • Change your address with creditors, banks, and the post office
  • Ask friends or family in advance to help on moving day
  • Back up all computers and electronics

 

New Orleans 2015 Back-to-School Start Dates and Supplies

JEFFERSON PARISH

John Q. Adams Middle
August 10

School supplies list online

Airline Park Academy for Advanced Studies
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Alexander, A. C. Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Audubon, John James Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Birney, Alice Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Bissonet Plaza Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Bonnabel, Alfred Magnet Academy High School
Aug. 10
No supplies list available

Boudreaux, Geraldine Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Bridgedale Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Butler, Joshua Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Chateau Estates Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Cherbonnier-Rillieux Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Clancy-Maggiore Elementary School for the Arts
Aug. 10

School supplies list online

Collins, Lionel Montessori School
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Cox, George A. Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Cox, Helen High
Aug. 10
No official list

Cuillier, Joseph A. Sr. Career Center
Aug. 10
No supplies list available

Dolhonde, Ella Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

East Jefferson High
Aug. 10
No official list

Ehret, John High
Aug. 10
No official supplies list

Ellender, Allen School
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Ellis, J.C. Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Estelle Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Fisher Middle-High
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Ford, Henry Middle
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Grand Isle School
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Green Park Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Greenlawn Terrace Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Gretna Middle
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Gretna No. 2 Academy for Advanced Studies
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Harahan Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Harris, Mildred S. Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Harris, T. H. Middle
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Hart, William Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Hazel Park/Hilda Knoff Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Hearst, Phoebe Elementary
Aug.10
School supplies list online

Higgins, L.W. High
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

International School of Louisiana
Aug. 17 (Grades 1st – 8th)
No supplies list online

Janet, Congetta Trippe Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Jefferson Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Jefferson, Thomas High
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Johnson, Shirley T.-Gretna Park Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Keller, Harold Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy
Aug. 12 (1st – 8th)
No supplies list online

Kerner, Leo Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

King, Grace High
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Lincoln Elementary School for the Arts
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Livaudais Middle
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Live Oak Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Marrero Academy for Advanced Studies
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Marrero, L.H. Middle
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Martyn, John H. Alternative School
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Matas, Rudolph Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

McDonogh No. 26 Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Meisler, J.D. Middle
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Metairie Academy for Advanced Studies
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Pitre, Vic A. Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies  list online

Pittman, Ella C. Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Riverdale High
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Riverdale Middle
Aug. 10
No supplies list online.

Riviere, Marie Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Roosevelt, Theodore Middle
Aug. 10
No school supplies list online

Ruppel, L.W. Academy for Advanced Studies
Aug. 10
No school supplies list online

Schneckenburger, Walter Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Solis, Paul J. Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

St. Ville  Douglass Connections
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Strehle, Catherine Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Taylor, Patrick F. Science & Technology Academy
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Terrytown Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Thibodeaux, Myrtle C. Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Truman, Harry S. Middle
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Wall, Miller Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Washington Montessori School
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

West Jefferson High
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Westbank Community School
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Woodland West Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Woodmere Elementary
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Woods, Granville T. Elementary
Aug. 10
School supplies list online

Worley, Stella Middle
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

Young Audiences Charter School
Aug. 10
No supplies list online

ORLEANS PARISH

Audubon Charter School

Aug. 19 (K-8th)

School supplies list online

Benjamin Franklin High School
Aug. 11

School supplies online
Bricolage Academy
Aug. 11 – 1st Grade
Aug. 18 – Kindergarten
Supplies list online

Einstein Charter School
Aug. 18
Aug. 25 (Pre-K & K)
Supplies list will be handed out to students

Encore Academy
Aug. 12
No supplies list online

Alice M Harte Elementary
Aug. 5 – First Day of School
Aug. 12 – Kindergarten boys first day
Aug. 13– Kindergarten girls first day
School supplies list online

Edward Haynes Elementary Charter
Aug. 13(1 – 6th), Aug. 14 (7-8)
Aug. 20 (Pre-K, K)
School supplies list online

Edna Karr High School
Aug. 5
School supplies list online

Langston Hughes Charter School
Aug. 10
Supply list available online

Lake Forest Elementary Charter School
Aug. 10 (1st – 8th)
Aug. 17 (Pre-K & K)
No supplies list online

Lusher Charter School
Aug. 17
School supplies list online

Sophie B. Wright Charter School
Aug. 17 – 9th – 12th grades
Aug. 18 – 7th & 8th grades
School supplies list online

Benjamin Franklin Elementary Math & Science
Aug. 11
No supplies list online

Bethune Elementary
Aug. 11 (1st – 6th)
Aug. 17 (Pre-K, K)
Supplies list online

McDonough 35 High School
Aug. 18
No supplies list available online

McDonough 35 Middle School
Aug. 18
No supplies list available online

McMain Secondary School
Aug. 11
No supplies list online.