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
As usual, it was hot-as-heck for Satchmo Fest but the music and food were worth the sweat. Celebrating the life and contributions of Louis Armstrong, the festival moved to Jackson Square this year. Like last year, they charged a $5 admission – a move that still has its kinks (like local employees and neighbors can’t just walk in to grab a plate or a cocktail). The festival featured 2 stages with one focusing more on traditional jazz and the main stage offering a few more-modern takes on Satchmo’s sound. Continue reading
After a week in Los Angeles, it was good to get back in time for the 4th New Orleans Oyster Festival. I feel a special connection to this fest because I’ve attended every year since its inception. Having made the move to the riverside Woldenberg Park last year (from a ridiculously scorching blacktop parking lot), the fest continues to expand and evolve. The stage was moved to the downtown side of the park and Drago’s super-long line for chargrilled oysters was given its own space away from the other crowded food booths. Continue reading
It was certainly the coldest Jazz Fest I’ve ever attended and mud was still a factor on closing Sunday. Turns out that there was not one single pair of of rubber boots left in town. Hotels were calling everywhere but many unprepared out-of-towners were left bootless and muddy. Cold wind whipped at scant tank tops and short skirts. Continue reading