A Life Lived in Clutter

How many festivals and new restaurants can you attend and patronize?
JARED HOWERTON
Gris-Gris

 

If there ever was a town buried in clutter, it’s New Orleans. Neat is not in our DNA. We like distraction and chaos. We revel in those qualities. It’s us, who we are, and what we seem to like.

Tell me it makes any sense to build a new $1+ billion air terminal without an appropriate access road. Also we cannot truly reasonably justify starting a new year with two months of frenzied festivities in celebrations that terminate with the greatest free party on earth, except that is who we are. I don’t know of any formal studies on this, but is there another town anywhere that stages more parades with more music and free stuff for everyone?

This town can be governed (although that is up for discussion) but it cannot be controlled. Bars don’t close. Restaurants won’t ever ask you to give up your seat. Musicians MUST play "The Saints Go Marchin’ In." And a sad, missed call in a football game demanded a mass community response, which did indeed occur.

The chaos that defines us means we are also opening new restaurants and bars like crazy, and there are more new dining and drinking outlets than anyone can reasonably keep track, keeping in mind that New Orleans has not ever been underserved in this category. 

Are you familiar with:

 

Jewel of the South

1026 St. Louis St.

 

Justine

225 Chartres St.

justinenola.com

 

Longway Tavern

719 Toulouse St. 

longwaytavern.com

 

Trilly Cheesesteaks

4413 Banks St.

trillycheesesteaks.com

 

Zocalo

2051 Metairie Road

https://www.zocalo-nola.com/

 

Gris-Gris

1800 Magazine St. 

grisgrisnola.com

 

Three B’s Burgers and Wine Bar

911 Harrison Ave.

threebs.com

 

Catalino’s

7724 Maple St.

 

Little Fig

234 Loyola Ave.

little-fig.com

 

Couvant

315 Magazine St.

couvant.com

 

Barracuda

3984 Tchoupitoulas St.

eatbarracuda.com

 

Morrow’s

2438 St. Claude Ave.

morrowsnola.com

 

Manolito

508 Dumaine St. 

manolitonola.com

 

Rosalita’s Backyard Tacos

3319 N. Rampart St.

 

Vyoone’s

412 Girod St.

vyoone.com

 

Elysian Bar

2317 Burgundy St.

theelysianbar.com/

 

This is a partial list, and, yet, I am willing to bet that you have not been to more than four of the establishments on the list. Some have been opened about a year. I am further willing to bet that you have not even heard of many of these places. Be truthful now.

Absent from the list are hundreds of "Old Favorites." We have not turned our back on those places. They are still patiently waiting for us to again walk through their doors.

An extension of this New Orleans Chaos Theory applies to festivals.

Here’s what you have coming up locally just within the next 45 days:

 

Bourbon Festival 

March 20 – 23

neworleansbourbonfestival.com

 

Louisiana Crawfish Festival, Chalmette

March 21-24

facebook.com/louisianacrawfishfestival

 

BUKU Music and Art Project

March 22 – 23

thebukuproject.com

 

Italian American St. Joseph Parade

March 23

 

Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade, Metairie

March 24

 

Tennessee Williams Festival

March 27 – 31

 

Hogs for The Cause, New Orleans Lakefront

March 29 – 30

hogsforthecause.org

 

Amazing Grapes, Hermann-Grima House

March 29

hgghh.org

 

New Orleans Spring Fiesta 

March 30 – 31, April 6 – 7

springfiestanola.com

 

Edible Schoolyard Evening

April 4

esynola.org

 

New Orleans Wine and Food Experience

April 4 – 7

nowfe.org

 

Kenner’s Italian Heritage Festival

April 5 – 7

italianheritagefestival.com

 

Deanie’s Seafood 10th Annual Pinch-a-Palooza Crawfish Festival, Bucktown

April 6

pinchapalooza.com

 

St. Bernard Irish Italian Islenos Parade

April 6

 

Louisiana Crawfish Boil Championships, Marrero

April 6

 

Asian Pacific American Society Festival, Audubon Zoo

April 6

audubonnatureinstitute.org/apas

 

Freret Street Festival

April 6

facebook.com/Freret-Street-Festival

 

A Night in Ole New Orleans Parade and Gala

April 6

 

French Quarter Festival

April 11 – 14

fqfi.org

 

New Orleans Museum of Art Easter Egg Hunt and Family Festival

April 13

noma.org

 

Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival

April 12 – 14

lastrawberryfestival.com

 

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

April 25-28, May 2 -5

nojazzfest.com

 

Visitation of Our Lady Cajun Festival, Marrero

April 26 – 28

 

NOLA Crawfish Festival, Central City

April 29 – May 1

nolacrawfishfest.com

 

That extensive list of events takes us through the end of April, only 45 days from now. And the list is by no means complete as there are likely plenty of neighborhood, small groups and church festivals also staged during this time.

Nor have we included important events staged in neighboring towns, such as the 33rd year of the incredible Festival International de Louisiana, April 26 – 28, in Lafayette, billed as the largest free international music festival in the world.   

Bringing us back to the original question: how many festivals and new restaurants can you attend and patronize? How many from these lists did you know were open or celebrating?

And does the word “clutter” even begin to describe the riches with which we are surrounded?

 

 

-30-

 

Read Happy Hour here on myneworleans.com on Wednesdays, and listen to The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, hosted by Tim, every weekday, 4:00 – 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 about cocktails in New Orleans, every month in New Orleans Magazine.

 

 

Categories: Festivals, Happy Hour, Restaurants, Things To Do

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