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Nov 5, 201012:00 AM
Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

CliffsNotes NOLA

My friend Vera recently took a job as development associate with Greater New Orleans Inc. One of the really amazing things that’s happening in the city post-Katrina is the influx of bright, energetic young people who have come here to make a difference. I love that they love the city. I love that they want others to love the city. But I find it hard to trust people who have never eaten a Hubig’s Pie.

Vera is, like me, a New Orleans native, but some of her colleagues are – while every bit as passionate about New Orleans as we are – from other places and still finding new things to love.

So she and I started brainstorming the other day about the New Orleans primer we’d like to be able to give to all newcomers.

Her original list looked like this:
• Riverbend

• Hansens vs. Plum St

• Lusher

• Oysters at Pascal’s Manale

• Tip’s

• Tuesday Rebirth at Maple Street

• Steamboat houses

• Brunch at Elizabeth’s

• Rocky & Carlo's

• The Point, Lakefront - Lake Vista

• Russell’s Marina Grill

• Lakeview Market

• City Park: Sculpture Garden, Big Lake, Carousel Gardens, Celebration in the Oaks

• Trivia at Finn McCools

• Strawberry Festival

• Saturday night at Mimi’s

• Feelings

• Bacchanal

• Jean Lafitte Park & Boudreauxs

• Jazz Fest
• Mardi Gras - St. Ann’s, kids on ladders on St. Charles Avenue

But then, because I am way more anal and structured than creative, artistic Vera, I started trying to make an outline. God, I love outlines. Our brainstorm session, conducted online, looked like this:

Me:  crawfish bread

Vera:  right!
 but you can't do crawfish bread until jazz fest

Me:  right, but you can't do jazz fest without crawfish bread

Vera:  TRUE

Me: LET’S MAKE AN OUTLINE!!!

like I. Carnival

A. King Cakes

1. If you get the baby, you buy the next one

Vera: ha

RIGHT

Me:  2. Fillings are gross

Vera:  there's a whole thing with that

Fillings are NOT gross!

Me:  yes, they are!

Vera:  3. You'll never have McKenzie's

Me: mmmmm, mckenzie’s. i miss mckenzie’s.

ok, so then B. Parades

Vera:  B. KREWES

Me:  right

We kind of lost it there, overwhelmed by the sheer number of krewes and superkrewes and Rex and “If Ever I Cease to Love” and beads versus fancy throws –– and so we stopped.

And as much as I love a good outline, I think she might have had the right idea initially with her free-associating kind of list. A place as diverse and low-key and loose and friendly and fun as New Orleans maybe doesn’t lend itself to an structured, caged-in outline. You can’t force the rough edges of New Orleans into a rigid form like an outline. Jazz and red beans and Spanish moss and other New Orleans clichés would come oozing over the sides; there would be so much you’d lose in outline form.

But our list, in any form, is far from done. What would you add?

 
 

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Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

about

Eve is further proof, if any is needed, that New Orleans girls can never escape the city. After living here since the age of 3 and graduating from Ben Franklin High School, Eve moved to Columbia, Mo., where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Missouri School of Journalism and became truly, unhealthily obsessed with grammar.

She had originally intended to strike out to New York City and work in the cutthroat magazine industry there, but after Katrina, Eve felt a strong pull to return home, to her roots, her family, her waterlogged and struggling city – and a much more forgiving work atmosphere that would allow her to skip a routine of everyday makeup and size 0 designer label business suits and enjoy the occasional cocktail or three with an absurdly fattening lunch. She moved back home in January 2008 and lives in Mid-City with her two daughters, Ruby and Georgia; her stepson, Elliot; and her husband, Robert Peyton.

Eve blogs about the joys and struggles of living in post-Katrina New Orleans, the unique problems and delights of raising a child in such a diverse and challenging city – including her experiences with the public education system – and her always entertaining and extremely colorful family.

Eve has won numerous writing awards, including the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Gold Medal, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for column-writing and Press Club of New Orleans awards for her Editor’s Note in New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles and for this blog, most recently winning the award for "Best Feature Affiliated Blog."

She welcomes comments, advice, empty flattery, recipes, drink invitations and – most especially – grammatical or linguistic debates.

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