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Veteran musicians note changes in New Orleans scene since Hurricane Katrina

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--   Dr. John sings on the Abita stage as the 31st Annual French Quarter Festival had its second day of music with its traditional kick off second line parade starting in the 100 block of Bourbon and ending at Jackson Square in New Orleans, La. Friday, April 11, 2014. The day presented the opening of more stages and music venues in the French Quarter with concerts from local and national know artists including Dr. John.

On any given night in New Orleans, music pours from the many new venues to emerge along Frenchmen Street, St. Claude Avenue and other areas, and the ranks of local musicians have been bolstered by many newcomers eager to perform in them. It’s part of a booming music scene, apparently another sign of the city’s vibrancy 10 years… Continue reading →

Smiley: Disturbing quiet

For the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, here’s a column item about its aftermath, written on Oct. 26, 2005, titled “Vieux Carré without noise an eerie place:” “‘It’s the quiet that bothers me,’ she said. “She had returned to her apartment on New Orleans’ Royal Street, above an antiques shop, to pack a few things needed at… Continue reading →

Choice? Select? Prime? Know what beef terms mean before you shop

St. Louis Post-Dispatch photo by EMILY RASINSKI -- Choice? Select? Prime? Know what beef terms mean before you shop.

Spencer Tracy famously appraised Katharine Hepburn like this: “Not much meat on her, but what there is is cherce.” That’s probably the most famous line from the 1952 comedy “Pat and Mike.” But I don’t want to talk about the movie (though it is a classic and you should see it again if you haven’t seen… Continue reading →

The truth about marinades: Most are a waste of your time

Marinades can sometimes do more harm than good. (Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Times/TNS) ORG XMIT: 1172254

Marinating meats for the grill seems to bring out the inner herbalist in even the most hard-boiled of home cooks. A little olive oil, some lemon juice, a handful of herbs, some exotic spices — whatever smells right. It’s almost like we’re designing a scented bath oil rather than a seasoning for meat. The truth is, though,… Continue reading →

Smiley: A time of tears

To remind me (and possibly you) of the emotions we shared at that time, here’s part of a column dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, from Sept. 8, 2005, titled, “Finally, tears for a beloved old town:” “A week after the storm, my wife finally cried. “She had been busy… Continue reading →

Plans for former Houston’s site grow clearer as Boulevard American Bistro takes shape

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  The former Houston's Restaurant in Metairie is now being developed as Boulevard American Bistro by the local company Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts.

While the decision to close the Houston’s Restaurant in Metairie last spring remains puzzling, plans for the next restaurant that will take its place at 4241 Veterans Memorial Blvd. are becoming clearer. It will be called Boulevard American Bistro, and it should open within the next three months, pending the progress of renovations, said Zeid Ammari,… Continue reading →

First, you make a Roux: How a New Orleans nonprofit is building a different sort of food court, with its own approach to building small businesses

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --Phyllis Cassidy, left, executive director of Good Work Network, with Estralita Soniat, who will open a stand at the Roux Carre food court to expand from her Westwego-based Estralita's Cafe.

When Clinton Haughton went into business for himself in 2011 he had a folding table, a kettle grill and a handful of recipes from his native Jamaica. Soon he also had the late-night bar crowd around Frenchmen Street coming back for more. In 2013 he upgraded with a food truck, dubbed Johnny’s Jamaican Grill, and he has bigger plans… Continue reading →

Smiley: A decade ago

I’ve resisted saying anything about the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, because everyone in reach of a keyboard seems to be weighing in on the subject. But I finally succumbed, and dug out some columns I did just after New Orleans went under. I thought I was well over the sadness… Continue reading →

Steven Forster’s Party Central: ‘These Wild Things’ pool party

Advocate photo by Steven Forster -- A group of New Orleans-based actors, producers and writers rallied supporters for a short film they’re making, called “These Wild Things.” A black comedy by writer Sam Smith, the film stars Joshua Mark Sienkiewicz and Jamie Neumann. The fundraiser took the form of a pop-up cinema and pool party at the home of Michael Collins. Natalie Kingston, Brian Richard

A group of New Orleans-based actors, producers and writers rallied supporters for a short film they’re making, called “These Wild Things.” A black comedy by writer Sam Smith, the film stars Joshua Mark Sienkiewicz and Jamie Neumann. The fundraiser took the form of a pop-up cinema and pool party at the home of Michael… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Root, root, root for the home kid

Last August, I was a reluctant parent who did not want my 10-year-old son to play for his community football team. I was worried that his asthma might act up or that he might get hurt. Neither happened and my attitude has improved this year. Though I still worry about him, I support his eagerness to… Continue reading →

After 40 years in business, homegrown Metairie po-boy shop expands to Kenner

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - The seafood muffuletta is a signature sandwich at Parran's Po-boys in Metairie.

It seems every time you blink there’s a new location of another national sandwich chain opening around town. Now, however, it’s a longtime, homegrown po-boy purveyor that’s found a way to expand. Parran’s Po-Boys & Restaurant (3939 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-3416; has opened a new location in Kenner at 2321 W. Esplanade Ave.… Continue reading →

Music and mayhem: Songwriters take on Katrina, with mixed results

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- James Andrews plays the trumpet during Thursday Night Twilight Garden Concert Series in City Park, New Orleans, La. Thursday, March 6, 2014. This weekly series featured trumpet extraordinaire, James Andrew and band.

Hurricane Katrina remains a compelling subject for many reasons, one of which is the sheer scope and nature of the flood damage that followed it. No one imagined such destruction in a major American city, and it remains hard to process. Musicians, understandably, tried to do so through music, and while some some succeeded, others missed the mark.… Continue reading →

Smile: Take that, coach!

High school football season is also high school band season, and Jack V. Story, of Denham Springs, a retired band director, kicks off both seasons with a gentle gigging of his former colleagues of the athletic persuasion. He says one of his favorite lists is “Things you will probably never hear a high… Continue reading →

Class helps diabetics solve the puzzle of what to eat; the answer varies for each individual

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- A NuVal chart, showing the nutritional scores of some breads, hangs on an aisle at Alexander's Highland Market where Pennington dietician Catherine Carmichael, right, is showing a group how to shop to help keep their diabetes in check.

Learning to manage diabetes is all about balance. More than just avoiding sugar, living with the disease means creating nourishing meals while keeping blood sugar down. For John Bilisoly, a 79-year-old Baton Rouge retiree recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic, what’s for dinner has become a constant puzzle. “It’s been a learning process,” said Bilisoly, who… Continue reading →

Going on vacation?

Associated Press photo by Mel Evans -- Boris, a Russian blue cat, plays on the floor at Morris Animal Inn on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, in Morristown, N.J. Boris is being pampered in ways traditionally reserved for dogs just a few years ago. The number of feline guests at this trendsetting pet hotel have gone up, as have estimates of the number of feline pets in the United States.

When Boris and Anastasia vacation, they prefer to stay in a deluxe three-story suite, dine on tuna mackerel and lobster consommé, and spend their time on an iPad. The Russian blue cats spend a few days to a couple of weeks at Morris Animal Inn in Morristown, New Jersey, when… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A: What are blood cancers?

What are blood cancers? Blood cancers are types of cancer that can affect the bone marrow, blood cells, lymph nodes and other parts of the lymphatic system. Treatments for blood cancers can include radiation therapy, chemotherapy and blood- or stem-cell transplants. Types of blood cancers include leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Lymphomas are cancers of… Continue reading →

Alzeimers Q&A: How to motivate a loved one to eat

How do I motivate my mom to eat? It is difficult to ascertain if a loved one with Alzheimer’s is experiencing a loss of appetite, not feeling well or just doesn’t particularly like the food. Since individuals with Alzheimer’s have difficulty explaining their needs to others, mealtime is a special challenge to ensure proper diet and… Continue reading →

Metairie widower chips away at loss, loneliness

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Carl Smith carves sayings and pictures on wood, almost nonstop since his wife, Sylvia, died.

Carl Smith’s world fell apart on April 3, 2013, and he knew nothing would ever be the same. It was on that day that Smith’s wife of 59 years, Sylvia, passed away. “It would be very hard to find two people who loved one another more or were closer in everything they did,” said… Continue reading →

Registration opens for fall dance workshop

Registration is open for the Regional Dance America/Southwest Fall Workshop scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Dancers’ Workshop, 10745 Linkwood Court. This all-day intensive, hosted by the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre, will provide dancers from throughout the region with the opportunity to train under the direction of the workshop’s regional artistic directors Mary Beth Arrington, of… Continue reading →

Human Condition: Memories of coming home 10 years after Katrina

Photo by Eliot Kamenitz -- Author/photographer Eliot Kamenitz's home after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

It’s that time of year again. Katrina comes knocking at our door. The anniversaries come and go, tenfold now, and once again, that soft spot is pricked, that scab gets pulled. There is large-scale media mayhem of where we were, how far we’ve come and, of course, all the pain in that flood of emotions,… Continue reading →

Joan Mitchell Center on Bayou Road to nurture artists in residence

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  The entrance to a studio building which is part of the Joan Mitchell Center in Treme

When the public gets its first look at the Joan Mitchell Center Saturday, they will be visiting the only campus that Mitchell’s namesake foundation has created for artists-in-residence anywhere in the world. According to Gia Hamilton, director of the center, the campus was a natural outgrowth of the foundation’s efforts to support New… Continue reading →

It’s not too early for gardeners to dream of autumn blooms

Photo provided by LSU AgCenter -- Cassia alata, or candlestick plant, is among fall's most generous bloomers in our area.

It hasn’t escaped my notice that with the rains this week came lower temperatures, and lower temperatures mean fall is just around the corner, right? Ha! If only that were true. Nonetheless, the cooler weather turned my thoughts to fall. I have begun daydreaming about (instead of dreading) my garden again. I imagine my roses… Continue reading →