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New Orleans Magazine March 2008

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Several seasons ago when the New Orleans Zephyrs first became a farm club of the Houston Astros one of the jokes around town was that the local team would be renamed the Half-Astros. I winced, not just because of the joke but because of the symbolic implications. I suffer from a malady common to many […]


       We detect a certain smugness about Baton Rouge toward New Orleans these days. The attitude began during the months after Katrina when the capitol city, to which many New Orleanians fled, briefly had a larger population than New Orleans. It continues today as we hear about the emerging Interstate 10/ Interstate 12 Corridor and an […]

ERROL’S COMMENTARY: If the United Nations is so dumb about New Orleans what must it be like about the rest of the world

I have never been one of those people who is anti-United Nations. I always figured that it was beneficial to have a deliberative body trying to bring some measure of stability to the world and the U.N. seemed about as good as anything that has been tried. But then again, the U.N. has never had […]


Whoever wins the special election for the First Congressional District seat will take over a position that among all other Louisiana Congressional Districts has been the career maker. Consider the last two holders of the position: Bobby Jindal was elected governor from the seat. Jindal replaced David Vitter who ran successfully for the U.S. Senate […]

The Longest Crossing

When the trip was planned, I had no idea that the Saints would even make the playoffs, much less host a home game. But airfares were paid and reservations were made so the trip, in January 2007, went on. My strategy was that once we arrived at the Guanahani Resort on the French Caribbean Island […]

David Sepulveda

Word on the street is, if Jerry Springer ever wants to give it a second go-round on Dancing With the Stars, his people will get in touch with Dave Sepulveda’s people to set up a few lessons first. Recalling Springer’s herky-jerky, out of breath performance on the hit TV show that pairs off so-called celebrities […]

Biaggio Montalbano

Biaggio Montalbano was a passionate man. He was devoutly religious and practiced his religion publicly. And, he was equally devoted to food: serving, preparing and selling a remarkable sandwich on round Italian bread, the loaf named the muffuletta. He called his version of that garlic-enhanced concoction of olive salad, meats and cheeses, the “Roma Sandwich.” […]

Last Call

Putting the Irish in coffee The clouds surrounding history have finally parted and “The Truth” can now be told. Despite what you may have heard after visits to the Buena Vista in San Francisco, Irish Coffee was not invented in the City by the Bay. Actually, Irish Coffee came from Ireland. Go figure. Beginning about […]


1762Year the world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held: March 17, in New York City. 284Miles between New Orleans and Shamrock, La. (Approx.) 8-14Lifespan, in years, of a healthy bunny. 1857Year Dr. Elizabeth Cohen, the first woman to practice medicine in Louisiana, arrived in New Orleans. 10/06/07-2/29/08Dates of the most recent rabbit-hunting season in […]

Featured Dining

The Magic of Muriel’sWith a balcony that overlooks Jackson Square, Muriel’s restaurant offers a nationally recognized, Contemporary Creole menu in the heart of the French Quarter. Liz Goliwas, a marketing consultant with the restaurant, says that Muriel’s appeals to all types of patrons and adds that it’s open seven days a week for lunch and […]

Home Brew

Things looked grim for New Orleans in the first weeks after Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures, with large areas of the city still flooded and virtually all of its residents displaced. But amid the city’s agony, a harbinger of future normalcy and an affirmation of one of the city’s enduring economic strengths quietly arrived […]

7 things to know about the Alabama Gulf Coast since the hurricane

1. When they speak of “the hurricane” throughout the beach towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach they’re probably not talking about Katrina but Ivan, the storm that flirted with New Orleans in September 2004, before heading east and practically leveling the Alabama coast. 2. Recovery there has been amazing. Like in New Orleans, the […]

Nashville: Visiting for a Song

arl Scruggs was standing on the stage of Nashville’s Ryman auditorium. At 84, he’s a little frail but still able to play his famous three-fingered banjo style. Two of Scruggs’ sons, both members of the band, grinned as their dad leaned into the microphone, pointed to a seat in the second row and revealed to […]

Vancouver Island

I used to believe that New Orleans was the only place where a person could confidently purchase seafood at a gas station. But after a trip to Vancouver Island, I can’t say this anymore. When my wife and I arrived in Buckley Bay, we discovered that the internationally renowned Fanny Bay Oysters came from the […]

We’ll Drink to Travel

The Fates have been kind to us. Oh sure, Nature hasn’t been so great lately, the Saints were a bit of a disappointment and while promises of “smooth streets soon” are hanging out there, so far all we’ve seen is a Pothole Killer that’s trying hard but isn’t making the ride to anywhere an overall […]

Condo Mania: Is there room for more?

Thinking of buying or selling a condominium? Here’s the good news: New Orleans is not Miami. A January report on the Miami-Dade County condominium market declared that the area “is experiencing the worst condominium boom-bust cycle in Florida since 1975.” A preponderance of “speculative inventory” has squelched sales activity, according to the report by the […]


“Something bad is going to happen, either today or tomorrow,” Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann said. “I can promise you that.” Scheuermann is a deputy commander of the New Orleans Police Department’s Special Operations Division. He spoke those words the morning of Dec. 20, 2007, little more than an hour before the New Orleans City Council was […]

Carrying a Torch

Once when I was a student at Ole Miss, I traveled with a group of friends to New Orleans for a Sugar Bowl game. We stayed at the home of one friend’s parents, who one night graciously wined and dined us at Commander’s Palace. I remember the dessert vividly. It was my first time eating […]

Health Beat

Ochsner Health System has announced the release of a series of online video-casts called “Ochsner Healthlinks” that will be available on their Web site, www.ochsner.org. The three- to five-minute-long videos are intended to educate and inform patients on subjects such as disease and prevention, medical procedures and hospital equipment. The Louisiana State University Health Sciences […]

Shots for Travel

In June I’m going on a mission trip to Nicaragua. About 40 of us from school will be visiting orphanages and building houses. We will be in a really rural area with malaria and all sorts of things,” says Jamantha Karlin, a sophomore at the Uptown Academy of the Sacred Heart. Community service is a […]

Remember Howard Johnson’s

Former Orleans Parish School Board member Elliot “Doc” Willard steps briskly out of the Martin Luther King Day parade near City Hall. He joins two other men who are looking up at a hotel on Loyola Avenue.Thirty-five years ago, on Jan. 7, 1973, the high-rise was a Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge, the climactic scene of […]

Schoolyard Brawl

The infighting that marked education decisions for Orleans Parish schools before Katrina hasn’t disappeared; it has shifted. The new power struggle is between the Orleans Parish School Board and its charters and, to a lesser extent, the Recovery School District and its charters. The conflict is about money and accountability, issues that are likely to […]

Cruise Lines Chart a New Course

Getting a fix on the health of the local cruise ship industry is, in part, a matter of deciding how far to look ahead – or behind. Glancing back to 2004, for instance, reveals a picture of New Orleans as one of the most robust passenger cruise ports in the country. It’s a memory that makes […]

What to do about Baton Rouge?

We detect a certain smugness about Baton Rouge toward New Orleans these days. The attitude began during the months after Katrina when the capitol city, to which many New Orleanians fled, briefly had a larger population than New Orleans. It continues today as we hear about the emerging Interstate 10/Interstate 12 Corridor and an industrial […]

Tales of the Black Ghost

By day, Will Warner is a counselor at Delgado Community College. But at night, this 42-year-old father of two often assumes the secret identity of the Black Ghost, a New Orleans superhero on a mission to revive the values of compromise, compassion and nonviolent conflict resolution. That secret identity is becoming better known thanks to […]

Read and Spin

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the utmost authenticity, the true Celtic reveler will need more than green beer and plastic flowers. Baton Rouge-based band Smithfield Fair celebrates their 20th anniversary with 20 for 20, a collection of – you guessed it – 20 of the group’s best-known songs. The album also features the instrumental […]

Jazz—A Global Perspective

Last September the writer Howard Mandel organized a conference at Columbia University – Jazz in the Global Imagination – for some two dozen writers, researchers and radio hosts from Japan, Russia, Western Europe, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. The sheer reach of the project was typical of Mandel, who worked with George E. Lewis, director […]

Seeing Green

A turn of the wrist may be all it takes to make a major change in the way New Orleans homes impact the environment thanks to a rapidly expanding, hands-on energy efficiency group called Green Light New Orleans. Conceived and led by local roots rock musician Andi Hoffman, Green Light sends volunteers into homes across […]

Restaurant Insider

As spring approaches, a young man’s thoughts turn to … turn to … well, it’s probably not a good sign that I can’t remember what a young man’s thoughts are supposed to turn to but at least I have a column for you – what more could you possibly want? I mean, from me, anyway. […]

Table Talk

At first glance, the leafy, tree-lined stretch of Dryades Street between Soniat Street and Napoleon Avenue appears mostly residential. But scattered around this neighborhood are several good dining destinations. Anchored by Gautreau’s at one end and Pascal’s Manale at the other, the area has recently seen the addition of the casual Italian café Il Posto. […]

A bark in the park

Man’s best friends may soon have their very own slice of the great outdoors in the heart of New Orleans. A new nonprofit, NOLA City Bark, is marshalling support for the city’s first official dog park to be established within City Park as a haven for dog owners to bring their pets for some off-leash […]

PERSONA: Bob Breck

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow – though maybe a hurricane named Katrina – can keep Bob Breck from his appointed rounds of forecasting the weather to New Orleanians. In fact, Breck and anchor John Snell had to be taken off the air and from the WVUE studio on S. Jefferson Davis Parkway by sheriffs […]

Julia Street

Dear Julia and Poydras,I visit your city frequently and am writing about the equestrian statues in New Orleans and what, if any, meaning the position of the horses’ feet have. For example, the statue of Andrew Jackson on his horse in Jackson Square has its horses two feet elevated. I have been told this means […]


A Tribute to TennesseeLegendary playwright Tennessee Williams had a soft spot for New Orleans, and it shows: our city serves as the setting in several of his most famous works. Now New Orleans honors his legacy every year at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. In its 22nd year, the five-day fête (March 26-30) will […]

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