Random Acts of Kindness and 3 Birthday Meals

My birthday celebrating started early this year with a dinner at John Besh’s Domenica with old friend Richard Dreyfuss and his lovely and amazing wife, Svetlana. Over the 25 years we’ve known each other, Richard and I have worked on 3 movies together, collaborated on a Katrina relief project and he even wrote the foreword to my book, Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career. The menu from Executive Chef Alon Shaya, 2015’s  James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: South award winner, provided a delicious take on some traditional Italian dishes as well as offering show-stoppers like the Squid Ink Tagliolini with blue crab & herbs. We finished the meal with 3 beautiful and decadent desserts selected by our charming server, Cristina. Each dessert was decorated with a chocolate birthday banner. We were there for hours enjoying fabulous food and great company with perfect service. I’m definitely going back for that squid ink pasta dish. Continue reading

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Festigals Stiletto Stroll

The Festigals Stiletto Stroll was the first parade I ever did as a Pussyfooter. Our non-profit organization of 120 women over 30 was one of the many dance troupes and walking krewes that helped raise money for New Orleans Family Justice Center. Their mission is to “bring together community-based domestic violence and sexual assault providers as well as criminal justice and law enforcement professionals to provide wrap-around and comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and child abuse.”

This year’s parade began at Carl Mack’s  Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes & Culture. Continue reading

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Gay Pride Parade 2017

Occurring just after the Naked Bike Ride and the Creole Tomato Fest, the Gay Pride Parade seems to be growing each year. In addition to the many LGBT groups, there were representatives from rugby, track club and kickball teams, the teachers union, Planned Parenthood and community organizations like churches and a suicide prevention center. And of course there were drag queens and walking groups from Big Easy Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Mystic Krewe of the Lords of Leather and the New Orleans Girls of Leather.  Continue reading

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Naked Bike Ride 2017 (R-rated)

Rolling annually past the Creole Tomato Fest, the World Naked Bike Ride is one of our city’s simplest parades. People roll past in various and creative stages of dress and undress. Calling attention to bike safety, this year’s parade had an added reaction to recent targeting of cyclists in various assaults. The themes of naturalness, respect for the Earth and pride in owning your shape and size run deep but at the end of the day, it’s just a lot of fun to watch decorated naked people bike past. Enjoy the photos and don’t forget to check out posts on the Tomato Fest and the Gay Pride Parade. Continue reading

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Creole Tomato Fest 2017

The 31st annual Creole Tomato Fest delivered food, music, cocktails, food demos and the perfect backdrop to 2 parades, the Naked Bike Ride and the Gay Pride Parade (my next 2 posts). It was a warm, breezy day in the French Quarter so crowds were steady but lines weren’t too long. We headed straight for George’s Produce Co. for my favorite dish every year, The Pontchartrain – Sliced Creole Tomato topped with lump crab meat remoulade. So simple and so freaking good. We weren’t surprised when they won Best of the Fest’s “Tastiest Dish.” Continue reading

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Oyster Fest 2017

The rain held off for the first day of the 8th annual New Orleans Oyster Festival in Woldenberg Park. I’ve attended every year for the live music, food booths, local artists (most of whom have oyster-inspired pieces of art, housewares and jewelry) and food demonstrations. Like many of our festivals, the event is meant to give back to the local community – this time through several non-profits aimed at coastal restoration. They provided oyster shell recycling bins to help build coastal reefs – so even throwing away your trash properly helped the coastline. Continue reading

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Jazz Fest & Book Signing

I arrived early for my Jazz Fest book signing and started the day with Glen David Andrews in the Blues Tent. The tents are known for crowds who enjoy sitting in the shade and resting but Andrews got everyone on their feet, hands in the air. His soulful rendition of When Doves Cry turned out to be the best musical performance of the entire day.

The Soul Rebels had everyone dancing at the Congo Square stage. We all put our hands up as numbers for 504, a song celebrating our beloved area code.   Continue reading

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