Friday, February 29, 2008

Glory at Sea Premiere

Posted By on Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 11:40 PM

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The local filmmakers Court 13 Pictures premiere their new film Glory at Sea on Thursday (March 6) at the Prytania Theatre before taking it to the film festival portion of SXSW in Austin. The story is a post-Katrina take on the Orpheus myth. Mourners join a man cast out of Hades to build a boat from the hurricane debris and rescue their loved ones from the bottom of the ocean. Director Benh Zeitlin shot the film at locations throughout the New Orleans area and assembled Katrina debris to create the vessel.

Court 13 includes Zeitlin, whose film Egg won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Animated Short at the Slamdance Film Festival, and production designer Ray Tintori, who won a Sundance Film Festival award for the short film Death to the Tinman.

The screening is at 7:30 p.m. at the Prytania (5339 Prytania St.). Admission is $3.

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The Double Standard

Posted on Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 2:17 PM

by Sam Winston

A double standard when it comes to covering the Republicans and their association with the religious right?

Barack Obama was questioned at Tuesday night's debate by Tim Russert and Hillary Clinton about repudiating Louis Farrakhan's endorsement — which Obama said was unsolicited — in the strongest terms possible. He was repeatedly badgered by Russert, and was forced to disown Farrakhan over and over again.

The very next day, John McCain appeared onstage in Texas with Pastor John Hagee, an influential activist in the Christian Zionist movement. Hagee's comments about world affairs can make Farrakhan seem pedestrian at times: He eagerly awaits the Armageddon, considers the Catholic Church to be the Anti-Christ, and has said that Jews brought their own persecution upon themselves." - TPM

The book on John Hagee goes way deeper in terms of racially-charged, radical statements. Here's what John Hagee had to say about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Altar Eating

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 6:28 PM

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Those in the know will soon start looking in the classified section for discreet, only-in-New Orleans ads for St. Joseph's altars, like the one pictured above. These decorative, devotional feast displays are traditionally constructed in the homes of the area's faithful Italian-American Roman Catholics, who frequently invite the public to sample from them.

For a primer on the tradition, and a taste of its offerings, check out this event on Sunday, March 2, from Slow Food NOLA and the Savvy Gourmet.

The food advocacy group is presenting a celebration of the St. Joseph's altar at the Uptown gourmet emporium with local food guru Poppy Tooker and Arthur Brocato, proprietor of the incomparable Angelo Brocato's Ice Cream.

Brocato will explain the significance of the altars and prepare three of the sweet treats typically found on them, including biscotti regina, or sesame seed cookies; cucidati, or fig cookies; and anise biscotti.

In addition, Tooker will prepare pasta Milanese, a traditional entrée on St. Joseph’s altars.

The event is from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and there will be a cash bar. Call Savvy at 895-COOK (2665) to reserve a spot.

- Ian McNulty

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A Party Goin’ On Right Here

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 4:25 PM

New Orleans is known the world over for entertaining its guests in style, but next weekend the city will be taking a moment to celebrate itself. The Crescent City Celebration will include a triumvirate of events hosted by the Neighborhoods Partnership Network, a local organization that works with area residents to improve their quality of life by engaging them in revitalization efforts and the civic process.

The celebration will include a Trumpet awards luncheon, a Toast to New Orleans Neighborhoods and the Fourth Annual Festival of Neighborhoods. The events spotlight how New Orleans neighborhoods are vital planning and organizational forces at the forefront of the city’s redevelopment efforts.

The celebration also will recognize the outstanding achievements of local communities in rebuilding their neighborhoods — and serve as an occasion for more networking among citizens, planning groups and sponsors. The weekend’s events will encourage future efforts in the hope that neighborhoods will continue to be buoyed by their partnerships and their successes.

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Education Conference Coming to New Orleans

Posted on Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 1:13 PM

by Sam Winston

"How can educators help students become more knowledgeable, motivated, engaged, and healthy?

More than 8,000 educators will tackle this question and others when they converge on New Orleans, La., March 15-17, 2008 for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development's (ASCD)"

Also, based on a mention of fundraising ASCD has been doing leading up to this conference, it seems like some schools have gone outside the RSD or their district (charter and non-charters) for funding for extracurricular needs or basics like books. Full list funding activity can be viewed here.

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Chinese Fortune Cookies Aren't Chinese

Posted on Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 12:50 PM

by Sam Winston

I guess it makes sense but I honestly didn't know they came from San Francisco either.

See Ian McNulty for more on the difference between Chinese-American and Chinese- Chinese in New Orleans.

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Second Line for VI

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 4:55 AM

I know my last post was about Vi Landry's death and I'm not trying to dwell on it to bum out casual blogofneworleans readers, whoever you are, but I've been super ill this week and in between running a 102 degree fever while DJ'ing at the St. Roch Tavern on Saturday (as I do ever Saturday, hint hint) and breaking out in hives from head to toe (including one on the tip of my tongue) on Monday morning, the one thing I managed to do was bike down to the Bywater for Vi's Second Line.And may I say:I've been to a lot of parades, street parties, festivals, shows, whatever in New Orleans, all for a lot of different causes, and this was one of the most loving and beautiful events I've ever seen. About sixty or so people, mostly local Bywater and Midcity weirdoes: Local artists, punks and bohemian types mixed in with old neighborhood people who new Vi when she bar-tended at Vaughan's, or through her mom who lives on Alvar Street. Even Bill Moss, my old boss from French Quarter bikes, brought his trumpet down.

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A Third Menu, and Then Some

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 1:09 AM

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If you have ever dredged through a plate of starchy batter, candy-sweet sauce and deep-fried anything at a typical Chinese restaurant in these parts and found yourself wishing you could get a taste of whatever the Chinese cooks were whipping up for their own staff meal back in the kitchen, I recommend you proceed directly to China Rose, a restaurant in Fat City I reviewed this week.

The standard menu is pretty familiar, with the usual Americanized Chinese fare ranging in quality from pretty good (the sizzling beef) to dreck. But the thing here is their Chinese menu, an alternate bill of fare not prominently promoted but brought out for anyone who asks for it.

I had grown accustomed to requesting the Chinese menu, but after a month of periodic visits to work my way through its offerings I was startled to discover yet a third menu lurking by the hostess stand. A Chinese gentleman, who introduced himself as a local university professor, revealed this menu to us after noting approvingly of our choices from the larger Chinese menu.

This third menu is all about noodles. Some are noodle soups, others are noodles with sauce, meats and vegetables. An example of the latter we tried was a deliciously spicy dish called dan-dan noodles (pictured above) -- a pile of springy, nutty, ramen-like noodles mixed with bits of minced pork and scallions and dressed with hot chile oil and large chunks of ginger.

But apparently, China Rose's range doesn't end with an American menu, a Chinese menu and this noodle menu. Our new professor friend advised us that at some point we simply had to try the Chinese wonton soup (emphatically not the "American" wonton soup), a dish that is not listed on any menu but is, according to our friend, a specialty of the kitchen.

My column on China Rose is done, but I think I have a lot more eating to do here.

- Ian McNulty

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Hornets bowling for kids

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 12:11 AM

"Is everybody bowling now?"

That's all the e-mail said when my editor sent me the press release about Hornets' forward Peja Stojakovic's charity bowling event.

Well, yes and no. While I've highlighted Julian Wright's bowling acumen and Chris Paul is a member of the United States Bowling Congress, Peja told me he's not much of a bowler. The event, taking place March 21st at the All Star Lanes in Kenner, is more of a continuation of Peja's charity work that he started in Sacremento. After talking with people here, Peja decided that bowling way to raise money for his children's foundation.

All proceeds will go toward Peja's "Courts for Kids" charity which refurbishes basketball courts in the New Orleans area. Tickets are on sale for $35 with $100 VIP tickets available. Lane sponsorships start at $1,500 for one lane and $2,500 for two and includes "bowling for four, one celebrity bowler, four bowling shirts, dinner and a special gift bag."

Hornets' players, the Honeybees dancers, "other local celebrities" and a live DJ will be in attendance. If you're interested in bowling for a good cause, or just seeing Peja's crazy bowling technique — which I've been assured is high comedy — call 504-208-2274 or visit Peja's Web site.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bowling for Hornets

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 8:12 PM

The above video is of Hornets rookie forward Julian Wright bowling alongside teammate Hilton Armstrong. A couple of things that should be noted:

  • Wright, despite playing for only two years, is quite adept at the sport
  • He also bowls at a frenetic pace, as noted by his use two lanes per game
  • His shoes — sporting his alma mater’s (Kansas) colors — look strikingly the rentals at AMF All-Star lanes in Kenner.

Turns out that this is a regular exercise for Wright on off days. He says his average is I around 215 and his highest ever score was 278. Yesterday he bowled seven games for an average of 203 and a high of 246. Of course, that doesn’t include his low game of 146, when he played left-handed.

Also playing with Wright and Armstrong yesterday was Hornets ball boy Chase Forestier, who’s been bowling since he was 8 years old. This was the first time Forestier has played with Wright and he said he was surprised at how refined the basketball player’s game was.

“I expected him to look a little more awkward being so tall,” he said. “How tall are you, Julian? 6-8?”

“6-8 and a half,” Julian growled back jokingly.

Check out the pictures and more about Wright's day bowling, after the jump.

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