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New Orleans Magazine January 2005

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A Different Drum

“That’s weird” was the response of a friend when I told her that there is Mardi Gras, even full-blown Carnival seasons, in other states. I guess she forgot about the 2001 Seattle fiasco – rioting, vandalism, injuries; Seattle would like to, too. More recently, a California city stopped its celebration because, as the spokesperson candidly […]

Son of a Big Chief

Donald Harrison Jr. got his break in 1982 when the alto saxophonist and his trumpet-playing sidekick, Terence Blanchard, joined the front line of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. A graduate of NOCCA and student of Ellis Marsalis’, Harrison carried the rhythms of a Mardi Gras Indian background to Berklee School of Music in Boston, […]

A Distant Trauma

I will be at the parades this year, but I will be on the back row unless I wear goggles,” says Estelle Stapleton, a 60-year-old-plus Uptowner with Mardi Gras in her veins. Stapleton (not her real name) is a lifelong New Orleanian who has always been involved with the parades, courts and balls. “Usually, I […]

The Forgotten Apostle

St. Jude, a couple feet tall, looks out kindly over stacks of pink and white petitions. His neck is decorated with garlands. Bouquets of flowers surround him on the altar of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, offerings of sacrifice and thanksgiving. Pocket change and keys and scraps of notebook paper lie under his feet. The […]

Paper Propriety

You might say that, by and large, the time-honored tradition of wearing your mother’s wedding gown on your wedding day is a custom whose time has passed. Even beyond the issues of gown preservation and alterations, these days it’s not always easy to deprive an eager bride of what has become a veritable rite of […]

The perfect plan

Putting a wedding together requires a steady heart and a steady head. The phone is ringing off the hook. Your maid of honor just found out she’s expecting and is due on your wedding day. You need to schedule alterations, catering, invitations, a reception space, and hire a band. The “to-do” list grows longer and […]

Buzzard Bait

From the dreariest of urban places something occasionally sprouts that is joyous and worth beholding. For every Manhattan there is a Bronx – a place where the harder side of life provides for the glamour capital next door. For New Orleans there was once Jefferson City. Having a legal life of only two decades, from […]

Places to go, people to see, things to do

NATIVE SON The exhibit “Walter Inglis Anderson: Everything I See Is New and Strange” celebrates the many subjects and places the artist saw and experienced, including life in New Orleans. One hundred and forty-five works of art, formerly on view at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., will be on display Jan. 13-April 17 at […]

Carnival’s Dish

Years ago, shortly after I moved to New Orleans, I was a guest at a Thoth parade party in the heart of Uptown. Bloody Marys, cheese straws and a meaty brunch dish served with grits sustained us while we laughed and jumped for beads. It was a whimsical morning, one I’ll always remember as part […]

Carnival by the 5s

Traditional night parades (not counting satirical parades) 1. Proteus. Only surviving night parade of 19th-century origin. Appreciate this as a study of what parades were like in the grand old days. Lundi Gras, 4:15 p.m., St. Charles. 2. Hermes. A smart, colorful parade known for its innovations with neon lighting. Feb. 4, 6 p.m., St. […]

How to Transform a School

Only a few months have passed since the University of New Orleans opened P.A. Capdau UNO Charter School to ample fanfare and lofty expectations. After the spotlight dimmed and 261 students were settled, the real work began for Principal Shannon Verrett and his faculty and staff. At a schoolwide assembly the first day of class, […]

Summer Bridal Show – June 14, 5-8 PM