Category Archives: Local Cuisine

A Parade, 2 Festivals & Fireworks!

With a parade, 2 festivals, and fireworks – things felt almost back to normal this Independence Day weekend in New Orleans. Our normal is always a bit festive. The Creole Tomato Fest at the French Market featured (limited) food booths, virtual events, and trails of specialty menu items at participating bars and restaurants throughout the French Quarter. I was able to get my annual favorite – the Pontchartrain from George’s Produce ($10) – sliced tomato topped with lump crabmeat and remoulade sauce. 

The first NOLA Zydeco Fest took place next door on the lawn of the U.S. Mint, home to the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade

Easter 2021

Though New Orleans is busier than it’s been in a year, Easter had to go without our fabulous day of parades once again. Like with Yardi Gras’ house floats, some homes and businesses turned their places into festively decorated floats. Restaurants and churches were open for masked and distanced indoor seating. Our plans revolved around me wearing my fabulous new hat. A week or so ago, a package arrived with an Easter-bonnet-worthy hat in the hot pink and vibrant orange colors of my parade dance krewe, the Pussyfooters (about 100 women over-30 who dance in Mardi Gras and other parades and serve in non-profit events year round). Continue reading

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Mardi Gras 2021

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Mardi Gras will be unrecognizable this year. Most parades have been cancelled. A few have regrouped, creating drive-thru parades. The dancers, bands, and krewe members throwing beads and masks “parade” on either side of a road as parade-goers in cars pass. With no parades, people are taking their house-blinging to the next level this year. Krewe of House Floats, a grassroots effort to give neighbors a safe, socially distanced parade experience, encourages people to use local businesses and artists to help decorate their homes as house floats. I’ve already seen 3 homes done as floats and they totally brightened my days (PHOTOS below).

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Filed under Carnival, Charity, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2010, Mardi Gras 2021, parade

French Quarter Fest, etc. And Coronavirus

As I mentioned in my last post, New Orleans has been staying home since before St. Patrick’s Day and it’s been a huge adjustment for this community-oriented tourist destination. This time of year, there are well-attended festivals and second line parades every week. The constant flow of visitors and convention attendees fill our hotels and flood our streets, restaurants, bars, parks and venues. I’ve accepted the loss of it all fairly well but today would’ve been the first day of my favorite festival of the year, French Quarter Fest. Continue reading

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New Orleans and Corona Virus

I miss New Orleans. I walk St. Charles and miss parades. The St. Patrick’s parade was cancelled well before the stay-at-home came. Then my favorite day of the year was cancelled, Super Sunday when the Mardi Gras Indians parade Central City in elaborately beaded and feathered suits they spent a year (and thousands) sewing. As the virus spread across the country and ravaged our state, in the city we retreated to our homes and looked for tips on finding toilet paper. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade, Uncategorized, walking

Living in New Orleans – the first 10 years

My family is from Louisiana for generations on both sides but I didn’t move to New Orleans until late 2009. I’d lived in Maryland, Japan, Washington D.C., Alabama, New York, and almost 18 years in Los Angeles before finally following my heart home. Looking through photos for this blog post, I saw the story of a New Dat becoming a Saints season-ticket-holding Who Dat, a parade-goer becoming a Pussyfooters parade dancer, strangers becoming friends, and a blogger becoming an author. I saw the evolution of my love story with this city, and with the man I met my first year here.

I’d just produced Hell Ride with Quentin Tarantino when I decided to leave Los Angeles. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2010, Mardi Gras 2015, Mardi Gras 2016, Mardi Gras 2017, Mardi Gras 2018, Mardi Gras 2019, moving, parade, Pelicans, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints

New Orleans Mystery Books

When I started this blog, I was working on a novel, Lemonade Farm. Ten years later, I’ve finished that novel, an acting 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, Lou Diamond Phillips and many more – and with the release of The Family Secret: A Charlotte Reade Mystery – I’ve just completed a 5-book series.

The first book of the mysteries-not-murders series begins as the Saints are marching toward their Super Bowl victory during Mardi Gras in 2009-10. As actor/producer Charlotte aids in the search for a birth mother, she comes across a haunted chandelier, and a mystery in her own family’s past. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, free events and lagniappe, history, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2013, parade, shopping, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints

Satchmo Summerfest 2019

Satchmo Summerfest celebrates New Orleans native, Louis Armstrong’s birthday with 3 days of music on multiple stages and food booths from local vendors. Always marked by summer heat, the festivals provides shady tents and symposiums on Armstrong and related topics in the air conditioned Old U.S. Mint, home of the New Orleans Jazz Museum where you can find Armstrong’s first coronet.

The Roots of Music kicked things off Continue reading

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How To Birthday in New Orleans

From Sunday second line and Carnival parades to our many festivals and concerts, New Orleans is a city of celebration. If the city can party over everything from tomatoes to our departed, imagine how fun it can be to celebrate yourself here. For me, a New Orleans birthday has to include great company, incredible food, music whenever possible and the occasional “only in New Orleans” event.

Many people start the day by pinning money on their chest. Continue reading

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Creole Tomato Fest

It was a big weekend with the Creole Tomato Fest,  Naked Bike Ride and the Pride Parade (my next 2 posts). The Fest features cocktails, food booths, music and more. We try to never miss a chance to see Little Freddie King and his band playing their true-blues so we were thrilled to find him on the schedule. A local treasure, King looked as sharp as a tack but was as laid back as an easy chair.

We started our fest-feast with a bright and flavorful Burrata Caprese from PIZZA Domenica ($8). My favorite dish every year is Continue reading

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