Reading, Writing and Gift Ideas

Whenever I go too long between writing posts for this blog, you can rest assured I’m still writing. When I started this blog in 2009, I wrote all the time – at least a couple posts a week. Then I took a job writing for a local paper and it cut into my blogging time a bit. In 2012, I published my first book, Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments ints a Career with foreword by Richard Dreyfuss and endorsements from Kevin Costner and a dozen other industry luminaries. Next came Lemonade Farm, my first novel. Award winning and New York Times bestselling author Tom Franklin Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, entertainment industry, Mardi Gras 2010, shopping, Uncategorized

Krewe of Jingle Parade 2018

The Canal Street Home for the Holidays Krewe of Jingle Parade is a perfect way to kick off the holiday season. The 80 degree weather brought out a big crowd for the dance troupes, marching bands, majorettes, stilt-walkers, floats, Santa and local favorite – Mr. Bingle. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, parade, Pelicans, the Saints

Krewe of Boo 2018

Though it sprinkled off and on, the warm New Orleans weather brought out huge crowds for the Krewe of Boo parade. “Chief Spookster” Brian Kern’s “greener” take on throws includes locally-made throws and food items like Pralinettes from Aunt Sally’sChee Wees from Elmer’s Fine Foods and PJ’s Coffee packs. Spooktacular floats were separated by marching bands and marching groups including Tap Dat, Big Easy Rollergirls, Krewe des Fleurs, Organ Grinders, Muff-A-Lottas, Roux La La, Amelia EarHawts, Krewe of Rolling Elvi, 610 Stompers and the Pussyfooters!

This was my fifth year dancing with the Pussyfooters in the Halloween parade. For many dance and walking groups, it’s the first parade for their new members. Continue reading

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

Southern Decadence 2018

Southern Decadence is 5 days of costumes, parties and parades celebrating the LGBT community. Marking their 47th year, an M.C. reminded the crowd the event has been around since being gay was illegal.  Now, the long weekend attracts over 210,000 people and creates a $250 million economic impact – making it one of the top 5 annual events in New Orleans.

Good weather held out for most of the Sunday parade, save one fairly brief and cooling shower. Drag queens, dance troupes, pride groups and other revelers took to the streets in costumes Continue reading

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

Rebirth at Maple Leaf

There are New Orleans traditions that belong mostly to our visitors (Bourbon Street) and those that belong uniquely to locals, but there are a few traditions we all share. We all eat beignets, we all love Mardi Gras (though often for different reasons) and we all love the Tuesday night tradition of Rebirth Brass Band playing the Maple Leaf. Rebirth is the first brass band to ever win a Grammy. The world has heard them in many soundtracks dating back to Reginald Hudlin’s Boomerang starring Eddie Murphy in 1992. Last years’s hit Girls Trip included the band’s original, Do Watcha Wanna – practically a city anthem.

I’d been to the Maple Leaf in the 90’s during a location scout for a film and not much has changed. The service was fantastic – a winning balance of fast and friendly. Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, history, Local Cuisine, the Saints

Satchmo Summerfest – Day 3

It was bound to happen some time. After nearly a decade of blogging, a post I’d spent over 4 hours writing and preparing just disappeared into the ether. Here are the photos and I’m truly, truly sorry there’s no blog full of context, history and details. Enjoy the many photos! Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Concerts, Culture, festival, Local Cuisine, parade

Satchmo Summerfest – Day 2

Day 2 of Satchmo Fest started with a dowsing of rain that cleared up and left the day relatively cool. The festival celebrates the birthday of Louis Armstrong. Saturday’s lineup illustrated the reach and evolution of Armstrong’s influence on musicians and music lovers. One of the interesting things about our local musicians is that they often play in multiple bands either as members, sitting in, or as featured guests. Its not uncommon to spot players like the drummer who played with Bonerama Friday and with Corey Henry & the Treme Funktet Saturday. But the player I’ve seen the most this year is a young trombonist who so far has played with (that I know of) Soul Rebels on Friday and the Original Pinettes and TBC Brass Bands on Saturday. With that kind of bravery, discipline and endurance, I’m excited to see who he becomes. And it brings me joy to know that, like so many others, he can trace his beginnings to Louis Armstrong. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, festival, Local Cuisine