Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Y@Speak instant reaction: Twitter on Ray Nagin's sentencing

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 11:08 AM

While legal analysts and talking heads were weighing in on U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan's sentencing of former Mayor Ray Nagin, Twitter was weighing in as well. A sampling of the 140-character reaction:

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Alliance Francaise hosts Bastille Day Fete at Spanish Plaza

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 10:25 AM

A reveler enjoys Bastille Day Fete 2013. - ALLIANCE FRANCAISE DE LA NOUVELLE-ORLEANS
  • Alliance Francaise de La Nouvelle-Orleans
  • A reveler enjoys Bastille Day Fete 2013.

In celebration of Bastille Day, the French National Day, the Alliance Française de La Nouvelle-Orléans  with support from the French-American Chamber of Commerce and the Consulate General of France in New Orleans, hosts its third annual Bastille Day Fete Saturday.

The festivities honoring the storming of the Bastille turn Spanish Plaza (1 Poydras St.) French for a day with French-inspired activities and food from local restaurants including Crepes a la CartCafe DegasMartinique Bistro and others.

The celebration features music by young Cajun rockers Feufollet (7 p.m.), Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots (5 p.m.) and accordionist Norbert Slama (3:45 p.m.).

Because the French traditionally celebrate Bastille Day at community firehouses, the Alliance Francaise is putting a New Orleans spin on tradition.

“We wanted to keep this link … and since we’re on the (Mississippi) river, we decided to get a fire boat,” says Aurelie Champvert, director of the Alliance Française de la Nouvelle-Orléans. “Kids will actually be able to get into it, and it will sprinkle some red, blue and white water.”

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Ray Nagin sentenced to 10 years on federal corruption charges

Posted By and on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Former Mayor Ray Nagin leaves U.S. Federal Court in downtown New Orleans this morning after U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan sentenced him to 10 years at FDC Oakdale Prison in Oakdale, La. Nagin did not speak after the sentence was laid. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • Former Mayor Ray Nagin leaves U.S. Federal Court in downtown New Orleans this morning after U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan sentenced him to 10 years at FDC Oakdale Prison in Oakdale, La. Nagin did not speak after the sentence was laid.

Former Mayor Ray Nagin, who was convicted on 20 of 21 federal charges in February, was sentenced this morming to 10 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $84,000 in restitution. The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Helen "Ginger" Berrigan, who presided over Nagin's trial earlier this year. Before the sentencing, Berrigan denied the defense's request to delay sentencing, saying there was "no real justification" in doing so.

Berrigan recommended the former mayor serve his term at FDC Oakdale Prison in Allen Parish in central Louisiana, where former Rep. William Jefferson is currently serving out his own federal sentence. Nagin must report to Oakdale Sept. 8.

The length of the sentence was somewhat surprising to court watchers; Mark St. Pierre, the City Hall tech vendor who also took a chance on going to trial on federal bribery charges related to Nagin rather than accept a plea deal, had received a 17-year sentence after being convicted on all 53 counts against him. Legal analysts, citing federal guidelines, had predicted sentences of 15 years and up. But Berrigan had wide latitude In sentencing, and she cited Nagin's age (58) as part of her decision.

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Shotgun Cinema screens 12 O'Clock Boys tonight at Marigny Opera House

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Local film organization Shotgun Cinema will present a one-time showing of critically acclaimed documentary 12 O'Clock Boys as part of its monthly film series tonight, Wednesday, July 8, at 7 p.m. at the Marigny Opera House, 725 St. Ferdinand Street. The film profiles Baltimore's notorious outlaw dirt-bike riders and a local boy who aspires to join them. Tickets are $7. Read our review of the film here. More info here.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert for a cause

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 5:47 PM


On Thursday, July 17, all you have to do to help make a difference in the lives of people affected by HIV/AIDS is go out to eat at one of a handful of New Orleans restaurants.

The NO/AIDS Task Force is partnering with the likes of Booty's Street Food, Adolpho's, Short Stop Poboys and many, many more for Dining Out for Life - an entire day in which a percentage of a participating restaurant's proceeds will go toward the many services the Task Force provides. The event raises about $80,000 annually for the Task Force, which has been providing medical care, testing and prevention, housing services, meals, access to a food pantry, peer support and behavioral health for 30 years to men, women and families whose lives have been touched by HIV/AIDS.

If you ask your server for a donation envelope at the table and donate a little extra cash, you'll automatically be in the running to win a two night stay at The Windsor Court Hotel.

Louisiana consistently ranks in the top 10 for estimated HIV/AIDS rates.

Under the jump, see a full list of participating restaurants, which includes everything from brunch to bars.

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Lululemon, NOLA Brewing Company hosting "hot yoga, cold beer" series

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 5:17 PM


If you didn't find enough ways to combine sweating and drinking over the holiday weekend, yoga outfitters Lululemon and NOLA Brewing have teamed up to give you another excuse to drink beer and perspire.

The "hot yoga, cold beer" series kicked off last night at NOLA Brewery's warehouses (3001 Tchoupitoulas St.) and featured a free hour of hot "power yoga" followed by 2-for-1 beers. The series will continue each Monday over the next five weeks, with the yoga portion running between 6:30-7:30 and imbibing to follow.

For more information, visit Lululemon's event page.

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This is the summer of soft rock

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 2:30 PM

The Doobie Brothers
  • The Doobie Brothers

The gauntlet — the gentle, down-filled, pina colada-scented gauntlet — was dropped when The Doobie Brothers and Peter Frampton challenged Beyonce and Jay Z for the top concert spot on Sunday, July 20. While the Doobies and Frampton take Champions Square, Beyonce and Jay Z will take the neighboring Superdome. It's either a scheduling coincidence or a house-packing booking strategy, with titans of hip-hop and yacht rock meeting to do battle. Either way, the message is clear (kind of): Herewith begins the summer of soft rock.

A few days later, on Saturday, July 26, Steely Dan headlines the UNO Lakefront Arena. And on Monday, August 18, Toto (of "Hold the Line" and "Africa" fame) celebrates its 35th anniversary with "An Evening with Toto," presented by New Orleans FM radio's soft rock king, Magic 101.9.

Meanwhile, along the Gulf Coast casino circuit (a reliable stronghold of yacht rock legion of yesteryear), the Yacht Rock Revue — which bills itself as "the music you listen to at the dentist's office while getting your teeth cleaned" and "single-handedly responsible for the reunion of 6 out of 7 members of the band Starbuck" — performs Saturday, August 2 at the Golden Nugget in Biloxi, Mississippi. Air Supply performs two whole nights July 25-26 at Hard Rock Live, and Boz Scaggs — who performed at the 2014 Jazz Fest — also is at Hard Rock Live Saturday, August 16. And the mashed potato-mouthed soul king himself, Michael McDonald, performs at Island View Casino on Saturday, September 13.

Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" has been crowned, reluctantly, the song of the summer in 2014, while just two years ago, we all were giving into the simple pop pleasure of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" as 2012's song of the summer. What happened to us? "Fancy" has been No. 1 for six whole weeks. Six. Six of them. A month and a half. Rather than champion a garbage can to the summer song throne, why not look to our elders? They already are filling up a local concert calendar near you. I made an exhaustive primer for all things yacht rock, soft rock, AM radio pop, etc. It's an instant nostalgia machine — for me, morning commutes in my mom's car listening to adult contemporary format radio in the early '90s. For you, a doorway into a world of possibility.

Oh, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & "Young" gave us a superior version of "Fancy" on The Tonight Show. CSN headlines the Saenger Theatre on Saturday, August 23.

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Regular registration ends today for New Orleans 48 Hour Film Project

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Today, Tuesday, June 8, is the last day to register for this year's New Orleans 48 Hour Film Project at the regular rate of $160 (the price goes up to $175 on Wednesday.) The 48 Film Project in annual global competition in which teams get two days to make seven-minute films incorporating randomly selected elements. The competition's final pre-production New Orleans mixer is scheduled for Friday, July 10 at 6 p.m. at Bruno's Tavern, 7538 Maple Street. More info here.

The Wand, winner of the Best Film award at the 2013 New Orleans 48 Hour Film Project, is embedded above.

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Brewsday Tuesday: Gnarly Barley opens for tours.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Zac Caramonta leads a tour of Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. - COURTESY CARI CARAMONTA
  • Courtesy Cari Caramonta
  • Zac Caramonta leads a tour of Gnarly Barley Brewing Co.

Hammond brewery Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. ( debuted its beer during American Craft Beer Week, a little earlier than anticipated, but co-founder Cari Caramonta says she and husband Zac, who attended previous years’ events as beer fans, didn’t want the brewery to miss exposure to local craft beer drinkers.

Six weeks later, Caramonta and husband Zac are focused on beer production and brand awareness. The two launched brewery tours July 5 and more than 50 people visited the facility. Caramonta says they will continue holding tours from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturdays.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

We're number four! Louisiana places fourth in Thrillist's ranking of states with the best food and drink options

Posted By on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Jambalaya, one of the dishes that (presumably) Thriillist weighed before naming Louisiana the fourth best state in the country for food and drink. - CREATIVE COMMONS/JEFFREY W.
  • Jambalaya, one of the dishes that (presumably) Thriillist weighed before naming Louisiana the fourth best state in the country for food and drink.

Rejoice, list lovers! Louisiana is once again near the top of the heap on a national list, and this time for our prominence as a state rich in food and drink.

Thrillist, the national "digital lifestyle brand for men" ranks Louisiana as the fourth best state in the country for eating and drinking, falling in just behind California, New York, and (sigh) Texas.

Using a not-so-scientific method, states were ranked based on what food items they produce, iconic dishes, beer/wine/spirit production, and the food scene in major cities. While Thrillist rolls its eyes at the national hype around New Orleans classics like gumbo and po' boys, it does note that we are, in fact, "America's finest drinking city."

Click here to view the full list.

(My deepest condolences to South Dakota, which rounds out the list at #50 and is one of the few states to have its own official state bread.)

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