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Feb 25, 201909:47 AM
New Orleans Voices

Our City Talks Back

A Beloved Restaurant And Its Precious Pearl

I thought to replay my interview of 2008 with Pearl Jefferson, a server at the “Old Coffee Pot” restaurant on St. Peter Street in the French Quarter. Pearl was also known for her world famous bread pudding. No, I am not has replaying her interview because she has passed, no Pearl is very much alive and well, but the “Old Coffee Pot” has gone out of business. The reason the “Old Coffee Pot” thrived was because of people like Pearl and that wonderful lady with a voice that filled the courtyard when she sang "Happy Birthday" to an unsuspecting customer. The restaurant closed it’s doors in part because of TV Chef, Gordon Ramsay. Ramsay was asked to give the restaurant a new look, so he painted the place white and painted over the wonderful mural in the courtyard. I fail to see the value in change for change sake. I fail to see why people who do not understand New Orleans or New Orleanians are in many cases given carte blanche to change what makes us unique. Thanks to the many people like Pearl our culture and our authentic city is alive and well. Listen as Pearl talks about her early years in Mississippi and why New Orleans is such a special place.

 

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New Orleans Voices

Our City Talks Back

about

Craig Kraemer grew up in New Orleans on Lowerline Street, across from the Carrollton Cemetery. As a child, he watched countless Jazz Funerals wind their way into the cemetery long before Jazz Funerals became cool. He remembers Hurricane Betsy and Mayor Vic Schiro’s famous quote to panicked citizens: “...don’t believe any false rumors unless they come from me...”

 

Kraemer lives now in Faubourg Saint John near picturesque Bayou St. John. (He prefers the term "faubourg" to"neighborhood" to reflect his pride in New Orleans’ French heritage.) Although his father’s family was originally from Germany, Kraemer’s ancestors—who established the town of Kraemer, Louisiana— adopted Cajun culture and traditions. His mother's family came straight from Paris to settle in New Orleans.

 

Kraemer's day job is as a videographer and graphic designer for his company, Kraemer Advertising. Kraemer's ongoing projects include filming productions for the New Orleans Opera, and symposiums and events for the Historic New Orleans Collection. In addition, he provides a variety of web videos and other film and graphic services for corporate and business clients. Kraemer's love for history and tradition have led him to recently open a new business: CK Digital Memories. This unique service allows Kraemer to apply his skills as an award-winning documentarian, film editor and visual designer to film and produce very personal and comprehensive Family History Video Documentaries for discerning clients. These broadcast quality productions capture the life stories of traditionalists who value their family legacies and heritages.

 

Kraemer’s clients understand the importance of preserving family history and achievements. They put high value on their history and want lasting video tributes to share their family pride with generations to come. In his work, Kraemer films clients as they recount family stories and share personal reminiscences. He then edits the video to include photographs and home movies the family provides. To add richness and ambiance, Kraemer adds music selections that relate to the stories and their eras, and includes photo images of cherished heirlooms or objects that have special family meaning. The result is a unique family chronicle, an enduring testament to a family’s continuing heritage. 

 

Kraemer started his New Orleans Podcasting site as a community service four months following Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans was in dire need of positive stories after the massive devastation of the storm. The national media were taking care of the negative stories. However, those who had stayed through Katrina, who were still in the city or who had just returned were eager to talk about the good things that were happening, however small they were. Kraemer’s weekly podcast interviews provided much needed injections of hope as they regularly highlighted positive stories throughout the city. Today, Kraemer continues to gather positive and unique stories to inform locals and the world about the wonderful place we call home.

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