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
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
With more reasonable crowds and lots of favorite local musicians playing, Jazz Fest’s final Sunday was a balmy-weathered blast. Big Chief Kevin Goodman & the Flaming Arrows were on the Jazz Fest Heritage Stage and I spotted Alphonse “DooWee” Robair, my favorite Mardi Gras Indian artist, dancing among them. We started the day with a delicious Cochon de Lait ($9) from Love at First Bite and a Nectar Creme from Plum Street Snoballs ($4). When I worried I wasn’t going to get a “local” pour of the sticky, sweet syrup, the woman next to me in line laughed, “If you ordered Nectar Creme, they already know you’re a local.” True Dat. Continue reading
The 45th New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival started last weekend treating hundreds of thousands of guests to artisan booths and demonstrations, fest food and cooking demonstrations, pop-up book and CD stores, interviews with musicians and, of course, over a dozen stages playing up to 8 shows each a day. I think that comes out to somewhere around 400 different concerts over the course of 2 weekends all on the Fair Grounds Race Course. But what if you couldn’t get here? Or what if you’re one of the locals fed up with yet another price hike? (It’s up to $65/day at the door now). You may not be able to eat the food or watch the Mardi Gras Indians parading past, but you can still hear Jazz Fest in a number of ways.
The French Quarter Fest is as much about local cuisine as it is about our amazing music with over 65 local vendors tempting tastebuds with everything from spicy seafood to sweet snowballs. Saturday, the festival was also the proving ground for Rouses Crawfish Eating World Championship. There were several rounds of competition culminating with the 4th annual win for Sonya Thomas AKA “The Black Widow.” She managed to pack 2.2 pounds of crawfish into her 100 pound body in 10 minutes. Louisianan hunk Adrian Morgan came in second with 2 pounds. I finished one Pulled Pork Sandwich topped with Cole Slaw ($6) from The Joint while watching Continue reading
YLC Wednesday at the Square is back!!! Colin Lake got the season off to a great start with his funk-rock flavored show. It’s still odd to see a guy play a seated guitar but the rest of his band keeps the stage hopping. Lake came from Oregon to New Orleans in 2009 – the same year I arrived.
The event continues to make improvements. My favorite new thing is that, thanks to “The Square” and iPads, they accept credit cards for ticket sales. The event is free but food and beverages are purchased with tickets and the ticket proceeds go to the Young Leadership Council, the group responsible for the lights on the Crescent City Connection bridge among other things. They’ve raised more than $25 million for community projects in the New Orleans area since 1986. Continue reading
The annual Spring Fiesta parade marks the coming of Spring and brings a whole new meaning to having flowers delivered. The Treme Brass Band led the horse-drawn carriages carrying women in hoop skirts and men in suits. Rather than beads, the paraders tossed fresh roses, carnations and daisies which I gathered into a bouquet. It may have been colder than it’s been all year, but the flowers and the bouquet of women in pastel-colored flounces brought sunshine to my day. Continue reading
I must confess that I didn’t get out as much in 2012 because Hollywood South is booming and I worked a lot. Even so, here are my 2012 favorites in a nutshell followed by my Favorite Things in NOLA 2011 and Favorite Things in NOLA 2010. Anything named previously in my Favorite Things in NOLA 2011 is marked with an Asterix*.
I have divided the list into categories this year including: Food & Beverage, Music & Entertainment, Culture, Shopping and Giving & More. Continue reading
Filed under Carnival, Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, history, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2012, parade, shopping, the Saints