Tag Archives: los angeles

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

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

Festigals Parade, Mardi Gras World and Food!

I love sharing my city my way but one of the best things about having out-of-town guests is that it can push you to be a tourist in your own city. My mother has been coming to New Orleans throughout her life so we have things we ALWAYS like doing – like getting beignets at Cafe du Monde or snoballs (from my fav – SnoWizard). But we also like exploring new things, even taking a tour. Last week had plenty of both. Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, parade

Car-less in New Orleans

Shortly after moving here, I wrote a blog post about driving in polite and patient New Orleans as compared to traffic-laden road-rage Los Angeles. Driving was so often miserable in L.A., that I did it as little as possible and almost always tried to make it fun – convertible top down, taking winding roads in the hills rather than freeways, music cranked. That could be downright joyous.

New Orleans has SO much less traffic but my little low-to-the-ground ragtop hated the weather here. Floods, sap and sun tore holes in my ragtop, rusted my brakes and rotted the floor. During rainy seasons, enough tiny plants grew around the ragtop for me to joke that the car was a terrarium on wheels. The air conditioning broke the first summer here. And I could only put in 3 gallons of gas at a time. It was okay though – between the streetcars, busses, carpooling and walking, I averaged less than 900 miles a year of driving. Today, I donated the car and am starting my new life as a person without my own wheels. Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, moving, walking

Living in New Orleans – the first 5 years

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

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Filed under Carnival, Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2010, Mardi Gras 2011, Mardi Gras 2012, Mardi Gras 2013, Mardi Gras 2014, moving, oil spill catastrophe, parade, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints

Convergence Screening and Distinguished Alumni Award

This blog is almost always about my beloved city of New Orleans but last week brought me back to Mobile, Alabama to see my name unveiled on the clock tower at the University of South Alabama. I earned my master’s in creative writing and English literature there in ’87 and became a 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award winner at a big, fancy gala last spring. The night before the unveiling, there happened to be a cast and crew screening of Convergence, the movie I shot in Mobile last fall. Continue reading

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