Mad Men Actor Bryan Batt’s Top 10 Design Sights in New Orleans
You probably recognize Bryan Batt from his
, an art director for the Sterling Cooper agency. But what you may not know is that the actor was born in New Orleans (the site of
’s third annual
Giants of Hospitality conference
and is a serious design junkie—“you should have seen my treehouse,” he quips. In fact, Batt was on his way to High Point Market when he stopped by to kick off our three-day event by sharing his top 10 design sights in the Big Easy. (Psst, you can see
‘s April 2014 feature on the
1. Architecture: It almost goes without saying—from the famous Wedding Cake House to rail road architecture and the equally iconic Gallier House, the Big Easy has an infinitely rich building history.
2. Cuisine: Batt’s top picks for dining include Antoine’s restaurant, with its history of scandalous affairs and private liaisons, Rex Room, and Arnaud’s, the site of Sunday night’s Giants dinner, attached to a quaint Mardi Gras Museum.
3. Mardi Gras: Who could forget that every February the city transforms into extreme party central. Batt calls out the Krewe of Bacchus, launched in 1968, as one of his favorite spectacles.
4. Antiques: The city is a designers’ dream when it comes to antiquing. Don’t miss The French Antique Shop and, of course, Batt’s own storefront, called Hazelnut.
5. New Orleans Museum of Art Sculpture Garden: Batts loves it so much, he had one of their benches dedicated to his mom. Local art mixes with a larger, international collection.
6. Riding a streetcar in Auburn Park: Many of the city’s street cars were taken out of commission over the past decade in favor of buses—but thankfully they’re making a comeback!
7. Music: Batt’s must-see is the beloved Preservation Hall, where three nightly jazz shows are “the real deal,” he says. Old fashioned music takes you back in time.
8. Cemeteries: His favorite “cities of the dead” include City Cemetery and
Metairie Lakelawn Cemetery, where Anne Rice reportedly held quite the party for the unveiling of her tomb, one of the more modern ones among the predominantly ornate architecture.
9. Art: Batt says Arthur Roger Gallery was the first to bring Chihuly to the Big Easy, while Cole Pratt gallery is another highlight on the famous Magazine Street. And last but not least on his list is the Odgen Museum of Southern Art.
10. Festivals: This city will celebrate just about anything, including everything from the Annual Red Dress Run, which
originated as a charitable event to raise money for breast cancer research, to a jazz fest, sushi fest, and po-boy fest.