Southern Decadence is a 5-day weekend of costumes, parties and parades celebrating the LGBT community. The events attract over 150,000 people and create a nearly $200 million economic impact. The Sunday parade is always the highlight for me. Drag queens, dance troupes, pride groups and other revelers worked with the “Decadence Takes The World” theme in costumes accented with red, white, blue and purple.
Though the news has been slow to cover it, you may have heard Louisiana is suffering the worst US flooding since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. This is not Katrina (for too many reasons to list) but it is devastating and it’s not even close to over. Here’s a partial listing of places to make donations of goods and/or money. Reminders from my mom – when donating undergarments, remember that many people need larger sizes and remember to buy hair care for every ethnicity. Continue reading
As usual, it was hot-as-heck for Satchmo Fest but the music and food were worth the sweat. Celebrating the life and contributions of Louis Armstrong, the festival moved to Jackson Square this year. Like last year, they charged a $5 admission – a move that still has its kinks (like local employees and neighbors can’t just walk in to grab a plate or a cocktail). The festival featured 2 stages with one focusing more on traditional jazz and the main stage offering a few more-modern takes on Satchmo’s sound. Continue reading
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
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
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