Friday, August 28, 2009

Tomorrow marks 4 years since Hurricane Katrina made land fall. I’ve struggled thinking about what to do to mark the occasion, like I did for last week’s anniversary of my mother’s death (Needless to say, August, especially this last week, is particularly emotional for me.). I have a friend’s baby shower to go to. I remember thinking when I got the invitation, “Are they crazy? Do they know what day that is?” But maybe they did it on purpose to symbolize rebirth and renewal; life must go one. I imagine anyone who lived here 4 years ago must have August 29th burned in to their memory, unless they are in very deep denial. I’m glad it falls on a Saturday this year. It was odd the last 3 years to go to the office and work, just like it was any other day. But it wasn’t. Sure there are bell-ringings, plaque dedications and wreath layings across the city, but I couldn’t connect with that. The other day, a friend who had surgery a few months ago proclaimed that she was finally ready to go out and wanted to go to Rock ‘n’ Bowl. I pulled up the music calendar and saw that Kermit Ruffins was playing Saturday. Perfect.

After bouncing around from house to house to house in Baton Rouge the first few weeks of September 2005, we decided to head to Houston. We weren’t the only ones, many of our neighbors ended up there, as did Kermit Ruffins. He wrangled a weekly gig at a Jazz Club downtown and it when he played, it would be overrun by New Orleanians. We got there early and while waiting for friends and neighbors to arrive, got a drink and noticed a couple sitting across the room. The guy was wearing a huge gold Saints Jersey and Saints baseball cap and we took the table next to them. Turned out the women worked at my friend’s gallery in the quarter and they lived in Gentilly. When Kermit took the stage I started crying, wondering when I would be able to go back home and what would I be going home to. It felt good to have other New Orleanians around who understood what you were going through and could talk about it. I hugged neighbors I wouldn’t normally hug and let Kermit’s music and voice wash over me. The crowd stood around listening to the music, but when he broke out into “We are Family” everyone cut loose, dancing and singing along.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gambit's Best of New Orleans poll came out this week. I was going to vote on-line but when I read that I would have to answer at least 50% of the questions I changed my mind. A lot of the questions I don't know or don't really care. My apologies to friends whose businesses I didn't vote on. Here are some of my thoughts...

Here's the link.

Best Place to Get a Bloody Mary - Louisiana Superdome
Glad to know I'm not the only one who would have thunk it? But they are fantastic. My number 2 would be Molly's at the Market.

Best Neighborhood Bar. I'm glad to see my neighborhood bar, Rendezvous, did not make it on the list. Keep those posers out.

Best College Hangout & Best Place to Karaoke lets me know what places to avoid. I didn't realize Budda Belly had Karaoke.

I predict we'll see Avenue Pub showing up on this list next year. The new and improved AP hasn't been discovered yet. It would qualified for Best Beer Selection, Neighborhood Bar, and they should have a category "Best Bar Food."

Best Beer Brand - 1. Abita, 2. NOLA Brewery 3. Budweiser. Budweiser? Seriously? I guess Bud Light drinking like to take on-line pools.

Best New Restaurant - Glad to see Gott Gourmet made the list. I'm surprised to see Rum House, it's only been open a few months.

Best Cup of Coffee & Best Coffeehouse - Glad to see all winners are local.

Best Public Spat - Wow, Stacy Head is involved in all three!

I like this one: Best New Job for Mayor Ray Nagin - 1. Garbage Man 2. Making License Plates in Prison 3. Cleaning the French Quarter for SDT

Muses got voted Best Carnival Night Parade. I certainly have to agree.

I like their comment about's comment section though it can be next to impossible to find stuff on the site.
Best Local Web Site - 1. - The online arm of The Times-Picayune features the paper's excellent reporters and some interesting blogs and multimedia. Now if we can only get them to clean up the toxic soup that infects their comments section. Mr. O'Byrne? Please? 2. 3.

Best Local Blog - 2. How is it I've never heard of this blog? Now it's going to get slammed.

I find it interesting that Best Men's Clothing Store & Best Women's Clothing Store are all national chains save Perlis. Are you paying attention over-priced Magazine street boutiques who only carry size 0-2??

Best Wireless Phone Service - 1. AT&T - SERIOUSLY??? I have AT&T and they suck for cell phone service.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

From the Gambit blog "Lights out for Canal Place Cinema"

"Monday, September 7, 2009 will be their final day of operation at that location."

Well crap. While it wasn't the best cinema to see a movie, it is (was) the only place to show "art house" and "foreign" films. Since I'm not the type of person who must see a movie the day it comes out on the big screen, I'm quite content to wait for a movie to appear on DVD and get it through NetFlix. File under "ain't there no more."

UPDATE: Apparently Gambit only had half the story. Today's T-P says the cinema is closing but another group will take it over, renovate it and reopen it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Well I have quite the weekend ahead of me. Tonight's the Opening Reception for the Rising Tide IV "Bloggers" Conference. Got to love this year's theme "Sinking to New Heights." Looking forward to checking out the new and improved Avenue Pub. It's been a long time since I stepped foot in there.

The conference starts Saturday at 9 a.m. Ouch. I'm not really one who follows celebrities but I am very excited that Harry Shearer is going to be the keynote speaker. He's so talented, I hope I get a chance to meet him. It can be hard to get a word in with other bloggers (they can talk as much as they type) and I'm sure Harry will be the belle of the ball. The conference has been getting some press so it should be interesting to see what this year's turn is like.

That evening there will sure to be the post-party somewhere, but I'll be scooting off to go join my fellow FSU alumni at the Greater New Orleans Seminole Club inaugural meeting. Years ago there was a club but it became defunct. Thanks to the tireless Shrimp Po-Boy we again have a group. That's 7-10pm at Cafe Prytania, 3445 Prytania Ave, in case some fellow Seminole stumbles across this page.

Sunday marks 10 years since my mother passed away. In her memory I'm going to have a movie marathon of some of her favs. I already watched "Clue" (can't ever get enough of Tim Curry and a favorite board game of ours) and saw "Young Frankinstein" when I was in Albuquerque (Gene Wilder was on of her favs). First up will the "Blues Brothers," hands down her #1 fav movie followed by "Murder by Death" (she loved murder mysteries and had a great sense of humor). I have all of these on DVD. Another fav is "Ladyhawke" that I only have on VHS - it's kinds of a silly movie with a bizarre soundtrack by Alan Parson's Project, but has Rutger Hauer and Matthew Broderick so there you have it. And I should get a Dirty Harry but there's only so much sitting around I can do at one time so we'll see. Plus I'm going to make Hungarian stuffed cabbage and that can be time consuming. Hmm... maybe I can roll the cabbage rolls while watching one of the movies?