Tag Archives: Laura Cayouette

Living in New Orleans – the first 10 years

My family is from Louisiana for generations on both sides but I didn’t move to New Orleans until late 2009. I’d lived in Maryland, Japan, Washington D.C., Alabama, New York, and almost 18 years in Los Angeles before finally following my heart home. Looking through photos for this blog post, I saw the story of a New Dat becoming a Saints season-ticket-holding Who Dat, a parade-goer becoming a Pussyfooters parade dancer, strangers becoming friends, and a blogger becoming an author. I saw the evolution of my love story with this city, and with the man I met my first year here.

I’d just produced Hell Ride with Quentin Tarantino when I decided to leave Los Angeles. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2010, Mardi Gras 2015, Mardi Gras 2016, Mardi Gras 2017, Mardi Gras 2018, Mardi Gras 2019, moving, parade, Pelicans, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints

New Orleans Mystery Books

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

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Filed under Carnival, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, free events and lagniappe, history, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2013, parade, shopping, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints

French Quarter Fest Sunday

French Quarter Fest ended with a cool and breezy day perfect for picnicking and dancing to local favorites. We started early at Jackson Square with a refreshing Crab & Artichoke Citrus Salad ($8) from Jaques-Imo’s Cafe then beat the lines for Muriel’s Crawfish & Goat Cheese Crepe ($7). Keyboardist Kashonda Bailey of the all-female Pinettes Brass Band had let us know she’d be playing with MainLine so we made our way toward the stage near the Aquarium to check them out. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine

Krewe of Freret Parade 2019

The recently revived Krewe of Freret is a highlight in the middle of a 5 parade Saturday. Part regal and traditional – part whimsical and funky, the parade began with a shout-out to the Who Dat Nation’s recent no-call loss from some of the Saints superfans. Dancing Man 504 and Spidey504 showed off fancy footwork followed by the Bearded Oysters swinging diaphanous pearlized wing-capes. Dancers from NOLA Chorus Girls, Ritmeaux Krewe and Alter Egos brought everything from an ocean of silver-clad women with vintage hair to purple-afro-wearing women putting the fun in funky. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2019, parade

Reading, Writing and Gift Ideas

Whenever I go too long between writing posts for this blog, you can rest assured I’m still writing. When I started this blog in 2009, I wrote all the time – at least a couple posts a week. Then I took a job writing for a local paper and it cut into my blogging time a bit. In 2012, I published my first 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 and a dozen other industry luminaries. Next came Lemonade Farm, my first novel. Award winning and New York Times bestselling author Tom Franklin Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, entertainment industry, Mardi Gras 2010, shopping, Uncategorized

Easter Parades 2018

We missed the early parade to have the all-you-can-eat Easter brunch at Red Fish Grill. Ike the Peep, a bad-ass version of Sammy Davis, Jr. in a bright yellow chick outfit, was there again to brighten everyone’s day from behind Joe-Cool sunglasses.

The weather was outstanding for the Chris Owens Parade – sunny and upper 70’s with a gentle breeze coming off the river. The burlesque queen’s parade features retired dancers, friends and sponsors throwing beads, toys and candy while wearing festive Easter bonnets. Not to be outdone, the Gay Easter Parade takes bonnets to a whole new level. Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, parade, Pelicans

Krewes of Proteus & Orpheus Parades

Krewe of Proteus, the oldest night parade, was established in 1882 and features seahorse throws. I love the romantic nostalgia of seeing some version of earlier parades. Flambeau light the way as they did before the invention of streetlights. Last I heard, the mythologically inspired floats still sit atop the original wooden chassis.

The superkrewe Orpheus parade takes the spectacle to another level. The street fills with legions of flambeau leading star-studded royalty. First up was Keegan-Michael Key who I stopped photographing when I realized he was pointing at me to catch his beads. Co-founder Harry Connick Jr. rode as king in the same float we got to ride in with Quentin Tarantino in 2014. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2018, parade

Krewes of Okeanos and Mid-City Parades

The Krewe of Okeanos parade rolled in the rain to sizable crowds. It was warm and the forecast promised clearing skies. Our spot was flooded due to the recent freezes cracking pipes. Later, a neighbor bought a sump pump and drained the street but our morning was spent slogging through over half a foot of water to get to the floats. There’s something about rainy parades that’s special. When I’m watching them, I always admire the people suffering on the floats, dancing drenched and playing wet instruments. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, history, Mardi Gras 2018, parade

Random Acts of Kindness and 3 Birthday Meals

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

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Filed under Charity, Culture, Local Cuisine, Mama says, shopping

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

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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