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Love NOLA: Love local this holiday season!

Brett Will Taylor (photo by Jason Kruppa)

Facebook was all a twitter yesterday (am I mixing my social medias?) about Amazon going all Goliath on local businesses this holiday season by promising $5 to anyone who found gifts at mom-and-pop shops that Amazon sold for less.

I had several “down with corporate greed” thoughts (until I realized that was redundant), but then I looked at all my twittery NOLA friends’ posts and thought “Why in the world would ANYONE in New Orleans buy their holiday gifts from Amazon?”  I mean that would be like going to Phoenix for your jazz fix.  Or mail ordering boudin from North Dakota.  We got all the good stuff right here, baby!  Ain’t no reason to be messing around with those Amazon jerks.

Get into the spirit!  Buy local…New Orleans-style.  (And don’t go telling me it’s cheaper to buy from Amazon.  You love these people you’re buying for, right?  Or at least pretending to love them so you’ll get a cool gift, too?  Aren’t they worth it?!?)  To help you get started….

Let’s start easy.  On Magazine Street.  At the oh-so-fabulous Plum owned by the even more fabulous Dannal Perry who tells you that her store offers cool stuff for stylish living.  And she has a LOT of stuff.  So, if you cannot find something in there, you are neither cool nor stylish (and probably should do your holiday shopping on Amazon!).  Also on Magazine is Spruce which bills itself as an eco-studio selling eco-friendly stuff.  Now, I know.  You hear the words “eco-friendly” and have images of prickly recycled toilet paper or hideous stuff that only a mother would love (if her kid made it and she had to love it).  But, fear not!! Spruce has amazing stuff.  I bought everyone in my family Alice in Wonderland-inspired candlesticks from there last year and they were a hit…even with my mother!

OK.  So you’ve picked up a few things.  You are feeling cool and stylish and even a bit eco-friendly.  Let’s cross over Canal into my home turf.

You know that senile rich aunt you have?  The one with no kids who you are praying leaves you everything in her will (except her senile–and mean–toy poodle)?  Well, give her the gift of fur this year.  Nutria fur.  That’s right.  An awesome organization called Righteous Fur is making stunning fashion statements out of these Cajun beavers who are munching their way through our already disappearing wetlands.  They are having their not-to-be-missed Holiday Sale  at Allways Lounge on December 16.  Go ahead, buy Aunt Gert fur.  She’ll think it’s fancy; you might get in her will before it’s too late AND you’ll help the wetlands.  Now that’s the spirit of the season!

Not everyone deserves a fur, but everyone—especially in New Orleans–should have a hat.  And there are no more fabulous hats to be had in our fabulous city than those made by Kate McNee.  Her hats aren’t big gargantuan affairs.  No. Like the Brit she is, they’re stylish bits of whimsy, adding a touch of fabulousness to one’s head.  And who doesn’t need that every now and then?  You can buy from Kate online or find her at the Freret Market this Saturday, the Washington Square Market on December 11 or the Piety Street Market  (612 Piety St)on December 17.  There will be plenty of other great locals gifts those dates and, really now, where would  you rather be on December 17?  Having fun on Piety Street in the Bywater or with the masses at Lakeside…in Metairie.

Stil need help getting that shopping done…the right way?  Maybe you need some spirits to get you into the spirit.  Well, then, meet me tonight at America’s ONLY Wine, Cheese, Pillows…and MORE! party (and, no, this is not some 70’s swingers-type key party!! Focus!).  It’s hosted by The Lens’s Karen Gadbois who makes really amazing decorative pillows that I guarantee you you will not find anywhere else.  At great prices.  And she is serving wine.  And cheese.  Hello? It’s today from 2-8 p.m.

I’ll see you there (please save me some wine)!  And, hey, happy–local–holidays.

Brett Will Taylor writes Love: NOLA weekly for NolaVie. Visit his blog at





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