Fine piece by The New York Times' Farai Chideya tracing black Louisianans' move to southern California in the early 20th century, as part of the Amtrak Residency for Writers. "I wanted to see both cities through a black Bayou and Creole lens, to see if they'd drifted apart or were overlapping, remixing culture in the same way that Creoles originally had," Chideya wrote.
It's a fascinating look at Creole society and practices in an unexpected place. Bonus: Terrific photos by New Orleans photographer Sara Essex Bradley, including a Long Beach, California accordion player named T-Lou Eaglin. Great read ...Obamacare and Edwards
Nora Kelly of The Atlantic looked at Gov. John Bel Edwards' health care challenges in a piece titled "Louisiana Embraces Obamacare." Kelly quotes Dr. Rebekah Gee, the new Department of Health and Hospitals secretary, as saying Louisiana is "an island in a sea of Southern states" that have accepted Medicaid expansion.
"State officials are getting to work, ramping up plans to set up the infrastructure and outreach necessary to get citizens signed up," Kelly wrote. "But with a bottomless deficit to contend with and cultural shifts in the health-care field still necessary, they've got their hands full." ...King cake and boudin
Paste magazine's Madina Papadopoulos introduced readers to "24 New Orleans King Cakes and Other Regal Delights." "New Orleanians are fiercely loyal people. That applies to their city, their [New Orleans] Saints, and which king cake they buy every year," Papadopoulos explained. "If they had the legal rights, they would probably fight in court to make King Cake PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)." ...
More food news: The Associated Press' Kevin Begos did an explainer on boudin via a travel piece on Louisiana's "Boudin Trail." Among the stops: Johnson's Boucaniere in Lafayette, The Best Stop market in Scott and Herbert's Slaughter House and Meat Market in Abbeville ...South Market, East Village
"Sipping Pimm's Cups and Sazeracs for hours, an attractive albeit hedonistic ritual, is common practice in New Orleans," wrote Liquor.com's Alia Akkam in a profile of Drexler's, a new bar in New York's East Village that seeks to evoke a Crescent City vibe. Exposed brick, rough whitewashed wood, "bespoke industrial-romantic fixtures." Authentic? Yep, it looks perfectly set up for the $2,500-a-month Warehouse District loft set ...Under pressure
Jami Attenberg of Slate.com provided a unique take on Arcade Fire's parade celebrating David Bowie (which, she noted correctly, was not a second line). "As I paid for metered parking just off the French Quarter in New Orleans Saturday I thought of an article I had read in the New York Times that morning," Attenberg wrote.
"The city's cash-starved public defenders office, which recently announced it would refuse some felony cases, is — absurdly — greatly supported by parking ticket fees. If I don't make it back in time from the David Bowie memorial parade, I thought, at least someone will get fifteen minutes of legal aid."