Author: Errol Laborde

Nyx On Parade

  Last week, the Krewe of Nyx announced that it would break Carnival tradition by staging a summer version of its parade to be held in July in addition to its regular Carnival season march. This was supposed to be…

The Advocate Buys The Picayune

  On a weekday afternoon in June 2012 Allen Toussaint drove his vintage Cadillac into the parking lot at Rock and Bowl on South Carrollton Avenue where anxious fans escorted him to a keyboard placed on a makeshift stage. Toussaint…

A Woman’s Story

Lindy Boggs liked to tell the story about when she was growing up in the Pointe Coupee town of New Roads. She was raised primarily by aunts and went to school at a nearby convent. In this, our women’s issue,…

Streetcar: The Shrimp Boats of Bucktown

Shrimp boats once docked in the small canal that lined the area best known as Bucktown. It was a picturesque little neighborhood off Hammond Highway along the border of Orleans and Jefferson parishes. There was a restaurant, Sid-Mar’s, a view…

'Lake Charles,' the Song

I am willing to accept that there are lots of things in life that I don’t know. What bothers me however, is the things that I don’t know, but everyone else seems to know. As I stood near the front…

Top 5 Live Music Peeves

In this the year’s biggest month of music here’s my list of "Five Top Live Music Peeves." Just to be dramatic, they're listed in ascending order from five to number one. 5. Performers who introduce one of their standards by…

A Quirky But Holy Good Friday Stop

  I once had a conversation with Tom Benson about the neighborhood where he grew up. His parish church was Our Lady Star of the Sea located on St. Roch Street, not far from St. Claude Avenue, in Bywater. Benson…

Zephyr Stories

Last week the team formerly known as the New Orleans Zephyrs but now called the Baby Cakes opened what will likely be its final season here. The franchise, so it has been announced, will be moving to Wichita, Kansas where…

Streetcar: In the Land of Easter Egg Paquing

  About 200 kids stood across from each other in parallel lines on a Saturday before Easter in a park near the Avoyelles Parish town of Effie. Each kid was handed two colored hard boiled eggs and, when given the…

How New Orleans Saved The Altars

  From the first St. Joseph’s Day altar I ever attended, as a kid, I recall an elderly Sicilian lady who explained why she built an altar. One night, she said, she saw a small apparition of Saint Joseph who…

Ash Wednesday

  I once worked in an office where on the day after Mardi Gras I noticed the two girls at the front desk each had ashen crosses on their forehead. At first I thought it was touching that they had gone…

From the Editor: Home of the Hayride

Standing on the stage at Shreveport’s legendary Municipal Auditorium, Winston Hall, a musician and tour guide with a passion for the city’s music legacy, points to a spot on the floor, right up from in the center. The auditorium is…

Zulu And Blackface: A Perspective From The Pulpit

Last Sunday an ancient form of communication, a church homily, combined with a technique as modern as a podcast to deliver some sense to a sensitive issue. The homily, by Father Peter Finney III the pastor of St. Rita’s church…

Moon Pies Over New Orleans

  Moon Pies were not invented in New Orleans, but they should have been. The confection has a New Orleans quality to it – decadent and excessive. Because they are factory wrapped in cellophane the marshmallow sandwiches are legal to toss from carnival…

The Wild West At The Time Of Rex

  Feb. 13, 1872 – New Orleans For George Armstrong Custer the occasion of the first Rex parade on Feb. 13, 1872 was one of the few marches in his life in which he was a spectator and not a…

Le Krewe

Funny thing about satire, to be at its best it most often has to be taken seriously. Poking fun and being serious can conjure opposite emotions, but satire, when done right, and especially if it is funny, can be hard…

Streetcar: A Mardi Gras Strike

Forty years ago this Mardi Gras season, New Orleans and its Carnival faced a crisis together. Both would be enriched by the experience, though there would be plenty of pain and stress along the way. At issue were the New…

Quintessential Carnival

  I once had a conversation with a man who was an official of the Knights of Hermes. He was effusive about the group’s upcoming parade. “It will be the most beautiful ever,” he exclaimed. He also mentioned the parade’s…

3 Years When Mardi Gras Helped Save the City

  This year marks the 40th anniversary of a season in which Carnival helped save the city from outside forces and general greed. What happened that year, 1979, was way beyond street level frivolity but a gritty example of civic…

From the Editor: Les Chansons du Carnaval

On Mardi Gras morning in those villages of the Cajun prairie that are blessed with a Carnival celebration, a pack of mounted revelers heads towards various homes. As they approach they sing a special song in Cajun French: Les Mardi…

The Coat And The Krewe

We were on the way to Washington for the annual Mystick Krewe of Louisianians Carnival ball via Southwest Airlines through Baltimore. Southwest does not assign seating, so as a person obsessed with elbow room, I always try to develop a…

Changes at the Bar

  Pay attention now, and I will teach you how to make the first cocktail I learned to make as a kid. There was no formal training. This was just from watching adults, usually at some sort of family gathering…