The Editor’s Room

Should We Try Again With Hurricane Modification?

  We have wondered this about warts, colds and crabgrass and now each time a hurricane enters the Gulf of Mexico we ask the same about the storms, “why can’t they make them go away?” In fact, “they” have tried.…

Maria vs. The Boys

  This being the week of the Major League All-Star game brings to mind one of those moments when baseball worked its magic. It happened during a Zephyrs’ game (back when the team was still called by that name) several…

England Swings: Bonding For Britain

  In this the week of our nation’s annual celebration of independence from England I am feeling sorry for the mother country. England’s historic greatness cannot be denied but the country is now at war with itself over the Brexit…

Goodbye Newhouses; And Now The Change

  If you’re nostalgic about these kinds of things keep your editions of The Times-Picayune this week, or at least save next Sunday’s copy because that will be the last edition of the newspaper printed in the Newhouse era. Beginning…

Parade Unrest: Making Moves in Jefferson Parish

  There were two revealing news stories about Carnival coming out of Jefferson Parish last week. One came from a report in The Times-Picayune based on a public records request. The report gave results of the Mike Yenni administration’s review…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Bonfires On The Levees: Searching For The Truth

Not that we would ever deny the existence of Papa Noel, but we need to put to rest a tale that circulates every year about Papa and the annual Christmas Eve bonfires. The burning pyres line the levees of the river…

Mirlitons on the Table

  My mom spent her last years in a nursing home. When we visited, her recollections quite often turned to family gatherings. As a holiday, such as Thanksgiving, approached her ongoing wish was to be able to fix “a big…

Soldiers On Parade

  This past Saturday I watched a Veterans Day parade along Harrison Avenue. The crowd clapped politely as troops from the various services marched by. (Even the Boy Scouts got cheers.) Probably no one realized that some of the cross…

A Priest Story

  There was a visiting priest at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic church on Canal Street one Sunday in 2002. He was a man on rank within the church, the Provincial of the Holy Cross order, whose priests ran the…