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Uptown Girl

Cafe Luna
Cafe Luna's front porch overlooks the intersection of Magazine and Nashville.

When I first moved to this city, I knew I wanted to live within walking distance of everywhere. There are so many neighborhoods that fall into that category, but after perusing apartments and ‘hoods, I chose a fantastic corner of Uptown. If you’re looking for an eat-drink-be merry situation, my tiny ‘hood has you covered. Get a copy of a key, paint a landscape, eat until you pop, and drink until you see tomorrow. And that’s just scratching the surface.

I’ve never gone hungry within a block of my house. Casual dinner is no pressure at Taqueria Corona. Seriously killer ribeye tacos and spicy shrimp tacos. Start with the cebollitas (grilled green onions) and margaritas. Next door, Martinique Bistro has the happiest-sounding green patio, always full of big groups, wine glasses and laughter under tents that shade patrons from the sun. Last week I walked by and saw the chef outside grilling over hot coals. The smell of cooking wafts to my apartment and invites me over. Irresistible.

Lloyd's Mug Shot at Audubon Veterinary Hospital
When Lloyd was sick, I walked around the corner to Audubon Veterinary Hospital to get my kitty some TLC. They took this stellar photo of her.

If you want to see where the neighbors get their coffee, Cafe Luna will satisfy your caffeine needs. Owner Ernesto is poised for a good-natured ribbing while delivering perfect coffee (and a soon to open kitchen). I can always find a window seat or a place on the huge porch outside to pass the afternoon. I love that when I’m here I run into the wonderful animal docs at Audubon Veterinary Hospital who took such good care of my cat Lloyd when she was sick.

Window Mural at National Art and Hobby
Window Mural at National Art and Hobby, borrowed from their Facebook page.

If you want trinkets and toys, my corner of Uptown has that covered too. National Art and Hobby is a staple in our community, with tons of supplies for creating and crafting, a huge paper supply, and often changing window art. Clement Hardware is a candy store for the home. Every time I walk in here I’m greeted with a smile, and the staff is so eager to help. I’ve picked up some random items: bike lock, keys for out of town visitors, hair cutting shears, baby blue thread, and a screen for my kitchen faucet. They have a window full of cast iron skillets, too.

Bee Sweet Cupcake
Bee Sweet Cupcakes tickle the tastebuds. Try the red velvet or praline cupcakes. Just sweet enough.

Have a sweet tooth? It’s definitely worth the trip to my ‘hood to go to O’Delice French Bakery. Get their almond and chocolate croissants. Go early, though, before they’re sold out for the day. If you miss those, get a red velvet cupcake from Bee Sweet Cupcakes.

If it’s after dark, or after noon, head to St. Joseph Bar if you’re a 20-something, and enjoy the third-world patio; Monkey Hill Bar if you wear a suit to work, or head a few blocks further down river towards Henry’s if you like to belly up to the bar, watch sports, and be called by name.

Native Kansan Sunny Dawn Summers has been oversharing since grade school, giving extraordinary breath to ordinary air. She currently resides in New Orleans, the land of accidental muses.

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