Newell Normand (00:00):
Welcome back folks. We are 407 feet high. We're on the 33rd floor of the Four Seasons Hotel, referred to as Vue Orleans. And this is a, an interactive experience here that, uh, comes at you in so many different ways and presents so much in, uh, information about the city. At the 33rd floor, you can walk around, uh, you're still indoors. It's a 360 view of the city, or you could go to the 34th floor, which is the rooftop, which was not developed in the way that the old the, the previous building, uh, presented itself. Once they did the renovation, they opened that up, was up there this morning, breathtaking views and all directions unobstructed glass panels. So you can look down, you, you can look straight down and, and see everything, uh, that's going on. And it was just a beautiful, uh, experience. Joining us is Karen, uh, Nabonne Coaxum, co-managing partner of Vue Orleans. Karen, welcome to the show.
Karen Coaxum (01:04):
Newell Normand (01:06):
Karen Coaxum (01:06):
Newell Normand (01:07):
Karen Coaxum (01:51):
This is, this is especially, um, we are so excited about the level of detail that went into the cultural experience, and we call 'em cultural bearers and the, um, prominence of local characters, and not characters in a fanciful way, but characters that molded our history of the city, a lot of times we talk about that. Vue Orleans Walls talk, um, the 12 prominent figures from our history that are almost alive when you can hear them talk and tell their stories about what they did to contribute to the history of the city, that that could take you a half hour just listening to 12 different, um, essays and stories where these people seem alive and right in front of you, tell you about what they did to contribute to the city. And there is someone for everyone here that was going to know about who either Marie Laveau was or you know, who, who helped founded the city.
So all of those types of stories, they're not just being presented where you have to read everything here. Um, things are interactive. You can hear, you can, you don't have to touch everything either. There's touchless, interactive, uh, segments of the experience while you're here. And it's just so much that I would recommend that especially our local, uh, residents of, of the area of of the whole region would, would plan to spend several hours here at a time. And you, you can come back and make several visits at a time to take it all in. Cuz it's just that entertaining and that easy on the eyes and easy on your, your, your, um, your senses. Um, and the only thing missing is just, you know, smell of vision as it used to say. But even the cafe has, um, food now that some of, uh, our visitors and guests suggested that we have certain items available in the cafe on the top, uh, 34th floor. So people were suggesting were listening and it just makes a better experience for everyone.
Newell Normand (04:11):
You know, it's interesting when you think about it, uh, and I think a lot of times here locally, and I want to get your reaction to this, a lot of folks, you know, we, we kind of hear about how many different flags of countries flew over the city of New Orleans and its history, right? Mm-hmm.
Karen Coaxum (04:58):
Absolutely. And, and some, some of us, um, and, and I can speak for myself, you know, I'm from, you know, new Orleans and my family has origins in France. Um, so you, you learn about it from home and then if you don't learn about it in school, new Orleans history would be a lot for students in the country and especially in our local schools, to find out as much about our own local history that we should know about. So, places like w um, vs. Um, will give anyone an opportunity to delve into that history that you may not have ever known about. And even if you did, it's a great way of seeing it come alive. And that's the part that I think is, is enrapt people to come to visit, to see, um, and to be able to learn at the same time, and it in a very, very entertaining way. Yeah.
Newell Normand (05:56):
And it, it just, it kind of struck me as well, we, we talk about the culture of our music and sometimes it's one dimensional, right? Mm-hmm.
Karen Coaxum (06:20):
Newell Normand (06:53):
And then the same could be said about historic events in the city, uh, that, you know, uh, I thought I knew, you know, a lot. I try to pay attention and there's always a, as you um, mentioned off offline, there's a, there's a little nugget there mm-hmm.
Karen Coaxum (07:14):
Newell Normand (08:17):
And, and I think you're right because, um, especially with, it seems to me that y'all developed a, a really healthy balance for all ages. Uh, and this is something that kids would definitely enjoy and it would keep their attention. Um, because the language that's used, the way it's presented, the visuals and everything that goes along with that, it's very much, conducive to the shared experience of all ages together.
Karen Coaxum (08:47):
And when you mention about, it's all in the details, the exhibits, each section is in three languages. Yeah. And they have closed captions so anyone can hear, can see what's going on, understand it, comprehend it. And that is, um, that's very remarkable to have, um, an observation, um, experience or a cultural experience, I'm sorry, cultural experience where you can, uh, even if you want to listen to it or read it in French and Spanish, it's all up there at the same time. So it's very, you know, it's fun to watch it like
Newell Normand (09:24):
That. Yeah. I was actually, my mother, uh, spoke fluent Spanish. My dad spoke fluent French and, and I butchered the English language. But I, I was, I was trying to read Uhhuh to see if I could pick up and remember cuz they all dad spoke French in the house and mom spoke Spanish in the house. And you know, you, it's the first time I've actually had that experience.
Karen Coaxum (09:48):
You have all three.
Newell Normand (09:48):
Yeah. And you have all three there and you're trying to pick up, do I remember this word? Do I remember that word? You know, at my age now, struggle with remembering my name. So
Karen Coaxum (10:04):
Newell Normand (10:16):
Um, which is the entrance.
Karen Coaxum (10:18):
Entrance level. Entrance, yes. Um, there, the things purposely set in the walls of the, there's no space in room. There's something there to read, to see, there's, um, the tap dance shoes, uh, from one of the local, uh, tap dancers. There's, um, the St. Augustine, uh, marching band helmet. There's, uh, second line umbrellas. There's, um, king cake babies. There's something along the walls with descriptions. And then when you get up to the 33rd floor observation area, there's sections, um, that talk about every Faubourg of New Orleans, the walls, and of course the viewfinders and things like that. So there is, that's why I say it could take a couple of hours to take it all in, cuz it's a lot to see, but, you know, at your own pace.
Newell Normand (11:10):
All right, folks, we are visiting with Karen Nabonne Coaxum, co-managing partner of Vue Orleans. We are broadcasting live from the most spectacular view of New Orleans. There is no o other one like this. Uh, a top. The Four Seasons Hotel will be right back after the break. This is Newell on Wwl. Stay with us. Welcome back folks. We are visiting with Karen Nabonne Coaxum, co-managing partner of Vue Orleans. And we've just been, uh, describing the experience here. Uh, this, uh, experience presents itself on three different levels. The second level being the entry level, and then the, um, the level that we're on at the, the 33rd floor. And then there's the 34th floor, which is the panoramic view outdoor. And there's a cafe up there, uh, as well, uh, that offers food, drink, and most importantly, some alcohol for those beautiful sunsets. Oh, yes. You guys are extending the viewing hours today, tomorrow till eight o'clock, and I think next Friday and Saturday, uh, till 8:00 PM as well.
Over the holiday season. Uh, the holiday season parking is at the World Trade Center parking lot, right across the street here. Uh, $5, um, simple walk across the street, or if you want to go into the chandelier bar, the, the lobby. I, I've been there a couple of times. Beautiful. Uh, actually, you can, uh, valet park, uh, if you want to come up to, uh, en enjoy the experience of you Orleans, for those of you that have not been here before, the entry level is as you're facing the hotel with your back to the casino is on the far left. Um, you come
Karen Coaxum (12:57):
Is at the foot of
Newell Normand (12:57):
Canal, right at the foot of Canal number two Canal Street. You enter right there. And, uh, uh, come on in. Uh, this morning I saw the, uh, video presentation that Irma Thomas, um, narrated mm-hmm.
Karen Coaxum (13:31):
It's easy on the eyes, is not your usual. You're sitting in the, the, you're sitting in the theater and waiting for a movie. Right. But what you do see is kind of a soft palette, almost painted imagery, um, that of course is easy for anyone to take in. Is, is, is not so much. And then the actors portraying were actual, um, actors and, and real life people who were in the video that was, um, used for the, for the, um, uh, theater piece. So, um, I think it's, it's even better to hold your attention because the colors are so vibrant. And of course, with Ms. Thomas, Irma, Thomas's narration of it just really pops it. And, and again, the, the close captioning of what she is saying, narrating is in three different languages on the screen. So she has that real soft oleic type of voice that'll just rock you into the, and by the time you get really into it, it's, it's not very long. And then, and then it's over. But it's, it's enough to, to um, say, well, what's next? And I'm gonna come back and I'm gonna take my time and, you know, come and see this again and again. So, cuz you can actually go up, then down, you can choose, you know, which, which way you want
Newell Normand (14:56):
To, which way you wanna be
Karen Coaxum (14:57):
Down, you wanna come up or you can go up to the cafe and get something to eat, then you can come back down if you want. So.
Newell Normand (15:01):
Right, right. Uh, I visually, I, I really wish folks had an opportunity, uh, to see your face when you're talking about it.
Karen Coaxum (15:13):
It's interesting that you mentioned that cuz because the very first time that I put a foot into the exhibit before it was finished, cuz it opened in March, and I had the opportunity of coming up with my husband Henry, who is the co-managing partner of Vue. Um, we were bringing up some family that come in for his birthday, and I got off the elevator and I had to step aside. I was in tears. It, it just took my breath away. And a lot of times, and some of our guests and visitors mentioned that, and we encourage, uh, anyone visiting to take pictures, do videos, post it. It's not one of these things where you can't take any pictures and we want you to do that. And one of, I saw recent posts where someone said that, that they were in tears when they went through an exhibit. And I didn't know this lady, and I think she was even a visitor to the city. Uh, and it will do that because it's, it's a sensory type of, um, the sensory-ness of it, um, can really, um, take your breath away.
Newell Normand (16:20):
Yeah. And, you know, it presents a view. I mean, and just, and I described this earlier, we're looking out right now, we see the canopy of freedom right here, the World War I Museum and so many other iconic buildings on, on, you know, in the, in the direction that we're facing at the present time. And at the same time, you see the working river mm-hmm.
Newell Normand (17:01):
Kind of this just right where we're sitting, we have about a 45 degree view of this is stunning.
Karen Coaxum (17:08):
It it is. And we've had some, um, comments that, oh, dawn, you know, we, we really missed the rotating bar. I am partial to think that this is even better because the developers chose to keep this and develop it. And it's open to everyone. So of all ages, and it doesn't revolve, but you walk around and to keep this alive and where anyone that, that, you know, comes to the, the attraction can do that 360 degree visit and get so much out of it. And we encourage, of course our, our local residents can come more than one time if they would like to and experience and have everybody come, the whole family can come.
Newell Normand (18:03):
It's interesting, I remember the first time coming as as a kid, of course, we couldn't really sit down. It was a bar and, you know, but everyone came up here. I mean, it was one of the destinations for locals to come up here and, and experience it and view it, you know, and, and actually step on that little floor.
Karen Coaxum (18:28):
Newell Normand (19:24):
What you're looking at. Yeah. You know, for us as locals, we kind of get it, but for the folks that, and, and maybe some that are living here really don't cuz they hadn't experienced it. But, you know, for everyone else it gives them a, a full broad spectrum of what they're seeing. Mm-hmm.
Karen Coaxum (19:53):
Um, I like the details and when I mentioned the little different nuggets of, um, every piece of the walls and we talk about the walls talk, um, I would say the elevator ride, but I don't want to give that away cuz that we like to keep that as a surprise.
Newell Normand (20:13):
Yeah. We, we talked about that actually earlier with David, but just as we're sitting here, when you're talking about every inch presents something, um, it wasn't until I was up here about 20 minutes that I realized these panels that are on a, on an angle, um, that cover part of the ceiling mm-hmm.
Newell Normand (21:11):
You know, but if, if you just stopped and looked up for a moment, you would recognize it right away. Mm-hmm.
Karen Coaxum (21:16):
Newell Normand (22:18):
Well, you know what's interesting too, and it just happened by happenstance with David and I, and David, as you know, the general manager, David Rand here is not from here. Mm-hmm.
Karen Coaxum (23:25):
And let's not forget the canal Street view. Yeah. Canal Street is one of the few streets and avenues in the city that goes from the river to the lake. And from up here you can see the lake. Right. Um, and of course, you know, canal Street is just, is just in itself a picture right there. So, um, it, it, it's just, it's spellbounding. Um, it, it is certainly a must do, I like to say. And, um, if you go to Google, which I'm not suggesting that everybody do right away and go to v Orleans and press reviews. And last time I checked there was a 4.8 Yeah. Star review and, and that's phenomenal. Yeah.
Newell Normand (24:18):
No, that's, that's great news. Um, how do you, how important do you see this, uh, as it relates to the, the, the diversity of activities that we have, uh, that present themselves here in the city
Karen Coaxum (24:37):
When the group ventured onto the design and what would be featured in the exhibit areas? And some people call this a museum. I tend to not think personally that it's a museum because there's, there's so much, um, live, live action that goes on. And when the developers designed the, um, confluence of culture wall and it moves mm-hmm.
Newell Normand (26:08):
And I, I got a number of texts. This is not a visiting exhibit. This is a permanent,
Karen Coaxum (26:13):
This is a permanent exhibit
Newell Normand (26:14):
Exhibit. So it's not one. So you, you have time, but you definitely want to come by. But it's not a visiting one. It's it open
Karen Coaxum (26:21):
Newell Normand (26:22):
Open every day. And it, and it presents itself. All right folks, we gotta get to a break. Stay with this. We are visiting with Karen Nabonne Coaxum, co-managing partner of you Orleans. We will be right back after the break. 5 0 4 2 6 0 1 8 70 on Heart Jewelers talk. Ed text line, if you have a question for Karen, give us a shout. We'll be, be right back. Stay with us. Right folks. We are broadcasting live from, uh, a mind blowing 360 degree view of the Crescent City. 470 feet up. We're on the 33rd floor. You can go up on a 34th floor. You can see all of this at their website view or leans.com. It's v u e orleans.com. Uh, they have all of the information there, uh, today, tomorrow they're open from 10 to eight. They'll be open from 10 to eight, uh, next Friday and Saturday as well. Extended hours for the holiday weekend. And, uh, I can't think of a better venue to have a party at.
Karen Coaxum (27:19):
Newell Normand (27:21):
Everybody. I mean, everyone, you know, it's interesting conversation cuz everything that you and I have just talked about, everybody at the party's gonna sit here and walk around and, and, and talk about, uh, and point out, you know, uh, landmarks in the city and, and alike.
Karen Coaxum (27:36):
How could you not have this available to, um, groups or events? We've had engagement parties, we've had proposals up on the 34th floor with pictures, of course. Um, and, you know, you could have, um, a a a catered party with food and drinks in Woo Orleans. And, um, it's, it's, it's gonna of course be the talk of the town to say, you know, I was at a private event at, um, the rooftop of the top of the Four Seasons. And, um, so, you know, if anybody does want to, to look into, they can go online and, and find out how to do that. And, um, and groups, school groups, tour groups, um, or especially, um, welcome. And you, you can actually go online and pre-book your time that you wanna spend and purchase your ticket in advance so you can go to the ticket office, um, down at the foot of Canal. So it, it's here waiting for you to come. Uh, I can't, I can't encourage anyone enough to, to come and see. It's so much in at one time. You really do need to pace yourself. Yeah. Take the time to come and, and experience it. Don't rush in and out. I, I would suggest that.
Newell Normand (28:53):
Yeah. And the beauty is, uh, you have a cafe up on the 34th floor if you want to get a drink mm-hmm.
Karen Coaxum (29:11):
Oh, the Story Cafe is one of the, um, uh, exhibit areas on the second floor. And in it, chef Kevin Belton, of course, our local, um, preeminent chef and, um, poppy Tooker who tells stories, um, about New Orleans. And they're the co-host, if you will, of the story cafe. What you do is you, you slide into a seat, it's interactive, and you press on the screen what you would like them to prepare. So if you select red beans and rice, chef, Belton and Poppy are gonna cook it, prepare it, tell you, tell tell you what goes into it, have the ingredients, and visually though, when it's finished, your order will appear right at your seat. Um, and you can sit there and, and they'll do drinks and they'll do food and they have a large selection of different, um, special fun food items that are only here in New Orleans. Of course. Um, and that's a favorite. And I think what had happened in the most recent past of, since just opened in March, is that a lot of our visitors were saying, well, I'd like to have that cuisine. I'd like
Newell Normand (30:26):
To Yeah, you're making 'em hungry.
Karen Coaxum (30:27):
Something to eat
Newell Normand (30:55):
They're very helpful, in fact, very
Karen Coaxum (30:57):
Newell Normand (30:58):
A opportunity to interact with some earlier, uh, and showed me the way and, you know, you can tell they're excited about
Karen Coaxum (31:05):
Working here. They are, they are. And, and that gets our, uh, the visit experience that that gives it another special element of, um, hospitality that our even visitors and locals wanna be, uh, treated with when they visit something in New Orleans. So we, um, are very excited.
Newell Normand (31:27):
Well, uh, Karen, congratulations to you and all the other folks. Uh, your husband, Henry Paul Flower, the whole group of, uh, folks that, uh, put together this, uh, presentation. This Exhibit is permanent, it's not visiting, it's here for forever. Uh, and, uh, so folks come on by, uh, if you get to see the joy in Karen's face, that's, that's all they need to do to sell it.
Thank you. This is really spectacular. Uh, you know, I, I've just taken a brief look around and I'll continue to, to look around during breaks and we'll continue to talk about this. You know, in New Orleans, and I talk about this often on the show, people in the city don't always do everything. Right. This is done right. Yeah. I mean, this, this exceeds the level of acceptance that we have for what is great in New Orleans. This is sensational. Yeah. It's like the Disney mentality. It's like the Vegas mentality of whatever it takes. Let's make it perfect. Let's make it right. And, you know, such an interesting perspective because we're so flat that, I mean, the highest vantage point of the city is the, the high rise
Newell Normand (33:14):
One thing that that hits you right away is you recognize we are surrounded by water
Newell Normand (33:21):
Yeah. As you make this walk around, it's like water, water more, water
More. And you can see the lake from here, which is amazing. It, it, you know, it, it seems like such a long drive to the lake, but the lake is really not far away.
Newell Normand (33:32):
Everything feels like you can reach out and touch it. Yeah. Scoots up next folks. Stay tuned. He's coming your way.