Category Archives: Charity

Mardi Gras Is Coming!

Every year, just as the rest of the nation is winding down after the 1-2-3 punch of Thanksgiving-Christmas/Hanukkah-New Year’s, we in New Orleans are just getting started. The festivities begin on Twelfth Night with the Phunny Phorty Phellows riding the streetcar down St. Charles, heralding the start of Carnival season. The night is also Joan of Arc’s birthday which is celebrated with a parade through the French Quarter. Though not everyone attends events that day, most offices (and many homes) commemorate the season with King Cake. In the last few years, King Cake has become the focus of parties with people bringing cakes from their favorite bakeries and sampling them all.

In our home, Twelfth Night’s passing means turning the Saints’ Who Dat wreath into a Mardi Gras wreath and switching the tree decorations from Christmas to Carnival. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Charity, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2017, parade

Southern Decadence 2016

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.

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

Louisiana Rain

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

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Filed under Charity, Mama says

Festigals Parade, Mardi Gras World and Food!

I love sharing my city my way but one of the best things about having out-of-town guests is that it can push you to be a tourist in your own city. My mother has been coming to New Orleans throughout her life so we have things we ALWAYS like doing – like getting beignets at Cafe du Monde or snoballs (from my fav – SnoWizard). But we also like exploring new things, even taking a tour. Last week had plenty of both. Continue reading

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

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

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