This was not the way it was supposed to be. My father loved Christmas and he was always quick to decorate his house at the corner of Bellaire Drive and 37th Street. The decorations were not Copeland–ish in scale, but they were from the heart. Red ribbon would spiral up the white columns on the […]
“Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum Me and my drum.”– Little Drummer Boy There are few illusions left for Freddie Staehle. The phantasms haven’t all dissipated like the pounding notes of his drums into the ceiling of some run down bar. Staehle, a 62-year-old who left his Uptown roots eons ago […]
An 1893 advertisement for an indoor bath tub. Alot of people, when they think of a plumber, they just think of a guy with a plunger in his hand,” says Lance Albin, business manager of Local No. 60, Plumbers and Steamfitters Union. “One of the biggest things we fight is the misconception about our trade.” […]
This Christmas, I don’t have to worry about what to buy for the person who has everything. Everybody I knows got nothing. My mother-in-law, Ms. Larda, says she could use a sack of grout and some roofing nails, and her sons, Leech and Lurch, who are working on her house that got flooded, want a […]
Make December your Louisiana exploration month! Holiday events in neighboring parishes are sure to delight the whole family. RIVER PARISHESSt. Charles, St. James & St. John the Baptist Parisheswww.takemetotheriver.com The River Parishes Tourist Commission invites you to explore any attraction in St. Charles, St. James or St. John the Baptist Parish until Dec. 24 and […]
THE PLACEWhen Hurricane Katrina came and flooded Colleen Monaghan’s home in Lakeview, she and her partner Thomas “Tom” Lavelle, were on vacation in Hawaii. Realizing that her home was under 11 feet of water, her car was ruined and her job no longer existed, she decided to begin a new life and get a job […]
New Orleanians love dazzling celebrations – flambeaux at Carnival, fireworks on the Fourth and flambéed desserts on special occasions. Fortunately for us, and for visitors to our city, our more formal restaurants still light up the final course of a special dinner, a proud tradition in the French Quarter. It’s surprising that our most distinctive […]
It may be my advancing age; it may be my own Katrina sequelae [a medical term for complications caused by a disease]. It’s probably a bit of both, but plain old stupid health pronouncements presented as absolutes continue to flame my fire and stir my pots. “You cannot drink grapefruit juice if you are on […]
Post-Katrina life in New Orleans is full of chicken-egg challenges, and one that’s had the local tourism industry in a tizzy is this: To regain visitor momentum, the city needs to show it’s ready to receive and entertain; but some hotel owners hesitate to reinvest in the city without knowing whether – and how strongly […]
Hi Julia,I’ll bet that Poydras has turned a deaf ear to all of the talk about partially hydrogenated fats, and eats as much food containing them as he can. With that in mind, I am sure that he remembers and misses Dickey’s potato chips, which I recall were crisp, greasy and salty. I loved them […]
Locals Dancing Through the Season • Delta Festival Ballet of New Orleans will present The Nutcracker on Fri. and Sat., Dec. 22-23. Delta’s three performances will be held at Dixon Hall, located at Tulane University. The theater at Dixon will provide a smaller, more intimate atmosphere than the Festival’s previous location at Mahalia Jackson Theatre […]
Near the beginning of food writer Alan Richmond’s article about New Orleans restaurants in the November issue of GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly) magazine, he says this about the concept of Creole: “Supposedly Creoles can be found in and around New Orleans. I never met one and suspect that they are faerie folk, like leprechauns, rather than […]
Oak Street An economic development program that has proven successful in many small Louisiana communities is now being put to use in New Orleans with the aim of revitalizing historic but under-used commercial corridors.Called the Main Street Program, officials with the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) and Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu’s office awarded grants of $1.5 […]
By the second week of December I start rummaging through the stacks of CDs not shelved – the ones stored in a cabinet under the bookcase, a knee-high closet so stuffed that I recoil from the loss of order. The books are organized for swift, as-needed selection. The CDs are half-way there, so many keep […]
Even if you plan on traveling for the holidays this year, a New Orleans neighborhood advocacy group wants to make sure your holiday spending stays closer to home – and it’s providing tools to help make sure your gifts not only delight their recipients but benefit their local purveyors. Through its Stay Local program, the […]
Lately I’ve been feeling particularly nostalgic – looking for and feasting on food or experiences that remind me of when I was very young. Here are some of the places and dishes I’ve been craving … BITTE BABY – German food. I miss Kolb’s, The Chalet and Chef Willy Koln, but there is German food […]
It’s duck season in Louisiana. I’m not much of a shot, so I did my duck hunting in the city, looking for that luscious, dark meat bird on the menus around town. I first went looking for duck at Azul, the new Asian Cuban restaurant in the Ambassador Hotel. A Cuban restaurant seems like an […]
It’s late afternoon and the pre-dinner rush has started at Clancy’s restaurant, a favorite place to dine for New Orleanians. Though it seems like a serene scene – white tablecloths, silverware and stemware are arranged all just so – the restaurant’s maître d’ – Nash, as everyone knows him as – is doing about three […]
DEAR SANTA,I just wanted you to know that I’ll still not be back in my old house by this Christmas. We put up this tree to help you find us. Staying in the trailer was fun at first, but now I’m getting tired of it. Sometimes my friends and I play like we’re famous rock […]
One way that New Orleans has not suffered in recent times is in the quality if its restaurants. Our annual exercise of determining the best in local kitchens has left us totally encouraged about the talent in this city. Selections were made by the magazine’s editorial staff including our food writers. As always, the competition […]
Photographer: Greg MilesFashion Editor: Tracey DundasMake-up & Hair: Glenn MosleyModel: Stormy GayleSpecial Thanks to Jim Bridger and the New Orleans Public Belt Railcar All aboard Burgundy silk taffeta blouse with puff sleeves and wide leather belt, both from MiMi; black satin skinny pants from Chatta Box; sable colored pearl necklace and earrings from Retro-Active; Pointed-toe […]
Aaron Neville is still a good ol’ Southern gentleman at heart.The 65-year-old Neville, born and raised in New Orleans, is going strong with a new CD on Burgundy Records (Sony BMG) called Bring It On Home … The Soul Classics. In recent months, he has also appeared and performed on the popular TV reality show, […]
You’ve got your big anniversaries; you’ve got your little anniversaries. You’ve got some that fall between. And there are some that, no matter where they fall, just beg for a drink to be lifted in their honor. Here is one, this year marks the 147th anniversary of New Orleans’ most famous cocktail, the Sazerac. To […]
5. PAUL TAGLIABUEFacing a self-imposed retirement, the NFL commissioner’s last year may have been his greatest. Few National level corporate leaders ever have a chance to rescue the morale of a city. Tagliabue’s assurances that the Saints would return to New Orleans meant a lot to people whose personal lives were shattered. He was also […]
WINNERSB.O.L.D.Of all the black political organizations that surfaced after the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1967 the one that has endured is BOLD, the Black Organization of Leadership Development Groups. Other groups, including SOUL and COUP, had their day, but BOLD, whose stable has included Ken Carter, Oliver Thomas, Jim Singleton and now […]
St. Charles Avenue is proud to present its “Activists of the Year”for 2006—Barbara G. Bush and Dr. Stephen Hales—and “Unsung Hero” for2006—Gregory Ben Johnson. The “Activists of the Year’ is a wayto acknowledge citizens who through the years have volunteered theirtime and talent to organizations that benefit the New Orleans area. The“Unsung Hero” spotlights a […]
FEATURING, IN PERSON, HARRY SHEARER, JENNIFER COOLIDGE, CHRISTOPHER MOYNIHAN AND SPECIAL GUESTSScreening at 7 p.m. with an introduction by Harry Shearer.Post-screening Q&A followed by a cocktail reception.DATE: Thursday, November 30PLACE: the Landmark Theater at Canal PlacePRICE: $50/person Limited seating. CONTACT: Kristi 830-7264 New Orleans Magazine is hosting a special Red Carpet Presentation of “For Your […]
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This was not the way it was supposed to be. My father loved Christmas and he was always quick to decorate his house at the corner of Bellaire Drive and 37th Street. The decorations were not Copeland--ish in scale, but they were from the heart. Red ribbon would spiral up the white columns on the front porch to give a candy cane effect. A wooden cutout of a snowman was attached to the lamppost in the front yard. A poster of a nativity scene covered one of the front widows. Inside there was always a Christmas tree. He preferred the flocked kind covered with a cotton-like artificial snow that was sort of pretty in the way that it reflected the light but was a mess to clean up.
His Christmas memories were those of growing up poor in rural Central Louisiana where gifts might be no more than oranges and an apple, but where the bayou and the woods provided lots of boyish adventures. His thoughts also included Christmas 1944 and the Battle of the Bulge, where the cold was so bitter that his right leg almost had to be amputated.
Maybe that Christmas made him appreciate all subsequent Christmases even more.
After he died, my mom didn’t want to decorate anymore. Gradually, the snowman reappeared and so did the nativity scene, and then a simple artificial tree inside – just enough to make a statement – but it was never the same.
My dad was very proud of the house, frequently reminding me that it was built with double the required lumber so that it could easily withstand hurricane winds.
Located only three blocks from the epicenter of the 17th Street Canal break, the building, as predicted, withstood the winds valiantly – but not the water.
This Christmas, the house stands gutted and boarded. Some shutters and window frames were stolen by looters. The lawn – once lush and green – is now dusty and weed-filled. There is no more lamppost. Stumps survive where the magnolia trees and the pines were. The neighbors, who once swapped greetings with each other, are gone, their homes, too suffering the same indignity. A neighborhood, once so passive, vibrates only from the rumble of the trucks working to fix the nearby breach, What will happen to the house is uncertain, but it cannot remain as is. Whether the building is to survive or not, I hope that by one Christmas, soon, there will be a home on the lot with a turkey in the oven, a tree in the corner and joy throughout. And if the porch has columns, I hope someone decorates them with red ribbons.