What a day to live in New Orleans. Sunday was the 6th annual Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. About 50,000 people pack into a few blocks lined with po-boy vendors and try as many different po-boys as they can, washing it down with plenty of Abita Beer. I’m not really into sandwiches and yet I really look forward to this fest every year. Like the Got Gumbo? event at the Royal Sonesta, over 30 vendors bring at least one po-boy offering so the level of creativity can be outstanding and you never know what flavor combinations you might find. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Phyllis Montana LeBlanc
First things first – Who Dat!?! It was like it ought be in the Superdome Monday night. The Saints beat the Eagles, keeping our play-off hopes alive for another week. Quarterback Drew Brees has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 51 straight games which breaks yet another NFL record. The one advantage to not having season tickets is that we meet new people every game. At this game to our right, a great gang of football-loving young men. To our left, 3 women over 60, including one over 80. Yep, some women go to the Saints games, not to appease their husbands, but to get a “girl’s night out.” SO many women attend the games. In fact, the demographics of the Dome aren’t so very different than those of our area – men and women from baby to death’s door in an array of skin shades. Continue reading
It’s Halloween season and in NOLA, that means costumes and Voodoo Fest. The festival features more rock, metal, rap and experimental music so I haven’t made it to Voodoo yet but I couldn’t miss Los Angles band, Vintage Trouble. The band has only been around a couple of years but they’ve already opened for acts like Bon Jovi and KISS and are set to open for The Who’s upcoming tour. Though I’ve known drummer Richard Danielson for over a decade, this is only the second time I’ve gotten to see the band live (the first being their “Big Dance” NOLA debut last April during the NCAA Final 4).
As I recently remarked to someone, New Orleans is definitely a “you had to be there” kinda thing. HBO’s Treme helps illuminate some of why that’s so. There are actually 2 Tremes, the show and the neighborhood in which it’s primarily set. The actual Treme is the oldest black suburb in the United States, the home of Armstrong Park and Congo Square where jazz (and most American music) was born. This weekend, New Orleans celebrated the neighborhood’s 200th year with a bicentennial festival complete with concerts, food and second line parades. Continue reading
When HBO’s Treme started, the sets, decorations and character wardrobes were a reflection of having just survived a horrific flood. Walls were watermarked, photos were stained with black mold and clothes were utilitarian. Everything was about “making do.” In this season of Treme, which takes place in late 2007, much has changed. Homes are being rebuilt and businesses are growing but, for me, the clearest indicator that the city is on the mend is all the Saints merchandise everywhere. Continue reading
It’s been too long since I last blogged, long enough to have missed posting on the Saints’ first win this season and the records broken by Brees and Colston. It’s also been long enough to have watched 2 more episodes of HBO’s multi-award winning Treme. The more I get to know this city, the more familiar the musicians, locations and traditions are for me this season. At some point in the season’s second episode, I heard the familiar refrain of Mr. Okra rolling through the neighborhood in his colorful truck chanting, “I have eggplant. I have collard greens. I have oranges.” In L.A., you never knew who or what you might see. I remember seeing a car that was a chicken, a 3 story-tall Oscar on a flatbed truck and a gladiator walking through a neighborhood. In New Orleans, you also never know who or what you might see, but it’s not because someone is trying to make movie magic, it’s because life here can be truly magical. Continue reading
I was out of town for a wedding for the season finalé of Treme, but thanks to HBO Go, we were able to watch the episode from a hotel in Napa, CA. The show opened with Bayona‘s extraordinary chef, Susan Spicer, playing herself during the Kim Dickens‘ chef character’s trip to NOLA. As Dickens took her short ride on the streetcar and started welling up with homesickness, I began crying for home too. I’d only been gone 4 days. Continue reading