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Bones and bling: How a New Orleans designer turns teeth, bones into unique jewelry

Photo provided by Porter Lyons -- Cast highridge white brass/silver alligator backbone cufflinks, $295.

Some people think of snakes and feel fear. Ashley Porter thinks of snakes and feels inspired to create a unique necklace comprising cobra vertebrae. Porter is the founder and designer of Porter Lyons, a New Orleans-based company selling jewelry and other accessories, such as purses and belts. Porter has created six collections, using a… Continue reading →

Alex Rawls: Gleason Gras this weekend might be more fun than a Saints game

Photo by JOHN MARGARETTEN -- Rebirth Brass Band -- New Orleans' Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band returns to Baton Rouge for a free show in the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino atrium 8 p.m. Friday.

Friday Gleason Gras Champions Square, 1 Lasalle St. 4 p.m. When the season started, pairing Gleason Gras with a Saints pep rally seemed like a good idea. The season’s making us less peppy by the Sunday, but the lineup for the free concert is still… Continue reading →

‘If there is a place that is truly haunted, this is it,’ claims creator of Mid City funeral home turned haunted house

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- The Mannequin Room at the Mortuary Haunted House on Thursday, Oct. 16 , 2014. The Mortuary is open every weekend through Nov. 2, and on week days Oct. 26-31.

Surrounded by a collection of furniture and objects that resemble a creepy curio cabinet, Jeff Borne is calmly describing the world he has created. “If there is a place that is truly haunted, this is it,” he said, speaking of the former funeral home in Mid-City that operates as The Mortuary, a haunted-house attraction, this time of… Continue reading →

Three free celebrations this weekend

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Tomatoes grow in the community kitchen garden in New Orleans.

1. ReFresh Project Community Party Oct. 25, noon-5 p.m. 300 N. Broad St. The ReFresh Project is a new multi-use development in Mid-City that includes a Whole Foods Market, the nonprofit cafe Liberty’s Kitchen and Tulane University’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine. On Saturday, they co-host a free community party with music,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Power of Cajun radio

Richard Fossey, who teaches at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, says, “While we are on the topic of sportscasters and radio personalities, I would like to say how much I enjoy the DJs on KBON, Acadiana’s Cajun radio station. “I was listening to KBON one day during the listeners’ request hour, and I heard… Continue reading →

Here are 10 new ways to try butternut squash

Photo by Helana Brigman  --  Butternut Squash With Dried Cranberries and Honey-Infused Vinaigrette is a takeoff on the popular carrot and raisin dish.

Just as you’re finally finishing up the mounds of zucchini that have haunted you all summer, autumn’s overabundance of butternut squash hits you. Time for some fresh ideas. But before we get cooking, let’s talk prep. Butternut’s thick skin and rock-hard flesh can make the peeling, seeding and chopping part of the meal a challenge.… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Savor these cookbooks over holidays

Just in time for the fall holiday season come “Southern Holidays” by Debbie Moose and “Sweet Potatoes” by April McGregor, the latest additions to the University of North Carolina Press’ delightful “Savor the South” series of cookbooks that looks at the favorite foods and culinary traditions of the American South. Like the eight previous volumes in the planned 24-book… Continue reading →

Smiley: Saints’ divine moment

Patricia Alba, of Metairie, continues our discussion of sports announcers: “My favorite radio announcer is WWL’s Jim Henderson. “On one occasion in the ’90s when the Saints were trailing during the final moments they suddenly rallied with a spectacular play and won the game. “Jim, overcome with emotion, shouted, ‘There IS a God!’”… Continue reading →

Meet 2 New Orleans women who’ve cracked open the traditionally male-dominated field of oyster shucking

Advocate staff photo by J.T. BLATTY-- While many women shuck oysters, industry experts say it remains very rare to see women working behind oyster bars like Two Girls One Shuck.

The recent wedding of Steven Marlin and Mi Mary Conlon in the French Quarter came with many familiar rites of New Orleans celebration, from a post-ceremony second line to a round of French 75 cocktails to toast the newlyweds. There was an oyster bar at the reception, too, but here things went a little off-script.… Continue reading →

Steven Forster’s Party Central for Oct. 22, 2014

Photo provided by Steven Forster -- Steven Forster, Advocate New Orleans social columnist and photographer

Read columnist and photographer Steven Forster’s coverage of New Orleans’ social events at The New Orleans Advocate. Events featured in this edition: • Party Mixers: Abhi Bhansali turned his birthday to a good cause with a party dubbed the “Birthday Funkraiser.” Celebrated for the second year at his Uptown home,… Continue reading →

Ian McNulty: Flavors of East, rising downriver

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Bao with BBQ pork at Bao & Noodle.

The neighborhoods downriver from the French Quarter have rapidly developed as a hotspot for new casual restaurants, and the most recent additions are making it look like a hub for Asian flavors in particular. Last Thursday, Seoul Shack (435 Esplanade Ave., 504-417-6206; officially opened inside the longtime nightspot the Dragon’s Den. The very next… Continue reading →

Digging In: Chicken dish takes a turn on the seafood grill

Staff photo by Ian McNulty - Grilled chicken with white BBQ sauce from Peche Seafood Grill, the Donald Link restaurant in New Orleans.

UPSCALE Grilled Chicken with White BBQ Sauce Pêche Seafood Grill 800 Magazine St., (504) 522-1744; The restaurant is named for fish, and since opening last year it has been celebrated for its original treatment of Gulf seafood. So what are you doing… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Southern Law Center to host event to highlight progress made in racial diversity

Civil rights lawyers have litigated for human rights through the decades, resulting in landmark decisions that have changed America for the better. There’s Brown vs. Board of Education, which 50 years ago made it unconstitutional to allow separate public schools for black and white students, and the Civil Rights Act of 1954, which outlawed discrimination based… Continue reading →

Smiley: Hamster hunting

Fay Weilbaecher, of Covington, says, “Many years ago, when our family moved to a new house in River Ridge, our hamster got loose and decided to go and live in our wall. “After trying everything we could, and not getting much sleep with him running through the walls all night, my husband came up with an idea… Continue reading →

Essential tricks for a quick and elegant Halloween look

Photo by Chris Bynum --  Bewitching wrapture: Halloween-theme embroidered shawl, $130, Judyís at The Rink

If you are bypassing the costume party and heading out to dinner Halloween night, you can still conjure up a bewitching edge. Think Maleficent-meets-Holly-Go-Lightly. Start with a little black dress, add the color orange by any other name — pumpkin, coral, cayenne, tangelo — and stir the caldron of options. There are more… Continue reading →

Remembering the sights and sounds of Mid-City

If he thinks about it hard enough, Ronald Fisher can still remember how the best roast beef po-boy in the world smells. “First of all, it was the Creole mustard,” Fisher says, laughing about how he’d clutch the paper bag close to him during his walk home from the Triangle in Mid-City. “I would hold my nose… Continue reading →

Nell Nolan: High profiles, high notes

Advocate staff photo by DANIEL ERATH -- Loyola's Faith in the Future Campaign. The Rev. James Carter, SJ, Betsy Nalty

Three important events occurred within a several-days’ circle, thanks to the on-campus launch and reception of Loyola University’s Faith in the Future campaign, the biggest such campaign in the university’s history; the 15th Spirit of Charity Award dinner at the JW Marriott given by the Medical Center of Louisiana Foundation with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Tulane, Internal Medicine,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Get smart, Louisiana

Paul Major says, “Perhaps, after the senatorial candidates’ lack of adherence to the time limits in last week’s televised debate, we should break out Maxwell Smart’s ‘Cone of Silence.’ “Watching a candidate’s lips move without hearing anything could maybe provide at least as much information as having the sound on.”… Continue reading →

Ziggy Marley’s reggae music follows family tradition

Photo by MALIA JAMES -- Ziggy Marley

When Ziggy Marley, son of reggae music’s brightest star, Bob Marley, performs onstage and writes songs that contain meaning and messages, he’s following family tradition. “Most of my family is musicians,” the Kingston, Jamaica, native said last week from his second home, California. “Going back to my grandmother and my grandfather, on both sides of my… Continue reading →

La. entrepreneur hopes ‘Iconic’ builds new genre

Photo provided by Be Well Nutrition Inc.Billy Bosch, a Baton Rouge native, markets the

A new protein drink now on the shelves in New Orleans could help establish an entirely new genre of beverage. The Louisiana-born co-founder of the Iconic healthy “lifestyle beverage” promotes his product as a “snack drink.” “It’s a whole new realm of drink, and one that we think is on the rise,” said Billy… Continue reading →

Flip your food: Cooking show gives health options to local favorites

Photo provided by Triple 7 Public Relations -- Chef Jeff Henderson shoots a segment of 'Flip My Food' in New Orleans recently while Heather Yowler watches.

Keep it simple, Jeff Henderson says. Embarking on his fourth television cooking series, the Las Vegas chef says “Flip My Food” is all about taking an original dish and making it a little healthier. And that’s possible even with the calorie-rich cuisine for which Louisiana is famous. The syndicated show, which travels to a different… Continue reading →

Smiley: Welcome to the Hot L

Janet Schilling says our mention of Hotel Dieu hospital “jogged her brain:” “I moved to New Orleans in the ’70s to work at Hotel Dieu and later attend nursing school. “I did not know much of New Orleans at that time except from trips as a child, mostly to the zoo.… Continue reading →

Mah-Jongg really about the socializing, but winning doesn’t hurt

Photo by Phil McCausland -- From left, Sylvia Emerman, Rosalyn N. Allison, Barbara Laufer and Shirley B. Goldman get together for a game of Mah Jongg. A tournament on Sunday, Oct. 19, will crown local champions in the game.

“Three crack!” “One dot!” “Four bam!” Four women stare down at bone-white game pieces in their hands. Plastic tiles clatter and clink in the center of the table. The players gaze over wooden racks with plastic arms that hold a double-decker set of even more tiles, stamped with images of Chinese characters and… Continue reading →

Saints medals give the faithful something to hang onto

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Saints Medals

With the Saints at 2-3, fans are hoping, and in some cases praying, that today’s game against the Detroit Lions will change the team’s momentum. Rob Clemenz, owner of the local religious medal business Saints for Sinners, has just the thing to help: a collection of medals imported from Italy and painted with… Continue reading →

You have to start somewhere

A national holiday has come and gone with little or no notice from the public. The holiday was National Newspaper Carriers Day. I’ll go a step further — bet you didn’t know that there is a Carrier Hall of Fame! My first job was as a carrier for our hometown newspaper, the McAlester News Capital in… Continue reading →

Nell Nolan: True colors

Advocate staff photo by DANIEL ERATH -- Breastoration. Melvin Rodrigue, Kim Sport, Dr. Michele Cooper, Scott Sullivan.

Red and pink dominated two events, thanks to the Red Mass at St. Louis Cathedral that ushered in the legal year and was followed by a reception in the Great Hall of the Louisiana Supreme Court building, and, not far away (but on a different date), the preponderance of pink for “Galatoire’s Goes Pink” as… Continue reading →

Steven Forster’s Party Central for Oct. 19, 2014

Photo provided by Steven Forster -- Steven Forster, Advocate New Orleans social columnist and photographer

Read columnist and photographer Steven Forster’s coverage of New Orleans’ social events at The New Orleans Advocate. Events featured in this edition: • Pulling strings: Guests flocked to a fundraiser for the Mystic Krewe of Satyricon at the home of Chris Santilli and Brick Bishop recently, with guests of honor Tony award-winning… Continue reading →

New Orleans author leads readers on ‘The Last Great Walk’

Photo provided by Wayne Curtis --

Author Wayne Curtis takes a seat, facing me with his back to the tall windows of his Uptown home. I can see outside, where I note a steady stream of walkers on the street. Curtis has returned a few days earlier from his annual trip to Maine, where he spends four months “at the edge of nowhere”… Continue reading →

N.O. voices captured well in characters’ stories

'You Don't Know Me' by James Nolan

“You Don’t Know Me: New & Selected Stories” by James Nolan. University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, 2014. $20. Anyone who is familiar with New Orleans knows it is home to a population that is soulful, proud, creative and often quirky, to say the least. No… Continue reading →