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The Day of the INVASION

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  Beatles expert and historian, Bruce Spizer, poses for a photo with some of his Beatles memorabilia in New Orleans on Tuesday, September 9, 2014.

Bruce Spizer was just 9 when the Beatles played in New Orleans in 1964, but the magnitude of the event was not lost on him. Like so many kids, Spizer was already an ardent Beatles fan. But Spizer was not among the estimated 15,000 riotous youths in City Park (now Tad Gormley) Stadium on Sept. 16, 1964, when… Continue reading →

Acclaimed memoirist Jesmyn Ward signs on to teach at Tulane

Jesmyn Ward

Tulane creative writing professor and novelist Jesmyn Ward, who grew up in DeLisle, Mississippi, won both the National Book Award for Fiction (2011) and an Alex Award (2012) for her second novel, “Salvage the Bones,” centered on a community’s struggles before and immediately after Hurricane Katrina. Tonight she celebrates the release of her memoir (“Men We Reaped”) in… Continue reading →

Nell Nolan: Learning and Levity

Advocate staff photo by DANIEL ERATH -- Belle Reve Breeze

Guests who attended recent events learned about Belle Reve New Orleans and its role in providing assistance to homeless adults and families affected by HIV/AIDS at a gala in Generations Hall; others, the educational plan of Lycee Francais de la Nouvelle-Orleans during a cocktail reception at the home of Kathleen and Andrew “Drew” Ramsey; and still others,… Continue reading →

Smiley: Great start, bad finish

Marsha Reichle tells a tale of golf and mixed emotions: “When I was 12 my father worked in Central America for Standard Fruit, the Vaccaro’s New Orleans banana company. “The company wives had lots of leisure time to fill, so they took up golf to balance days spent playing canasta. “My mother insisted I fill out her foursome,… Continue reading →

First Jazz Fest poster artist Bruce Brice dies

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Artist Bruce Brice, right, checks in on Twain Shroyer, 2, of New Orleans, left, Friday, April 25, 2014,  during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds.

Bruce Brice, a New Orleans artists and the creator of the first poster for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1970, died Sunday, his family said. He was 72 and had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Brice had exhibited his work at every Jazz Festival, he told reporter Mary Lou Atkinson forContinue reading →

An APP a day ...keeps the doctor at bay

Photo provided by The O-Bar uses technology to help patients navigate medical issues.

The automatic doors made a whooshing sound as Gloria Bienemy stepped into the health clinic for her appointment. But instead of seeing a nurse, Bienemy met with technology specialist Braden Lemon at a sleek counter topped with glossy iPads and began reviewing health-focused computer apps. The futuristic scene is called the OBar. A nod… Continue reading →

Smiley: Protect the crawfish!

A classic “only in Louisiana” story: Val Garon tells of visiting a classmate from Ascension Catholic High at the Veterans Affairs home in Reserve. He was with two other classmates, and in putting the veteran and his wheelchair in his friend Mike’s SUV to go to lunch, Val hit his head… Continue reading →

Nell Nolan: Cultural Connections

Advocate staff photo by DANIEL ERATH -- Culture Collision.  Kacey Edwards, Bill Reeves, Jess Brown

On two social and cultural fronts, hundreds — a thousand? — of followers gathered at the National WWII Museum for Cultural Collision, which kicked off the season for more than five dozen of the city’s nonprofit visual and performing arts organizations. Dozens were in attendance for the opening night of the first 2014-15 season production of… Continue reading →

Steven Forster’s Party Central for Sept. 14, 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: • Just Passing Through: Friends, fans, family and art collectors crowded the Carol Robinson Gallery for the opening of celebrated Southern artist Cathy Hegman’s first solo exhibition in New Orleans.… Continue reading →

Teach your children, and let them teach you

“JP,” I told our 17-year-old son, “as you know, I’m out fishing off the pier next to the KOA Kabin that we love to stay at in Lillian, Alabama,” I said, careful to not drop my cellphone into the water while holding my fishing pole in the other hand. “I sure wish you could have come with me… Continue reading →

A vision of betrayal ‘Perfidia’ takes readers to WWII era

“Perfidia” by James Ellroy. Alfred A. Knopf, 2014. $28.95. Los Angeles, Dec. 6-29, 1941: The eve and immediate aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor is the setting for James Ellroy’s new crime novel, “Perfidia.” The title reveals the theme: betrayal by all, in every conceivable manner. Ellroy’s… Continue reading →

Readers in danger of getting caught in ‘The Web’

“The Web” by Jonathan Kelleramn. Ballantine, 2014. $24. In Jonathan Kellerman’s thriller, “The Web,” you are taken on a roller-coaster ride of events that can only be compared with the television show “Lost.” “The Web” takes place on the island of Aruk, where Dr. Alex Delaware arrives for… Continue reading →

Have fun repurposing household items into planters at workshop

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Alicia Neal, right, Executive Director of Earth Lab, shops at the Green Project in New Orleans Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, with help from Maria Brodine.

Groundwork New Orleans wants gardeners to expand their horizons when it comes to planters. Why limit the selection to the pots and boxes for sale at garden centers when there are fun and suitable alternatives all around? At a workshop Sunday, Groundwork New Orleans’ Maria Brobine and members of its Green Team will demonstrate how to… Continue reading →

New Orleans Home & Garden Events through Oct. 19, 2014

EDIBLE LANDSCAPING: 9 a.m. gates open, 10 a.m. talk, Parkway Partners, 1137 Baronne St. Demetria Christo, co-owner of EcoUrban Landscaping, provides insights into integrating edible plants into an ornamental landscape plan. Free. (504) 620-2224, www.parkwaypartnersnola.org. DR. MARK PLOTKIN TALK & BOOK SIGNING: 10 a.m. registration and book signing, 11 a.m. lecture, Pavilion… Continue reading →

Nell Nolan: Having a Ball!

Advocate staff photo by DANIEL ERATH -- Yulman Stadium Gala. Brett Yulman, Richard Yulman, Katy and Greg Williamson

Both football and bowling balls were causes for excitement when Tulane University “proudly” invited supporters and friends to the Yulman Stadium Kick-Off Party, which was hosted by the namesake Yulman family at Mardi Gras World. Days before, Seasons Grief and Loss Center teamed up with the Louisiana Chapter of the NFL Players Association for a… Continue reading →

Smiley: Southern blessing

Dear Smiley: Here in the South, we are fortunate to have the useful phrase, “Bless her heart,” which excuses anything impolite, evil or malicious that comes just before or after it. In this new age of technology, I think I have discovered the written equivalent: “LOL.” For example, we can express… Continue reading →

Review: LePetit’s ‘Vanya’ blends equal parts comedy, character study

Photo by Frank Aymami --  Jake Wynne-Wilson and Sophie Amoss in 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.'

Solidly produced, competently directed, and boasting a host of expert comic performances, “Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike” begins Le Petit Theatre’s second season under its new leadership with a surefooted crowd-pleaser. Christopher Durang’s Tony Award winning contemporary sendup of the plays of the great Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov is not a game-changer for The… Continue reading →

Review: Gandolfini’s last role memorable in ‘The Drop’

Photo by BARRY WETCHER -- Tom Hardy plays Bob and Noomi Rapace is Nadia in 'The Drop.'

Crime drama “The Drop” has an obvious hook. It features James Gandolfini’s final film performance. The late star of “The Sopranos,” however, is not the movie’s leading man. Instead, Gandolfini memorably plays supporting character Cousin Marv, the scheming manager of a Brooklyn bar. The darkness in Marv serves as further confirmation of Gandolfini’s range.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Mexican friendship

I recently learned about the death of Tom Boyd from his brother Alan, and the sad news brought back memories. Tom, my classmate at LSU Journalism School, had been living in Mexico for many years. He was one of the funniest guys I ever knew, and a truly masterful storyteller. As I told Alan,… Continue reading →

Bites of History: Plenty to do with popcorn when the movie is over

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles  --  Parsley, oregano, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese flavor Italian Herb Popcorn.

Popcorn has one of those enticing smells that makes you drop just about anything you’re doing and rush to the kitchen to be sure you get your share. We never seem to outgrow this infatuation. No matter what kind of newfangled treats entice us at the movies and football games, we still keep reaching for popcorn.… Continue reading →

Tasty pork skewers a tailgating hit

Photo by National Pork Board  --  Offer your tailgate guests a winning taste with Spicy Korean Pork Skewers.

At your next tailgate, tackle a winning taste with portable, bite-sized Korean Pork Skewers. The tasty, on-the-go option is a perfect choice for a tailgating party, whether at the game or at home. Spicy Korean Pork Skewers won’t take a lot of preparation time, and clean-up is easy, too. For the dish, cubes of pork ribs… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Squash pie tastes a bit like pumpkin

Regular shoppers at the Red Stick Farmers Market in downtown Baton Rouge on Saturday mornings probably know Buddy Miller, the farmer who sells pecans and peaches. He and his wife, Carol Lee Miller, owners of Plantation Pecan & Gift Co. in Waterproof, have been longtime vendors at the farmers market and the adjacent Main Street Market.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Sadness and unity

A few days after Sept. 11, 2001, I returned from a family funeral in Minnesota and wrote my feelings about the trip. We had to drive there and back — in the days after 9/11, flying was not an option. In the item, titled “Signs of solidarity,” I told of seeing “hundreds of signs… Continue reading →

Steven Forster’s Party Central for Sept. 10, 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: • Mardi Party : After the midsummer Mardi Gras parade outside, the Krewe of O.A.K. celebrated some more with a party at Carrollton Station. Costumes shone, refreshments… Continue reading →

Different species of shrimp have chefs making a case for the local, wild resource

Photo by Ian McNulty - Royal red shrimp, caught in deep waters off, Alabama are a specialty at Peche Seafood Grill.

We order our shrimp fried or grilled, boiled, poached or sautéed for New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp, that famous culinary misnomer. These days, however, it’s also become easier to order different shrimp by species, sometimes even stacking up a few varieties of the Gulf’s prodigious catch on the same table. We’re not talking about all-shrimp tasting… Continue reading →