With a parade, 2 festivals, and fireworks – things felt almost back to normal this Independence Day weekend in New Orleans. Our normal is always a bit festive. The Creole Tomato Fest at the French Market featured (limited) food booths, virtual events, and trails of specialty menu items at participating bars and restaurants throughout the French Quarter. I was able to get my annual favorite – the Pontchartrain from George’s Produce ($10) – sliced tomato topped with lump crabmeat and remoulade sauce.
The first NOLA Zydeco Fest took place next door on the lawn of the U.S. Mint, home to the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Continue reading
Super Bowl-winning Saint, Will Smith, was murdered last week attempting to save his wife’s life after she’d been shot once in each leg. The second line celebrating his life and return home started at the Half Moon Bar, not far from where Smith lost his life, and was headed to the Ooh Poo Pah Doo Bar in the Treme. James Andrews led the band as Baby Dolls, Saints fans and local-born Saint, Keenan Lewis, gathered to hug, dance, sing, pray and cry. The 4 mile parade started with a moment of silence and some words of hope in front of the memorial that’s been climbing up the fence and spreading across the sidewalk. Continue reading
Preseason is the time of year where football teams try out their new players to see who will make the cut. Normally, rookies take turns showing off while diehard fans cheer on new favorites. But, the Saints almost never do things “normally.” First, there was the much ballyhooed bounty scandal followed by an eternally long negotiation for quarterback Drew Brees’ contract. The team has lost its head coach, Sean Payton, for the entire season and acting head coach, Joe Vitt, will sit out for 6 games. While everyone else is testing out players, we’re testing out coaches. So why is the Who Dat Nation so excited? Continue reading
Nestled in the valley between the 2 weekends of Jazz Fest, Chaz Fest is a one day concert in the Bywater (a neighborhood near the French Quarter). Eponymous washboard player, “Washboard” Chaz Leary, Chaz is more than just a symbol of the independent free spirit of Chaz Fest, he plays a few songs with every band. The event started 6 years ago when Alex McMurray, guitarist for 007 (a super group with members of G. Love and Special Sauce, the New Orleans Klezmer Allstars and the Iguanas) and the trio, Tin Men, decided to take matters into his own hands after being rejected by Jazz Fest. Continue reading