From time to time I receive emails about food and restaurants from outside of the greater New Orleans area. I have been writing about food for long enough that I am apparently on a number of lists of food writers, and some of those lists do not distinguish by location. 

I regularly receive emails about restaurants opening in Detroit, for example. Well, regularly might be a bit much, 4-5 times a year is more accurate, but I have never been to Detroit and have no plans to go, so whatever the number seems like surplus to me. (That is not to denigrate the restaurant scene in Detroit, which, from what I’ve read, is thriving despite that city’s difficulties). 

I once wrote about hotels, too, and I suspect that’s the reason I sometimes get emails about far-flung resorts and events happening therein. I have to confess that most of the time I don’t really read these emails, and when I do, I usually stop reading once I see that the press release involves a foreign country, because even if they were willing to fly me somewhere and “comp” me everything in exchange for my coverage, I don’t have the time and at some point they’d probably figure out that I cover food and restaurants rather than travel. 

I guess what I’m saying is that I lack the time and qualifications to ethically compromise myself? Regardless, recently I received one of these emails, and though I am, if anything, busier than usual, I started reading it. It was a little confusing at first, but after 4-5 minutes I realized that I had been invited to a nudist resort in Mexico for a New Orleans-themed event. 

Now I am a confident, modern, suave and all-around super dude, and I have been nude once or twice, but I’m not entirely sure how I feel about public nudity. 

For me, I mean; there are people for whom I heartily approve of the practice, and then there are people I do not wish to imagine sans clothes. As soon as I realized the nature of the invitation, I called my wife; or perhaps I delved into the press release attached to the email and did a quick Google search of the organization first, then called my wife. I’m not sure.

Regardless, I called my wife and told her about it, and that I was going and hah hah what fun we had that day! 

Here’s the thing: I’m not going, because I can’t afford to travel whether I’m paid to do it or not, and the woman who sent me the email suggested she’d like to find out more about my readership and demographic before committing – I assume – to flying me to the Mayan Riviera to enjoy the beach and try very hard to avoid eye contact with everyone. (That last bit was not in the email). 

But I don’t know that you, Dear Readers, might not want to hear about this event, and though it is right around the corner, the fact that I received an email announcing it only a week ago suggests to me that spaces might yet be available. Here, then, is a portion of the release I received: 



Why wait until winter to experience the atmosphere and pleasures of Mardi Gras? On September 17-20th, 2015, the sights, sounds, and tastes of Bourbon Street on Fat Tuesday will take over the five star, all-inclusive Hidden Beach Resort by Karisma Hotel Properties! “New Orleans Takeover” will bring the festivities to the sparkling sands of the Mexican Riviera for the first time for a rollicking Mardi Gras-themed weekend escape.

At New Orleans Takeover, guests will be invited to participate in eclectic Mardi Gras-inspired events throughout the weekend. Live jazz will infuse guests with the spirit of “N’awlins” and put them in a non-stop partying mood. What’s Mardi Gras without beads and feathers? There will be plenty on hand, as if guests are watching the parade go by on Bourbon Street. While indulging in delicious cocktail mixology of Mardi Gras-themed concoctions, their taste buds will be inflamed by authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine created by Hidden Beach’s gourmet chefs. The weekend will culminate in a sensational Mardi Gras Masquerade party, bringing the Carnival to a conclusion in high style.

Hidden Beach Resort is the only all-inclusive luxury nudist resort in the world. Consisting of 42 beachfront suites, Hidden Beach is a secluded adults only property, perfect for couples and singles alike. Located just one hour and a half south of Cancun Airport, Hidden Beach Resort lies on a stretch of white sand beach offering spectacular views of the Mexican Caribbean sea. Hidden Beach blends signature services such as personalized check-in with a welcome glass of champagne and exclusive concierge service with charming architecture to create an atmosphere of understated luxury.

“I’ve always been a little obsessed with the Mardi Gras Parade and the New Orleans culture”, admits Niche Marketing Director of Karisma Hotel Properties, Alejandro Perez. “New Orleans Takeover will be the first time we bring something high energy like Mardi Gras TO our guests so they can experience high energy flair with out having to leave the property”.


BOOKING: 866 527 1762

Use Promo Code: MARDIGRAS

for exclusive VIP offers


I like it any time a guy says he’s obsessed with New Orleans culture, but there are some … issues with the above press release. First, the reason one waits for the atmosphere and pleasures of Carnival have to do with the calendar, and specifically that Carnival runs from Epiphany through Ash Wednesday. Then some of you give things up and/or fast and the rest of us joke about what we’re giving up and generally feel slightly guilty for only toning down our hedonism. 

Second, please don’t say “N’Awlins.” Please? You are almost certainly not one of the people who comes to that pronunciation honestly (and if you are, and you’re reading this, God bless you, my Heart), and if you’re not one of those people, you sort of come off as an asshole to the rest of us when you (even ironically) say “New Orleans” that way. 

Third, please don’t also talk about attending parades on Bourbon Street, at least not in the context of “Mardi Gras,” because there are no parades down Bourbon during Carnival, or at least none as the word is commonly understood. I work downtown and I’m in the Quarter fairly often, but let’s not kid ourselves: Bourbon Street during “Mardi Gras” is to be avoided if you have any sense, and it’s got nothing to do with Carnival. 

So I guess I have mixed feelings about this event. I’m sure the resort is very nice, and that some of the nude people who attend are the sort of nude people I would enjoy seeing nude, even if I would be sort of embarrassed about seeing them nude. I, of course, would almost certainly end up talking to gregarious 60-something couples from Indiana, Florida and Arizona wearing expensive sandals about mundane things while avoiding eye contact. 

So if you have some interest, I’d suggest you call the number above, or type “Hidden Beach Resort Mexico” into your favorite search engine. I am not entirely sure I can recommend using “image search,” but I’m not the boss of you, so knock yourself out.