Celebrate the warrior women of New Orleans

The Maid of New Orleans

Joan of Arc Statue in NOLA | © Damsel of the Faith

Joan of Arc Statue in NOLA | © Damsel of the Faith

The Maid of Orleans statue was donated to the City of New Orleans from the people of France in 1972, in honor of the famed female warrior, Joan of Arc. Visit her in all her gilded glory on Decatur Street near the French Market. If you are lucky enough to be in the city for Epiphany—the parade held each year in her honor—you’ll find hundreds of people dressed as the city’s unofficial patron saint.

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A Female-owned gallery in the heart of NOLA

Stella Jones Gallery

Gallery owner Stella Jones with “Haiti Demain,” 1987 (mixed-media collage on canvas) by Lois Mailou Jones. | Photo by Victoria L. Valentine/Culturetype.com

Gallery owner Stella Jones with “Haiti Demain,” 1987 (mixed-media collage on canvas) by Lois Mailou Jones. | Photo by Victoria L. Valentine/Culturetype.com

Owned by Dr. Stella Jones, this gallery showcases African American, contemporary, and Caribbean artwork and has become known as an important cultural heritage site in the city.

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A theater named after the queen of gospel

The Mahalia Jackson Theater

Courtesy of the Mahalia Jackson Facebook page

Courtesy of the Mahalia Jackson Facebook page

Originally opened in the 1970s and beautifully restored after Hurricane Katrina, this landmark theatre in Armstrong Park is named after the Queen of Gospel and native New Orleans civil rights activist Mahalia Jackson.

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Check out the women's mardi gras krewes

Bourbon Street

Krewes are organizations that are responsible for Mardi Gras or carnival parades © | Nat Geo Education Blog

Krewes are organizations that are responsible for Mardi Gras or carnival parades © | Nat Geo Education Blog

Mardi Gras may have begun with all male krewes—local organizations that put on a parade or ball—but female krewes have become some of the biggest and most beloved parades in the city. The city’s first all-female krewe began way back in 1922, but didn’t begin parading until the late 1950s. After Katrina however, a surge of female Mardi Gras krewes emerged, led by Muses and their coveted glittered shoes. New Orleans now home several all-female parading krewes and dozens of women’s walking krewes, with tongue-in-cheek names like the Bearded Oysters and Pussyfooters.

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A store started by a single mother

Fleurty Girl

Courtesy of Fleurty's Facebook page

Courtesy of Fleurty's Facebook page

Started by a single mother using a $2,000 tax refund, Fleurty Girl has grown from one single store on Oak Street (which doubled as her family’s home) to six stores throughout the New Orleans area carrying amazing New Orleans inspired gifts, shirts, and artwork.

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A female-founded vintage clothing store

Trashy Diva

Courtesy of Trashy Diva's Facebook page

Courtesy of Trashy Diva's Facebook page

Opened by the original Trashy Diva, Candice Gwinn, as a vintage clothing store, Trashy Diva now sells incredible original vintage-inspired dresses, lingerie, swimwear, and accessories. Their dresses are unmistakable, and the brand embraces the beauty of women of all shapes, sizes, and styles.

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Dine in a 200-year-old Creole Cottage

Bayona

Courtesy of Bayona's Facebook Page

Courtesy of Bayona's Facebook Page

Renowned local Chef Susan Spicer’s flagship restaurant, Bayona, is located in a 200-year-old Creole cottage in the French Quarter and features a slow-food menu. Chef Spicer’s cuisine pulls inspiration from the Mediterranean, Asia, North Africa, France, Spain, Italy, and areas around the United States. As one of the pioneers of the ‘Slow Food Movement,’ Chef Spicer is one of New Orlean’s 300 for 300.

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Enjoy the food of this Top Chef Woman

Compère Lapin

Chef Nina Compton of Compere Lapin © | LargeUp.com

Chef Nina Compton of Compere Lapin © | LargeUp.com

French for “Brother Rabbit," Nina Compton of Top Chef runs this Warehouse District restaurant located in The Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery, which features an award-winning Caribbean and Creole menu. Originally from Saint Lucia, Chef Compton won a James Beard Award in 2018 and was named one of FOOD & WINE magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2017.

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A female-founded, family joint

5 Happiness

Courtesy of 5 Happiness' Facebook page

Courtesy of 5 Happiness' Facebook page

Paggy Lee, a former Grand Marshall and founding member of the female Krewe of Nyx, owns this family-run local favorite situated on Carrollton Avenue. Frequented by New Orleanians for business lunches and special occasions, this New Orleans institution is a great place to dine like a local. Five Happiness was selected as the Best Chinese Restaurant by New Orleans Magazine and for good reason. With dishes like house-baked duck and shrimp with honey roasted pecans, this is not your ordinary Chinese restaurant.

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Dine at this iconic female-run restaurant

Dooky Chase

Courtesy of Dooky Chase's Facebook Page

Courtesy of Dooky Chase's Facebook Page

This iconic restaurant was opened in 1941 and is now run by Chef Leah Chase. Host to the likes of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Dooky Chase is more famously known as being the meeting place for Civil Rights leaders like Thurgood Marshall, Oretha Castle Haley, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Dooky Chase is arguably the most significant culinary destination in the city, and Leah Chase one of its most respected chefs. Leah Chase is known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine and is an advocate for both African art and Creole cooking. Now age 95, Chef Chase has been recognized for a Lifetime Achievement Award and James Beard Award.

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Stay at a charming family-owned B&B

Balcony Guest House

Courtesy of Balcony Guest House's Facebook page

Courtesy of Balcony Guest House's Facebook page

Located near Frenchmen Street at St. Roch and Royal, Balcony Guest House is an adorable family-run B&B that will only feel like a budget hotel when you’re paying your bill.

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A hotel run by a female powerhouse

Nopsi

Salamander Hotels and Resorts CEO, Shelia Johnson © | Salamander Hotels and Resorts

Salamander Hotels and Resorts CEO, Shelia Johnson © | Salamander Hotels and Resorts

Named for the New Orleans Public Service Incorporated building the hotel occupies, this boutique luxury hotel is owned by Salamander Hotels and Resorts, whose CEO is Shelia Johnson, the Co-Founder of BET and the first African-American woman billionaire. Freshly opened in 2017 but keeping many of the building’s original features—like the early 20th-century terrazzo floors and beautiful crown moldings—this hotel is an architecture aficionado’s dream.

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Bonus: Take a road trip up north

The Southern Hotel in Covington

Courtesy of Southern Hotel in Covington's Facebook page

Courtesy of Southern Hotel in Covington's Facebook page

An hour north of New Orleans is the Southern Hotel in Covington, which was meticulously restored by preservationist Lisa Condrey Ward and reopened in 2014, 107 years after its original opening. The hotel is now an Instagrammer’s dream, featuring stunning murals and careful touches at every corner. In four years it has racked up award after award, including being named one of the top five hotels in the South by Southern Living magazine.

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