Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Bon Appetit remembers Hubig's Pies, in words and drawings

Posted By on Tue, Jan 23, 2018 at 2:03 PM


Today is National Pie Day (decreed by whatever calendar social directors decide such things), and Bon Appetit has published a personal essay about Hubig's Pies by New Orleans transplant (and de-transplant) Sophie Lucido Johnson, who also illustrated her story charmingly.

But Johnson's essay and drawings are as much about preconceptions as they are about fried hand pies:
I had been wrong about New Orleans, by the way. For one thing, white out-of-towners like me (and including me) typically did more harm than good to the community. We gentrified neighborhoods where families had lived for generations, and we imposed our values without seeking the input of local New Orleanians. Despite the fact that my motives had been damagingly ignorant, people in New Orleans showed me nothing but kindness and warmth. Neighbors sat for hours chatting on the porch, telling me stories about their lives. There were parades in the streets literally every week. The people of the city belonged to each other; they cared for each other; and they celebrated each other.

And Hubig’s Pies seemed, too, to belong solely to the New Orleans community. Tourists gobbled up beignets and king cakes, but no one who ever came from out of town to visit asked to eat a Hubig’s pie.
It's National Pie Day. Give it a read.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

WYES documentary New Orleans: The First 300 Years premieres Nov. 15

Posted By on Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 3:42 PM

Peggy Scott Laborde and John Goodman. - COURTESY WYES-TV
  • Peggy Scott Laborde and John Goodman.

Next year is the New Orleans Tricentennial, and events are beginning to ramp up to mark the 300th anniversary of the city's founding. A documentary, New Orleans: The First 300 Years premieres on public television station WYES-TV tomorrow night, produced by WYES veteran documentarian Peggy Scott Laborde and narrated by John Goodman.

The documentary will air at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on WYES, with repeats on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 4 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 23 at 1 p.m. and 9 p.m.

WYES also is producing a series of "Tricentennial Moments" that will run during its regular programming. More information under the jump.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

When the NOPD was on the lookout for Santa Claus

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 3:38 PM

This December 1973 issue of Our Beat*, the former New Orleans Police Department monthly newsletter, urged NOPD officers to be on the lookout for a rather drunk-and-disorderly-looking man going by the aliases "Saint Nick" and "Kris Kringle." Then-NOPD Superintendent Clarence Giarrusso urged anyone seeing this character to call the cops immediately.

The Louisiana Division of the City Archives shared this on the LOU/DIV Facebook page today...

* From the NOPD website:
Our Beat was the title given to the very first publication of the NOPD. The first issue - Vol. 1, No.1 - was issued on October 20, 1949. Our Beat was published monthly, serving as an internal newsletter for the department. It highlighted officer news including transfers, achievements and promotions, NOPD events and other happenings within the department. However, Our Beat ceased publication in the early 2000s, prior to Hurricane Katrina impacting the city.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book release parties next weekend

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Maple Street Book Shop owner Gladin Scott (right) talks about books with a customer. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Maple Street Book Shop owner Gladin Scott (right) talks about books with a customer.

Muggles, rejoice: a new chapter in the Harry Potter saga arrives in bookstores at midnight July 30. While not technically a novel, the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book (from a production opening on London's West End) revives the popular tale about the young wizard and his wand-brandishing buddies. 

Climb on those broomsticks or apparate to the following parties and events celebrating the book release.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Krewe of Vaporwave's virtual Mardi Gras parade

Posted By on Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 1:47 PM

A snapshot of "A Tribute to War Not Being the Answer," one of the vkv floats.
  • A snapshot of "A Tribute to War Not Being the Answer," one of the vkv floats.
Last night the first annual Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave rolled. Theirs was a virtual parade, viewed via popular streaming service Twitch. To be clear, the parade, a series of video/music collaborations by pseudonymous artists, was entirely online.

It would be easy to dismiss this as a symptom of alienation, but watching it was the opposite of alienating. So many of us do already consume so much of life through screens, whether we're streaming ParadeCam, a small bright rectangle of noise and spectacle in the corner of our workstation at some geographically remote office, or scrolling numbly through Carnival-soaked social media, the documentation of other people's good times. The Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave positioned itself as a joke about this tendency — “This is something to be experienced alone on your computer in the dark,” the Krewe's founder, Merely Synecdoche, told Michael Patrick Welch — but functioned as both a critical commentary on it and, by bringing viewers together at a set time to watch it, even a partial remedy.

Whereas some react to the malign influences of digital technology on our daily lives by mindlessly celebrating technology, fetishizing it, or hailing it as a magical force that can rescue us from our problems, Synecdoche says Vaporwave is about "the loneliness and pointlessness of the Internet."

Vaporwave as a genre is internationally influenced, built of broken pieces of the past, born of a sense of loss, and according to Synecdoche, "on the Internet it’s already been declared dead many times over,” making it a good genre fit for 2016 New Orleans. This first year's theme was "Vaporwave is Dead: Long Live Vaporwave." So: elegiac, fatalistic and unshakably fixated on itself... any of these characteristics sound familiar?

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

WWNO-FM traces the origin of the Pelicans' King Cake Baby

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 5:14 PM

On the set of the WWL-TV Eyewitness Morning News, Eric Paulsen and Sally-Ann Roberts prepare to — OH, GOD! LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU!
  • On the set of the WWL-TV Eyewitness Morning News, Eric Paulsen and Sally-Ann Roberts prepare to — OH, GOD! LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU!

He's become a local legend, like Pennywise or Freddy Krueger. He's the New Orleans Pelicans' demi-mascot, King Cake Baby, and he's even scarier than Old Pierre. Even has taken note:
Mardi Gras is right around the corner and that means it is time for the New Orleans Pelicans to bring back the most terrifying mascot in all of sports, The King Cake Baby. If you are in New Orleans and love being terrified you can follow the team's Twitter account to check for the latest opportunities to stare into the giant baby's unflinching eyes in person.
 But where did it come from? One man knows.

That man is WWNO-FM producer Jason Saul, who has produced a very in-depth look at the man behind King Cake Baby:

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Meet the man who is digitizing thousands of old New Orleans newspapers

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 12:22 PM

One of many pages scanned and posted at by Joseph Makkos, this depicts what the paper imagined fashion would look like in the 21st century. - NOLADNA.COM
  • One of many pages scanned and posted at by Joseph Makkos, this depicts what the paper imagined fashion would look like in the 21st century.

Anyone who's ever tried going through The Times-Picayune's newspaper archive knows that it can be frustrating and often tedious. The archived papers look like they were scanned with technology from the 1970s, and the archive's search feature is often inconsistent and can lead you down a rabbit hole of inaccurate results. For those who are doing research or are just fans of history, it can be an ordeal.

Thankfully, there is Joseph Makkos.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

7th Ward hucklebuck ladies: Do they still exist?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Hucklebuck: A frozen treat made of flavored syrup and water. Also known as a huckabuck, frozen cup, iceberg, cool cup or cold cup.

“Are there hucklebuck ladies around here anymore?” I ask a woman sitting on her Hope Street porch in the 7th Ward, my childhood stomping grounds. “I’m sure all the ones I knew growing up are dead.”

“No, not anymore,” she responds, a hint of longing in her voice. As I hang my head a little, feeling embarrassed for even asking the question, she shouts, “Well, there might be a lady by the park, but I don’t know.”

I thank her and skip toward my car, hearing a dog bark and thinking about how I called Hope Street "Dog Street" when I was a girl, since there were so many vicious-looking dogs there.

I quickly realize a tan pit bull is chasing me. The nice things I’ve read about pit bulls from their advocates leave my mind and are replaced with 6-year-old Megan’s memory of Uncle Bobby Sardie’s German Shepard leaping up and biting his hand, getting blood everywhere on Easter morning.

“Get it away from me!” I shout repeatedly, wishing I would have just walked to my car instead of skipping there. Thankfully, the dog’s owner calls it back to herself and away from me.

Safely in my car, I begin to wonder if my search will be fruitless. I see a man around my age and ask him the status of hucklebuck ladies in the 7th Ward. He confirms their absence. I turn down New Orleans Street, thinking of the hucklebuck ladies around Hardin Park I knew growing up, like Miss Thibodeaux who always had double- and triple-color ones. Perhaps hucklebuck ladies are casualties of Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods or maybe of 9/11.

Lester and Carolyn Vallet have been selling hucklebucks on North Broad near St. Bernard for years.
  • Lester and Carolyn Vallet have been selling hucklebucks on North Broad near St. Bernard for years.

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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, January 30, 2013

King cake in The New York Times

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Dwight Henry of Buttermilk Drop Bakery
  • Dwight Henry of Buttermilk Drop Bakery
Julia Moskin of The New York Times took New Orleans' king cake tradition to the world this morning. Some lovely quotes in there, including a few from Buttermilk Drop Bakery king (and Beasts of the Southern Wild star) Dwight Henry:

Most important, each king cake conceals a bite-size figurine, usually of a baby that traditionally represents Jesus. (The year after Katrina, Haydel’s Bakery made them in the shape of a FEMA trailer.) Whoever finds the baby in his slice has to hold the next party and buy the next cake — thus, the continuity of king cake season is preserved. “My mama would get so mad at us if we got the baby,” Mr. Henry said, smiling as he remembered his childhood in the Lower Ninth Ward. “King cake was expensive back then.”

It's a really nice story with some fine observations, but it's not a New Orleans story unless there's one tiny quibble, and it comes over the description of Charles Mary and Charlotte McGehee, who run Debbie Does Doberge:

The pair are just the kind of young, endearingly single-minded food entrepreneurs commonly spotted in Brooklyn and Portland, Ore., who carry a torch for tradition but yearn to express their creative urges.

New Orleans has always had those people, long before the first Bushwick beard was grown or the first wacky vegan doughnut was fried. They may not be glamorous, self-promoting, young, attractive or white; they may have gone unnoticed by the national media until just recently; but, yeah, they've always been here.

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