We’re really excited to launch the latest version of the unawkward platform. Here are some of the new features:
Everyone can now purchase vouchers to events. Vouchers can be printed or used on your phones.
We’re still only in New Orleans, but we now have the ability to roll out new cities on the fly.
It’s more of a social network in a sense that you can friend up other users, send private or public messages, etc..
Sharing get’s you credits. You can now share unawkward with people you know across social networks and when they sign up you will get credits added to your account. This feature will roll out in the next couple weeks.
Upcoming events happening in NOLA:
Paintball is this weekend and you can register now. We’ve got some cool stuff lined up at Rock-n-Bowl, City Park Golf, a Shopping Spree on Magazine for the ladies, and a steak lunch just for the fellas.
Thanks for all the feedback through our beta and looking forward to see you out around town!
Over the past few weeks we were experiencing high latency from users on the west coast. After much headache and testing, I pinpointed the issue to our DNS settings. We’re still waiting for our DNS updates to propagate, but once they do everyone should be able to access the site.
Unawkward is hosted on an AWS Elastic Beanstalk setup on their east coast Virginia data center. Our DNS was managed through Name.com. I had the cname pointing to our elastic beanstalk url, which was routing to our load balancer.
I moved the DNS over to AWS Route 53 last night hoping to resolve the issues. Everything looked ok, but there were still issues. Turns out it was the cname setup that was causing the DNS lookup issues for our west coast friends. I’m not sure, but I’m willing to bet that it’s because of ipv4 vs ipv6 on users local machines.
I’ve removed the cname and added A(ipv4) and AAAA(ipv6) record aliases to point to our load balancer and things are looking good. If you are a developer rocking AWS EBS .. I highly recommend this change. The A record load balancer aliases route directly to the dynamic IP address.
HUGE thanks to everyone that helped debug this debacle. Please let me know if any of you run into any issues at all and I’ll address them asap.
Catch that Canal street car Baby. Canal Street has always been a major thoroughfare. It was originally to be a canal that would have divided the old Spanish/French Quarter and the newer American Central Business District. When it became a street it’s large median acted as a cultural boundary still called the neutral ground. Today, the Canal streetcar line runs those lovely red and yellow cars from 5am to 3am stopping about every 15 minutes.
There are a million places to explore in awesome Mid City; but none are quit like Mandina’s. The Italian rooted Mandina family has owned this property since 1898. It’s been a grocery store, a pool hall, a sandwich shop, and lastly a restaurant. Mandina’s has always been a neighborhood restaurant that caters to the locals as if they were family. They have been serving up Creole Italian food like, bruccialone with shell macaroni or soft shell crab almandine since the place opened. Order up the ‘Miss Hilda old fashion’ with a cup of turtle soup au sherry, and then dig into their delicious trout meuniere with fries.
I hope you saved room for dessert because we are going to the one and only Angelo Brocato’s Italian Ice Cream Parlor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone here to get a single scoop of ice cream and left with $30 worth of pastries. They are rolling hand made cannolis to order from a Sicilian recipe that’s over a hundred years old. If that’s not enough how about one dipped in chocolate, or a rum soaked baba cake, or spumone, or tira mi su, or the fire glazed baked Alaska??? This little shop has got it going on! It’s also a great place to get a fine cup of espresso. Don’t be daunted by the line out the door I promise you it’s worth the 20 minute wait.
It’s time to work off the 5,000 calories you just ate at Bracato’s. Jump back on that street car and head half way down the track to Chickie Wah Wah to see Anders at 8:30. Anders Osborne has a way of telling stories that vibrate with New Orleans life and are just straight up fun. Stoned, Drunk, and Naked, and his Ash Wednesday Blues are epic, absolute love at first sound. Anders, John Fohl, and Jumpin Johnny Sanosone, with his electrifying harmonica, will rock your soul at the best show in town tonight. DO NOT MISS this!!
Armstrong Park’s beautiful arched white lights are like a beckoning beacon of light for those who have strayed off of Bourbon. But don’t go towards the light, Carroll Anne, it’s no place for a lil blonde girl at 4am. You wouldn’t go stumbling through Central Park all half cocked.
Armstrong Park is home to the historical Congo Square. Congo Square was were the slaves gathered every Sunday to sing, dance, and trade. It was a place of multicultural music, religion, and native tongue. The sounds that came from here were rooted in Africa and Haiti. I can only imagine those spiritual rhythms coursing through the air and laying heavy like humidity on the brow of humanity.
So if you wanna experience Congo Square get your butt down there for this morning’s International Jazz Day Sunrise Concert. It kicks off at 7am with some of the greats. Herbie Hancock, Kermit Ruffins, Ellis Marsalis, and many more will be celebrating Jazz in the early morning light.
Nobody was more famous at Congo Square than the legendary voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. She was said to have lead many ceremonies there including one that created a storm so great it saved a man from the gallows. Her death is somewhat ambiguous but her mausoleum can be found at St. Louis Cemetery # 1. People come from all over the world with voodoo offerings and adorn the tomb with X’s hoping to bring home a little of their own greis greis.
For your last bit of spiritual adventure in the Treme head on over to Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel and visit the Marian Grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes. This is the oldest surviving church in New Orleans. The grotto is a 19th century phenomenon not to be missed. Tell Maw Maw hello for me; she’s been working there for over 40 years. May your prayers and candles be righteous today. Blessed be.
Yeah You Right,
One word, brunch. Brunch comes in a close second to Thanksgiving and it’s deep fried turkey. It’s almost sacrilegious to not have a cocktail with this meal in New Orleans. Be it Mary, Mimosa, or Marnier in your coffee, when that waitress rolls around to get your drink order she ain’t talking about water. Make sure your hair of the dog Bloody is made proper with Zing Zang and a spicy bean.
Praline bacon, yup, I said it. Sticky, smoked, nutty, candied praline bacon. Elizabeth’s Restaurant in the Bywater has been serving up this sweet and savory side since the beginning. Get two orders. They’ve got a mean take on benedicts. Redneck Eggs with fried green tomatoes, Bayou Breakfast with catfish and grits, and Eggs Sardou are just a few off of this amazing Southern menu. They serve brunch until 2:30 and are always jumping so be sure to head upstairs to the bar and get that bloody while you wait.
How’s about a lazy ride down the Mississippi on the Natchez Steamboat? They have a lunch option, but that bacon should be holding you over. The jazz cruise will cost you $25 for a 2 hour trip with a history lesson as their Dixie band lulls you to a state of serenity on America’s most beloved river. It’s a slow and picturesque trip back in time that should be on everyone’s bucket list. After all, it was Rhett’s wedding present to Scarlet.
This evenings funk will be brought to you by Papa Grows Funk with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux at D.B.A. NOLA’s own PGF is best described as “booty shaking party music” and is heavily rooted in raw talent and improv. The show starts at 11 and will fill up fast so be sure to get a spot. Don’t Bother Asking the bartender what D.B.A stands for just order up one of their globally eclectic beverages and get to groovin. If you need to rest dem dogs grab a window booth and do some Frenchmen people watchin. Yes, they watchin you too silly, your sittin in the big picture window. So keep it clean crazy, it ain’t Mardi Gras.
Yeah You Right,
Alright, we talking po-boys now so ya’ll listen up. If you want one of the hands down, (literally eaten with a fork) best roast beef po-boy’s in the city you’ve got to go to Parkway Bakery and Tavern. They’ve been around for over 100 years and make claims to have created the “poor boy” sandwich. Juicy, sloppy, oh so tendra beef, and grabey on fresh french bread. I take my po-boy dressed (lettuce, tomato, mayo) with provolone and pickles. Don’t stop there, add shrimp for a surf and turf home run around the bayou. Grab a Barq’s in the bottle and a bag of Zapp’s chips and head out across the street to that shady oak on Bayou St. John. I hope you brought a blanket cuz now your gonna need a nap.
Tonight is all about bowling, burgers, and brass down at The Rock n Bowl! This legendary bowling alley music venue is the quintessential New Orleans hot spot. As if their Ye Olde College Inn Restaurant across the parking lot wasn’t enough NOLA fare for ya, they just opened The Straight Stick Ranch Burger Company. The beef comes from their very own 100% grass fed Louisiana cattle. That Gimme the Bluez Bacon Burger with their house made chips is rollin!
Kermit Ruffins will be blowin up the stage at 8:30; followed by the brasstastic Bonerama and Mike Zito & Friends. It’s a night of vintage funk, bluesy Americana, and soulful jazz. Just when you thought this place couldn’t get any cooler the hula hoopin bartenders and the owner, John, take their turn at gettin down. It’s a magical place that has been apart of my personal history since I was rockin a fake ID. Give me a shout when you come in I’ll be serving up those Strawberry Abita’s and hoopin on the bar.
After John has sung the National Anthem and the cabbies have come to take the weary home I’ll be headed over to Republic with the rest of the Unawkward crew for Rebirth Brass Band and DJ Jubilee. The show starts at at 2am. Bounce and brass WHAT!? I’ll be poppin it to Casanova “take ya drawers off!”
Yeah you right, holler at ya girl and buy me a drink!
Alright, alright, it’s Friday in NOLA and the weather is sweet. It’s the perfect day to check out the New Orleans Museum of Art and their Sculpture Garden. The garden is free and open seven days a week to mill around and take in some amazing art. Be sure to take a moment to ring the hanging man’s ominous bell.
Tonight the garden is featuring Where Y’Art?!: NOCCA Choir Performance, Followed with Music by Paul Longstreth from 5-9. The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts has produced some of our finest talent; Harry Connick Jr.,Wynton Marsalis, and TREME’s own Wendell Pierce, to name a few. Get a glimpse of what NOLA’s next generation is bringing to the table. At 6:30 take a comedic gallery tour with the likes of the hilarious The New Movement. These guys are ridiculous, you may remember them as Unawkward’s doorman at our SXSW event. They are killing it in New Orleans; bringing improv and sketch to a much needed comedy scene.
A show not to be missed tonight is Robert Randolph and the Family Band at 9pm at House of Blues. I didn’t know you could play a lap steel guitar like that. This is one of the most entertaining performances I’ve ever seen. Lord knows I’ve hula hooped on stage with a lot of bands; but, dancing with Robert as he opened for Ziggy Marley in Chicago was as good as it gets. All you ladies be ready to get up there and shake it when the time comes get FUNKY, FUNKY, FUNKY.
If your legs are still shaking and your trying catch that second wind, head over to Pirates Alley Cafe and Absinthe House. A lil bit of that green fairy absinthe will get ya set straight. Be careful with that famous tonic, you may just start channeling Hemingway or Van Gogh. This place has got a ton of history as one of the oldest bars in the city. You’ll feel it when you sit in the alley only steps from the Cathedral.
It is so time to stumble over to the Clover Grill and get some breakfast. They are a 24 hour dinner in the quarter. What else can I say? They only ask that you not sleep at their table, as they don’t eat in your bed!
Yeah You Right,
Ok all you Fester’s, I know you’ve got your tickets in hand, your flags harnessed, and you’re rockin your ‘How Ya Gonna Clap’ koozies. I don’t need to tell you about Crawfish Monica, the air conditioned grandstand bathrooms, or which oak to nap under after digging on a mango freeze. So here’s what’s up off the track.
Let’s start with Louisiana Music Factory’s free in-store live performances. Seven bands playing one hour sets from noon till 7pm. Ever thought what would happen if the Nevilles and the Allmans got together? Welcome to the Royal Southern Brotherhood with Devon Allman, Cyrile Neville, and Mike Zito. There are a few tasty nuggets for everyone to sample; Glen David Andrews, The Young Pinstripe Brass Band, Joe Crown, and the legendary Little Freddie King. The first time I heard Freddie’s strings, dat blues made me tear up and call my daddy. ’Crackho Flo’ is a personal favorite.
Since your on ole Decatur pay a lil homage to those who founded New Orleans and stop by the Bienville Monument. Take from it what you will, but that carved out stony body language says a lot.
After soaking up some history it’s time for a beer! Crescent City Brewhouse has an awesome house brewed beer sampler. Sit upstairs on the balcony as you listen to the Natchez Steamboat calliope whilst slurping down some oystas tree wayz and doin bad things to a cajun meatpie.
So what do locals do on Thursday nights? Give you a hint, it’s Cajun for let the good times roll. Le Bon Temps Roule brings it with Soul Rebels Brass Band after midnight. The back room is PACKED, it’s sweaty, smelly, and hard to get your footing. If you catch your groove slow and ease into it with a PBR and a shot of Jamo you’ll be good to go by the second set. This is when the magic happens. The fakers have all left the building and there’s room enough to get funky to some old throwbacks. If your lucky a dance circle will break out; a battle of grinding swagger and smoothness.
Now take your ass home to catch some shuteye before day two!
Holler at ya girl,
Corina Flo Lill
It’s been a crazy couple of months down here in New Orleans. Mardi Gras, French Quarter Fest, and here we are with Jazz Fest kicking off tomorrow!
Through all the amazingness that’s been happening in this city, we’ve been cranking away on development at unawkward.com and are now welcoming in new people to join our priavate beta. You can sign up at unawkward.com - go head, I’ll wait for you to get back ;)
We rolled the site out to a small group of friends a couple weeks ago and threw our first event last Friday. Checkout the photos taken by the amazing Sara Gohener at the We Matter Happy Hour event at Grand Isle. Mad props to the icy cold beer, delicious oysters and service at Grand Isle. If you haven’t been there for happy hour yet, get on it.
As we all know, Jazz Fest kicks off tomorrow. We’ll be updating this blog with details around events happening in the city you won’t want to miss from now until when we wrap up the ‘Fest Sunday with the Neville Brothers listening to One Love.
We’ll be out there with an Unawkward flag so anyone that want’s to meetup at the fest can find us. Follow unawkward on twitter to hear about where we’re be posted up. We’ll be writing about things do to and places to go here on the blog daily, so make sure you subscribe.
That said, I’d like to introduce Corina Lill. Corina will be posting updates here on the blog and also curating some of the events you see on unawkward.com. She’s lived in New Orleans since ‘98 with a brief stint in Chicago for a couple years. She knows the city and knows what its like to move away and come back. She’s also a local actress .. see if you can find her in the Louisiana Tourism Commercial ..
On that note .. Welcome to Unawkward. I can’t wait to see you around town.
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