Convergence Screening and Distinguished Alumni Award

This blog is almost always about my beloved city of New Orleans but last week brought me back to Mobile, Alabama to see my name unveiled on the clock tower at the University of South Alabama. I earned my master’s in creative writing and English literature there in ’87 and became a 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award winner at a big, fancy gala last spring. The night before the unveiling, there happened to be a cast and crew screening of Convergence, the movie I shot in Mobile last fall. Continue reading

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Treme Gumbo Fest and Le Petit

My favorite food is “fest food,” so I’m always delighted when another festival rolls around and Treme Creole Gumbo Fest at Armstrong Park was made for foodies. It’s also for people who love music and local artisans. We caught Treme Brass Band with Corey Henry and Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs. Both bands got the sizable crowd dancing – especially pint-sized Spidey504, protégé of DancingMan504. I caught him doing a move just like the logo for Jazz Fest. Spidey504 may have been born in New York 7 years ago, but his parents moved here because it’s where his soul belongs. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine

Gleason Gras, Krewe of Boo Parade, Pelicans and more!

As I wrote in my last post, I have no time to blog but it’s been a very eventful couple of weeks and I at least wanted to share some of the photos. I attended a bunch of movies at the 25th annual New Orleans Film Festival, including the premiere of Black and White starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer. It was great as were Imperial Dreams, Cast the First Stone, Imitation Game and the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prizewinner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Whiplash, to name a few. I also modeled in a fashion show for the St. Elizabeth’s Guild annual celebrity fashion show and “Volunteer Activists Awards” fundraiser. Saint Steve Gleason was one of the many honored and I was excited just to be in the room with him. Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, the Saints

Lemonade Farm

In 2010, I had trouble keeping up with this blog and wrote the post I’ve Been Cheating On You to explain that I’d been writing for a local paper and it was eating into my blogging time. It’s time for another confession. I’ve actually had plenty to blog about lately, from the Paul McCartney concert to attending the Pelicans first pre-season game – but I’ haven’t made the time to write about it because I’ve been “cheating” again. I’m putting the finishing touches on my first novel, Lemonade Farm. Continue reading

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Brothels, Bordellos and Ladies of the Night Walking Tour

Other than hitting Bourbon Street, I believe the city’s many walking tours and carriage rides must be the most popular tourist activity in New Orleans. Throughout the French Quarter and Garden District, people gather around stringently-licensed tour guides enlivening historical facts (and stories) about everything from architecture and colorful characters to above-ground cemeteries and Voodoo. At night, the Quarter is cluttered with criss-crossing groups of people wanting to learn more about the “most haunted city in America” from one of the city’s many spirit tours (Scary Mary is regarded as the most fact-based fun). But there are many stories locals tell each other that tourists seldom hear. The stories of the city’s brothels and the women who worked them are the subject covered by Two Chicks Walking Tours‘ unique Brothels, Bordellos and Ladies of the Night walking tour.  Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, decorations and costumes, history, walking

Return to L.A.

Though Louisiana has always felt like home to me, I never actually lived here until 2009. And though I spent nearly 18 years in Los Angeles, I never actually felt truly home there. That said, I’ve made sure I return at least once a year to see friends, take care of business and have a meal at Mel’s Drive-In on Sunset. This time, I was headed to L.A. to participate in the Courts Celebrity Fan Fest. It seemed funny somehow to return to L.A. to sign autographs. The city is as packed to the gills with celebrities as New Orleans is with Grammy winners so I hardly feel like I stand out in a crowd. But it all made sense when I spoke to the students at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) at their Industry Insight Series. Continue reading

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Judging the Queen of Burlesque Contest

As a “celebrity,” I’ve gotten to judge a bikini contest, 2 gumbo contests, a beauty pageant and the Greasing of the Poles, but judging the Queen of Burlesque contest was the best time I’ve had yet. The jewel in the 3-day, 6th annual New Orleans Burlesque Festival crown, the contest featured a lively M.C., singing, a jazz band and top burlesque dancers from  near and far. The show opened with a performance by last year’s winner, “Medianoche.” I’d seen a VIDEO of her winning performance and by the end I had laughed, cried and been overwhelmed by the wonder of woman. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, history