Along the Avenue

Christopher Montgomery and Chef Donald Link at the Road Kill Cook Off. |!!!|

New Orleans summers are hot, humid and uncomfortable, so lots of folks bagged the “stay-cation” idea and headed for different climates. Gretchen and Charlie Bosworth parked themselves in a cottage in the Poconos, where the mountain air required sweaters and the corn and tomatoes were perfectly in season. Bruce Wallis and Virginia Miller took time off from renovating the kitchen in their new Third Street digs to head to the Miller family’s rambling cottage in the Adirondacks – Keene Valley to be exact – where they hiked mountains and chowed down on strawberry-rhubarb pie at the famed Noon Mark Diner.

After Morgan Stanley merged with Smith Barney, investment advisor Kevin Mackey and his wife Haydee flew to Antigua, Guatemala for the wedding of Haydee’s cousin Maria Gabriela Linares at Casa Santo Domingo, of Hotel Bougainvillea and centuries-old cobblestones fame. Other New Orleanians enjoying everything from elegant weddings to full-on pig roasts included Steve St. Pierre and his new bride Whitney and Dr. Louis Cucinotta with his wife Marcia and son Michael. Mackey reports Antigua is only two hours by plane from Houston. Aline Walshe saw a lot of airports this summer as she flitted from one McCausland wedding to another: Morgan’s in Pittsburg and Clay’s in Benton Harbor, Mich.

Carey Bond and Henry Lambert retreated to the Aspen area while pal Sandra Kramer headed to her Islesboro, Maine haven to tend her flowers. Realtor Margaret Maxwell and husband Max took a house in Sea Grove Beach, Fla., and filled all five bedrooms with youngsters.

If you happened to be in Urgup, looked up and thought you saw Kay Alpaugh in a hot air balloon, you hadn’t been “over served” at the Ziggy Café  … that really was Kay, who reports that her trip to Turkey was “the bomb;” she’s ready to return because there’s never enough time in the souks of Istanbul, or too little to see in Ephesus. Lots of musical North- and Southshore kids and their families headed to the Big Apple to perform on a very big stage. These members of the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestras know the way to get to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice – and they did indeed.  

No vacation for poor Jim Lestelle; nursing a broken ankle he had to make the Roosevelt Hotel his “unofficial” second office. The hotel, which officially opens in October but has been serving guests all summer, is one of his clients and he’s prone to meet folks in the Sazarac. In the self-same bar this month, a party will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of “Stormin’ The Sazarac;” partygoers will even be wearing period clothing. Later there will be capes as the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus, will arrive and bunk down at the famed hotel for its international convention. Captains, commanders, dames, knights and a titled baron or two often don long black capes emblazoned with green crosses. But more on that later …

Mary Madison Griswold, Ann Lee Sarpy and Margo Phelps spent the summer working on their latest project making custom “trumeau,” which look like things of old. Seems Nina (Griswold) Fitch asked for a trumeau hanging in her mother’s house and Mary Madison handed it over, thinking finding a replacement would be easy. Then, Nina’s sister Catherine wanted one. So Mary Madison asked her husband GG, (more formally “George”), to make one in the workshop where he and Esmond Phelps like to build things – such as boat models and tables – when they’re not busy being financial stewards or attorneys. Margo spotted the finished product and wanted a pair. Ann Lee wanted one and loves to paint. So didn’t the gals put their heads together and their talented husbands to work? Pals at Orient Expressed showed interest and, voila, “Reflections” was born.

Christopher and Christa Montgomery spent much of the summer planning the state Ducks Unlimited convention, held here. Christopher was chairman, and that means nothing but 1,000 details from meetings, speakers and discussions on conserving our wetlands, to banquets. The “Road Kill Cookout,” which pits chefs from different cities and parishes against each other in a free-for-all cooking contest held under various tents, is always a highlight. There was everything from alligator sausage and Asian-Cajun, to a dish called “Cajun Heart Attack,” which could’ve give you one: heavy whipping cream was poured with cheese over crabmeat, shrimp and crawfish tails then mixed into bow-tie pasta! Judge and chef Donald Link enjoyed the shenanigans despite the drizzle; meanwhile further downtown in the Convention Center John Besh was hosting the “Great American Seafood Challenge” – equally as fun, far more professional and a lot more organized.

You know what September means: Every one is ready for the football and cultural seasons to begin!

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St. Charles Avenue
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