There are New Orleans traditions that belong mostly to our visitors (Bourbon Street) and those that belong uniquely to locals, but there are a few traditions we all share. We all eat beignets, we all love Mardi Gras (though often for different reasons) and we all love the Tuesday night tradition of Rebirth Brass Band playing the Maple Leaf. Rebirth is the first brass band to ever win a Grammy. The world has heard them in many soundtracks dating back to Reginald Hudlin’s Boomerang starring Eddie Murphy in 1992. Last years’s hit Girls Trip included the band’s original, Do Watcha Wanna – practically a city anthem.
I’d been to the Maple Leaf in the 90’s during a location scout for a film and not much has changed. The service was fantastic – a winning balance of fast and friendly. 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
When I was a kid, another teenager in my family was murdered. I learned a long time ago the cost of talking about it. Even if you could handle the pain of reliving it, people couldn’t tolerate knowing things that awful happen in their world. I’d end up having to comfort the person I told rather than getting their comfort for my pain (and anger, confusion, grief, fear, loss, sadness, despair). Sometimes, people would distance themselves from me to avoid thinking about it. It even became an identity. My best friend from high school recently admitted it was the first thing anyone ever told her about me when she transferred to our school. But every once in awhile, I still try to talk about it. Continue reading
Filed under Culture, history
It’s been 9 years today since Katrina made landfall on the Gulf’s coast. By the time it reached New Orleans, winds were estimated to have been Category 1 or 2 but then the levees failed and all hell broke loose. And then the world watched on TV as Americans stood on rooftops for days begging for water and worse and worse and worse. The Superdome became a symbol for loss, despair and failures at every level. It only took 4 1/2 years to change the Superdome into a house of triumph and a symbol of rebirth, renewal and rebuilding. The Dome, and all it represents, have become part of this city’s story and what better way to celebrate how far we’ve come than to go to a Saints game with the Rebirth Brass Band kicking things off in Champions Square. Continue reading
I’m not in the habit of promoting big chain retailers when I so firmly believe in shopping local, but I just checked out the new and seriously improved Riverwalk and loved it. With 75 retail and food offerings, Riverwalk is the first outlet mall in the U.S. established in a city setting. But because the city is New Orleans, the mall has beautiful views of the mighty Mississippi and cruises can dock at it’s door. They even offer tax free shopping for international shoppers. What was once basically an air conditioned way to get from Canal Street to the Convention Center could now become a “destination shopping” venue. Continue reading