Car-less in New Orleans

Shortly after moving here, I wrote a blog post about driving in polite and patient New Orleans as compared to traffic-laden road-rage Los Angeles. Driving was so often miserable in L.A., that I did it as little as possible and almost always tried to make it fun – convertible top down, taking winding roads in the hills rather than freeways, music cranked. That could be downright joyous.

New Orleans has SO much less traffic but my little low-to-the-ground ragtop hated the weather here. Floods, sap and sun tore holes in my ragtop, rusted my brakes and rotted the floor. During rainy seasons, enough tiny plants grew around the ragtop for me to joke that the car was a terrarium on wheels. The air conditioning broke the first summer here. And I could only put in 3 gallons of gas at a time. It was okay though – between the streetcars, busses, carpooling and walking, I averaged less than 900 miles a year of driving. Today, I donated the car and am starting my new life as a person without my own wheels. Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, moving, walking

Gay Pride Parade 2016

Gay Pride is usually one of the smaller parades in New Orleans compared with our bevy of Mardi Gras, Halloween, Christmas, etc. parades. But this year was different owing mostly to the recent tragic events in Orlando. This year, there were reportedly over 2500 people riding, walking or dancing in the parade as well as many floats. I happy-cry a lot at our parades, overwhelmed with the beauty, the music and the joy of it all. But as the first float rolled past, I sad-cried. The float had been left riderless in memory of the shooting victims and was followed by dozens of people holding up photos and names of those lost. It was a beautiful tribute that cut right to my heart. I’d rather remember their names and faces than the murderer’s. The rest of the parade featured glittery rainbow-festooned fabulousness that I’m sorry I don’t have time to elaborate on – but enjoy the photos! Continue reading

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

Independent Films in Louisiana

It’s true that since former Governor Bobby Jindal’s disastrous changes to Louisiana’s film tax incentive program a lot of the work has left the state. But independent filmmaking and homegrown filmmakers continue to take advantage. The good news is I’m still working plenty – the bad news is, with the far lower budgets,  I’m making far less money. That said, there’s plenty to love about what’s happening here. Last year, New Orleans local actor/director Griff Furst shot Cold Moon, a thriller by the the writer of Beetlejuice. Starring Christopher Lloyd, Candy Clark, Frank Whaley, Robbie Kay, Josh Stewart and Rachele Brooke Smith, the movie’s producer list includes Furst’s father, Steven, best known as Flounder in Animal House. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, entertainment industry

You Can’t Go Houma Again…

Since moving to New Orleans in 2009, I’ve been meaning to visit Houma. My mother’s childhood home, we used to go every summer until my Paw Paw passed in the 80’s. Maw Maw moved to Baton Rouge and I never returned to the home I had so many fond memories of – so I was thrilled to find I had an audition in Houma. Driving into town, I was excited to see everything but I’d already looked up the old house and knew many changes had been made. The meeting was at a spectacular new library. The Terrane Parrish Library had a super-cool wall of water flowing between glass, incredible displays and a giant room just for genealogy. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, Local Cuisine

Saints Draft Boil (Crawfish!)

Almost exactly 2 years ago, we became Saints season ticket holders. After 8 years on the waiting list and with only 2 days until our wedding, we considered finally getting the coveted tickets to be our wedding gift from the city. As fun as it was bouncing around the Superdome, seeing the game from different angles and meeting new people, I love having an “address” in the stadium. Even better are the many events open to us including the 2016 Draft Super Boil – a giant Who Dat Nation crawfish boil at the Saints Practice Facility.  Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, Local Cuisine, Pelicans, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints

Jazz Fest & Book Signing

I’ve gone to Jazz Fest as a music lover and as a volunteer in the beer booth but this was my first time going to sign copies of one of my books – my latest, The Secret of the Other Mother: A Charlotte Reade Mystery. I arrived early and started my day with the White Cloud Hunters Mardi Gras Indians playing traditional Indians songs and closing with my favorite, Indian Red. Just as the stage full of magnificent beadwork and feathers emptied, the Algiers Warriors Mardi Gras Indians parade began dancing past with the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Rhythm Section. More amazing beads and feathers! Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, Local Cuisine, parade

Favorite Things 2015

Better late than never, I’m finally updating my favorite Things list. First, I’d like to thank everyone who reads this blog (in over 100 countries!). Here are Your Favorite Posts of 2015:

5 – French Quarter Fest – Sunday

4 – Southern Decadence 2015

3 – Big Easy Birthday

2 – Endymion Extravaganza – My First Ball!  (your favorite post of all time)

1 – Street Musicians – Tanya and Dorise

Now to the list! The categories are: Food & Beverage, Music & Entertainment, Culture, Shopping and Giving & More.  Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, history, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2014, Mardi Gras 2015, parade, Pelicans, shopping, the Saints