Category Archives: oil spill catastrophe

French Quarter Fest – Sunday

The 35th annual French Quarter Fest was rained out Saturday, which is a crying shame. Many of the biggest acts were set for that day including Grammy-winners, Rebirth Brass Band. It was supposed to be a day of having to make hard choices about what to miss, but a massive storm wiped the day away.

Sunday was sunny, windy and super-chilly (50’s).  Sarah Quintana’s teeth were chattering and her trumpet player was trying to keep at least one hand warm enough to play. But Sarah Quintana (with her nightingale’s voice) and the Miss River Band managed to put on a beautiful show. Bruce Sunpie Barnes joined Continue reading


Filed under Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, oil spill catastrophe

French Quarter Fest – Friday

Day 2 of French Quarter Fest brought more nice weather, though things got dreary toward the end of the day foreshadowing the oncoming storm. And the latest oil spill in the river gunked up the banks and halted riverboat cruises and ferries. But, the day was terrific – starting with Cha Wa, a Mardi Gras Indian band. Lead singer J’Wan Boudreaux is the grandson of Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and is one of our city’s many reassurances that our music and culture are being passed down to a worthy generation. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, oil spill catastrophe

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


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

Oyster Fest & Hollywood South Lunch

We had planned to go tubing with John Schneider near his super-cool studio outside Baton Rouge Saturday, but the river was way too high and a downpour flooded the streets of New Orleans trapping many of us in our neighborhoods. After the rain passed, we instead headed to the 6th annual New Orleans Oyster Festival in Woldenberg Park. I’ve been every year and the fest keeps getting bigger and better – even adding an additional stage for food demonstrations and live music. We stopped for a few songs from local favorites, TBC Brass Band. Continue reading


Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2014, oil spill catastrophe

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


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

Krewe du Vieux and Krewedelusion (R-rated)

Though Carnival doesn’t “officially” start until 12 days before Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras in French), the city’s unofficially-official start is certainly the one-two satirical-parade punch of Krewe du Vieux and Krewedelusion. The bawdy R-rated parades lampoons local, national and even international politics with the addition of jabs at the Olympics-host Russian policy toward gays. With throws ranging from earplugs to liquor, it’s a fun adult night parade in the French Quarter. Continue reading


Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2014, oil spill catastrophe, parade


Restaurants, treats, bands, clubs/venues/bars, events/concerts/festivals, cool places and things, organizations/charities, the oil spill and about the author.

If you’d like to see the post in which the link appears, enter the title in the search tool on the right side of this screen.



Avenue Pub



Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Cafe du Monde

Camellia Grill

Checkpoint Charlie’s

Community Coffee


Court of Two Sisters

The Columns

Commander’s Palace

Crepes a la Carte


Deja Vu


Dot’s Diner



Golden Feather (Mardi Gras Indian restaurant)

Gott Gourmet

The Grocery, Inc.


The Joint (barbecue)

K. Paul’s

La Divina

Lakeview Harbor

Larsen’s Steak House, Los Angeles

Li’l Dizzy’s

Lost Love Lounge

Louisiana Pizza Kitchen

Love at First Bite

Lucy’s Retired surfer Bar

La Madeleine

Marigny Brasserie

Marmalade Cafe, Los Angeles

Mel’s Drive-in

Mia’s Balcony



Oceana Grill

The Original New Orleans Po-Boys

Palace Cafe



Praline Connection

Red Fish Grill




Royal House

Ruth’s Chris Steak House


Three Muses


the owner of Upperline being interviewed


Verti Marte


Abita Beer

Angelo Brocato’s

Buttermilk Drop Bakery

Café du Monde

La Divina

Meltdown Gourmet Popsicles

Plum Street Snoballs




101 Runners

Marcia Ball

Band of Horses

Uncle Lionel Batiste

Russell Batiste Jr.

Jeff Beck

Bucktown Allstars


Big Chief Monk Boudreaux

Marc Broussard

Grady Champion


Jon Cleary

Naydja CoJoe

Kevin Costner

Cowboy Mouth

Susan Cowsill

Chuck Credo IV

Creole String Beans

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr.


Derrick Freeman


Good Enough for Good Times

Benny Grunch

Happy Jack Frequency

Happy Talk Band

Hot 8 Brass Band

Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives

Kirk Joseph’s 504 Brass Band’s-504-Brass-Band

B.B. King

Little Freddie King

Joe Krown

Colin Lake

Sonny Landreth

Los Po-Boy-Citos

Mark Adam Miller

Molly Ringwalds

The Neville Brothers

Anders Osborne

Papa Grows Funk

Partners N Crime

Nicholas Payton

Margie Perez

Margie Perez with Ensemble Fatien

Pinettes Brass Band, the world’s only female brass band

Sarah Quintana

Rebirth Brass Band

Jimmy Robinson

The Roots of Music

Kermit Ruffins

Irene Sage Band

Amanda Shaw

Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes

Rhonda Smith

Soul Rebels Brass Band

Stooges Brass Band

Irma Thomas

To Be Continued Brass Band (TBC)


Toubab Krewe

Allen Toussaint

Treme Brass Band

Trombone Shorty

Vintage Trouble

Walter “Wolfman” Washington



Candlelight Lounge

Checkpoint Charlie’s

Chris Owens

The Columns



Deja Vu

Famous Door

House of Blues

Johnny White’s

Lost Love Lounge

Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar

Mid-City Rock n Bowl

Mother in Law’s Lounge


Pat O’ Brien’s


Rendezvous Tavern


Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club



(New Orleans) Beatles Festival

Congo Square Rhythms Festival

Essence Fest

Fiesta Latina

French Quarter Fest

Harvest the Music

Hogs for the Cause

Jazz Fest

Lady Fest

Louisiana International Film Festival

Mardi Gras

New Orleans Oyster Fest

Po-Boy Fest

NOLA Pyrate Week

Oyster Jubilee

Roadfood Festival

Southern Decadence

Spring Fiesta

Vieux To Do

Wednesday at the Square

Tennessee Williams Festival

Shopping and “Making Groceries”

Berry Town Produce

Bon Castor

Bourbon French Parfums

Covey Rise Farm

Fleur de Paris (hat and dress shop)

Fleurty Girl

Forever New Orleans

The French Market

Garden District Book Shop

George’s Farmers’ Market

Goorin Bros (hat store)

Greg’s Antiques

To buy music recorded at Jazz Fest:

Kaia Martin-Paternoster – preteen painter


Mayan Import Tobacco Shop

On the Other Hand Consignment Shop

Photoworks – Louis Sahuc Gallery

Rockmore Gallery

Roux Royale

Royal Treasures

Sabai Jewelry

Signs by Dr. Bob

Signs by Simon:

Trashy Diva Dress Shop

Products by Laura Cayouette

Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career by Laura Cayouette. Foreword by Richard Dreyfuss.

How to Be a Widow: A Journey from Grief to Growth by Norma Dupont. Introduction, epilogue and editing by Laura Cayouette.

LA to NOLA Store (NOLA-centric t-shirts, greeting cards, gifts)


Cool People, Places and Things

Beasts of the Southern Wild – the movie

Belladonna Day Spa

Dr. Boogie hair pieces

City Park

Court 13 (independent filmmaking collective)

Django Unchained – (Quentin Tarantino movie)

The Duchess Bed and Breakfast

Jeff “The Dude” Dowd

Finding Jacob, short film


Hotel Storyville

Lafayette Cemetery

Louisiana State Museum

Mahalia Jackson Theatre

Morgus the Magnificent

Muggivan School of Irish Dance

New Orleans Musician’s Clinic

NOLA Defender

Oak Alley Plantation

Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré, a beautification organization.

Prytania Movie Theatre

St. Louis Cathedral

Stand Up and Get Crunk

Tchoupitoulas – the movie

The Theatres at Canal Place

Traffic Tranny

Under the Sea Indoor Playground, Los Angeles

The VooDoo Museum

Woldenberg Park

The Zoo



Celtic Highlanders

Class Got Brass

Daughters of Lir

Dredge Baby Dredge

Heal to Toe, teaching kids about second line

The Honeybees

Horizon Relief


Lady Buckjumpers

New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic

My Darlin’ New Orleans

The Pickens Plan

Raintree Children and Family Services (serving special needs children as well as foster child and adoption services)

Rebuilding Together

Red Dress Run

Roots of Music

Saint Patrick’s Day club

The Super Bowl Champion Saints:


Save Charity Hospital

Second Harvest

Silence is Violence

Open letter to Miami in preparation for the Super Bowl

Sweet Home New Orleans

Team Gleason

Threadhead Records

HBO’s Treme

Radio Station WWOZ

Young Leadership Council

Oil Spill

CNN June 2nd

Dredge Baby Dredge

Horizon Relief

Largest Oil Spills

List of Oil Spills

National Geographic, “Oil Not Degrading”

Oil Spill Action blog

Oil Spill photos

University of Georgia findings

And… stupid things said in response to Katrina

About the Author

Author’s website

Author’s IMDB page

Author’s Wikipedia page

Author’s facebook fan page

Author’s bio at NOLA Defender


Filed under Carnival, Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, history, Interview, Local Cuisine, oil spill catastrophe, parade, shopping, the Saints

Beasts of the Southern Wild Q&A

Once again, the newly launched Louisiana International Film Festival (LIFF) has created a “Red Carpet, Meet Bayou” community event celebrating our great state’s place in the global film industry. Their first big event was a screening of The Big Lebowski hosted by Jeff “The Dude” Dowd, the inspiration for the Jeff Bridges character in the film. It was a great, action-packed weekend and, as Dowd helped kickstart Sundance, it felt like an auspicious start of something wonderful. On Thursday, LIFF brought their concept home with a screening in Baton Rouge (again, attended by The Dude) of the highly acclaimed Beasts of the Southern Wild and asked me to moderate the Q&A afterward. I was honored… nervous and honored. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, entertainment industry, free events and lagniappe, oil spill catastrophe

Oyster Fest 2012

Thank you New Orleans Oyster Fest for moving from that aggressively hot blacktop parking lot to the breezy, grassy Woldenberg Park! The festival, including the artists booths and many wonderful food selections, was much more spread out this year and the crowd for the stage was manageable, like the very-local Thursday crowd at French Quarter rather than the jam-packed Saturdays and Sundays. It almost made me nostalgic for the times before the Saints Superbowl win and HBO’s Treme helped remake the city’s image.  Continue reading


Filed under Concerts, Culture, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, moving, oil spill catastrophe

L.A. Celebrity Sitings

This week, I traveled back to Los Angeles to attend to some things for my upcoming part in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Though I was thrilled beyond compare to be embarking on that journey, it was bittersweet to be leaving NOLA in the middle of Mardi Gras. Continue reading


Filed under Charity, Culture, free events and lagniappe, Mama says, Mardi Gras 2010, Mardi Gras 2012, oil spill catastrophe, Uncategorized, walking