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Bywater by the Bay, Louisiana scrapes bottom in another national survey and Gambit: the movie. 

click to enlarge Channing Tatum will begin filming Gambit in New Orleans in March.


Channing Tatum will begin filming Gambit in New Orleans in March.

On the eve of President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address last week, Politico did its third annual ranking of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and a dozen other agencies to produce its ranking of which states (and the District of Columbia) are most "strong." For the last two years, Louisiana has come in second-to-last place. This year, we were Number 1 — or, rather, Number 51.

  Louisiana earned that position for scoring poorly on things like obesity, math scores, income inequality and infant mortality rates. But cheer up; the ranking isn't exactly scientific, though few would challenge its overall accuracy. Politico says it's based "on the simple idea that education, health and wealth generally make us better off, while crime, unemployment and death do not."

Hanley's Foods, a homegrown salad dressing company in Prairieville, got national exposure in Forbes with an article titled "Four Bootstrapping Tips From A Salad-Dressing Startup In Louisiana." Richard and Kate Hanley launched their company with only $3,000, bottling "sensation," a regionally popular salad dressing made with Romano cheese, oil, lemon and parsley. The company sold $150,000 worth of dressing last year and now is in 40 stores, say the Hanleys ...

The tourists, they come, they write. Yahoo! Travel's Sherry Ott explored "New Orleans Off the Beaten Path: The Stuff That Tourists Always Miss." How did she do? She rode around town with Free Wheelin' Bike Tours, explored Frenchmen Street "instead of Bourbon Street" and forsook Emeril's for Coop's Place. "Even though I didn't hit the main sites or famous restaurants, I still had a wonderful 48 hours in New Orleans," Ott concluded. "Sometimes doing everything wrong makes for just the right kind of vacation." ...

Chef David Finch named his new Silicon Valley restaurant after one of New Orleans' most-discussed neighborhoods. The Bywater "will draw its culinary inspiration from Kinch's hometown of New Orleans," reported the San Francisco Chronicle, showing the chef in front of a Los Gatos, California restaurant with three front doors painted purple, green and gold. Food pictures looked legit, from Gulf snapper courtbouillon to a handsome Sazerac. ...

"Gambit Will Start Filming in New Orleans in March," reported No, not Gambit as in the paper you're reading, but Gambit, the latest superhero movie. Actor and part-time New Orleans restaurateur Channing Tatum will play Remy Lebeau, "the card-throwing Cajun mutant who occasionally partners with his brethren in the X-Men," the site reported. Yes, that means Tatum likely will be strapping on a Louisiana accent (similar to his accent in The Hateful Eight), and good luck to you, sir ...

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