Category Archives: moving

Another New Orleans Mystery!

If you’ve read any of my books, perhaps you’re already familiar with Charlotte Reade, the L.A. actor who returns to her family home in New Orleans to attend a funeral and ends up helping to find a birth mother in The Secret of the Other Mother: A Charlotte Reade Mystery. Charlotte’s search takes her down a path that starts in a laundromat in the 1950’s and winds through costume experts and a burlesque tour before landing her on the infamous Bourbon Street. Set during the Saints’ 2009 march to Super Bowl victory and the most-amazing-Mardi-Gras-ever, many of the details of those events are based on this blog.

Charlotte’s back in this second installment of the local best-seller Charlotte Reade Mystery series, The Hidden Huntsman. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, history, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2010, moving, oil spill catastrophe, parade, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints

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

Tales of the Cocktail – My 500th Post

I’ve been wondering for awhile now what my 500th post would end up being about. Turns out it’s an event I’ve never attended before – Tales of the Cocktail. What began as a cozy group of cocktail lovers in 2002 has ballooned into the spirit industry’s standard providing 5 days of over 200 events including tastings, networking events, parties,  seminars and my event – a parade! I was already overheating just putting on my wig, corset and boots when my fellow Pussyfooter, Christine Miller, called to see if I’d caught the bus that just pulled away from a block down the road from me. I started running when she said she’d try to stop the bus at the next stop. She ran to catch it from 1/2 block away and I did my best with my 2 block sprint – in head-to-toe pink burlesque uniform. Continue reading

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

Living in New Orleans – the first 5 years

My family is from Louisiana for generations on both sides but my path home was winding. After living in Maryland, Washington D.C., Japan, Alabama, New York and Los Angeles, I finally moved to New Orleans in late 2009. And I’ve never been happier. When I got here, the Saints were on their way to winning the Superbowl and the city was vibrating with optimism. Most of the people who would come home after the Storm were back. Katrina money was being spent on street repairs and schools were getting instruments from places like Tipitina’s Foundation. Buildings, homes, t-shirts and more exclaimed, “Believe” and “Renew, Rebuild, Rebirth.” It was intoxicating. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2010, Mardi Gras 2011, Mardi Gras 2012, Mardi Gras 2013, Mardi Gras 2014, moving, oil spill catastrophe, parade, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints

Return to L.A.

Though Louisiana has always felt like home to me, I never actually lived here until 2009. And though I spent nearly 18 years in Los Angeles, I never actually felt truly home there. That said, I’ve made sure I return at least once a year to see friends, take care of business and have a meal at Mel’s Drive-In on Sunset. This time, I was headed to L.A. to participate in the Courts Celebrity Fan Fest. It seemed funny somehow to return to L.A. to sign autographs. The city is as packed to the gills with celebrities as New Orleans is with Grammy winners so I hardly feel like I stand out in a crowd. But it all made sense when I spoke to the students at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) at their Industry Insight Series. Continue reading

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Filed under entertainment industry, moving, the Saints

I’m So New Orleans #ImSoNewOrleans

The Twitter-verse and Facebook have been buzzing for the last couple days with all things New Orleans. No one seems to know who started the #ImSoNewOrleans trend but it’s brought the city together in a way usually reserved for football season. People are sharing childhood memories, old photos of long-gone places and jokes and trends so inside, only someone who grew up here could truly get them. I didn’t. I wasn’t born here and I don’t have a good answer to, “Where’d you go to school?” (meaning which local high school), but I’m so New Orleans that my family owned property on St. Charles in the 1700’s. Okay, that doesn’t help me decipher some of the local references or share some of the memories, but it does make me feel like I’m home.  Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, moving, parade, the Saints

Riding with Quentin Tarantino in Orpheus Vol. 2

As promised, I’m elaborating on my too-short post about the experience of riding in the Krewe of Orpheus Mardi Gras parade with Quentin Tarantino (Vol. 1). After dancing with the Pussyfooters in the Krewe of Muses parade last Thursday, I had an epiphany that Mardi Gras is ultimately about love and smiles. Krewe members pay dues and buy thousands of beads and toys to throw to the city at the biggest party in the world. Bands, dance troupes, stilt walkers and more buy costumes and practice tirelessly. Then we all gather as a city and invite the world to join us at this huge, free 2-week celebration. And we all do it to express our love for this city, its culture and those who paraded before us – and for the smiles. Riding on the float with Quentin gave me the catbird seat to see the smiles and love reflected back. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2014, moving, parade