Tag Archives: Uncle Lionel

Touring NOLA, Vintage Trouble, Latin Parade and More!

Having guests is always a great excuse to hit some of those tourist spots locals tend to shy from. So when my dear friend since high school finally came to New Orleans for the first time, we “toured” the sites. Angela arrived Thursday night and we headed straight for Coop’s so she could have her first jambalaya. We stayed in to catch up that night and headed to Cafe du Monde for insanely tasty beignets the next morning. On the way there, I spotted a familiar face down the street. I said loudly, “Do you know who that is? That’s the lead singer and trumpet for Treme Brass Band!” Angela looked to the t-shirt wearing, blood-shot-eyed man holding a trumpet just as he smiled. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade, shopping, 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

French Quarter Fest – Sunday

Sunday, the closing day of French Quarter Fest, was a drizzly one so we started at one of the many indoor activities – the “Let Them Talk…” interview series at the Mint. Author John Broven led legends Allen Toussaint and Deacon John in a discussion of Cosimo Matassa, founder of both J&M Recording Studio and Cosimo Recording Studio. The event started and ended with Toussiant on the piano and Deacon John singing for us. Matassa was a local legend who is credited with helping to develop the rock and R&B sounds of the 50’s and 60’s. Fats Domino, Little Richard. Ray Charles, Dr. John, Ernie K-Doe, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Cooke, Aaron Neville and the legends on the stage in front of us were just a few of the artists Matassa worked with as both studio owner and engineer. Continue reading

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

I’m So New Orleans #ImSoNewOrleans

The Twitter-verse and Facebook have been buzzing for the last couple days with all things New Orleans. No one seems to know who started the #ImSoNewOrleans trend but it’s brought the city together in a way usually reserved for football season. People are sharing childhood memories, old photos of long-gone places and jokes and trends so inside, only someone who grew up here could truly get them. I didn’t. I wasn’t born here and I don’t have a good answer to, “Where’d you go to school?” (meaning which local high school), but I’m so New Orleans that my family owned property on St. Charles in the 1700’s. Okay, that doesn’t help me decipher some of the local references or share some of the memories, but it does make me feel like I’m home.  Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, moving, parade, the Saints

Dirty Dozen Plays the Square

It was unseasonably cold for YLC’s Wednesday at the Square featuring the legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Even in my knit cap and many layers, I envied the people who thought to wear gloves. Louisiana Spice was onstage playing fun covers of popular radio tunes when I arrived but the first thing I noticed was the new jumbo-screen broadcasting images to the furthest corners of Lafayette Square. Continue reading

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

Halloween Concert/Parade and Willie Mae’s Chicken

Working on the theory of “better late than never,” here’s how we spent Halloween last week. New Orleans has too many festivities to choose from but I didn’t want to miss the last Jazz in the Park concert from People United for Armstrong Park. Bonerama played early but I got the the park in time to see Da Truth Brass Band preparing the way for Kermit Ruffins to take the stage. Ruffins played beautiful ballads like What a Wonderful World as well as an upbeat medley of songs including Do Whatcha Wanna and The Treme Song. When he busted out the Stevie Wonder, the crowd created a Soul Train dance line and boogied down the center, many in costumes. (video below) Continue reading

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

Greasing of the Poles

For over 3 years, this blog has mostly been a long love letter to New Orleans as I move from longtime visitor to citizen of the Who Dat Nation and part of the gumbo of this city. I’ve attended concerts, parades, festivals and more and shared the events with you readers. But when I participated in the Royal Sonesta‘s 43rd annual Greasing of the Poles, like Alice Through the Looking Glass, I stepped into the story.  In order to keep revelers off the balcony during Mardi Gras, the Sonesta greases the poles on Bourbon Street with a celebrity-studded event and contest with fans spanning from locals on balconies dressed in wigs and costumes to the Greasing of the Poles Fan Club from Germany. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, history, Mardi Gras 2013, parade, the Saints