Author: Errol Laborde

K-Paul’s: Stories du Jour

  Yogi Berra, the great catcher of the New York Yankees, was once asked about a famous Italian restaurant in his hometown of St. Louis. Berra. who was known for his malapropisms gave one of his all-time great responses: “Nobody…

Two Countries, Two Revolutions

  Several years ago, the then French Ambassador to the United States visited New Orleans. One morning, he hosted a breakfast (croissants and coffee) at the French consulate home on Prytania Street. After the ambassador spoke, telling about the commerce…

Can "Normal" Really Be "New?" Just Asking

  My pick of the buzz phrase for wicked 2020 is “New Normal.” It is used often to describe the way things are going to be different as we make our way through COVID-19. Offices spaces will change; so will…

From the Editor: From Abbeville To Zwolle

One semester in college I had a professor who started every class with the same question, “Is anybody here from Clarence?” After the first couple of classes it was evident that none of us was from the Natchitoches Parish village,…

Tujague's

If you had dined at Tujague’s Restaurant anytime between the years 1856 and 2013 you would not have had to think very hard about what to order. Known as a “Table d’hôte” menu there would be five courses, four of which were…

Staycation Nation

“Staycations” is the operative word in travel this year. With the world travel market in a tizzy, destinations are appealing to locals to revisit home. That’s the theme of this issue, as it is for many magazines. This is the…

Blaine Kern In Viareggio

  Float builder Blaine Kern’s death last week, at 93, brought to mind the story of a former Rex Captain, Darwin Fanner, who in 1956 hired the 29-year-old Kern to build the Rex parade. Kern had been building the ALLA…

Need Help From Voodoo? This Might Be The Week

  Maybe what we all need these days is a big dose of Voodoo. If so, this Tuesday, June 23, is St. John’s Eve. That’s a high holy day in the Voodoo world. New Orleans, as far as I know,…

Spring 2020: The Lost Season

  Let us pause for a moment and remember Spring 2020... A moment is all it should take. Or it could take a lifetime if you are obsessed with chronicling grief. Surely Spring 2020, which ends next Saturday, June 20,…

Should We Try Again To Neutralize Hurricanes?

  I know, we should be cautious of messing around with Mother Nature, but just for fun let us propose this argument: We have wondered about warts, colds, viruses and crabgrass and now each time a tropical system enters the…

Of Masks, Disasters and Governors

  Ninety-three years ago the Governor of Louisiana was Oramel H. Simpson, who had ascended to the post from being Lt. Governor. Among his accomplishments was to sign a bill outlawing public masking except on Mardi Gras and at masquerade…

Courts & Krewes

 What does old-line mean?  We define “old-line krewes” to be those krewes that were incorporated before 1950 and that maintain the social traditions of the older krewes. What’s the difference between being a Maid and being a Debutante? Maids are…

Streetcar: 5 Worst Calamities in New Orleans History

At this point the pandemic is still a current, live tragedy, but before passing judgment we’ll wait until the incident is buffered by time. Besides, it is not just local, but global. Focusing instead on the regional disasters, here’s my…

Evangeline At A Time Of COVID

  We have all experienced our Evangeline Oak moments this year. In 1928 Huey Long, then a little known candidate for governor, stood beneath the St. Martinville oak and made a speech that is a classic in American politics. Referring…

Memorial Day on a Different Battlefield

  Next Monday is Memorial Day, a time for remembering our military. The day feels a little different this year because, in a sense, we are all in another world war, only the enemy is invisible. As in the two…

A COVID Lesson: No One Rules Absolutely

  This week is the 75th anniversary of VE day, a celebration of the date, May 8, on which the peace treaties were finalized and World War II ended in Europe. The battles in the Pacific still raged, but for…

Why Carnival Should Persevere

  During the immediate post-Katrina days of 2005 Mayor Ray Nagin went to the Northshore one Sunday evening to talk to a group of displaced New Orleanians. They wanted to know about the condition of the city and when they…

From the Editor: Our Commitment

A SPECIAL EDITORIAL We have all experienced our Evangeline Oak moments this year. In 1928 Huey Long, a then little-known candidate for governor, stood beneath the oak and made a speech that is a classic in American politics. Referring to…

Bullying With A Purpose

  Usually when the word “bully” is used in the vicinity of City Hall the reference is to the reigning mayor and not to the mayor’s correspondents. To have been elected, all mayors must have some diplomatic skills; but to…

Italy

A tour guide at the back of the boat was pointing to some of the sites as the craft raced toward Bellagio (the real village not the hotel in Vegas.) Italy’s lake region is one of the most picturesque spots in…

Rose on the Rise

Since 2006, it has been common when referring back to an incident in contemporary time to refer to it as being “pre-Katrina.” Now we, and the world, will be speaking about “pre-Corona.” For “pre-” to have some boundaries there must…

When Zooming Goes Viral

  During our 2005 Hurricane Katrina exile we were in a coffee shop in upstate Alexandra. At a nearby table were two coeds who, we had learned from a brief conversation, were from Sweden and were attending the University of…

Thinking About Italy This Easter Week

  A tour guide at the back of the boat was pointing to some of the sites as the craft raced toward Bellagio (the real village not the hotel in Vegas). Italy’s lake region is one of the most picturesque…

Three Times (At Least) Mardi Gras Helped Save New Orleans

  This Mardi Gras marked 163 year since Comus started what would be the continuing parading tradition. The current Carnival post-season is the first time that a virus has ever been an issue. To the discussion, I submit the following:   1872…

In Search of Pain Perdu

 “Lost Bread” was a common home-cooked breakfast when I was a school kid, though I often stumbled at pronouncing it. My parents, who came from French Louisiana, used the native words, “pain perdu” which translates roughly to “lost bread.” Now…

Filé Jumbo

When your great uncle was known as “Blind Willie,” and when the tools of his trade, which are still in use, are 116 years old, you have to figure there is a story there. And there is. Baton Rouge resident…

Joseph and Patrick: The Lost Feast Days

  Late in the afternoon last Thursday, March 19, I stood at the front door of Angelo Brocato’s. In the world of Italian confections Brocato’s is perhaps the best there is, including the old country. There is significance to the…

When Life Turns Everything Upside Down

  For most of our Katrina exile we stayed at a relative’s home in the central Louisiana town of Marksville. One Sunday evening I needed to get a fill-up at the nearest gas station, which was down the highway at…

Lindy At The Vatican

  This Friday, March 13, will be the birthday of the late Lindy Boggs (1916), who during her career served as a member of congress and then later was Ambassador to what is officially known as “The Holy See.” No…