Friday, December 2, 2016

Review: Manchester by the Sea

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 3:23 PM

Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea
  • Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea

Sometimes things just don’t work out for films that once seemed destined for adulation and awards. There’s no better example from recent years than celebrated playwright Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret.

The follow-up to You Can Count on Me, Lonergan’s Oscar-nominated debut as a film director, Margaret got buried in lawsuits after years in which Lonergan wouldn’t — or couldn’t — deliver a contractually obligated, 150-minute edit of his post-9/11 New York City epic. In the end, Margaret’s story was told by The New York Times Magazine in a story headlined “Kenneth Lonergan’s Thwarted Masterpiece.” An extended cut of the movie is now available (and should be seen by anyone interested in current film), but the bottom line is that Margaret will never find the audience it deserves.

No such fate awaits Lonergan’s masterful third feature, Manchester by the Sea, the story of a handyman with a troubled past and broken spirit made to confront his demons after a death in his family. The film has all the ingredients that make many of Lonergan’s previous works for stage and screen so special.

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Restaurant news for Piccola Gelateria, Cafe Anglais and more

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 11:54 AM

Piccola Gelateria, a cafe specializing in Italian coffee drinks and gelato, is now open on Freret Street. - COURTESY PICCOLA GELATERIA
  • Piccola Gelateria, a cafe specializing in Italian coffee drinks and gelato, is now open on Freret Street.

Piccola Gelateria (4525 Freret St., 954-618-8141), a gelato-focused cafe, is now open. Owners Ria and Ross Turnbull began a soft opening Nov. 17 and host a grand opening celebration from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight (Dec. 2).

The cafe specializes in Italian coffee drinks and gelato, with 18 house-made flavors, many of which will change seasonally. Ross Turnbull makes the small-batch gelato in-house daily. There are traditional flavors such as vanilla, chocolate and Nutella and daily creations from a rotating list, including pomegranate sorbet, pistachio, sea-salted caramel, lemon mint, tiramisu and nougat.

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Books roundup: Five book-related events in December in New Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Between awkward office Christmas parties, family members with questionable politics and hot chocolate with too many/not enough marshmallows, the holidays can be a trying time of year. Find solace at one of these (mostly) non-Christmas-related book parties.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

New Orleans short-term rental laws get final vote

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 4:30 PM


Following several years of debate, New Orleans officials passed a series of ordinances Dec. 1 to legalize, and enforce, short-term rentals. With input from Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration, Airbnb and the City Planning Commission, the New Orleans City Council passed several ordinances that amend the city's governing zoning code to include rules for short-term rentals on websites like Airbnb and HomeAway in New Orleans.

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"The depravity and the sweetness": author Paula Mejia on The Jesus and Mary Chain's Psychocandy

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 3:00 PM

In 1985, The Jesus and Mary Chain released its massively influential landmark debut Psychocandy, an electric shock of rock 'n' roll and sugary sweet pop as one big feedbacking sound.

The band was lauded in the U.K. press for its irreverence and unpredictably destructive live shows, But, as Paula Mejia writes in a new book from the 33 1/3 series, the album is "an unapologetic swooning love letter to pop music" from a band unabashedly embracing not only the leather-clad Hamburg-era Beatles, Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, and Marc Bolan and David Bowie, but '60s girl groups, bubblegum and the full spectrum of pop.

Though exhaustive research and conversation, Mejia dives into the band's history, interviewing band members Jim and William Reid, Douglas Hart and Bobby Gillespie, as well as scene familiars and Glaswegian contemporaries, finding a band shaped as much by Margaret Thatcher's U.K. and the realities of their neglected working class neighborhoods as it was by its deliberate pop ambition, despite its seemingly anarchic noise.

In celebrating its 30th anniversary, the band embarked on a reunion tour, which touches New Orleans Dec. 16 at The Joy Theater. And Mejia will talk about the band and the book with music writer Alison Fensterstock at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 at Euclid Records.

Gambit: I imagine you've been getting everyone's individual recollections of shows in each town on tour.

Mejia: Oh, yeah. One of the most entertaining and surprising conversations I had was with a guy from Baltimore from Aberdeen. The was a bar at the bookstore I was at, Atomic, and he came up to me afterward and said, "You know, it was great hearing about that. I first saw The Mary Chain when I was 14 in 1985. I busted my chin at the show. There was a mosh pit." Then he had this other great story about trying to see The Pastels with his cousin, who was really underage and couldn't get into the show. They ran into Bobby Gillespie and he said, "Tell your cousin to stand by the fire door." He kicks open the door so he can get into the show under the radar.

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Freret Beer Room opens Uptown

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 2:06 PM

Freret Beer Room is now open at 5018 Freret Street. - HELEN FREUND
  • Freret Beer Room is now open at 5018 Freret Street.

Freret Beer Room (5018 Freret St., 504-298-7468) is now open. The beer-focused restaurant from owner Eli Gay opened Wednesday, Nov. 30, but there’s no booze for the time being, pending alcohol permits. The casual eatery is built around the concept of beer education and beer pairings.

Chef Charles Vincent formerly worked at Emeril’s Delmonico and La Petite Grocery. The opening menu includes beef carpaccio, a fall vegetable salad with toasted pipits, shaved pecorino and satsuma vinaigrette, and tomato-braised meatballs with polenta and arugula. Prince Edward Island mussels are served with smoked oyster and tomato aioli. The “beer room gumbo” features roasted chicken, okra and andouille served with potato salad. Entrees include pan-roasted Gulf fish, chicken confit served with popcorn rice, a soft-boiled egg, pickles and vegetables, and a grilled Two Run Farms pork chop with lentils, turnips and kale.

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Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Brooks & Dunn headline Bayou Country Superfest in Dome May 26-28

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 11:12 AM

Miranda Lambert.
  • Miranda Lambert.

Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Brooks & Dunn and Rascal Flatts will headline the 2017 Bayou Country Superfest, which moves from Baton Rouge to the Superdome for for Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-28, 2017. If the festival is a success, New Orleans may be its new home, says Superfest producer and Festival Productions director Quint Davis.

"If it ain't broke, you don't fix it," Davis says. "If it succeeds and it works, then you want to stay here."

The festival was moved to New Orleans following LSU's announcement of renovations to Tiger Stadium, which will take two years. The Superdome venue is blocked out for a possible three years, Davis says.

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Chalmette Movies presents month-long Buster Keaton classic film series

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 9:02 AM

Buster Keaton in The General
  • Buster Keaton in The General

Chalmette Movies (8700 West Judge Perez Drive) will present four newly restored comedy classics by the great Buster Keaton on four weekends starting this Sunday, December 4. All Sunday screenings begin at 2:30 p.m., with encore screenings the following Monday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the Sunday screenings are $7; Monday night screenings are $9 and $7 for kids and seniors. Here's the schedule:

Dec. 4-5 — The General

Dec. 11-12 — Steamboat Bill, Jr.

Dec. 18- 19 — College

Jan. 8-9 — Three Ages

More info here.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hansen’s Sno-Bliz to open December 16-18

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 4:58 PM

Hansen's Sno-Bliz will open for three days this holiday season, from Dec. 16-18. - COURTESY HANSEN'S SNO-BLIZ/FACEBOOK
  • Hansen's Sno-Bliz will open for three days this holiday season, from Dec. 16-18.

Though the weather might indicate otherwise, it’s about to get a bit chillier when snowball favorite Hansen’s Sno-Bliz ( 4801 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-891-9788) opens for a surprise three-day holiday special next month.

The popular snowball shop made the announcement Tuesday, Nov. 29, on social media. The shop will sell specialty snowballs Dec. 16 to Dec. 18. The Uptown mainstay, which typically adherers to time-honored seasonal openings from spring to late summer, closed its doors at the end of its 77th season on Oct. 1 after serving lines that wrapped around the block.

No word yet on what holiday snowball flavors might be in store, or whether the shop will adhere to their regular store hours during the special opening.

For more information, visit the shop’s Facebook page here.

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The fight for $15 an hour in New Orleans

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 3:00 PM

A New Orleans Fight For $15 protest marches on Rampart Street Nov. 29.
  • A New Orleans Fight For $15 protest marches on Rampart Street Nov. 29.

Sharika Evans grew up working in fast food. But, she said, the minimum wages she's received — at $7.25 an hour — are not enough to support a family, her health care, utilities and her bills, Evans said she was fired from the McDonald's on Canal Street following a Fight For $15 protest at the restaurant earlier this year. She held the doors open to protesters.

Around 5 p.m. Nov. 29, more than 100 service workers and supporters marched, with a brass band, from Armstrong Park on Rampart Street to Canal Street near the McDonald's between Royal and Bourbon streets. Protesters blocked car and streetcar traffic in all directions for nearly an hour and linked arms, demanding $15 an hour and the ability to unionize. Six people sitting at the intersection were arrested but released with citations for obstructing street traffic.

"The pay we get doesn't reflect the work we put into it," Evans told Gambit.

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