Category Archives: Charity

Scares That Care! Weekend

I had the pleasure of spending the weekend in Williamsburg, VA as a “celebrity” at a signing convention. Fighting the “REAL MONSTERS” of childhood illness, breast cancer and more, Scares That Care! selects 3 families a year with financial burdens brought on by these issues. For the price of admission, participants are offered everything from classes and workshops to a Kids Zone with movies, books, board games, coloring books, costumes, crafts and a selfie station. The staff of the DoubleTree were all in the spirit, wearing costumes of favorite horror characters. As we all arrived, there was a screening of Piranha at the inviting indoor/outdoor pool and “Scaryoke” started up in the bar.  Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, decorations and costumes, festival, parade

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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Filed under Charity, Culture, Local Cuisine, Mama says, shopping

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

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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Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine

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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Jazz Fest Thursday!

Because people have jobs, Thursday can be the least crowded day of the entire Jazz Fest schedule. Add a cold rain until after lunchtime and things got off to a very slow start. I volunteered to work in the Kiwanis beer booth to raise money for local children’s activities and got to spend the day remembering everything I love about Jazz Fest. The “shoe forecast” called for boots owing to the rains the night before – todays showers weren’t predicted. But I loved seeing all the fashion fun “boot weather” brings out (favorite pictured below). My friend, Wendy, and I ended up wearing the exact same pair – extra funny since we met when she dressed my character in The Loft years ago.

We set up the booth, got a requisite Crawfish Monica, then wandered to the nearby Acura Stage to watch Cha Wa. Continue reading

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Irish Channel Parade 2017

The Mardi Gras parades just ended and already St. Patrick’s festivities have begun. Time again for floats and throws, dance troupes and walking krewes. The major difference is the occasion. And the green. Green beers, green wigs, green beads and glittery green beards abounded. Throws included Irish Spring soap, anything shamrock-shaped and fresh cabbages for soup.

We go to the parade every year but this year attended some of our friend’s parties as well. The spreads included Irish dishes along with crawfish and other local favorites. Continue reading

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