Krewe of Boo Parade 2021

It’s been over a year and a half since New Orleans hosted a big parade with floats – since Carnival 2020 – so the crowds were out in droves for Brian Kern’s Krewe of Boo Halloween parade. Meters’ bassist George Porter, Jr. served as King, and the Grand Marshal was rapper, producer, DJ Mannie Fresh. I dance with The Pussyfooters, a non-profit body-positive group of over 100 women over-30 in pink corsets, so my only chance to see all the floats and attractions is during the lineup. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, parade

Hurricane Ida Update

It’s been 2 weeks since Hurricane Ida struck the Louisiana shoreline. The Category 4 storm left chunks of Louisiana, including New Orleans, without power before climbing the country spewing tornadoes and mass flooding. Some continue to wait for power but most of the state has been restored. The French Quarter and some other neighborhoods have internet, cable and landline access. The city is slowly coming back but problems persist.

Trash collection has resumed but is spotty at best. Same with the mail. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Culture, Local Cuisine, Uncategorized

Hurricane Ida – Wed. the 1st

We’ve been without power since Sunday. As I said yesterday, life is very simple now. Breakfast today was cereal with juice. We charged our mobile devices at the neighbor’s porch/local-hangout and swapped rumors about where there might be power, gas or ice. A couple more neighborhoods had power and that kept us all optimistic for a reasonable recovery time.

Today’s hunt was for ice. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Culture, Uncategorized

Hurricane Ida – Tues. the 31st

Life is very simple now. We wake when it’s light out and sleep when it gets dark. I’m a night owl who works until very late most nights so it’s quite an adjustment to get so little regular work accomplished and go to bed when early risers do. 

We eat. Breakfast today was scrambled eggs with softening cheese and defrosting shrimp. We tested the eggs in a cup of water but neither of us could remember if it was a bad thing that they were sinking and there was no internet to consult. We chanced it. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Culture, Uncategorized

Hurricane Ida – Monday the 30th

The power went out Sunday afternoon as the Cat 4 winds of Hurricane Ida bashed the Louisiana coastline. I’ll admit the storm had been scary at times as we waited in candlelight, gusts ripping at rooftops and bending trees to breaking. It was very noisy until late into the night. 

Monday morning we looked around, checking out damage in the French Quarter and later on Magazine Street uptown and through Central City (PHOTOS BELOW). There were broken windows, tumbled bricks, and scattered roof tiles but the historic district had withstood the storm well, just as it had in Katrina. Our 300-year-old city was built to withstand a lot of abuse. And the levees held.  Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Culture

Satchmo Summerfest 2021 – Day 2

We started the second day of Satchmo Summerfest – a celebration of Louis Armstrong’s birthday – with the Treme Brass Band. The traditional jazz band has always evolved to accommodate additions, departures and passings. I was happy to see that this iteration included Corey Henry, who I’ve loved since his Rebirth Brass Band years. 

It was another steamy day in the 90’s with a heat index over 110, so people seemed glad for the tented stages on either side of the Old U.S. Mint – home of the New Orleans Jazz Museum where you can find Armstrong’s first coronet. We found shade at an umbrella-topped table and feasted of food booth yummies from local vendors. We started with Red Beans & Rice (w/ Fried Fish) ($10) from Krab Grab Seafood. Having enjoyed their Jerk Chicken on Saturday, we stopped at 14 Parishes for Jerk Pork – but they were already out. Must’ve been good. We got the Rice and Peas ($5) instead and rounded the meal off with a refreshing Tropicalia Salad (w/ Red Onion, Lettuce, Tomato, Celery, Corn, Pepper & Almond) ($6) from Carmo’s.

Midday, it sprinkled for a time, then full-out stormed for a bit but the 2 stages of music never stopped. We returned to find Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns transporting the crowd to a sultrier world, free of the slick grass and trails of thick mud left after the recent drenching.

We’d really enjoyed Theaudric’s Real Clever Cuisine’s Vegan Fried Sprout of Brussels and Potatoes (with Truffle Fig Glaze) ($10) on Saturday so we returned for another serving as well as an inventive Shrimp Poboy Fatoosh (w/ Creamy Creole Remoulade) ($13) and Creme Bru Leches Bread Pudding ($7). Again, all plating and utensils were 100% compostable and bins were provided. 

Rounding the back of the Mint, I could see right away that Hot 8 Brass Band was hosting a full-on party from their stage. The band played a supremely funky version of Atomic Dog as the crowd gyrated in a soup of grass and mud. Dancing along to the beats ranging from funk and traditional brass to reggae and hip hop, I could feel my soul’s battery recharging. It has definitely been too long since New Orleanians have gotten to to be joyful together. 

Within the ranks of these brass band heavyweights, I was thrilled to see the young trombonist I’d first photographed playing with TBC Brass Band at Satchmo Fest 2018. Before the pandemic, I’d seen him learning his craft and getting stage experience with various bands so it was wonderful to him back – a bit taller and older – still working with our best. 

Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers closed out their stage to another delighted, but decidedly less rowdy, crowd. It’s hard to know if COVID will continue to interrupt our celebratory way of life, but it was nice to gather for a  festival and enjoy days of local food and music. 

(For some reason – WordPress won’t allow my post to be in an abbreviated preview mode. Apologies for the entire post appearing in the feed.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Concerts, Culture, festival, Local Cuisine

Satchmo Summerfest 2021

Cancelled last year for the pandemic, Satchmo Summerfest made an abbreviated return with 2 days of music and food celebrating New Orleans native, Louis Armstrong’s birthday. The heat was extraordinary, dangerous even, as The Roots Of Music started things off with a concert outside the Old U.S. Mint, home of the New Orleans Jazz Museum where you can find Armstrong’s first coronet. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, festival, Local Cuisine

A Parade, 2 Festivals & Fireworks!

With a parade, 2 festivals, and fireworks – things felt almost back to normal this Independence Day weekend in New Orleans. Our normal is always a bit festive. The Creole Tomato Fest at the French Market featured (limited) food booths, virtual events, and trails of specialty menu items at participating bars and restaurants throughout the French Quarter. I was able to get my annual favorite – the Pontchartrain from George’s Produce ($10) – sliced tomato topped with lump crabmeat and remoulade sauce. 

The first NOLA Zydeco Fest took place next door on the lawn of the U.S. Mint, home to the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade

New Orleans Reopening

After over a year of hibernation, New Orleans is reopening. The line in front of Cafe du Monde has returned and regularly stretches to the steps facing Jackson Square. Restaurants are serving indoors (and out), live music has returned, and I passed a mother dancing in the street with her toddler the other day. We haven’t been dancing in the streets much so it felt good to see that energy again – the love of family, music and joyous moments all swaying in her hips.  Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Culture, decorations and costumes, Pelicans

Easter 2021

Though New Orleans is busier than it’s been in a year, Easter had to go without our fabulous day of parades once again. Like with Yardi Gras’ house floats, some homes and businesses turned their places into festively decorated floats. Restaurants and churches were open for masked and distanced indoor seating. Our plans revolved around me wearing my fabulous new hat. A week or so ago, a package arrived with an Easter-bonnet-worthy hat in the hot pink and vibrant orange colors of my parade dance krewe, the Pussyfooters (about 100 women over-30 who dance in Mardi Gras and other parades and serve in non-profit events year round). Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2021, parade