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
Tag Archives: garden district
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 →
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 →
My birthday celebrating started early this year with a dinner at John Besh’s Domenica with old friend Richard Dreyfuss and his lovely and amazing wife, Svetlana. Over the 25 years we’ve known each other, Richard and I have worked on 3 movies together, collaborated on a Katrina relief project and he even wrote the foreword to my book, Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career. The menu from Executive Chef Alon Shaya, 2015’s James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: South award winner, provided a delicious take on some traditional Italian dishes as well as offering show-stoppers like the Squid Ink Tagliolini with blue crab & herbs. We finished the meal with 3 beautiful and decadent desserts selected by our charming server, Cristina. Each dessert was decorated with a chocolate birthday banner. We were there for hours enjoying fabulous food and great company with perfect service. I’m definitely going back for that squid ink pasta dish. Continue reading →
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 →
This is my 8th Christmas in New Orleans. But not really since I’ve been coming here to visit family my whole life. More accurately, this is my 8th Christmas tree in New Orleans. If you know me or this blog, you already know I make most of my ornaments using polymer clay, beads and crystals from an old chandelier. I’ve been far too busy to even blog much less make ornaments, but I did manage to add a few to the collection. New additions include my Pussyfooter uniform from the 2015 Krewe of Jingle parade and our wedding day in 2014.
New Orleans is always beautiful but Christmas can add another layer. It’s one of my favorite times of year to walk around. Homes in the historic Garden District use a lot of boughs and bows. The French Quarter tends to use a lot more lights and whimsy. Continue reading →
Better late than never, I’m finally updating my favorite Things list. First, I’d like to thank everyone who reads this blog (in over 100 countries!). Here are Your Favorite Posts of 2015:
2 – Endymion Extravaganza – My First Ball! (your favorite post of all time)
Now to the list! The categories are: Food & Beverage, Music & Entertainment, Culture, Shopping and Giving & More. Continue reading →
We were still in our formal wear at midnight when we got to the airport to pick up my niece and her 2 friends from college. We’d been dancing and dining at the annual Raintree Gala benefitting foster children and the families who care for them. We dropped the kids in the French Quarter and hoped they didn’t get in too much trouble on their Spring Break’s first night. We all enjoyed a tasty brunch at Wink’s Bakery the next morning, finishing our meal with super-tasty donuts and their famous Buttermilk Drops.
As Pelicans season ticket holders, we were invited to their annual appreciation day so we left the kids to the Quarter and headed to the Arena for a day of tours, games, lots of freebies and Pelicans players everywhere. Continue reading →
Having guests is always a great excuse to hit some of those tourist spots locals tend to shy from. So when my dear friend since high school finally came to New Orleans for the first time, we “toured” the sites. Angela arrived Thursday night and we headed straight for Coop’s so she could have her first jambalaya. We stayed in to catch up that night and headed to Cafe du Monde for insanely tasty beignets the next morning. On the way there, I spotted a familiar face down the street. I said loudly, “Do you know who that is? That’s the lead singer and trumpet for Treme Brass Band!” Angela looked to the t-shirt wearing, blood-shot-eyed man holding a trumpet just as he smiled. Continue reading →
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 →