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New Orleans chef, 'Top Chef' contestant will cook on ‘Today’ show Tuesday

Photo by Denny Culbert -- Isaac Toups

New Orleans chef Isaac Toups, currently competing on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef,” will appear on the “Today” show Tuesday morning on NBC. For hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, Toups will make his version of crawfish étoufée as his idea for a romantic Valentine’s Day meal. Toups will use Louisiana ingredients including crawfish, rice, and… Continue reading →

Smiley: Czech it out!

Thanks to Jacqueline Pressner Gothard, of Metairie, for this Carnival time trip: “Pressner’s Carnival Mart, back in the 1960s, was my parents’ business, on Veterans Boulevard in Metairie, across from Clearview Shopping Center. “Ralph and Etta Pressner had a thriving store, selling beads, trinkets, small rubber balls; a variety of throws… Continue reading →

Smiley: Awards for Spanish Town parade winners, losers

Following a long-standing tradition to inform those who missed the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade (or were there and couldn’t figure out what they were seeing), this column is devoted to the results of judging entrants in the parade. Judges, all former parade royalty, were D’Aaron LeBlanc, Whitney Vann, Laken Boudreaux, Gerald Woods and Chief Justice Tom Sylvest, who pens this… Continue reading →

It's not 'a man thing': Heart disease a top killer of women; campaign uses Louisiana stories to raise awareness

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Estelle Martin, 74, had a family history of heart disease, and she always took care of herself and ate well. But at Christmas in 2004, she felt unusually tired and had pain in the center or right side of her chest. She went to the doctor and found that she had major blockages.

Heart disease is the top killer of American women, accounting for 1 in 4 deaths. But many women still think of cardiovascular disease — heart attacks, strokes and arrhythmia — as “a man’s disease,” according to the American Heart Association. The Go Red for Women campaign, devised by the Heart Association in 2004,… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A: What is leukemia?

What is leukemia? According to the National Cancer Institute, leukemia is a cancer of the blood. It starts in blood-forming tissue and produces large numbers of blood cells that then enter the bloodstream. There are different types of leukemia: chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia.… Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A: What do I need to know as a caregiver?

My husband has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. What are some things I should know or do as his caregiver now? The first thing to do is to learn as much as possible about the disease. The book, “The 36-Hour Day” by Dr. Peter Rabins and Nancy Pace, is an excellent resource for caregivers and… Continue reading →

Endymion celebrates 50 youthful years

Jamie Elizabeth Hanzo, queen of Endymion 2016

Following a triumphant ride through the streets of New Orleans for the 50th years, the Krewe of Endymion celebrated its golden anniversary last evening in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The super-krewe marked its anniversary with a Extravaganza and parade under the banner “Endymion Through the Years,” a celebration of all 50 years of the organization — 50… Continue reading →

C’est Magnifique!

Advocate staff photo by DANIEL ERATH -- Mystic Queen Virginia White

The Mystic Club journeyed to the races at the Hippodrome de Longchamp in Paris in 1912 for one of Carnival’s most highly anticipated events last evening: the bal masque and the revealing of the Mystic queen. “It is the prestigious Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe held on the first weekend of October and the highlight… Continue reading →

Tucks’ capers crescendo to celebration

Anne Eckert, queen of Tucks 2016

The Krewe of Tucks last week presented the royals who would occupy the rarefied air atop Carnival’s only porcelain throne when the unpredictable and irreverent procession rolled through the streets to their after-parade celebration. Details of the event and the festive after-party at which the royal court presided were sketchy at best. However, masked attendees were… Continue reading →

Origins of Mystic Club ball date from 1923

A tableau ball that relates a historical episode with elegance and handsome thematic costumes, the Mystic Club ball is always special. The organization presented its first ball in 1923 at the erstwhile Athenaeum with Mrs. Frank B. Hayne, a prominent name in social circles in the city, as queen. Unlike old-line debutante balls, Mystic chose, and… Continue reading →

Heroes honored when du Monde celebrates ball

The Krewe du Monde marked Carnival festivities in the River Parishes with a ball last evening at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner. “Krewe du Monde Honors Heroes Among Us” was the banner for the evening’s 37th celebration and for the parade today through the streets of LaPlace at 11 a.m. Reigning over the festivities last… Continue reading →

Carnival Knowledge Test your grasp of Mardi Gras lore

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ ---  Revelers costume down Bourbon Street on Mardi Gras.

1. The Bourbon Street Awards drag-queen contest, held on Mardi Gras at Bourbon and St. Ann, was started five decades ago by Arthur Jacobs to promote his restaurant. Which eatery is it? 2. Which elaborately costumed walking krewe scatters the ashes of deceased members into the Mississippi River? 3. Some parading krewes use floats, others trucks.… Continue reading →

Human Condition: Beauty, wisdom bloom below the surface

After almost three decades of gardening in Uptown New Orleans, I’ve seen innumerable stands of aspidistra. Some folks call it the cast-iron plant. You’ve seen it, too — large, strappy, dark green leaves, usually in shady spots. There’s so much in our neighborhoods that it usually fades into the background, its contribution to the landscape often… Continue reading →

Strong heroine, historical tidbits make for fun read

‘Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante’ by Susan Elia MacNeal, Bantam Dell/Random House, $15, paperback “Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante” is the fifth book in Susan Elia MacNeal’s series about Maggie Hope, a special agent for England. In this story, she travels with Winston Churchill across the pond as he negotiates wartime business with Franklin… Continue reading →

‘Fallen Land’ has something of a ‘Cold Mountain’ feel

“Fallen Land” by Taylor Brown, Macmillan, 288 pages, $25.99, hardcover During the last year of the Civil War, Callum and Ava, a young teenage couple brought together under unusual and dire circumstances, are running from a group of nefarious bounty hunters through the land of Sherman’s March in its aftermath.… Continue reading →

Steven Forster’s Party Central: NOCCA visiting artists program

Advocate photo by Steven Forster -  Each January, NOCCAs Visual Arts department hosts several visiting artists to teach a week long master class and show work in an exhibition in Kirschman Artspace. The artist reception for NOCCA Visiting Artists 2016 was held with artists: Karin Burt, Keith Duncan, James Flynn, Claire Rau, Jessica Peterson and Yuka Petz. Artists in this years exhibition are teaching workshops in painting, bookmaking, wheel-throwing, and sculpture. January 28, 2016.   Brittany and Jack Flynn

The Visual Arts department of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts invited several artists to teach master classes and show their work in an exhibition in Kirschman Artspace. It’s a yearly infusion of creativity that happens at NOCCA every January. Gathering at a reception this year were artists Karin Burt, Keith Duncan, James Flynn, Claire… Continue reading →

Nell Nolan: Shows and Socializing

Photo by John Barrio -- Rivertown Announcement -- SEATED: Gary Rucker, STANDING: Kelly Fouchi, Mike Yenni, Michelle Yenni

In Kenner, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts kicked off the New Year with happy hobnobbing and an announcement of its forthcoming season. Elsewhere, coming together for a purpose occurred when the French Quarter Business Association introduced its 2016 board of directors and honored French Quarter advocates at a dinner in the Royal Sonesta… Continue reading →

St. John property transfers, Jan. 4-8, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Sherman L. Daigs sold this home at 19 Ibis Court in LaPlace to Julie Johnson Hjelte, wife of/and John Douglas Hjelte for $173,000.

St. John Transfers for Jan. 4 to Jan. 8 LAPLACE OAKMONT DRIVE 125: $274,500, Mona Faucheaux Roussel, wife of /and Sean P. Roussel to Geralyn Boudreaux Lush, wife of /and John Lush. BELLE POINTE BLVD. 702: $45,000, Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee… Continue reading →

St. Tammany property transfers, Jan. 8-16, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Adam E. Wright and Heather S. Wright sold this home at 1284 Ridge Way Drive in Mandeville to Virender B. Ajmani and Alka Ajmani for $300,000.

ST. TAMMANY Transfers for Jan. 8 TO Jan. 16 ABITA SPRINGS BRYAN ST. 71120: $275,000, Eric B. Swan and Lisa A. Swan to Robert J. Raines and Stacie W. Raines. HILLCREST COUNTRY CLUB SUBDIVISION, LOT 16, SQUARE 41: $3,000, donation, Blanche P. Gibson to Cheryl… Continue reading →

New Orleans property transfers, Jan. 18-26, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Terese M. Joseph sold this home at 4715 Bienville St. in New Orleans' 2nd District to Vaughan I. Hart for $410,000.

New Orleans transfers for Jan. 18 to Jan. 26 DISTRICT 1 BARONNE ST. 704-710; GIROD ST. 828-830: $3,750,000, 704 Baronne Street Partnership to South Market Properties LLC. BAUDIN ST. 4321-23: $310,000, NMX Ventures LLC to Shalonda S. Lincoln. Girod St. 412; Girod St. 414-16; Girod St. 420;… Continue reading →

St. Charles transfers, Jan. 4-8, 2015

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Dorothy Dawson Melito sold this home at 217 Villere Drive in Destrehan to Bobbie Shrode and Beth Darkshani for $315,000.

St. Charles TranSfers for Jan. 4 TO Jan. 8 DESTREHAN ARLINGTON DRIVE 519: $216,000, Donna Grosch Warren to John C. Ramsey and Carol Schiefer Ramsey. CYPRESS LANE 108: $768,839, All Star Premier Homes, LLC to Alex Lee Suffrin and Debra Guidry Suffrin. MELROSE DRIVE 120: $200,000,… Continue reading →

East Jefferson property transfers, Jan. 14-20, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Michael W. Ricks and Cynthia C. Ricks sold this home at 9210 Fifth St. in River Ridge to Michael A. Melan and Elizabeth M. Melan for $333,600.

EAST JEFFERSON Transfers for Jan. 14 to Jan. 20 HARAHAN 1601-D HICKORY AVE.: $95,000, David P. Bourque to John S. Champagne III. GENERES DRIVE 1201: $163,000, Tara R. Ridgdell to Cynthia E. Ricks. GORDON AVE. 633: $278,000, Johnson Realty Development Inc. to Mohammad T. Albataineh. Jefferson… Continue reading →

Smiley: Modern Huck Finns

Dear Smiley: Clay Davis’ account of his Tenn-Tom experience brought back memories of my recent Trip of a Lifetime on that waterway. In 2013, I bought a 1979 Fiat Spider from Jim Fine, who lives in River Ridge. Part of our agreement was that Jim would help me restore it, so once a week… Continue reading →

Smiley: Monsieur Hard-Head

Funny the things that jog your memory: The item below, about triangle players in bands, reminded me of the chank-a-chank bands at Fred’s Lounge in Mamou on Saturday mornings. (Triangles are found in many Cajun bands.) This then reminded me of some great Mardi Gras adventures my spouse and I had in Mamou, where costumed horseback riders… Continue reading →

Pitbull’s encore: The Endymion Extravaganza will be his second show on Saturday night

The Cuban-American rapper Pitbull, seen here during ABC's "Good Morning America" summer concert series in 2013 in New York, has two shows in Louisiana on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016: At the Golden Nugget casino in Lake Charles, and at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the Endymion Extravaganza. (Photo by Jason DeCrow/Invision/AP)

For some entertainers, headlining the massive Endymion Extravaganza would be enough work for one night. But not for Pitbull. Hours before his late-night gig at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday, the indefatigable Cuban-American rapper/entrepreneur will also perform 200 miles away at the Golden Nugget casino in Lake Charles. News that Pitbull planned to play another show… Continue reading →