May 10, 201710:50 AM
All there is to sip and savor in New Orleans
The Fat Lady Never Sings
All photos from www.nowfe.com
The phrase, “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings,” was popularized, but not invented, by the great baseball player and Hall of Famer Yogi Berra.
Berra had a whole bunch of interesting comments attributed to him, such as “When you come to a fork in the road, take it;” “You can observe a lot just by watching;” and “Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical.”
But the fat lady remark was actually first attributed to Texas Tech Sports Information Director Ralph Carpenter in 1976. Ralph’s remark, specifically directed to the outcome of a basketball game between Tech and Texas A&M, was an oblique reference to Wagnerian operas, which often concluded with a heavy aria sung by an equally heavy lady – breast-plates, horned chapeau and all.
The headline reference here was not specifically to all that, but I thought the phrase’s origins an entertaining feint to occupy you and then to turn you towards a new thought. I started out with the idea that New Orleans’ celebrations are never over, never done – always ongoing and always demanding attention to high-quality and fun diversions. And now we are moving on. Thankfully.
We are now concluding “Festival Season,” which has been in full force since Carnival reached a crescendo in late February, and prior to that, well, if we have to explain to you what happens here during Carnival we can only assume that you are getting more sleep than you really need.
Upcoming, in some chronological order:
May 13 is World Cocktail Day. Proceed at your own speed and in your own way.
Coming up on May 25, less than two weeks away, is The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. It’s the 25th edition, no less. This amazing festival uses the entire city as the backdrop to fine wine, excellent cuisine, and informative seminars.
There are some significant changes this year. First of all, there is only one Grand Tasting, and it will take place at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World on Saturday, May 27, at 6:00 p.m. If you are anxious to see what’s being poured, you can enter early with a now-on-sale VIP pass. Plus there will be a special lounge area that will be available to those who have paid for the privilege.
More than 30 restaurants have been paired with the highest caliber wines to offer amazing dining experiences the evening of Wednesday, May 25. As always the downside of these dinners is that they are all happening at the same time so you can choose only one. A real life version of the proverbial good news/bad news conundrum.
During the weekend, there will also be seminars, high-end wine tastings, special shows, and, of course, the ever-popular Royal Street Stroll. Full information and event tickets, including special packaging, are all noted at www.nowfe.com.
Without missing a beat, and creating quite a few along the way, New Orleans then dashes to the Oyster Festival in Woldenberg Park, June 3-4; the amazing Creole Tomato Festival in the French Market, June 10-11; and the Cajun Zydeco Festival at Armstrong Park, June 24-25.
July starts with Essence, slides into Go Forth on the River for the Fourth of July, which is then closely followed by a truly fun and new tradition, the San Fermin Festival – also known as the Running of the Bulls. It’s not Pamplona. Then again, there is just as much emphasis on good beverages and instead of getting gored, a good spanking is a possibility, all from “bulls” on roller skates, none of whom will ever be confused with bulls. Don’t ask. It’s New Orleans.
Then it’s traversing the Pyrenees and moving from Spain to France, without leaving the semi-tropical humidity and heat, in mid-July for Bastille Day celebrations, and finally the festival that caused well-made, hand-crafted cocktails to take their rightful places in the world of beverages, Tales of the Cocktail, July 18-23.
More in this column on those latter events, particularly Tales, as we move closer to their dates. But as we said initially, the sun does not go down on New Orleans’ good times. It does, however, shine brighter on the fun stuff. Stay in shape and stay tuned.
Read Happy Hour here on myneworleans.com every Wednesday, and listen to The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, hosted by Tim, every weekday, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. on WGSO 990AM and streamed, as well as stored (podcast), at www.wgso.com. Also, check out Last Call, Tim’s photo-feature every month in New Orleans Magazine. Be sure to watch "Appetite for Life," hosted by Tim every Thursday evening at 7 p.m., and Sundays at 5 p.m., on WLAE-TV, Channel 32 in New Orleans. Previously broadcast episodes are available for viewing at http://www.wlae.com/appetite-for-life/