New Orleans has hosted the Super Bowl, Final Fours, championship boxing bouts, presidents, a pope, the Dalai Lama and coming in September: The 2013 National Beard and Moustache Championships(Sept. 6-7), the Westminster show of male facial hair. There are 18 categories to medal in, and anything goes except artificial hair.
Germany is home to the World Beard and Moustache Association, which held its first competition in 1990. National Geographic has some good pictures of 2010 competitors. Britain's club has its own impressive competition.
In the U.S., regional groups are cropping up and there are several regional competitions. There is a New York competition, which allows women to participate (and Coney Island has its own competition). There's also a New York beard alliance. Los Angeles has a competition. Missouri has an active hirsute community. There's a club in Philadelphia. Austin. Houston. Bonnaroo has a beard competition this year, and it's got a category for fake beards. The online Beard Club has a links page with a round up of tumblr sites with photos, how to sites, competitions and more.
Update: There also is a local group for those who want to stop shaving and start networking.
The championships in New Orleans are open to men only. There are three main divisions with subcategories: Mustache (Salvador Dali, Hungarian, Imperial, freestyle, etc.), Full Beards (natural, Geribaldi, freestyle) and Partial Beards (Fu Manchu, Muskateer, Amish, sideburns, freestyle, etc.). Competitors are allowed to use various hair products, but from competition photos, it seems that some sort of period costume is a good idea.
The Green Project is giving away light fixtures, cabinets, cabinet doors and a huge selection of other locally reclaimed building materials starting today in its fifth annual Free Week. In addition to free building materials, the store is also giving away free refreshments from local eateries and holding a contest in which one winner will get a year's worth of The Green Project's merchandise.
The daily free refreshment schedule and contest instructions are below the jump.
Access to locally-produced foods is improving quickly around New Orleans. How quickly? Just ask someone gearing up for this year’s Eat Local Challenge, which asks people who sign up to eat foods produced within a 200-mile radius of New Orleans for the month of June.
“It’s so much easier now than when we started this, and that was just three years ago,” says Lee Stafford, co-founder of the annual event. “We can get more food at the grocery stores and there are more specialty shops for some of the stuff that had been hard to find before, especially meat. The first week is still hard, but once your refrigerator is filled with all local items you’re good to go.”
Stafford and Dr. Leslie Brown, a Covington pediatrician, started the Eat Local Challenge after learning about a similar event in the Midwest. They saw a New Orleans challenge as a way to encourage people to explore the richness of our local foods and connect with local food producers.
While a lot of this comes down to making careful decisions when choosing foods, the Eat Local Challenge has evolved into a month of events, from workshops on making your own wine, sausage or gelato, to a bicycle tour of urban gardens to wild berry foraging excursions over the levee along the batture.
Mary von Kurnatowski, founder of the Tipitina's Foundation, will be making the club available for a benefit. No date yet, but we hope to hold the benefit in the next two weeks. Marie Lovejoy, FEDE's executive director, says "there is no shortage of musicians willing and ready to participate."
Gambit will also set up a webpage for donations, and is working with a local bank where people can drop off donations in person.
We realize this information is very preliminary, but it's in response to the many queries we've received since yesterday. Gambit and the Tipitina's Foundation will update you here on Blog of New Orleans as soon as we have more details, as well as on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
In September 2010, Deb Cotton (who was one of 19 people shot Sunday near a second line in the Seventh Ward) wrote an essay for Gambit titled "Mainstream Media Doesn't Care About Black People: A Kanyesque Teachable Moment About Second Line Culture Bias." She was upset about a shooting that happened after a second line parade held by the Black Men Of Labor Social Aid and Pleasure Club — and also upset that some in the local media had, she thought, unfairly connected crime with second lines and SA&PCs, which have traditionally been a force for good in their neighborhoods:
Let's revisit for a moment the charge that second line culture is a breeding ground for murderers. New Orleans has the highest murder rate in the country - 174 killings in 2009 alone. When you have a society that parades 40 weekends a year, there’s bound to be a murder that falls on the same day and possibly within the vicinity of the parade - especially when you consider that the host clubs are by nature neighborhood-based groups that live in predominately low-income areas with high incidences of crime. ... In these troubled neighborhoods, you also have a preponderance of churches and police in addition to second line clubs, all attempting to stabilize vulnerable environments where numerous crimes happen. Yet no one blames the police or the churches for causing more crime in these areas.
The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) estimated that as many as three gunmen opened fire on a Mother's Day second line procession in the Seventh Ward this afternoon, injuring 19 people, according to the latest figures provided by the NOPD.
Many of the victims of today's shooting were taken to Interim LSU Hospital, where doctors said the victims' gunshot wounds ranged from flesh wounds to more serious damage. At least two of the wounded were children, who suffered what police said were graze wounds. Three of those hit sustained more serious injuries. At this hour, there have been no fatalities.
Among the injured was Gambit correspondent Deborah Cotton, who covers second line, Mardi Gras Indian and Social Aid & Pleasure Club culture for the paper under the name "BIg Red" Cotton. Cotton was hit directly by gunfire and taken to intensive care for surgery. She is in guarded but stable condition tonight, according to doctors. This morning, Cotton had tweeted, "A very Happy Mother's Day to all! See U at the 2nd line today w/ @TBC_BrassBand."
In an interview last year, Cotton discussed the problem of endemic violence in New Orleans:
American Craft Beer Week kicks off Monday, and we've got all you need to know (and drink) right here ...
• We're starting off things early with a craft beer pub crawl tomorrow, May 11. At "FestivALES," $24 gets you 20 beer tastings (and if you can stand more, you can buy extra tickets). There will be 30 local and craft beers available. Full info here.
• Looking for a full schedule of Craft Beer Week events in New Orleans? Yeah, we've got that too.
(route details below the jump!)
It’s normal to see chefs making the rounds at local farmers markets, but on the evening of May 20 there should be a bumper crop of them on hand at Hollygrove Market & Farm for its annual Party in the Garden.
The event is an important fundraiser for Hollygrove, a nonprofit that functions as an urban farm, a market for other small-scale farmers and food producers and an education center. Since forming in 2008, Hollygrove has developed a distribution network with local restaurants, and at least 20 of them will be on hand for the event, serving food prepared in part with local produce.
Hollygrove schedules this annual fundraiser on a Monday to make it easier for chefs and restaurant staff to participate, explains Bill Pastellak, the market’s director of operations, and in past years the event has had the air of a restaurant industry meet-and-greet. Certainly, the restaurants lined up for this year’s edition cut a wide swath across the scene, ranging from high-end spots like Patois, Iris and Martinique Bistro to Gracious Bakery & Café, Pizza Delicious and Killer Po-Boys, an innovative sandwich maker based in the back of the Erin Rose Irish pub.
Two more excellent reasons to get an Advocate New Orleans subscription.
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