Bon Vivant | Film al Fresco
Paul Costello Photo

In some parts of the country September marks the first real taste of fall weather. Unfortunately, New Orleans isn’t in one of those parts of the country. That said, there is a dash of reprieve here and there until it begins to cool down in earnest in October. Until then, it’s essential to maximize those days the temperature mercifully drops below 95 degrees or — dare I say it — dips into the 80-degree range. A few years ago, on one, glorious 80-something-degree evening, we were enjoying glass of cold bubbly on the porch while awaiting delivery from Slice Pizzeria, when inspiration struck. Instead of taking our beverages and pizza inside for the Netflix night we planned, why not bring those moving pictures to the porch?

A few minutes later, the iPad was propped up on the decorative beverage tub (turned upside-down for use as a table), a bucket with bubbly on ice and the Bluetooth speaker were on the side table between our rocking chairs and “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries,” was cued up on Netflix.

We kept it simple with pizza and the iPad on the porch, but you could go as elaborate as time and resources permit. The next time, we’ll probably opt for the laptop, which has a larger screen than the iPad. If you have an outdoor outlet and a somewhat portable TV, you can get high tech with the project. True commitment would be a screen and projector. Candles, upholstered chairs from the living room, wine and a lavish cheese and charcuterie spread; movie snacks, pillows and blankets; or bean bags, beer and red beans and rice are all fun alternatives to our delivery pizza and you can take it to the porch, patio or yard. There are many possibilities. Just be mindful of the neighbors — or invite them to join in the fun.

A change of setting made a routine activity seem much more indulgent and allowed us to take advantage of the beautiful weather. There were a lot more outdoor movie nights after that inaugural “test flight” — in October and November, naturally.

(Editor’s Note: A version of this article originally published on