I sometimes joke that Ruby is the person in infomercials. You know, the person who is completely flustered by the idea of spreading a blanket over their lap or buttoning a blouse. The person who encounters catastrophe by opening a window or trying to put a dish away. The person who can’t crack an egg […]
Korea is a place, the mention of which seldom ignites happy thoughts. When that country has been mentioned lately, a butterfly flitters from beyond an imaginary wall as a reminder of a certain Korean man who once lived in New Orleans. He played the violin. He also cooked his native cuisine. His name was Henry […]
Jazz Museum’s Latest The New Orleans Jazz Museum is housed in the historic Old U.S. Mint building, situated at the intersection between the French Quarter and Frenchman Street’s live music corridor. It includes a $4 million, state-of-the-art performance space, where there are sublime performances from some of the city’s leading artists. In addition to permanent […]
Depending on our mood, our age, our location, or even what else we have planned for later, making the choice of what watering hole to patronize takes on shades of importance. We are all quite fortunate to live in a place that offers every manner of drinking establishment, so no matter what the circumstance, there […]
A summer barbecue in New Orleans can make you feel like the main course. My idea is to cook something that goes on the grill for a matter of minutes, putting you back in the air-conditioning or pool as quickly as possible. For the hottest of days, shrimp wrapped in bacon with roasted vegetables on […]
Madam’s Modern Kitchen + Bar Madam’s Modern Kitchen + Bar has opened in the B Hotel on Canal street. The name is a reference to Storyville, but the menu is modern. There’s a selection of local and Atlantic oysters, cheese and charcuterie plates, and entrees like a steak with fries and “forest” mushrooms and adobo […]
With so much going on in the restaurant scene these days, it can be easy to overlook the kinds of places that helped make New Orleans unique in the first place. I’m talking about the neighborhood poor boy shop. Serving as casual neighborhood anchors, the New Orleans version of the English Pub, but with food […]
BEST OF THE BEST Bywater American Bistro Nina Compton’s Caribbean-inspired cuisine at Compère Lapin has been surfing a wave of accolades since it opened, and this year she won the James Beard Award for Best Chef South. So a second restaurant was always a question not of ‘if’ but ‘when’. That question was answered in […]
We’re officially smack dab in the middle of the hottest time of the year and the kids have been out of school for over a month. You’ve been to the Audubon trifecta (zoo, aquarium, insectarium) more times than you can count, exhausted the indoor playgrounds and neighborhood pool options and if you have to watch, […]
Designer K.V. Harper was born in Miami, on the southern coast of the U.S., raised in Seattle, on the west coast, and attended Howard University, on the east coast. An avid traveler who’s lived in both Amsterdam and Argentina, she eventually settled in Brooklyn while working as an advertising strategist. It was there that she […]
Over the years, Essence Fest has made New Orleans a serious destination for music in July. This year, the festival returns July 5-8, with an absolutely amazing lineup. For starters, the headliners are Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige and Erykah Badu. You can also catch Jill Scott, The Roots, Snoop Dogg and Queen Latifah as […]
Have you ever been in a fancy restaurant and right after you place your order, the server brings you something on a small plate that the chef has created? It is tiny—usually a piece of something with something else squeezed on it, and topped by a mini-dollop of something and maybe a garnish like a […]
Used to be, you would go to the ladies room, do the necessary, wash your hands, dry them, check your lipstick, and leave. Not no more. Nowadays, you practically need a choreographed dance routine to get a hand towel out of the dispenser. Wave at it. Waggle your fingers underneath. Pull the towel with both […]
It’s early summer in New Orleans and that means one thing: Who Dat, baby! While the rest of the country ponders heat and humidity, summer vacations, beach reading, baseball and backyard barbeques – and while the other Gulf Coast states ponder the start of hurricane season – early summer in New Orleans lights the flames […]
Over the centuries, this city has raised the staging of funerals to an art form. And, not even a corpse is required. New Orleans, then a Spanish colony, once held a funeral when the King of Spain died. Charles III succumbed December 14, 1788, but news did not reach here until early 1789. According to […]
July 1, 2018 will have gone down in history as Independence Day for the New Orleans public school system. Long divided into two systems, one locally controlled and one state controlled, the city’s schools unify this month under the tutelage of the Orleans Parish School Board. The state seized control of more than 100 “failing” […]
For many residents of New Orleans, it is easy to go through life largely unaware of one of the city’s most vital industries. The Port of New Orleans, despite occupying hundreds of acres of prime land along New Orleans’ most prominent geographic feature, the Mississippi River, tends to go about its business unobtrusively. Though anyone […]
This month Stephen Watson marks one year on the job as President and CEO of the National WWII Museum, after taking the helm from retired president Gordon Mueller. Watson, a native of Scotland (he was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 2015), brings a unique international perspective to the museum, and is poised to oversee […]
In order to solve problems, both sides of the brain need to be utilized. The left side of the brain focuses on facts and known solutions. When a solution is not currently present, that’s when the right side, the creative, innovative side, has to kick in. Children in the New Orleans area ages 4-12 will […]
San Fermin en Nueva Orleans (Running of the Bulls) Have you ever wanted to run with the bulls in Pamplona but were put off by the prospect of being trampled or impaled by an angry bull? If so, then San Fermin en Nueva Orleans is for you. On July 14, there will be a “bull […]
Dear Julia and Poydras, There is an intriguing abandoned commercial building on a small triangular block fronting on Westbank Expressway at Truxton Street in Gretna. The reason it caught my attention is that it has a complex angular roof that looks a bit like a piece of origami and extends from the main structure like […]
A century ago this year, 1918, a little noticed property sale near Covington would have a far-reaching impact on local education. In that year, the Benedictines, a Catholic religious order that operated nearby St. Joseph Abby sold Dixon Academy, a school they had purchased in 1911. The buyer was another Catholic order, the Christian Brothers, […]
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I sometimes joke that Ruby is the person in infomercials. You know, the person who is completely flustered by the idea of spreading a blanket over their lap or buttoning a blouse. The person who encounters catastrophe by opening a window or trying to put a dish away. The person who can’t crack an egg or put ketchup on a burger without something dramatic happening.
None of this is because she’s not capable. She is entirely capable of pouring her own milk, making her own sandwiches, packing her own backpack. She even packs for sleepovers and trips by herself, and she’s flown solo possibly more times than I have.
Still, though, she has a flair for the theatrical that sometimes contrasts with her independent streak, which is what results in the infomercial-worthy antics. The other day, I asked her to pick up a book she’d dropped in the hallway. It was an entirely reasonable request, given politely, to do something she was 1,000 percent able to do with ease. (Yes, I know 1,000 percent is not a real thing.) But she was in a mood, and so she walked to the hallway, picked the book up with her toes, and hopped back to her room, scowling at me the whole time to make sure I registered just how much of an imposition this was on her.
We hear a lot these days about how incompetent millennials are, how they are weak, spoiled snowflakes who expect everyone to cater to them. I work on a college campus, though, so I know that this is not true – these kids are smart, engaged, caring, funny. But some of them are just figuring out how basic things work, which is why they sometimes need to be told that Room 405 is on the fourth floor or, as in the case of one of my long-ago interns, that things are filed by last name and not first name and that “the” doesn’t count as the first word. I needed to learn these things, too, once upon a time. We all did.
I want my kids to be functional adults, so I teach them all the time. When we go to a new building, I show them how to read the building directory. When we are at the airport, I show them how to find flights and terminals and baggage claims. When we are at restaurants, I try (and sometimes fail) to teach them basic table manners and etiquette.
There are some things, though, that are falling through the cracks. And so I asked last week on Facebook what are some things kids need to learn how to do by the time they are high school freshmen. Then I pulled together my own list of life skills that I’d like Ruby to try this summer.
Here are mine:
• Do a load of your own laundry, from start to finish, including folding and putting away.
• Write a handwritten thank you note to someone — it doesn’t have to be for a gift; it can be to a teacher, friend, or neighbor who has helped you.
• Find a recipe and make it, including writing out a grocery list for ingredients and reading reviews from other people who have made the recipe for any helpful feedback.
• Read two books that aren’t part of your required reading.
• Volunteer at a food pantry or other nonprofit organization.
• Build a model (car, airplane, boat).
• Visit the websites of three colleges you’re interested in and take notes about what you like about them.
• Draw your own comic.
• Read the newspaper and write a letter to the editor about something you’ve read.
• Take a CPR, first aid, or baby-sitting course.
• Watch while I show where the fuse box is, how to open it, and how to reset a flipped circuit breaker.
• Make a travel brochure for a place you’d like to visit. Research it to find out the main attractions and places to stay.
• Make your bed — put clean sheets on and everything.
• Go berry-picking.
• Go grocery shopping and try to keep track of how much each item costs. Try to guess the total amount of all the items and see how close you get. (My mom taught me this, and I am freakishly good at it. I would kill on The Price Is Right.)
• Make yourself a cozy study space for when school starts again.
• Write five haiku.
• Get rid of seven things you don’t play with anymore.
• Research who your state representatives are.
• Go without your iPhone or any technology for at least 24 hours (not counting the three weeks of camp).
Excerpted from Eve Crawford Peyton’s blog, Joie d’Eve, which appears each Friday on MyNewOrleans.com