One Christmas season as a kid, I took it on myself to contain a terrible secret, as though I was sparing the world from ever finding out. But the moment of truth was coming. A thing to do during the season was to take a family ride up Canal Street, first passing the Centenni house […]
It’s not much of a contest whenever some challenge arises regarding where in the world the most amped celebrations take place. While New Orleans may not be in the top spot all the time, for sheer numbers of celebrations, and factoring in quality of revelry, we are always near the top of the list. Holiday […]
Church services, drop-in parties and hearty gumbos are Christmas Eve traditions for many south Louisiana families. While our city’s French Creole settlers broke their fast after midnight Mass in a celebration known as Réveillon, schedules now adhere to earlier gatherings to accommodate Santa. Réveillon fare in the 1800s included daube glacé, grits and grillades, gumbos, […]
Rockrose New Orleans finally has a first-rate Greek restaurant now that Rockrose has opened. Owner Nick Asprodites and chef Brian Doyle have a menu leaning more toward fine-dining than hummus and gyros, with dishes like ouzo and beet-cured cobia with orange and labneh, or local fish with roasted grapes, fried capers, fennel puree and roasted […]
There are plenty of Vietnamese restaurants in New Orleans, but there is only one like the Em Trai Sandwich Company. Recently opened by chef and owner Tung Nguyen, Em Trai cleverly melds traditional Vietnamese, American barbecue and local poor boy shop influences into one contemporary package served up with slick minimalist style. Em Trai landed […]
18 karat white gold, natural sapphire and diamond necklace, and 18 karat white gold, natural sapphire and diamond flower earrings, Adler’s, 523-5292, AdlersJewelry.com. MODEL: CHRISTINA CRAIG / MAKEUP: MEGGAN ORY / HAIR: MONIQUE MUNOZ Georgian-era vine motif necklace with 7 carats of old-cut diamonds, featuring a double-drop pendant with two Old European diamonds weighing 5.45 […]
For our annual December list of restaurant, food and drink “bests,” our team of writers, plus our editorial staff, met with the difficult task of honoring a few of our favorites. The restaurants, people and places listed within mark some of the best of the best for 2019. We look forward to what the menu […]
“We didn’t want it to look like a brand-new house,” said Ann Williams of the new residence she and her husband retired state appeals court Judge David Williams recently built in Old Metairie. “We wanted it to look inspired by an Italian Villa.” Check and check. The home’s classic bones defy being identified with a […]
Tinsel and stardust, dancing fairies and clever mice, memorable music: all adding up to a massive annual Yuletide fundraiser for art in New Orleans……… of course, it’s The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s 1892 ballet – the tale of a young girl who receives a nutcracker as a present and has a fantastic dream – was not considered […]
This time of year always presents some distinctly local ways of celebrating the holidays, as well as some old favorites. This year we have a great program of Christmas celebrations before we head into the hedonism of New Year’s Eve. Things kick off on the 14th when the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra offers their Holiday Spectacular […]
I typically love a good portmanteau, so I’m not sure why I have such a visceral dislike for the word “listicle.” I guess I am opposed to it from a journalistic standpoint, as it just seems… well, lazy. It’s lazy to just throw a bunch of items together in a list without having a beginning, middle, or […]
“T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a…” “Mouse-EE!” sing-songs my niece, Flambeau. Something scurries over my foot. Oh, gawd. A mouse ran out from under the couch —this same couch which we are sitting on — and disappeared into a crack in the baseboard.. […]
There are life-altering moments in a young man’s life, incidents and accidents that forever imprint themselves into memory and longing. Your first kiss. Your first car. Your first concert. Your first significant fish. And your first drink in New Orleans. I am no longer a young man. And, truth be told, I have not yet […]
With a plethora of holiday activities lined up, New Orleans is once again poised to welcome the influx of visitors it has come to expect during this festive season. The city has become increasingly popular as a winter holiday destination, and this year’s visitors will find that a larger-than-ever supply of accommodations awaits them. Thirteen […]
For more than 50 years New Orleans music icon Benny Grunch, along with his “Bunch,” has been playing the soundtrack of the city, from Kings Day all the way through the year to Christmas, and back again. His appearances on WWLTV’s morning show alongside Frank Davis drew viewers to tune in during the holidays for […]
Mandatory Merriment Southern Rep hosts this irreverent holiday comedy musical from Dec. 4-29. Due to unforeseen circumstances, six strangers end up stranded at a French Quarter tavern and are forced to find new ways to celebrate Christmas. Information, SouthernRep.com. Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live The award-winning TV comedy Mystery Science Theater 3000 is coming to […]
Dear Julia and Poydras, I remember reading, years ago, about Tokay Tea Baseball Park. Can you tell me anything about its namesake product? Was Tokay a local brand? Craig Pierce (Metairie) The New Orleans Import Company, Ltd., which was established in 1888, imported and blended the popular local product. Tokay Tea was a blend of […]
There are three images that define the year 2019 in New Orleans: one is defiant, the other is humorously pathetic and the other is tragic. That defiance was enacted around town on Feb. 3, the day of what to the rest of the nation was Superbowl Sunday, but what in New Orleans was the “No […]
We didn’t intend it that way, but there is a distinctive Italian theme to our best of dining selections this year. Our designated Chef of the Year, Rebecca Wilcomb, heads the kitchen at a new Italian restaurant, Gianna, and our Restaurant of the Year, Sofia, is as Italian as Sophia Loren, after whom it is […]
By now, you’ve probably heard it played in a store or restaurant “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” Surely you’ve seen kids jingle-belling and TV commercials telling you to be of good cheer. And while holiday songs fill the airwaves, twinkling lights have filled local thoroughfares, windows and roofs. The holiday spirit is […]
Our brains communicate and process so much more than just our thoughts – they define how we feel, how we move and how we operate as people with our own unique personalities. A complex and integral component of the body, the brain and entire nervous system may require highly specialized care in the event of […]
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One Christmas season as a kid, I took it on myself to contain a terrible secret, as though I was sparing the world from ever finding out. But the moment of truth was coming.
A thing to do during the season was to take a family ride up Canal Street, first passing the Centenni house in Mid-City, a mansion known for its display of lights and remembered most notably for a Santa figure riding an animated life-sized plastic elephant. Then the ride would continue toward the business district. This is where I cringed because each night Santa himself would be sitting on the balcony of the D.H. Holmes department store waving to his global constituency. But I was dealing with the harsh reality: someone, and I don’t remember who, but it might have been another kid in the school yard, told me that Santa had been shot. Put bluntly, there had been a pistol at the Pole. Yet, as I slowly glanced toward the balcony I was thrilled, because Clause was there looking fully fit. And if there were any blood stains on his red coat it was impossible to tell. Somehow the news about the attempted Santacide had escaped the world’s press and was known only to my informant. The Arctic’s first responders must have acted quickly.
With the trauma put aside, I could better appreciate the next stop, which was at the hotel then known as the Roosevelt, which would be changed to the Fairmont and then eventually back to the Roosevelt. The block-long lobby that stretched between the hotel’s entrances at University Place and Baronne was converted into a winter wonderland, with a fluffy canopy of show-like cotton lining the ceiling. For New Orleanians, walking through the Roosevelt lobby was our White Christmas.
From there, the journey continued down Baronne Street, past the Jesuit church, towards the Sears department store, where a five-stories-high plywood Santa, carrying a package labeled “from Sears,” fronted the building. Now, it was contrary to all that we had been taught that Claus’ stash actually came from Sears, but back then it might have been believable, especially for kids who wanted washers and dryers.
That building still stands, now as a hotel, but the plywood St. Nick is long gone. The schoolyard gossiper had it wrong: Neither Sears nor D.H. Holmes would survive, but Santa lives.