This Week in New Orleans

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DO: Next time the daily grind in the city starts to get to you, escape into the wild with a guided bayou canoe tour at Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve. The tours, which are free by appointment on Sundays (reserve a canoe for every two people), are no gimmick – this is a chance to get up-close and personal with the gorgeous wildlife and nature of Southern Louisiana.

The guides provide plenty of educational information about the history of the bayou, and help you to visualize a time when the French Quarter was filled with birds, fish and alligators instead of tourists. Contact the Barataria visitor center at 504-589-2330 for more information.

GO: Every Monday night, crusty kids and wizened bluegrass junkies alike descend upon the Hi Ho Lounge for not only for the $1 red beans and rice, but also for a massive jam session with guitars, banjos, mandolins and a chorus of voices that comprise the weekly Bluegrass Night.

Anyone is welcome to jump into the jumbled circle of chairs and situate yourself in the dark-red depths of the beloved drinking den. So if you’ve been secretly harboring mad bluegrass skills, come on down and become a part of the noise – it’s a great chance to meet other musicians, and for those less musically inclined, an amazing show to witness. 2239 Saint Claude Avenue. Monday – Saturday 4:00pm-4:00am; Sunday 11:00am-4:00am.

SEE: Elysian Fleas Marigny Market returns this Sunday the 14th with its usual bounty of local fresh food and produce, along with flowers, plants, hand-crafted creations and vintage fashion. The one-day-only event will also feature live entertainment and a variety of only-in-New-Orleans attractions, making this market the definition of funky-fresh shopping – definitely don’t want to miss this one! Held in the courtyard next to Michalopoulos Studio at 527 Elysian Fields on the corner of Chartres St. 11:00am-4:00pm.

EAT: “Trust me,” murmured the man behind the counter as he extended a wooden spoon full of gooey Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake ice cream. “Just taste it.” Trust him we do, just as we trust every frosty tub of frozen goodness on display at Creole Creamery. Their flavors are constantly rotating, but just to give you an idea of their creative flavor inventions, consider the genius of Candied Bacon & Cinnamon, the absurdity of Gorgonzola & Toasted Walnut (yes, we’re still talking about ice cream), and the seasonal brilliance of Mexican Hot Chocolate, which packs a cayenne-peppery punch in a frigid guise. Their motta is easy to follow: “Eat ice cream. Be happy.” 4924 Prytania Street, Sunday – Thursday 12:00pm-10:00pm, Friday – Saturday 12:00pm-11:00pm and 6260 Vicksburg Street, Lakeview, Sunday – Thursday 2:00pm-9:00pm, Friday – Saturday 2:00pm-10:00pm.

Cloak yourself in your own creativity every Tuesday night and Sunday afternoon at Louisiana ArtWorks drop-in printmaking sessions! Swing by with an acetate drawing of the vision for your design, or a photocopy to coat with oil, and learn screenprinting art from the pros – they’ll provide the supplies and the expertise. You can even bring your own screen to burn and take home, and start up that line of clever t-shirts you’ve been dreaming about. 725 Howard Avenue. Tuesdays 6:00pm -10:00pm, Sundays 1:00-5:00pm. Sliding Scale $5-20.

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