Renée Peck

New Harmony High School

Some innovative educators in New Orleans are rethinking high school. When New Harmony High opens next year, it won’t look – or act -- like a conventional school. That’s because it will most likely be situated on a barge on the Mississippi River. And its curriculum will include some unique lessons about coastal land loss. NolaVie's Renee Peck sits down with Sunny Dawn Summers, New Harmony's Head of School, to hear about this distinctive project.

Blake Bertucelli

Salads used to just be a side, or even an afterthought to the meal. These days, they’ve taken center stage as entrees, often with complex combinations and ingredients. French native and New Orleans transplant Jean-Mark Sens is an authority on leafy greens, and NolaVie’s Renée Peck speaks with him about the once lowly salad and its cultural evolution.

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Mark Pellegrini / Wikimedia Commons

If it’s Mother’s Day, it must be termite swarm season. Few people know this fact better than Zack Lemann. He is the chief entomologist at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, where he indulges his lifelong love of New Orleans and all of its six-legged denizens. So why does he live, breath and yes, even eat insects? NolaVie’s Renée Peck met with Zack to find out.   

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Bastion

Going to war takes courage. Sometimes, coming home takes the same. U.S. combat veterans who have survived life-threatening injuries can find the transition from hot zone to home life a difficult one. In New Orleans, an organization called Bastion is lending a hand. NolaVie’s Renée Peck spoke to founder Dylan Tête about the community he is building in Gentilly for wounded veterans and their families.

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Infrogmation of New Orleans

New Orleans after dark skews toward the spiritual, and it always has. This year the Hermann-Grima House has teamed up with the Tennessee Williams Festival to look into this fascinating aspect of New Orleans lore. As part of their investigation, they have invited local spiritual medium Juliet Pazera to lead a Victorian-style séance at this historic home in the French Quarter.

Jay Sterling Austin / Flickr

It’s not an idea that’s new. For centuries, New Orleanians have been taking in lodgers. But technology and a changing culture have transformed the way house rentals work. Airbnb and other sites are making short-term rental options not only easier, but also vastly more widespread. NolaVie’s Renée Peck spoke with attorney Andrew Legrand about the short-term rental ordinance recently passed by the New Orleans City Council, and what it means for locals.  

Joe Mabel / Century Ballroom

In a world that is increasingly connected digitally, we are probably getting more and more disconnected socially. Oswald Cooper, better known as "Oz The Dance Doctor," is out to change that. Oz leads the Who Dat Steppers of New Orleans. Stepping is a type of social dance rooted in African-American history, and it’s making a comeback across the country.

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Infrogmation of New Orleans

Fine art is becoming a virtual reality. More specifically, Google has compiled a vast, virtual museum to take online patrons into the collections of hundreds of institutions around the world. One of these Google Arts & Culture partners is the New Orleans Museum of Art. Renée Peck recently spoke with Seth Boonchai, digital assets manager at NOMA, about the evolution of their virtual museum.

Jason Kruppa

In a city where Halloween is just one of many opportunities to dig through the costume closet, there's never a wrong time to reinvent yourself. NolaVie’s Renée Peck spoke with local fashion designer Alicia Zenobia, who creates Joy Suits, shiny second skins that spark reinvention for all occasions, costume parties and otherwise.  

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The Saints take to the Dome for a big game on Monday night. But not all the action is generated by the players on the field. Fans are pumping up to express the indefinable spirit that is Saints culture -- everything from dance moves by the 610 Stompers to chants of "Who Dat!" NolaVie's Renee Peck talks to the Saints' Director of Game Day Entertainment, Jared Sampson, to find out about the elaborate planning that goes into entertainment at the Superdome.  

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