Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Son of a Saint collects sports equipment for kids

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 9:53 PM

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It’s time to clean out your garage/attic/closets/nooks and crannies and donate youth sports equipment you no longer use to REPLAY, the Son of a Saint Sports Foundation recycling program for youth sports equipment. Son of a Saint, which helps boys 9-13 who have no father in the home participate in organized sports, is collecting new and used sports equipment and has partnered with area groups to make drop-off easy.

Donated equipment will go to Son of a Saint, New Orleans Recreation Development Commission and New Orleans Kids Partnership.

Drop off sites include:

Oct. 2-8
Semolina (Clearview Mall, 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd.)
Zea Rotisserie & Grill (110 Lake Drive, Covington; 1121 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey; 1325 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner; 1525 St. Charles Ave.; 1655 Hickory Ave., Harahan; Clearview Mall, 4450 Veterans Memorial Blvd.)

Oct. 3-Oct. 17
Hilton New Orleans Riverside gym (2 Poydras St.)

Oct. 8, Oct. 15, Oct. 22
Tulane University home games

Oct. 15
Cut-off Playground (6600 Belgrade St.)
Al Davis Playground (2600 LaSalle St.)
Easton Playground (600 N. Lopez St.)
Kenilworth Playground (6800 Curran Blvd.)
Pontchartrain Playground (corner of Press Street and Prentiss Drive)

Donate at any PlayNOLA game or event

Month of November
Whole Foods Market (3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd.,
Metairie; 5600 Magazine St.)

REPLAY’s wish list of items (youth sizes) includes: (below jump)

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A world of flavors at Hillel’s Kitchen

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 4:38 PM

House-cured pastrami on focaccia

People looking for a traditional Jewish holiday meal for Rosh Hashana this week are expected by the hundreds at the Goldie and Morris Mintz Center for Jewish Life, the new Jewish student center at Tulane University.

But throughout the year, traditional Jewish fare and a great deal more is served at Hillel’s Kitchen, a kosher restaurant inside the center. It’s open to the public, and in fact it’s exceptionally friendly to vegetarians and vegans.

Of course, there’s also house-cured pastrami, salmon burgers, chicken salad and chili dogs, so this is far from a meatless kitchen. But there is a clear focus on fresh, health-conscious meals here. That’s the hand of chef Harveen Khera, who opened Hillel’s Kitchen earlier this year in the Mintz Center, a new, 10,000-square-foot building at 912 Broadway, just by Tulane’s Uptown campus.

The Mintz Center on Broadway

Originally from London, Khera built a culinary career in San Francisco, where she ran the French-Indian fusion restaurant Tallula in that city’s Castro neighborhood. She helped design a kitchen for the Mintz Center and soon that work evolved into planning this public restaurant for the center. Her menu is inexpensive and loaded with locally-sourced and house-made staples.

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Scenes from 127 years of Fire & Swag

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Young Men Olympian Jr. Benevolent Association: Five divisions and 127 years strong. This parade had so much fire and swagga, I can’t even begin to chronicle it all. The proof is in the videos. All I can say is that second line don’t owe me NUTHIN!

Favorite clips from the parade (after the jump!):

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ChristieWatch: Baton Rouge rally announced

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 11:39 AM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will indeed be making a public appearance on Thursday before attending a fundraiser at an unspecified private residence in Baton Rouge. Here's the Louisiana Republican Party's announcement:

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Go north and learn

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 1:38 AM

Shreveport often gets a bum rap.

“It’s east Texas,” claim many, as though that’s a bad thing. This Red River city fights for not only Louisiana’s embrace, but also the South’s.

And yet Shreveport, along with nearby north Louisiana cities such as Natchitoches and Bossier City, cheers on the Saints and LSU. They talk about New Orleans like it’s an old friend, asking about Café du Monde, Chef Paul Prudhomme, and French Quarter Fest.

Most important, the area excels by example, particularly when it comes to education and the arts. The ArtBreak Festival in April is the ‘largest annual student arts festival in the South,’ and events such as the Red River Revel next month and the Louisiana State Fair help support these programs, as well as the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum.

The schools follow suit, responding to the community’s love of the arts with enthusiasm, as we saw during visits to area schools last week.

“I took what I learned from studying Michelangelo's figure drawing and turned it around, transforming it into a Cajun,” explains George Rodrigue to sixth graders at Natchitoches Primary Magnet School in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

RIP: Angel Miranda, founder of Lola’s

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 5:43 PM

A mourning wreath at Lolas, which remains open.
  • Ian McNulty
  • A mourning wreath at Lola's, which remains open.

Angel Miranda, the founder and owner of Lola’s Restaurant in Faubourg St. John, died from cancer late last week at age 57.

The restaurant remains open, serving dinner nightly.

A native of Seville, Spain, Miranda opened his first New Orleans restaurant, called Altamira, in the Warehouse District in the 1980s. That folded a few years later, but he found lasting success with his next venture, Lola’s, which he opened in 1994 and named for his mother.

Lola’s is a tiny place that has developed a huge following, and Miranda provided many New Orleanians with their first tastes of authentic Spanish cuisine. Even as the number of Spanish restaurants in New Orleans has grown, Lola’s has remained popular as both a neighborhood café and a cross-town destination.

"When he opened, there was nothing even remotely like it in New Orleans,” says Xavier Laurentino, a close friend and owner of the Riverbend restaurant Barcelona Tapas. “But here’s what people don’t always know, no one worked harder than him. Whenever there was an obstacle, he worked through it. You see Lola’s today and it’s a successful restaurant, but to make that happen he had to work incredibly hard.”

Miranda got Lola’s back in business very quickly after Katrina, and I happened to be there when it reopened in November 2005. I will never forget the scene there that night, nor how Miranda responded to it.

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Who needs defense? or How I learned to stop worrying and just trust Brees' arm

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham jumps over Houstons Glover Quin during New Orleans win yesterday

Conventional wisdom in the NFL dictates that in order to win games, you need to have a solid defense, a consistent and effective running game and limit your turnovers. Relying on the pass, letting up big plays to the opposing offense and giving the ball away on your side of the field are anathema to successful teams.

By definition, though, conventional wisdom is boring and methodical and, right now, the New Orleans Saints are anything but. How else can you explain yesterday's thrilling 40-33 win over the Houston Texans?

This is a game in which the Saints offense three the ball twice as many times as it ran it and had five of its 11 possessions end in a punt or a turnover. The defense, meanwhile, gave up over 120-yards receiving to two different players, while giving up the most passing yards since November of last year. New Orleans also trailed by a touchdown or more on three different occasions in this game, they lost their starting center and right tackle and entered the fourth quarter with just 17 points.

It is baffling to look at all that and realize that the Saints escaped with a victory. But looking back on the game as a whole, you begin to realize that the Saints' win came as a result of the Texans failure to pull into a dominating lead. Houston never led by more than the 10-point margin they held in the first quarter, they failed to stop the Saints from scoring a touchdown on three straight drives in the fourth quarter (twice when they had the lead) and, when they absolutely needed a play to shut up a raucous Superdome crowd, they never got one.

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New Orleans On Tap to benefit the Louisiana SPCA

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Provided for illustrative purposes only. Do not let your dog drink beer. He doesnt appreciate it, anyway.
  • Provided for illustrative purposes only. Do not let your dog drink beer. He doesn't appreciate it, anyway.
Drink beer and help out animals: you could do worse things with your weekend. This Saturday is New Orleans On Tap, one of the year's biggest fundraisers for the Louisiana SPCA, and you can fatten up the shelter's bottom line by just showing up at New Orleans City Park (by the boathouse) and sampling some 200 beers. For more info or to ask questions, check out the event's Facebook page.

Admission is free, and beer samples will be purchased with tickets (bring cash for the tickets). It's co-sponsored by local bigfoot brewpub The Bulldog, and among the local micros on tap will be Abita, Heiner Brau, Lazy Magnolia, NOLA Brewing, Bayou Teche Biere and Tin Roof Brewing. (A complete list is here.) The event runs from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., with performances by Rotary Downs (2:30-4:30 p.m.) and Flow Tribe (5-7 p.m.). There will also be a cool-off tent (for dogs and owners), doggie games, a raffle, food, non-alcoholic beverages and adoptable pets from the LA-SPCA.

You're also welcome to bring your own well-behaved dog as long as it's on a leash ... or come out empty-leashed and take home a new dog or cat.

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ChristieWatch: Who most deserves an evening with New Jersey's governor?

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 2:19 PM

U.S. Library of Congress (www.loc.gov)
  • U.S. Library of Congress (www.loc.gov)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enjoys travel . We of ChristieNation know that much about him, even if, sometimes, we don't know much about his travel itineraries.

But this week, we're in for a rare treat, because Christie, a public official who draws an annual salary of $175,000, plus a $95,000 expense account, ostensibly for the time he spends in the state of New Jersey, has disclosed his travel schedule. And on Thursday, he's coming to Baton Rouge.

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Tax break for breastfeeders

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 12:02 PM

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There are many benefits to breastfeeding: mother’s milk is the most healthful for the baby, there’s no mixing or heating (the breast is like a thermos for the baby), it’s always ready when you need it, it’s much cheaper than formula and — starting Oct. 1, women can save 4 percent on all their breastfeeding supplies.

The 2011 Louisiana Legislature passed Act 331, which exempts “breastfeeding items” from the state sales tax, which is 4 percent. The legislation does not exempt those items from local taxes. Breastfeeding items identified in the bill include nursing bras, containers for storing expressed milk, breast pumps, pump accessories and replacement parts. The bill does not exempt nursing pads, nursing pillows or bottles. See the complete list of eligible supplies at the Louisiana Department of Revenue website: www.revenue.louisiana.gov/breastfeeding.

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