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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fourth of July roundup: 12 patriotic outings in New Orleans

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 12:16 PM

Fireworks launched from dueling barges over New Orleans' riverfront are a Fourth of July tradition. - GULF COAST AIR PHOTO
  • GULF COAST AIR PHOTO
  • Fireworks launched from dueling barges over New Orleans' riverfront are a Fourth of July tradition.


Updated to include additional events.

Ah, the Fourth of July: hot dogs, American flags and the thrill of a potential fireworks-related ER visit. Though the big show over the weekend is always Essence Fest  —  we love you, Mariah  —  there are plenty of other events on the calendar.

Here are four straight nights of fireworks and fests to enjoy during your long weekend (July 1-July 4):

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Voting for new Zephyrs name begins Thursday

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 5:21 PM

Zephyr Field — soon to be Baby Cakes Field or Po'boys Field? - CREATIVE COMMONS/DEREK BRIDGES
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/DEREK BRIDGES
  • Zephyr Field — soon to be Baby Cakes Field or Po'boys Field?

The New Orleans Zephyrs has released the finalists in its competition to rename the minor-league baseball team. The organization asked the public for suggestions, then whittled that list down to seven options — perhaps a wise tactic, considering recent crowdsourced renaming fiascos such as the Boaty McBoatface incident.

But did the organization itself choose wisely? Well...

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Lusitania author Erik Larson to speak at Jewish Community Center

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2016 at 11:28 AM

Erik Larson, author of Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. - BENJAMIN BENSCHNEIDER
  • Benjamin Benschneider
  • Erik Larson, author of Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania.
In some ways, Erik Larson is as much historian and detective as writer. The New York Times-bestselling author writes nonfiction accounts of events or milieus through the experiences of individuals. Using sources like archival materials, news clippings and transcripts of conversations, he painstakingly reconstructs events as they were experienced by the people who lived through them. His latest book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, chronicles the sinking of a British ocean liner by a German submarine in 1915. The event killed hundreds of people and is sometimes credited with helping draw the U.S. into World War I.

Larson will speak at the Jewish Community Center of New Orleans Tuesday, April 12, in an appearance sponsored by Octavia Books. Tickets are required and can be purchased at the Octavia Books store or online. He spoke with Gambit in advance of the event about history, his research process and sinking ships.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

NOLA Bike to Work Day scheduled for April 13

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 4:43 PM

PHOTO COURTESY BIKE EASY
  • PHOTO COURTESY BIKE EASY
NOLA Bike to Work Day returns for its fifth installment on Wednesday, April 13, when "bike trains" of commuters will form across the city to ride to work together. Riders can join neighborhood meetups (listed on the Bike Easy website) or convene at Lafayette Square from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., where they'll meet fellow cyclists and enjoy coffee and bike-related swag from sponsors. 

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Astrophysicist Janna Levin, author of Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space, to speak at Tulane

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 4:46 PM

Janna Levin is an astrophysicist and writer.
  • Janna Levin is an astrophysicist and writer.

When two black holes collide, does it make a sound? It sounds like a physics class riddle, but it’s a question that haunted astrophysicist and author Janna Levin . Her new book, Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space, tells the story of the scientists who worked on the instruments that recently detected gravitational waves, which are the ripples in spacetime caused by such collisions that can be amplified and expressed as sound. 

Gravitational waves were first proposed by Einstein. Their confirmation vindicated a century of research and delighted Levin, who has studied black holes and the finite nature of the universe. (To give you an idea of how long she’s been pondering this question, her TED talk on the sound black holes might make was posted in 2011.) Her book is a profile of several brilliant scientists, an “adventure story” on the seas of high-level research, and a lyrical nod to the moody, uncertain world of a black hole, “…roll[ing] along in its own galaxy, dark and quiet until something wanders past, an interstellar dust cloud or an errant star.”

Levin will speak at Tulane’s Freeman Auditorium in the Woldenberg Art Center on Tuesday, April 5, at 6 p.m., followed by a book signing. Gambit spoke with her briefly about black holes, her book and the sound outer space makes. 


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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Maple Street Book Shop to stay open — at least for a while longer

Posted By on Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 11:21 AM

Gladin Scott announced Maple Street Book Shop will remain open through spring.
  • Gladin Scott announced Maple Street Book Shop will remain open through spring.

Maple Street Book Shop
owner Gladin Scott had planned to hold a clearance sale after Christmas, but it's taken on a new purpose. In early October, Scott announced the bookshop would close at the end of the year. But that news spurred a wave of support that has enabled him to keep the store open.

"It started as a wake, but it turned into a celebration," Scott says.

Scott announced Sunday the store would remain open and held the sale as a thank you to customers. The store is using proceeds to buy new inventory, ordering new releases and scheduling events for coming months, he says.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

New Orleans developer Pres Kabacoff on housing and gentrification

Posted By on Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 2:01 PM

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Gawker contributor Peter Moskowitz is writing a book about gentrification. He interviewed New Orleans developer Pres Kabacoff about his company, HRI Properties, which has been a major force in developing the Warehouse District, CBD and Lower Garden District, including remaking public housing projects. The interview (posted here) addresses building housing, gentrification and the poor.

From the interview:
Moskowitz: How do you make money and make affordable housing at the same time?

Kabacoff: The trick is to get market rate to come. The affordable will come. But if the market rate doesn't come, you end up with all the affordable and the issues they tried to unwind with these programs like Hope VI. On the affordable side, probably a third of those people you would love to have as your neighbor, another third—the kind of people who if their refrigerator stops working their life falls apart—if you can get them stable, you want them, and a third you just don't have the social staff to deal with the issues they're bringing to the table.

When we do developments, it's usually its one-third market, one-third workforce, and one-third former public housing—mothers with children on food stamps and all that stuff. There's a mixture of people. How do we afford to do the affordable piece? You need a lot of subsidy.

Moscowitz: But what about that last third? The poorest. How do you house them?

Kabacoff: If there's crime that follows, the market rate gets nervous, votes with their feet and leaves, then it doesn't work. So what do you do with the third that's too difficult? You just don't take them, or you evict them. Just get them out of there. I don't have the staff to deal with them. One of the deficiencies of the Hope VI model is how do you provide social services for those people?
Moskowitz also responded to some reader questions. He's written for Gawker on housing issues and development in New York, Detroit, Camden, New Jersey, Paris and other cities.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Endangered crocs hatched at Audubon Zoo

Posted By on Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

COURTESY AUDUBON ZOO
  • Courtesy Audubon Zoo

Two brown false gharials, endangered freshwater reptiles that look similar to crocodiles, have been born at the Audubon Zoo Reptile Encounter — marking the first time the species has been bred in captivity in America in five years. It’s the first false gharial births at Audubon Zoo, although the species has lived at the zoo since the 1980s.

The zoo’s staff says the gharials, part of the crocodilian group that also includes alligators, crocodiles and caimans, hatched several weeks ago and are only a few inches long. The zoo announced the births Wednesday. 

Gharials are native to southeast Asia and typically inhabit freshwater swamps with lots of vegetation, as well as lakes and rivers. They have a narrower snout than a crocodile and consume a varied diet, including fish, small animals, insects and crustaceans. Unlike crocodiles and alligators, gharials slide on their bellies on land instead of raising up their bodies to walk.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has placed false gharials on its Red List of Threatened Species (version 3.1) and attributes much of the population decline to habitat destruction. It estimates there are fewer than 2,500 mature adult gharials in the world, with most living along tributaries of the Ganges River.

Adult gharials average 350 to 400 pounds, with males growing from 13 to 19.7 feet long and weighing as much as 1,500 pounds, according to the San Diego Zoo website. Females tend to be shorter, averaging 11 to 13 feet long.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Live Oak Cafe focuses on emerging musicians

Posted By on Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Nyce performed at Live Oak last week - COURTESY LIVE OAK CAFE
  • Courtesy Live Oak Cafe
  • Nyce performed at Live Oak last week


The breakfast/lunch spot Live Oak Cafe (8140 Oak St., 504-265-0050; www.liveoaknola.com) is putting a new emphasis on its daily music offerings and providing a space for emerging and familiar musicians to spread their wings.

“(Our music booker is) determined to have as much variety in here as possible,” says Clare Leavy, chef/co-owner of Live Oak Cafe, which opened in January. “We try to have a different genre every day, and it’s really interesting. The focus is on emerging artists that most people haven’t heard about yet.”

The diversity in music genres melds with Live Oak’s customer base, which ranges from young families to college students to neighborhood regulars and tourists attracted to the bourgeoning restaurant, entertainment and retail scene on Oak Street. Leavy and her partners decided to take the music schedule in a different direction after pianist Charles Farmer, who had performed daily for eight years at Live Oak and its predecessor Oak Street Cafe, retired.

“We did it for the idea of it, really,” Leavy says of changing up the music schedule. “New Orleans is all about music and should be a playground for musicians to play whatever kind of music they want to play — bring whatever they have to the table.”

There will be regular appearances by musicians such as Sarah McCoy, who is scheduled to play once a month; and Katarina Boudreaux, who plays Mondays and Tuesdays for the next month; as well as some musicians who play regularly in clubs around town, such as Dave Easley (Nov. 2) and Norbert Slama (Oct. 25). For a daily schedule, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Live Oak, which offers home cooking with Creole and Cajun influences, plans other updates, starting with expanding the cafe with a new kitchen and doubling the size of the dining room. The restaurant will close in December, and Leavy says the construction timeline calls for the restaurant to reopen in time for Carnival — with the possible addition of dinner service.

The cafe is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.


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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Free Christmas opera Oct. 7

Posted By on Sat, Oct 4, 2014 at 12:46 PM

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The International Youth Fellowship’s (IYF) New Orleans chapter is hosting a performance of the Christmas Cantata, an opera-like re-enactment of Christians’ traditional Christmas story, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, at the UNO Lakefront Arena. Admission is free. Call 504-2 08-2911 or visit www.graciaschoir.com to g et free tickets.

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In the musical, the story of Jesus Christ’s birth is told through music, elaborate sets and costumes and includes a version of Handel’s MESSIAH, performed by the award-winning Gracias Choir. The choir has performed internationally, and this year earned grand prizes at the Concorso Corale Internazionale in Italy and the Montreux Choral Festival in Switzerland.

This is the fourth time the choir will perform in New Orleans.

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Inho Choi, IYF New Orleans regional director, says IYF volunteers are personally delivering thousands of invitations with tickets to homes across New Orleans in an effort to bring Gracias Christmas Cantata to a wider audience. IYF presented the production at the Saenger Theatre last year, but opted for UNO Lakefront Arena for the 2014 show in order to accommodate a larger audience.

The choir’s 2014 U.S. tour includes 20 cities.

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