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New Orleanians’ favorite places captured in coffee table book

16th December 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Kelly Parker
Contributing Writer

For locals, Super Sunday has a bit of different meaning than for those in other parts of the country. Many tourists can share a story or two of a Fairgrounds experience, but only a native is likely to know what it means to relish in a stroll through Fortier Park, then over to Fair Grinds off Esplanade Ave. for coffee and a bacon sweet potato biscuit.

“The walk is virtuous, the biscuit: sinful.” says writer Lydia David.

Cover-FINAL-PRC-bookThe daily blog: features David’s beloved local spot, along with contributions from author/ producer David Simon (of “Treme” and “The Wire”) fame, actor John Goodman and natives Bryan Batt and Wendell Pierce. Hidden gems from practically every neutral ground from everyday New Orleanians, are included in the blog, and thanks to the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, they’re now compiled in a new book.

Days and Nights in the Dreamy City, by author and editor Mary Fitzpatrick and film location manager/producer and scriptwriter Virginia McCollam, was officially launched on December 7 at the Preservation Resource Center.

The two got the scoop from locals and insiders on their favorite spots in the city along with a “broad, albeit subjective, view of the city as experienced by locals,” in the hopes of making readers wish they lived in the Big Easy. Days and Nights in the Dreamy City is the third and final book in the PRC trilogy, following 2006’s Life in an Epic City and 2007’s New Orleans’ Favorite Shotguns.

100 percent of the book’s proceeds will benefit the PRC in honor of its 40th anniversary.

It’s been a learning experience for me,” says Mary Fitzpatrick, “to discover so many places I didn’t know about.”

Not featured are many of the traditional landmarks of the Crescent City, but some of the places held dear to the hearts of those who call the Big Easy home. Days and Nights in the Dreamy City, follows locals through our shrines and grottos (Shrine of St. Ann and Our Lady of Guadalupe), to our neighborhood eateries like Guys’s Po Boys, Verti Mart and Cake Café.

“We knew we were going to do a book about local favorite places; and to generate more responses, we started the blog and posted to twitter and facebook and other places; in order to have people think: “Oh my gosh, I love that place,” Fitzpatrick told The Louisiana Weekly. “So I got a lot of responses from strangers, by way of the blog.”

The book includes 90 posts taken from the blog, which began in June 2013.

“Hopefully, this will cause more people to want to live in the historic neighborhoods,” Fitzpatrick says.

The PRC has promoted the preservation, restoration and revitalization of New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974.

The organization has also helped renovate more than 1,300 homes citywide by involving citizens in preservation projects and services that enhance living in New Orleans.

Days and Nights in the Dreamy City can be purchased at the PRC, Garden District Book Shop, and Octavia Book Shop and online at or

This article originally published in the December 16, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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