The New Orleanian Abroad

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Brewsday Tuesday: Geeking out at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Boston

Posted By on Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 8:45 AM

A dinner pairing at Harpoon Brewery in Boston. - NORA MCGUNNIGLE
  • A dinner pairing at Harpoon Brewery in Boston.

Even before I became a beer writer, I would always schedule my vacations around local beer and breweries. I find the craft beer scene of any given city or region makes me feel at home immediately, no matter how far away home might be. Through the mutual love of craft beer, I’ve made friends, acquired business contacts, and gotten great recommendations of non-beer things to do in the city I’m visiting. It’s also something I love to do for others visiting New Orleans.

Last week, I was at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Boston, with a pre-conference excursion in Portland, Me. and Portsmouth, N.H. While there, I was able to enjoy a lot of beer that I can’t buy here in Louisiana, but I also got a deeper understanding and appreciation of breweries that are available in Louisiana.

It’s worth noting that I was not the only Louisiana beer blogger to make the trek up north. Jay Ducote, the force behind Bite and Booze in Baton Rouge, was an attendee, as well as his brother Eric Ducote, who runs BR Beer Scene and his co-contributor Dustin Davis. Jay actually presented on the final day of the conference about his relationship with the official Louisiana Travel and Tourism website, with whom he collaborated on a section dedicated to craft beer and the Louisiana Brewery Trail

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Crawfish in the Lower East Side

Posted By on Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 6:10 PM

The regional differences throughout the U.S. include "crawdad" and "mudbug." The Associated Press handbook entry has it as "crawfish," then specifically says "not crayfish."

"Crayfish" is what you can get, by the pound, at $13 a pound, according to The New York Post, at The Boil, a Louisiana-style seafood joint in New York City. The restaurant's menu, however, correctly calls it crawfish. It even says "crawfish" on the front door.

Nevertheless, The Post took a look at the crayfish restaurant, which recreates for New York diners a picnic-table-style seafood boil with Abita beer on tap — and where diners order from iPhones or iPads while wearing blue gloves.

The gloves have, in fact, turned out to be one of the restaurant’s most popular features for urbanites who want to keep their manicures clean while they munch.

It's also cash only, so if they're going for authentic New Orleans they've nailed the bill portion of the meal.

The Boil's Yelp! reviews sound good — though one disgruntled rEaL nEw OrLeAnS person who has never been to the restaurant gave it one star because of what they read in The Post — the nation's saving grace of journalism, The New York Post — and called the diners a "bunch of pussies."

Next time I'm in New York, I will happily don the blue gloves and dive into a bucket of crayfish.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Orleans Bingo! Show profiled in The Washington Post

Posted By on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 1:07 PM

The New Orleans Bingo! Show will be performing at the Kennedy Center Saturday night, and today's Washington Post has a nice preview of the event, which includes the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, GIVERS and Big Freedia:

Preservation Hall Jazz Band has a long history performing at the Kennedy Center, so in some ways it makes sense that “Bingo! Show” would find a stage there, even if the performances sound like something that might fit a more experimental theater’s bill.

“It has elements of cabaret, it has elements of burlesque, but also elements of Tom Waits and Fellini and Charlie Chaplin,” [Ben] Jaffe says. “And it has elements of playing bingo with your grandparents.”

[Clint] Maedgen adds: “The fact that we have Big Freedia and Preservation Hall on the same bill kind of says it all.”

Alex Woodward previewed the show last month, and there's more here — from a hometown perspective.

Lucky D.C. — there's even an after-party with Big Sam's Funky Nation. Great warning on the Kennedy Center website, too:

The show may contain strong language, partial nudity, and moderate sexual references. But nothing you haven't seen or heard if you've visited New Orleans. *wink*

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Science says: Yakamein really does cure hangovers

Posted By on Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Yakamein from Ms. Lindas catering.
  • Yakamein from Ms. Linda's catering.
Science, the drunkard's friend:

Researchers presenting at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans said foods like Yak-a-mein, which contain salts, protein and other ingredients, really can help drinkers recover from the effects of alcohol consumption.

"Folklore has it that American soldiers from New Orleans stationed in Korea in the 1950s learned to appreciate Yak-a-mein on the morning after, and brought a taste for it back home," Alyson E. Mitchell, Ph.D., of the University of California at Davis said in a statement.

The Atlantic Cities has more, and points us to this blog, which introduces us to the Baltimore specialty "Yat Gaw Mein":

A Baltimore Fav pronounced Yak Gow Mane.

I find that different regions do this cheap Chinese dish differently.

West Baltimore makes a sweet version, East Baltimore salty, and Philly's version is covered in gravy and not ketchup.

Clearly the Crescent City and Charm City share more than a waterfront, John Waters and David Simon.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

VIDEO: Bustout Burlesque goes to Las Vegas

Posted By on Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 5:34 PM

For this week's cover story, I accompanied New Orleans' Bustout Burlesque to Las Vegas, where the troupe had three performances at the 16th annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender. The article (with photos by Andreas Koch) only tells part of the story, though — the videos have to be seen in order to appreciate the talent and the artistry involved.

Here's Angi B. Lovely, who opened the show at The Orleans Hotel and Casino:

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Orleans Bingo! Show, Pres Hall, Big Freedia and others to headline Kennedy Center

Posted By on Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Next month, Washington, D.C.'s The Kennedy Center will host cabaret sideshow performers The New Orleans Bingo! Show, with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Lafayette's GIVERS, bounce queen Big Freedia, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, among others, for "an aesthetic tour through the city of New Orleans."

Other performers include burlesque act Fleur De Tease, cellist Helen Gillet, the Mystic Ponies Aerial Troupe, anarchic noisemakers the Noisician Coalition, and Young Fellaz Brass Band.

The performance is 8:30 p.m., Saturday, April 13. Ticket info is here.

It follows another big guns New Orleans showcase — the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's sold-out 50th anniversary performances at Carnegie Hall last year, with Louisiana acts including GIVERS, Allen Toussaint and Trombone Shorty.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Austin Chronicle on Booty's Street Food

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Judging from the #robust comment thread on Ian McNulty's review of Booty's Street Food this week, Gambit readers just can't get enough Booty's. So we'll send you to this Austin Chronicle Q&A with the restaurant's owners, Nick Vivion and Kevin Farrell (the two are in Austin for South by Southwest), where the creators of the Unicorn Booty blog discuss the "blog-to-brick" aspect of Booty's Street Food. (The title of their SxSW presentation is "Blog to Brick: How We Turned Our Blog into a Bar.")

AC: For such tech dudes, you seem to enjoy this hand's-on existence.

NV: The touch points of the future are not just techno dreams. Most people realize that overconnectedness is a drain on all kind of resources, mental and otherwise. You lose a bit of that personal touch. It has been a big part of what we're trying to do with the whole blog-to-brick concept, to create a synergy between the two so that it's not just all about the digital world but about the physical world as well. You see it in the artisinal small-batch movement. You see a lot of small producers creating with their hands; you have Maker culture.

There are people in the world that love their digital existences. Myself included. I love the internet, I love my smart phone, I love my computer. I love video editing. But I also love not having it. People are going to eventually start using these tools as tools and not being used by them. It's just the feeling that we can all start controlling what we're doing with this stuff and somedays, we're going to turn the phone off, we're going to turn off the TV, we're going to go away and do something physical.

With Booty's, we've made something. People can come in and have an experience that may be informed by the digital but is not defined by it.

I have not been to Booty's yet; people say the food is quite good, and the concept of street food from many lands is an interesting one. But the Chronicle never asks about it, and it's never mentioned.

And then there's this:

AC: SXSW permeates the city — not unlike Mardi Gras. As new New Orleaneans, was 2013 your first full-immersion Mardi Gras?

NV: Mardi Gras does take over the entire city, but it's so different. If I had to choose — I know this might be sacrilege — but I'd much rather go to SXSW. It feels like everyone who is anyone I would want to meet is there.

Kevin Farrell: At Mardi Gras, you're lucky if anyone remembers the conversation they had with you that day… because they were so glittery.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Morrissey calls Duck Dynasty stars "animal serial killers," pulls out of Jimmy Kimmel appearance tonight

Posted By on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 10:44 AM

  • Morrissey
Morrissey is serious when he sings "Meat is Murder." Earlier this week, the former lead singer of the Smiths made headlines when he demanded that Los Angeles' Staples Center go all-vegetarian for the occasion of his March 1 appearance (Staples says there will be meat options; Morrissey says there will not: "Reports that the Staples Center will not be 100% vegetarian on March 1st are playfully untrue. Contractually, all McDonalds vendors shall be closed down, and the only thing burning shall be my heart").

Now the singer has doubled down, canceling a planned appearance on tonight's Jimmy Kimmel Live because cast members from the Louisiana reality show Duck Dynasty also will be on Kimmel:

Morrissey says he can't perform on a show with what he called people who "amount to animal serial killers."

A&E's Duck Dynasty reality show follows a Louisiana family with a business selling duck calls and decoys.

A&E did not immediately respond to requests for comment from it and the Robertson family.

The appearance has been rescheduled, and surely Kimmel will ask the Robertsons about it tonight. In the meantime, read Lauren LaBorde's 2012 interview with Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

WWNO-FM names new news director

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Eve Troeh
  • Eve Troeh
WWNO-FM, the NPR affiliate at the University of New Orleans, has hired Eve Troeh as its first-ever news director as the station continues to rebrand and expand its news coverage of south Louisiana. Troeh will begin April 1.

An Alaska native, Troeh lived in New Orleans from 2000-2007, working as a freelance radio reporter and an associate producer for the popular American Routes show. After leaving New Orleans, she worked for NPR's "Marketplace" for five years, during which time she covered the 2010 BP oil disaster. On her way out, though, she penned an essay titled "Dear New Orleans: I'm Leaving You," which addressed her conflicted thoughts about her adopted city:

I talk to friends about New Orleans like a dysfunctional romance. I gush over it one day, then call up bawling and heartbroken the next. Why can't it change? Stop being self-destructive and violent? It has so much potential.

Recently, my blinders started to come off. It was building for awhile. My friend Helen Hill was murdered in her home;other friends have been mugged. We don't go out much any more...

But then there was this hot Friday night last month. I went on the perfect date with New Orleans . Saw live, local music, danced with friends on the stage, then headed home through my neighborhood of craftsman cottages and angel trumpet trees.

A block from my door, I was attacked from behind by a stranger. I escaped, with the help of my roommate. The case is moving forward, so I can't say much more than that.I'm angry and confused. Which is the real New Orleans? The one that's violent and desperate? Or the one that coos softly, and caresses me? The answer, of course, is both.

I just hauled my things out of New Orleans in a big truck. I am still in love with the city, but it's hard to trust it. Maybe we'll both heal, and the relationship will rekindle. I don't know what - or how long - that might take.

A biography of Troeh, provided by WWNO-FM, under the jump...

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

The five reasons Big Freedia won't be moving to Portland any time soon

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Relax, New Orleans. Judging from this list, Freedias not going anywhere.
  • Relax, New Orleans. Judging from this list, Freedia's not going anywhere.

Bounce queen Big Freedia, the Queen Diva, is no stranger to taking her AZZ EVERYWHERE philosophy to the emerald hills of the recycle-conscious Northwest (check out her 2010 appearance at MusicFest NW), and she appeared there last night at the Wonder Ballroom — which inspired Willamette Week to include her in a feature called "Top Five Things That Would Get Me To Move To Portland":

Po’boys on every corner
I grew up on these. Can’t live without my hometown cuisine.

Second line brass band parades
These are just part of what brings us all together. They are part of the culture down here in New Orleans, and I can’t imagine living without them.

Fabulous clothing stores
So I can maintain my style. We have flavor in New Orleans — gold and silver — and so I could not live without my stores, and my uncle who makes a lot of my clothes.

Read the rest here — and rest assured she's not going anywhere. There's no Rainbow Fashions in Portland.

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