See that couple strolling by hand-in-hand? It’s not hard to get all lovey-dovey when you’re with the one you love in New Orleans; we just inspire romance (and passion) in our architecture, history, and unique culture. To help celebrate New Orleans romance and get into the Valentine’s Day spirit, let’s take a look at some famous New Orleans couples, both real and fictional.
Stanley and Stella Kowalski
This fictional couple from New Orleans playwright Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” embodies the steamy passion that New Orleans can bring out in anyone, even if Stanley & Stella’s love was at times a bit heated! Rent a bike and discover the riverside neighborhood of Faubourg Marigny that the Kowalski’s called home – the location of their home on Elysian Fields is one of several places you can rent a bike (in real life!) and discover the New Orleans of Tennessee Williams.
Ernie and Antoinette K-Doe
Where would New Orleans music be without the influence of Ernie K-Doe, whose hit record of Allen Toussaint’s song “Mother-In-Law” reached #1 on the Billboard charts when it debuted in 1956? With wife Antoinette, who was universally referred to as “Miss Antoinette” – they were local fixtures around town and on the New Orleans R&B scene, with their popular bar Ernie K-Doe’s Mother-In-Law Lounge on North Claiborne in the Treme and continued after the death of Ernie K-Doe in 2001. Miss Antoinette could be seen many places with a flamboyantly dressed wax figurine of her loving husband in tow after he passed. Although Miss Antoinette passed away on Mardi Gras Day in 2009, their club lives on in the hands of trumpeter Kermit Ruffins who now operates the Mother-In-Law Lounge, maintaining its colorful exterior murals and interior dive-bar party atmosphere, with regular gigs from the likes of the Treme Brass Band.
Vic and Nat’ly
Be on the lookout for the Leidenheimer Bakery bread delivery trucks stopping at some of your favorite New Orleans eateries to deliver hot, fresh loaves of French Bread. The trucks are festooned with two classic New Orleans comic characters that are old school New Orleans all the way: Vic and Nat’ly Broussard.
We share the same last name. I might actually be related to them, though there’s a Vic and Nat’ly in many New Orleans families! These loveable Yats from the Ninth Ward own a corner po-boy shop and talk that NOLA speak that’s unmistakable. Cartoonist Bunny Matthews created the characters in the 1980s who have been a local fixture ever since.
Dooky and Leah Chase
As a city, we’re thankful bandleader Edgar “Dooky” Chase met and married his wife Leah and they took over the family restaurant. This real New Orleans couple has been in the restaurant business together since the 1950s – their restaurant, Dooky Chase’s is a Treme neighborhood landmark and an important Civil Rights era meeting place. Leah Chase is most definitely the Queen of Creole Cuisine, elevating, educating and preserving a style of cooking so indelible to the makeup of New Orleans. She’s cooked for presidents, and the art-filled dining room at the restaurant will make any guest feel like a dignitary.
Luke Winslow-King and Esther Rose
Blues guitarist and singer Luke Winslow-King makes music perfect for sitting on the veranda and enjoying another Old Fashioned. It’s no wonder that he’s partners with musician and fashion designer Esther Rose, who provides backup vocals and plays a mean washboard in his band. This perfectly hip pair can be seen around town with regular gigs at Three Muses on Frenchmen Street or at the Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter.