We’ve been without power since Sunday. As I said yesterday, life is very simple now. Breakfast today was cereal with juice. We charged our mobile devices at the neighbor’s porch/local-hangout and swapped rumors about where there might be power, gas or ice. A couple more neighborhoods had power and that kept us all optimistic for a reasonable recovery time.
Today’s hunt was for ice. 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
I only went to the 45th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for one day this year and I spent most of that time volunteering in a beer booth – but I still managed to see 11 bands. I didn’t even get to half of the grounds, yet I managed to see artwork by Terrance Osborne and Woodrow Nash, check out Mr. Okra’s truck, hit 2 food booths and visit the WWOZ Brass Pass Tent. I arrived about noon with only 2 hours to spare before work so I headed straight for the Acura Stage to catch some of Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. They delivered their signature funky rock jazz sound along with guests like keyboardist John Gros debuting his French horn skills. Continue reading
After a week in Los Angeles, it was good to get back in time for the 4th New Orleans Oyster Festival. I feel a special connection to this fest because I’ve attended every year since its inception. Having made the move to the riverside Woldenberg Park last year (from a ridiculously scorching blacktop parking lot), the fest continues to expand and evolve. The stage was moved to the downtown side of the park and Drago’s super-long line for chargrilled oysters was given its own space away from the other crowded food booths. Continue reading
This weekend, I attended 2 galas, one for “Hollywood South” networking and the other a fundraiser for foster children. The first event was hosted by Louisiana Film & Video Magazine in the old Mardi Gras World across the river. We met up with Jeff “The Dude” Dowd (the inspiration for the Jeff Bridges character in The Big Lebowski) and took the ferry over to Algiers. It’s always beautiful to see the city from a distance, lights reflecting on the Mississippi’s surface. The Dude is in town to gear up for the first Louisiana International Film Festival in less than two weeks where I will be hosting 2 workshops so we were ready to do some serious networking. Continue reading
One of my favorite things about spring in New Orleans is all the festivals. Every “hump day” is Wednesday at the Square with free music as well as restaurant booths providing wonderful fest food with proceeds benefitting the Young Leadership Council (YLC). Oh – and plenty of Abita beer and cocktails. The YLC seeks to build leadership while taking on projects that strive to improve the quality of life in NOLA. This week’s show opened with Andrew Duhon. Continue reading
As the lights went out in the Superdome and our city’s slip was showing, I had a moment to think of the last time the Dome lost power and how far this city has come from the devastation it faced over 7 years ago. New Orleans is a small city with a big heart. Sometimes traffic is held up for a parade or our cell towers go down from overuse (not anymore – thank you NFL) or our power goes out. I can’t help but think if it had been the Who Dat nation in the Dome tonight, we would have used the time to do some rounds of “Who Dats!” or sing When the Saints Go Marching In. After all, we’re only taking a short break from the marathon party of Mardi Gras to hold this extraordinary event, our 10th time hosting the Super Bowl – not bad for a small city with a big heart. Continue reading
Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, history, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2013, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints
The day started with a slice of the 340 ft. oyster po-boy at the 6th annual Oyster Jubilee on Bourbon Street. It takes about 2 hours to set up the block-long sandwich and only a minute or so for it to disappear. We stood in front of the Drago’s section and were treated to a remoulade sauced fried oyster po-boy dressed with lettuce. Yum.
So many events in New Orleans are designed to give back to the community but galas tend to be fancier affairs designed to raise a lot of money quickly. Our first event of the evening was the Paint the Town Green gala benefitting Raintree Children and Family Services and held at Harrah’s Casino. Continue reading