Saturday, August 3, 2013

How to survive White Linen Night

Posted By on Sat, Aug 3, 2013 at 2:31 PM

See? Not EVERYONE is wearing white linen.

White Linen Night is one of two things, depending on how you see it: it's either a convivial celebration of New Orleans' art scene and among the highlights of the summer, or it's the night when Julia Street turns into a nightmare land crowded with sweaty people pretending to care about art.

The Warehouse District block party is a little bit of both those things — mostly because the weather this time of the year is almost always 1,000 degrees, and the crowds can be massive — but you can have an enjoyable experience if you know how to do it right. Take heed of these tips before heading out tomorrow, or else you might wake up the next day to find you've purchased a $4,000 oil painting in the midst of a heat-induced blackout:

1. Don't freak out about your outfit. The seemingly specific dress code of the event may seem intimidating, but it's usually interpreted liberally among attendees. The dress tradition dates back to New Orleans' pre-air conditioning times when people wore the cool, light-reflecting fabric in order to avoid killing themselves and everyone around them. If you have no white linen in your closet, light, summery fabrics will do — it really doesn't matter, since as soon as you get there you're going to wish you weren't wearing any clothes, anyway. Just don't do that thing where you wear black to be funny, because that's silly.

Also, I strongly advise against last-minute shopping for white clothing. I promise many others will be out doing the same thing, and you'll just end up weeping in the sale section of Urban Outfitters by the end of your excursion.

On a related note, a Tide bleach pen is your best friend.

2. Parking in the Warehouse District will be an issue. Get a cab, take the streetcar or do what I did last year: park in the Lower Garden District, grab a go-drink from the nearest bar (like the Bridge Lounge or Rusty Nail) and take a leisurely stroll to the Julia Street festivities.

3. Don't be a dummy. Treat White Linen Night like it's a fancy Girl Talk concert: stay hydrated, eat beforehand and be prepared to sweat (but don't drunkenly gyrate on that gentleman in the seersucker, because this isn't actually a Girl Talk concert). There will be food and drink booths along Julia Street, but lines will be long so don't show up starving and thirsty — that hand-held paper fan they give isn't going to keep you from fainting if you're out in August heat on an empty stomach.

Be sure to enjoy yourself and don't die of a heat stroke, because you still need to figure out what you're going to wear for next weekend's Red Dress Run.

Click here for the list of White Linen Night gallery openings and other details.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cafe NOMA

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Chef Chris Montero (left) and Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group executive chef Haley Bittermann
  • Chef Chris Montero (left) and Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group executive chef Haley Bittermann

Cafe NOMA (482-1264; www.cafenoma.com) at the New Orleans Museum of Art (City Park, 1 Collins Diboll Circle; www.noma.org) may become a favorite lunch spot for those days when I need something light but filling as well as some time out of the office and comfortably (read: air-conditioned) among nature.

The Ralph Brennan Group held a special party last night to introduce the Ralph Brennan restaurant at the museum, which chef Chris Montero says has been operating quietly for a number of months, partly due to other Brennan projects including the recently opened Cafe B (2700 Metairie Road, Metairie, 934-4700; www.cafeb.com).

The spot and the menu are good fits for the museum. The restaurant is walled in glass on three sides, offering views of a patio where you can dine when the weather is right, the inside of the museum, and the park (for people who want to sit on a couch and have drinks). The fourth wall houses a bar/serving area and a banquette with dining tables.

The kitchen offers house-made mozzarella, smoked salmon and charcuterie in dishes such as bruschetta with salmon, cucumber, red onion, capers and cream cheese. Other offerings include flatbread pizzas, salads, prosciutto and Gruyere panini with Mediterranean olives on ciabatta bread, soups (bacon, potato and leek or tomato basil), chicken or portobello mushroom sliders, a roasted Gulf shrimp and panzanella salad and more. The menu is enhanced by a variety of pastries, wines and beers.

The cafe is open during regular museum hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday. There’s also a $10 Eat, Drink & Play special before Where Y’Art Fridays or theater performances at NOMA.

More photos after the jump.

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They are called Bambi Buckets

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 5:56 PM

A serious update on the marsh fire, from the NOFD:

New Orleans, LA. — On Tuesday, August 30, 2011 three Louisiana National Guard (LANG) helicopters made almost 300 "Bambi bucket" drops putting approximately 116k gallons of water on the fire that was originally estimated to be covering approximately 20 acres in the Bayou Savage Wildlife Refuge near Chef Menteur Hwy. in New Orleans East. Ground crews from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have been dispatched to determine how successful suppression efforts have been on the smaller fire in Bayou Savage. These crews have been able to give a more accurate estimate of the damage caused by this fire and now estimate it at closer to 50 acres. The Bayou Savage fire, although smaller, has been determined to be the more dangerous of the two fires because of its proximity to Chef Menteur Hwy. Once this fire has been determined "Under Control", all suppression efforts will be concentrated on the much larger "Oak Island" fire. New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) fire investigators, along with investigators from the Louisiana Office of the State Fire Marshall and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), are on the scene trying to determine cause of the fire in Bayou Savage.

Emergency personnel from the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD), New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), New Orleans Office of Emergency Preparedness (NOOEP), New Orleans Office of Emergency Medical Services (NOEMS), Louisiana National Guard (LANG), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), Louisiana Office of the State Fire Marshal as well as the canteen services from the American Red Cross and Salvation Army are all assisting in the mitigation and extinguishment of these two fires.

Why it's called a Bambi Bucket after the jump:

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Eco Café Goes “Mesoamerican”

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Chili con carne at Eco Cafe

Chef Guillermo Peters has prepared his style of Mexican food under a number of different auspices, and the latest has brought him to a breakfast and lunch spot in Mid-City.

Eco Cafe now features dishes across a range the chef calls “Mesoamerican” — with Mexican and Central American traditions — alongside some salads, sandwiches and breakfast dishes from the cafe’s earlier menu. More changes are in store.

Eco Cafe opened in the spring of 2010. The name is a reference to the many “green” construction techniques and recycled building materials worked into its Canal Street address, which had sat in blight since the levee failures. It’s been stuck somewhere between a coffee shop and a neighborhood restaurant however, not quite fitting either category just right. Some tweaks over time have caught on (the cafe now serves fresh juice bar beverages) while others were short-lived (an evening tapas menu on the weekends didn’t last).

Now, the breakfast and lunch menus include items like chili con carne omelets, quinoa salads, carnitas and tortas, the classic Mexican sandwich (pictured).

A Mexican torta at Eco Cafe

Peters came aboard as chef a few weeks ago, and he says he’s working with owner Monica Ramsey on more changes for the place. There will likely be a name change down the line, and sometime in October the restaurant will begin serving dinner a few nights a week. In September, he has two special dinners planned at the restaurant (details below).

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Betty Jefferson gets five years probation

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Former New Orleans assessor and sister of former Congressman Bill Jefferson, Betty Jefferson, who pleaded guilty last year to a federal corruption charges, was sentenced today to five years probation, including 15 months home detention.

"I can truly say that I'm sorry for those wrong decisions that I made," Jefferson said on her own behalf before the sentence was handed down. "I took responsibility for what I did ... I wouldn't be able to do it again. I'm not even in the position to do it again."

Under the sentence, Jefferson will be required to pay $604,000 in restitution to the city of New Orleans.

Angela Coleman, Jefferson's daughter and co-defendant in the case, has also pleaded guilty but was not sentenced as a result of serious health problems that have left her confined to a hospital.

Jefferson, who faced up to five years in prison for her involvement in a criminal conspiracy to siphon public money away from several city-supported charities, was granted probation rather than the 30-37 months prison time sentencing guidelines called for in her case.

"The facts of this case are distressing, disturbing and, I would, urge, damaging to the city," Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Friel, a prosecutor in the case, said in court today.

Judge Ivan Lemelle cited her "substantial assistance" with federal investigators' case against former City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt, found guilty for the same crimes last month, who Jefferson testified against, as well as in its case against her brother Mose Jefferson, who Betty Jefferson described as the ringleader in the scam. Mose Jefferson, who was convicted of bribery charges in 2009, died in a prison hospital before he could face trial in the charity case.

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Scenes from the Valley Of Silent Men Parade

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 1:00 PM

It was hotter than fish grease at Sunday’s parade but that didn’t stop a soul from the second line community from coming out to have a good ole shakedown time. Lots of "Happy New Years!" exchanges between folks who hadn’t seen each other since June when we disbanded for the summer. Young Pinstripes set it off and the Valley of Silent Men did a splendid job as always - their ranks appear fluffier than in recent years which is a good thing. Lotta other second line clubs participated this year too including Sundan and the Divine Ladies. Second Line season is officially off and running my people.

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Street Fare Derby: a New Orleans food truck festival

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 9:06 AM

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At Gambit, we love food trucks (and we miss the taco truck that used to park across from the Home Depot on N. Carrollton right by our office). So we're cosponsoring New Orleans' first Street Fare Derby, a food truck festival/fiesta/whathaveyou on Sept. 24. Many of the city's best food trucks will set up at the New Orleans Fair Grounds for an afternoon of eating, as well as music from Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers and Papa Grows Funk. The event is being put on by the folks behind NolaFoodTrucks.com, which was profiled by Ian McNulty last December in his Gambit cover story about the local food truck scene.

The truly ridiculous part? Tickets are just $10 if you buy them in advance here, or $15 day-of. A limited number of early-bird VIP tickets will be sold for $40, allowing early admittance to the Fair Grounds (and early mitts on the food).

The official word:

NOLAfoodtrucks.com and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will celebrate the culture of street food, food trucks, and beyond at the inaugural Street Fare Derby Presented by Budweiser on Closing Day of the track’s Summer Quarter Horse Meet, Saturday, September 24, 2011, from 12:30 to 6 p.m. The afternoon of delicious eats from the street also includes live music by New Orleans staples Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers (3-5 p.m.) and Papa Grows Funk (12:30-2:30 p.m.).

We'll be giving away a few tickets on our Gambit schwag Twitter feed (@GambitGoods), but why take the chance? It's ten dollars.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Music to asphyxiate by: #marshfiremp3

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Oh, you're all so clever. Given the general atmospheric conditions outside today, we took to Twitter to ask a simple question:

OK, Gambiteers, what's on your iPod today? Us: "Bushfire," The B-52s #whatsonyouripod

Let's play #marshfiremp3!

Some of your responses:


@_michelina: Warren G. feat. Ron Isley, "Smokin' Me Out"

@liprap: Talking Heads, "Air"

@champsuperstar: Rotary Downs, "A Drink From the Clouds"

@jacobjmayer: John Townsend, "Smoke From a Distant Fire"

@JeremyDavenport:
Jerome Kern, "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes"

@NoelleRamsey: New Birth Brass Band, "Smoke That Fire"

@moarhugs: SBTRKT, "Wildfire"

@FreeWheelinMY: Deep Purple, "Smoke on the Water"

@ndrewmarin: The Postal Service, "Recycled Air"

@liprap: Charles Bradley, "The World (Is Going Up in Flames)"

@JustinNystrom: George Strait, "You'll Always Be a Fire I Can't Put Out"

@zorak303: B-52s, "Bushfire" (great minds etc. etc.)

@photosharp: Ink Spots, "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire"

Well done, everyone! Keep clicking for a lagniappe video ...

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Big changes at Bacchanal

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 4:00 PM

The wine is still flowing at Bacchanal, and you can still cut into a fat cheese plate here. But some of the other ingredients that have made the place a Bywater hot spot came to an abrupt halt this week.

Bacchanal had been serving a chef-led menu of small plates prepared in an outdoor kitchen and hosting musical acts nightly in its backyard. Both the food and music are on hold right now.

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Watch: GIVERS debut "Meantime" music video

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 2:25 PM

It's been a shy summer in Louisiana for GIVERS, the breakthrough Lafayette pop outfit who made their triumphant hometown return to Louisiana last month at the Spanish Moon. But last week, the band released the follow-up to the In Light debut single "Up, Up, Up" — here's "Meantime," another stand-out album track with jumpy island rhythms and more of those playful harmonies between guitarist Taylor Guarisco and percussionist Tiffany Lamson.

Check out the video below — it goes from twilight southern mystery to outdoor house party, with
lots of jamming under Spanish moss, psychedelic flashlights and GIVERS-as-kids, a riff on their "childlike" joy-bursting pop.

Read more about the band and the album In Light at Gambit.

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