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New Orleans Magazine January 2009

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Commentary from New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

In his Jan. 9 interview with reporter John Pope of The Times-Picayune, Archbishop Alfred Hughes referred to the church closings and the subsequent police action as a challenge of "the cross of leadership." The analogy to the cross is a common one, especially appropriate for a bishop, but "who is carrying which cross?" is a […]

Commentary from New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

What happened last week was one of the sorriest days in the history of the local Catholic church-not as personally damaging as some of the scandals that have drained the church nationwide, but certainly demoralizing to local Catholics.         For the sake of perspective it should be mentioned that there have been some glorious moments in […]

Commentary from New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

In places where Carnival is not practiced Twelfth Night is just another winter evening, but in New Orleans the night is alive with subtle native rituals that are still spared the gaudiness and encroaching commercialism found as the season reaches its end on Mardi Gras. For almost a century and a half The Twelfth Night […]

The Reds vs. The Greens

Strange. Katrina’s aftermath knocked out the trolley track system along the St. Charles line, but its green streetcars, which were housed at the Willow Street car barn, were untouched. However on the Canal Street line, the track system survived but the red streetcars, which were housed at the Canal Street car barn, were flooded. RTA […]

Daniel French: Riding the Radio Waves

When it happened on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, it ranked right up there with the most egregious of sacrileges in New Orleans history such as the closing of K&B, D.H. Holmes and Schwegman’s. WTIX-AM Radio, the “Mighty 690,” the rock ‘n’ roll giant that sponsored “WTIX Appreciation Night at the Beach,” gave away an […]

Living Above the Store

In these days of telecommuting, when an Internet connection and a fax machine can free workers from the office, the pleasures of living where you work are becoming obvious to more and more people. But in New Orleans, living in the same building as the family business has long been a well-accepted tradition. Artist George […]

Last Call

Turning the calendar to a new year is cause for celebration and reconsideration. We celebrate every New Year because that’s what our species does. We seek milestones to note, and the odometer spins 2008 into ’09 so we go a bit crazy with our friends. We also take a moment to reconsider, to reflect and […]

Featured Dining

Enlightened by Nirvana’s cuisineIn 1982, Har and Anila Keswani opened their first Indian restaurant, Taj Mahal, in Metairie. Since then, the Keswani family has operated three other Indian restaurants in New Orleans: Keswani’s in Uptown Square, Shalimar in the French Quarter and, since 1999, Nirvana, situated on a bustling block Uptown on Magazine Street.All the […]

A Day at the Races

As the horses crossed the finish line, the nattily dressed young man in the velvet fedora and sports coat went wild. He jumped up and yelled happily to his startled but amused friends and then ran, careening through the crowd in the Fair Grounds Race Course, a betting slip held triumphantly over his head, to […]

Helen Hill: An Unfinished Story

They got up before dawn, put on costumes he can no longer remember and set out on foot for the parades, several miles from their apartment in the leafy Carrollton neighborhood. Helen Hill and Paul Gailiunas, both Harvard graduates, had just moved to New Orleans after six long winters in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he […]

Good News: Schooling is Improving

While much of the rest of the country braces for more bad economic news in 2009, New Orleans has reason to celebrate: Its schools are on the rise. It is too early to pop the expensive bubbly, but there are plenty of indications that the past three years of effort to improve schools is paying […]

New Orleans’ Best

Now that the business of electing a president and a new Congress are over, we can hunker down to tallying the votes that count the most – our readers’ selection of New Orleans’ Best. To further exercise democracy, self-addressed, postage-paid detachable ballots were included in our September and October issues. Ballots were also available online. […]

Master Pieces

It had been a long time since I pulled from the bookshelf my copy of the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by the master herself, Julia Child. There was a time when it was the bible of all special meals and certainly of any experimental challenges. My copy of the 1961 […]

Fighting a Different Battle

I have been in Iraq now for nine months – minus two. The minus two occurred during the months of July and August. Ironically, they were the scariest. Down dark alleys hidden within the sinister underbelly of cities like Ramadi, Fallujah and Haditha lay enemies of the American and Iraqi reconstruction and reconciliation efforts. Despite the […]


The Louisiana Board of Regents has agreed to match funds for endowed chairs and professorships at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Officials presented LSUHSC with $1,440,000 in matching funds from the Louisiana Educational Quality Support Fund (fiscal year 2008) to support 16 professorships and a chair. The total amount raised for the endowed […]

New Year’s List

Consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds but pick a single breakfast and eat it every day. Save variety for later meals as early morning is no time for creative preparations. Stalk your grocery store aisle for John McCann’s steel cut Irish Oatmeal, a breakfast sleeper in a tin can. Check the company’s Web […]

Eyes on the Future

The wounded city pleads for her good citizens to return, rethink and rebuild. Many do. However, three-and-a-half-years after Hurricane Katrina flooded most of New Orleans, despair proves hardest to repair. Traveling back to 2008, the year began trumpeted by criminal justice “stakeholders” crammed into a room at City Hall: the popular FBI Special Agent-in-Charge, the […]

Opening the books, online

If knowledge is indeed power, Louisiana residents may be feeling a bit brawnier thanks to a new Web-based tool that puts a great deal of state fiscal information at their fingertips. In a bid to increase public trust in Louisiana’s government and to attract new businesses here, the state launched an online program called Louisiana […]

Read and Spin

Resolve to put more music in your life in 2009; start with Jane Monheit’s new release, The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me. Monheit’s gentle voice has soothing, Orphean qualities – a great soundtrack for a (hopefully) mellow new year.Her second release from Concord Records, Monheit’s album covers standards such as “I Do It for Your […]

Red Allen

Five years ago on a trip out west we pulled into a record store near Yellowstone Park. I needed material to feed the CD player in the rental car and found the collected hits of Gene Autry. You can’t travel the wide-open vistas into Wyoming and be a real American without cowboy songs in the […]

A new New Orleans brew

When Kirk Coco set out to start a new brewery in New Orleans, he’d never made a beer in his life. Lucky for him, then, that he was introduced early in the project to Peter Caddoo, who hasn’t stopped brewing beer since bottling his first batch 30 years ago. Together they formed New Orleans Lager […]

Restaurant Insider

Chef Dave Gotter opened Gott Gourmet (3100 Magazine St.) last September with an eclectic menu of sandwiches and salads. One such is the St. Patty’s Day Massacre, which is a variation on the Reuben featuring braised and “pulled” corned beef, Gruyere, Horseradish, Cheddar, Fries, Ancho-honey slaw, Thousand Island dressing and Creole mustard on Pumpernickel for […]

In a Hurry for Curry

There is a rationale stating that the more equatorial the region, the spicier its cuisine. This is backed by the reasoning that hot foods make people perspire, thereby cooling them off. I have always scratched my head at this, not because it’s unreasonable but because well-spiced foods also work as an elixir to damp, cold […]

The inside track on going green

To show how New Orleans homes can be safer, smarter and more energy efficient, a Mid-City-based nonprofit starts with a house that looks torn apart. It is the model house, left partially un-built, within the Art Egg studios off South Broad Street that the new BuildSmart Learning Center calls home. From open walls to an […]

Bryan Batt

It was no doubt a cold winter night in 1972 when the curtain rose on the third-grade Christmas play at the Isidore Newman School theater. Amongst the cast, one boy was nervously adjusting his costume, one that included a bright red nose, as he was portraying Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer – everyone’s favorite overcoming-the-odds […]

Executive Order

For the Bush family, New Orleans has represented highs and lows in their presidencies. Dad became his party’s candidate here; son would be haunted by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. When the histories of the Clinton administrations are written, they will probably overlook that his first visit as president outside of Washington was to New […]

Julia Street

Hi Julia, New Orleans canals have been in the news lately. I know about the Orleans Avenue Canal, the London Avenue Canal and the infamous 17th Street Canal. But what about the Carondelet Canal? How did this figure in New Orleans history and what became of it? Walt BrannonPicayune, Miss.Dug during the administration of Spanish […]

Marquee – January

100 Years of ZuluIt is time to gather your costumes, finalize your King Cake recipe and locate the flasks, because Mardi Gras season is here.  Zulu, one of the parades held on the day itself – Fat Tuesday – will celebrate its centennial, and the Louisiana State Museum will host an exhibit to commemorate this […]

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