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Lagniappe

 
THE

Defender Picks

 

LUNDI

February 20th

Glen David Andrews

d.b.a., 10PM

Treme trombone man brings it on a Monday ($5)

 

Detox to Retox

Big Easy 'Bucha, 6:30PM

Free yoga and kombucha for a mid-Carnival cleanse

 

Jazz Manouche Mondays

The Dragon's Den, 7PM

Cover all your bases with a gypsy jazz jam session, dance lesson, and dinner potluck 

 

Blue Velvet & Kuwaisiana & Green Gasoline

The Allways Lounge and Theatre, 7PM

A triple threat lineup of independent rockers

 

Alexis & The Samurai

d.b.a., 7PM

Indie folk duo perform every Monday

 

Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses

Maison, 7PM

Nealand and her band have a fresh take on traditional jazz

 

Alex McMurray

Chickie Wah Wah, 8pm

A New Orleans classic, belting out fox-trot slot-machine music

 

Bluegrass Pickin' Party

Hi-Ho Lounge, 8PM

Bring an instrument and join in 

 

Comic Strip 

Siberia, 9PM

Burlesque and standup ($5)

 

Poetry on Poets

Cafe Istanbul, 9PM

Weekly poetry open mic with live music ($5)

 

Brass-A-Holics

Blue Nile, 10PM

NOLA brass with a touch of DC go-go

 

 

MARDI

February 21st

Stanton Moore Trio

Snug Harbor, 8PM & 10PM

Galactic drummer's side project

 

Film Screening

Burgundy Picture House, 8PM

John Cassavetes' 1970 film Husbands

 

Comedy Beast

Howlin' Wolf Den, 8:30PM

Free comedy show

 

Water Seed

Blue Nile, 9PM

Intergalatic future funk at this high-energy show

 

Treme Brass Band

d.b.a., 10PM

Benny Jones and friends keep classic NOLA music thriving

 

Smoking Time Jazz Club

Spotted Cat, 10PM

Trad jazz masters play their weekly gig

 

Rebirth Brass Band

Maple Leaf, 11PM

2 sets by the Grammy-winning brass band

 

Crescent City Farmers Market

Broadway Street, 9AM-1PM

Uptown edition of the city's prime local market


Vapor Makers

NOLA Vape Brings Crescent City Flavor to E-Juice (Literally)



For centuries, the South was a cradle of tobacco production. Now, the region is evolving. NOLA Vape is a local e-liquid manufacturer and vendor that has grown quickly since opening in 2012. It produces more than 100 flavors of e-juice from its headquarters in New Orleans, and distributes to retail outlets around the city, including Up in Smoke, Mushroom Records, and Crescent City Vape.

 

NOLA Vape was founded in 2012 by New Orleans native Courtney Ambrosia with the help of her brother and a few friends -- all cigarette smokers who had turned to vaping as an alternative to tobacco. The team saw a unique opportunity for business growth at a time when, as Courtney said, "the vast majority of smokers didn't even know this newfangled electronic cigarette contraption existed." 

 

Even as the e-cigarette industry was growing nationally, few e-cig businesses existed in New Orleans, and none were embracing NOLA-centric flavor profiles for e-liquids. 

 

NOLA Vape has been influenced by the local vibe that Courtney and her team have always loved: the food, the drink, the attitude, and the rich spice of life that makes the city one of the world's most treasured. Over a dozen of NOLA Vape's more than 100 flavors are locally inspired, including Café au Lait, Beignet, Bananas Foster, King Cake, Ponchatoula Strawberry, and even Sazerac.

 

The process of creating recipes for such an extensive line involved many years of experimentation and feedback from friends and customers. 

 

Personal health was a strong inspiration for Courtney and the NOLA Vape team. "In this city, a cocktail and a cigarette go hand-in-hand…Vaping was our way of collectively agreeing to quit the cancer sticks in favor of something more evolved." What's more, said Courtney, they could help bring a superior alternative to cigarettes into their lifelong community. 

 

Over the past few years, the e-cigarette industry has emerged from its Wild West phase, and many vaping customers are quite particular about their e-liquid. They want to know what's in their e-juice, the quality of the ingredients, and how it's made. NOLA Vape shares these concerns and puts particular care into the manufacturing process. NOLA Vape extracts its own organic nicotine, and uses only FDA-approved, U.S. Pharmacopeia-grade ingredients in a meticulously clean workplace. 

 

In an industry where much of the hardware and nicotine extract being sold are imported -- largely from China -- the NOLA Vape crew is proud of offering exclusively U.S.-made e-juice.

 

The e-cigarette business is booming, and NOLA Vape has exceeded the team's expectations for success. But in this new and currently unregulated industry, the journey hasn't been without roadblocks. One of the first challenges the business had to overcome was signing up with a payment processor for its online store. "Most payment processors, like PayPal, won't touch this industry with a 10-foot pole because it has such a high-risk stigma," said Courtney. As a young industry with new products and new companies emerging all the time, credit card chargebacks are more common in vaping than in many other industries. 

 

The company also has had to deal with some local legal issues. "As in any business, there are people who try to bully others under the guise of protecting their intellectual property. We've gotten flack from people who assert their legal ownership of the combination of a color and a fruit as a name." Courtney said they were flabbergasted by this, but found creative ways to keep the juice in their lineup and to sustain their local vision.

 

Then, of course, there are the proposed FDA regulations, which threaten to harm or shut down a huge number of e-cigarette businesses. Members of the NOLA Vape team hope for the best, but are planning for the worst.

 

Ultimately they remain optimistic and embrace the fresh, exciting side of vaping, an industry where everyone has to innovate and try new things to make a name. And while local competition has intensified over the past year, Courtney believes New Orleans e-cig companies "are all a team in the sense that we all share this common interest."

 

The e-cigarette industry has allowed the creators of NOLA Vape to earn a living from what began as a hobby and has now become something they believe is making a positive impact on their community. "We get to share our love of New Orleans' unique culture with the world. We are full of gratitude for this chapter in our lives."

 

Brendan Frost is an MFA student in fiction at the University of New Orleans, and a freelance journalist and copywriter. Brendan has been vaping for more than six months, using e-cigarettes to successfully quit tobacco. He’s also a blogger for Crescent City Vape, covering electronic cigarette news, trends, and research for the shop's blog.





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Contributors:

Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,

Listings Editor


Photographers

Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor:

B. E. Mintz

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Stephen Babcock