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 have seen the future of New Orleans music and it is good. For me, the first day of French Quarter Fest was a relaxing journey through established local bands – people with Grammy nominations and wins and stacks of CD releases. Day 2 had all that with Dr. John, Kermit Ruffins and Rebirth Brass Band, but the day really belonged to the kids. The weather was insanely beautiful as we started our morning in Jackson Square for a tasty Duck Po-Boy ($8) from Jaques-Imo’s Cafe. Continue reading
First of all – Who Dat!?! Geaux Saints! What an exciting down-to-the-wire, edge-of-your-seat game against the 49ers. I don’t think one Saints fan left or even sat down in the Superdome during the last 7 minutes or so. The decibel meter reached at least 115 – about the same as a a ship’s engine room, a jet engine or “loud thunder.” Great game.
Last week, I attended a fundraiser for Kingsley House with shows by Kermit Ruffins and the Grammy award winning Rebirth Brass Band. Continue reading
I’ve already spoken about the power going down in the Superdome, but the weekend up to that point ran pretty perfectly. Day 3 of the NFL concert series, we only caught one show – 2012 Grammy winners Rebirth Brass Band. More out-of-towers joined in the festivities but the crowd was still mainly the Who Dat Nation sporting black and gold. We knew all the call-backs and when to thrust our fists in the air and shout, “Hey!” and when to find a tissue and wave it for a second line dance. It struck me as ritualistic like church – the church of funk in the house of soul. As such, I wondered if the visiting teams felt as left out or confused as a Buddhist at Mass but they seemed to be having fun in any case. Continue reading
Established in 1992, the Mystic Krewe of Barkus may have started as a silly way to get friends back (see story here), but it has grown into a parade big enough to shut down a chunk of the French Quarter. Between the adorable dogs, the costumed walkers, the floats made from wagons and shopping carts and the terrific bands, this parade has something for everyone. Continue reading
The good news is that I’ve been very busy. The bad news is that I’ve missed all of my beloved Harvest the Music Wednesdays. Today was the last one and I was thrilled to finally rejoin the music lovers in suits or tie-dye. I ate Cafe Adelaide‘s Shrimp & Cognac & Goat Cheese Grits ($6) and resisted the dipped strawberries, cupcakes and other treats ($2 – $4) from Bittersweet Confections as well as the plentiful Abita Beer. Food and beverage sales at Harvest the Music benefit one of my favorite non-profits, Second Harvest. Every dollar can feed a family of 4 one meal. Continue reading
After the perfect day we had Saturday, we finished the weekend with a perfect Sunday. Again, the weather was warm and sunny with a constant balmy breeze. Breakfast was Camellia Grill in the French Quarter. Gotta love those grits and the service (complete with fist-bumps) always puts a smile on my face. Then it was off to Armstrong Park for the Revolution Social Aid and Pleasure Club’s second line. We found Briana Edwards of Raintree Children and Family Services in the crowd of steppers and jumpers then followed along. Loved the snappy school kid costumes the paraders wore. Continue reading