20100512-finds-0101Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Written by The Independent Staff

Trendy Jewelie’s Boutique at 407 Rena Drive completed its expansion just in time to stock the store with one of the best selections of lightweight summer white dresses in the market. Julie Rabalais doubled the size of her almost five and a half year old store a month ago to 1,800 square feet and has beefed up her inventory of jewelry, shoes, hats — and especially dresses, all under $60. Rabalais notes that the airy colorful and white dresses — both maxis and shorter lengths — were huge last year, and are even more popular this summer. “It seems like it’s the year of the dress,” she says. Women are always on the lookout for at least one new summer white dress, and Jewelie’s Boutique also has casual wedding or beach wedding styles. Check the store out at ilovejewelies.com or call 984-8009. — Leslie Turk

Eat Asian, stay slim. That’s my mantra. Even a noodle dish, Vietnamese style, doesn’t pack the calories that Western food will rope around your waistline. Three new Viet noodle bowls have newly arrived for downtown diners. Nuoc Cham fills a bowl with pork and no-carb glass noodles tossed in a soy and honey sauce. Nuoc Leo pairs beef and noodles with a lemongrass and garlic sauce. Other protein choices are shrimp or chicken, and there’s spicy peanut sauce to pile on, should you have the yen. All noodle bowls come with a fresh salad of shredded lettuce, carrots and bean sprouts that are an integral part of the dish. And all of them can be found at Collage Café, $8.95-$9.95, dine in or have your lunch delivered. Call 704-9000 to order. — Mary Tutwiler

If this isn’t summer reading I don’t know what is. Mr. New Orleans: The Life of a Big Easy Underworld Legend is the autobiography of Frenchy Brouillete, a longtime gangster and political fixer in the heyday of the mafia in the Crescent City. Written with Matthew Randazzo, one of the foremost experts on the American Mafia, Mr. New Orleans cracks the unspoken code of silence as Brouillete recounts stories from the infamous days when corruption ruled the city. Criminals, con men, dirty cops and crooked politicians inhabit the pages; the tales are both dark and hilarious. If that weren’t enough, JFK prosecutor Jim Garrison denounces Brouillete as one of the most notorious vice operators in the history of New Orleans. The book invites you to share the shocking true story of America’s oldest and most mysterious crime family, and (oh still my heart), its potential involvement in the Kennedy assassination, $22.95 in real and virtual bookstores everywhere. — MT

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