Letter to the editor
Send a letter to the editor to voice your opinion.
East Baton Rouge Parish Homicide Map
A map listing homicides or suspected homicides in EBR Parish.
Gas Prices in BR
Current gas prices in BR area.

Balance the binge: Holidays don’t mean you can’t splurge at festive meals

This Sept. 15, 2014, photo shows super fast roast turkey in Concord, N.H. ìThe Thanksgiving turkey is the centerpiece of the meal, but despite its being cooked every year for generations, it still causes anxiety. The annual conundrum? Getting a flavorful turkey that also looks good, and the rest of dinner, on the table before the grandparents fall asleep,î Tyler Florence writes in his new cookbook, ìInside the Test Kitchen.î (AP Photo/Matthew Mead) ORG XMIT: NHMM315

Mark that Thanksgiving calendar page in red — the annual holiday food binge is about to begin. It’s that time of year when we subject ourselves to a weeks-long eating frenzy, followed by a relentless and punitive New Year’s resolution diet. One local diet expert is hoping we can change our ways.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Victory prayers

One of my favorite writers, George Gurtner (now writing for The New Orleans Advocate), says the upcoming Battle of New Orleans bicentennial celebration on Jan. 6, plus the current football season, remind him of this story: “Legend has it that the reason Gen. Andrew Jackson overcame enormous odds to defeat the British at… Continue reading →

Metairie collector Elmo Spellman frames old Canal Street on the walls of his shop

Photo by FRANK METHE -- Elmo Spellman shows off a D.H. Holmes bag.

“He’s got a bag fulla memories,” one guy at Elmo Spellman’s Esplanade Optical Center says. “That’d make a helluva song, wouldn’t it?” Spellman has set aside a little corner of his world, a couple of walls at his shop, to preserve his memories of the downtown New Orleans shopping mecca where your mama took ya to… Continue reading →

Eric Kimmel: A master of children’s lit comes to New Orleans

Photo provided by Eric Kimmel -- Eric Kimmel, shown with his soft-coated wheaten terrier Tasha, is celebrating the publication of a Hanukkah story, 'Simon and the Bear.' '

Eric Kimmel wanted to be an author before he could read or write. As a kindergartner, he fell in love with “Horton Hatches The Egg by Doctor Seuss,” as he called it, and requested repeated readings. Finally, after his teacher pointed out that “Horton Hatches the Egg” was the title of the book,… Continue reading →

Getting away from the ‘grown-up table’

My family gets together for many occasions, such as birthdays, holidays or just to hang out. Every Thanksgiving is at the home of my great aunt, Auntie Julia or Queen Bee. She is my grandfather’s sister. She is tall, smart, outspoken and very loving. As she states often, she is four score and seven. We… Continue reading →

Nell Nolan: Social Paces, Party Places

Advocate staff photo by DANIEL ERATH -- Tulane Emeritus Club Luncheon. Sylvan Steinberg, Andree Moss

Lace the Grand Ballroom was the site for a brunch brigade, when the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Greater New Orleans chapter Inc., hosted its 16th Torchbearer’s Award Program in celebration of African American Legacy Builders. Hundreds gathered. With a nod to the name of… Continue reading →

‘Great Pirate Christmas Battle’ fun tale for holiday

'The Great Pirate Christmas Battle' by Michael G. Lewis

“The Great Pirate Christmas Battle” by Michael G. Lewis. Pelican Publishing, 2014. $16.99. Cap’n McNasty and his crew, bored with stealing gold and other treasures, decide one night to steal Christmas presents from sleeping children. However, things get interesting when they get an unexpected surprise from… Continue reading →

Steven Forster’s Party Central for Nov. 23, 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: • Douglas Hofmann and the masters: Martin Lawrence Gallery held a special evening celebrating the artist and artwork of Douglas Hofmann and the masters of the 20th century. Works on… Continue reading →

Couple settles in for the holidays in renovated Holy Cross bungalow

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Jen Picard and Kris Ford just moved into this renovated bungalow, purchased from the Preservation Resource Center.

Jen Picard and Kris Ford weren’t looking to buy a house right away when they contacted real estate agent Ariana Tipper. Instead, the couple, who had been renting in Bywater, were planning ahead for six to 12 months down the road when they thought the time might be right. But when Tipper took them to… Continue reading →

Pecans suited to Louisiana tables, back yards

Advocate file photo -- Pecans annually contribute an average of $12 million to Louisiana’s economy.

Pecans are everywhere in Louisiana during the holiday season. Still in their shells, they are available for purchase by the bagful, either to bestow as gifts or to ensure a steady supply for the nutcracker. Shelled, they appear in everything from pecan pies to turkey dressing. In fact, they are so important as a Louisiana crop that… Continue reading →

New Orleans area home and garden calendar, Nov. 22-Dec. 27, 2014

NEW ORLEANS MUSIC HISTORY TOUR: 10 a.m., departs from rear gates of Old U.S. Mint, on Barracks Street. Explore places in the French Quarter important to the rich history of the city’s music, led by the Friends of the Cabildo’s trained guide. $25 by advance registration only. (504) 523-3939,… Continue reading →

Nell Nolan: Past Times and Present Pleasures

Advocate staff photo by DANIEL ERATH -- Colonial Dames and Society of Colonial Wars.  Pat and JJ Morrison

Colonial days were recalled at a banquet at the New Orleans Country Club; the Hilton Riverside drew supporters of the Jewish Endowment Foundation; and the Vieux Carre home of Dr. Carlos Trujillo was transformed into an Italian street fair for the French Quarter Advocates.… Continue reading →

Smiley: Going hog wild

Dear Smiley: To continue suggestions of running with the bulls, reindeer, or nutria, here’s another suggestion — feral pigs. We have an abundance in the Felicianas we would love to share. My neighbor had two cross her driveway the other day, with 17 piglets in tow. We won’t even charge you for them,… Continue reading →

Professor Longhair film reaches halfway mark

File photo -- Professor Longhair

“Tipitina,” “Big Chief,” “Mardi Gras in New Orleans.” Those and other songs by Professor Longhair, not to mention his brilliantly original piano playing, are part of the New Orleans soundtrack. The Bach of rock, as Allen Toussaint calls the late Henry Roeland Byrd, is now the subject of a documentary film.… Continue reading →

Alex Rawls’ picks: Caribou, James Andrews and Sabotage

Caribou Dan Snaith has explored a host of indie pop and rock forms under the name Caribou, and his projects are unified by his spacey, melodic sensibility. On this fall’s “Our Love,” he was inspired by electronic dance music, but it’s more about beautifully psychedelic sounds for your head than beats for the dance floor.… Continue reading →

Videos vault comedy duo into TV spotlight

Photo provided -- Comic actresses Riki Lindhome, left, and Kate Micucci.

Female comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates named themselves for two of rock ’n’ roll’s great second bananas and made their name the way many musicians do — on YouTube. They shot videos for such songs as “Pregnant Women are Smug” and “The College Try,” each built on the comic tension between their sweet dispositions and the… Continue reading →

WYES examines Fair Grounds’ long history in New Orleans

In this photo provided by Roberts Photography, Marchman, right, with Jamie Theriot lead the pack into the stretch before pulling away to win the $75,000 Woodchopper Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Roberts Photography) ORG XMIT: NY150

Here’s a trivia trifecta to test your knowledge of New Orleans: It’s Thanksgiving Day and you’re eating corned beef and cabbage, not turkey. Where are you? What stellar steed made the Little Sisters of the Poor a little richer? Who owned a beloved New Orleans thoroughbred named Cangirod? Bonus question: Who was the… Continue reading →

Foo Fighters take viewers to New Orleans on ‘Sonic Highways’

'Sonic Highways' album cover

London’s massive Wembley Stadium and New Orleans’ tiny Preservation Hall: The Foo Fighters performed in the two vastly different concert spaces with equal delight. The American rock band, led by singer, guitarist and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, turned Preservation Hall into their recording studio in May. The traditional jazz venue at 726 St. Peter St.… Continue reading →

Three B’s for the weekend in New Orleans

The carousel in City Park.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

1. BEER: Jingle Bells and Beer means City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks just got more celebratory. For $45 at the door, sample food from local vendors, plus craft beer, soft drinks and, maybe best, all the rides in City Park’s Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. 7 p.m. Saturday 2. BLUES: Continue reading →

A brush with Fringe: Three plays in the new-work festival

Photo by Marilyn Chen -- 'LoopsEnd'

Fringe has begun. And in just three shows, this viewer has gotten a sense of the wide variety of offerings available for those who choose to make the event a weekend affair. An invigorating turn in the air at The Old Ironworks, a raunchy contortion of “Ozzie and Harriet” on St. Claude… Continue reading →

Smiley: Muscular ducks

Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, “I love to eat mandarin duck. “When I was an avid duck hunter, I came up with a bright idea of how to mix both. “I brought five gadwalls to Ville Platte’s only Chinese restaurant and asked them to cook the wild ducks mandarin style. “When I… Continue reading →

Victory is sweet (and savory); area cooks shine in Thanksgiving recipe contest

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND  --  For an easy holiday appetizer, serve Cranberry Pear Relish with crackers and cream cheese.

If the winning dishes in The Advocate’s Thanksgiving Recipe Contest sponsored by Calandro’s Supermarket are any indication, Thanksgiving Day menus in south Louisiana reflect both the area’s culinary heritage and the cooks’ creativity. It wasn’t easy selecting the contest’s winners, the judges said as they tasted, critiqued and lobbied for their favorites among the dozen finalists in… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Ina Garten gets ahead of cooking

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  For a special dinner, serve Asparagus & Prosciutto Bundles. The recipe is in Ina Garten's 'Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.'

Hint to holiday shoppers: Fans of Ina Garten and her Barefoot Contessa cookbooks are surely hoping to receive a copy of Garten’s “Make It Ahead” book for Christmas or Hanukkah. They definitely won’t be disappointed with the gift. Garten, author of eight bestselling cookbooks, tackles stress-free entertaining by preparing dishes ahead of time. Some of her latest… Continue reading →

Smiley: Doing the wave

Jim Hingle, of Covington, says, “The story about hand-turn signals reminded me of when I was 5 in 1945. “One evening when my father came home, I told him that Mom was waving at all the sailors. “As it turns out, there were sailors on every corner in New Orleans as they were to be discharged here… Continue reading →

New Orleans eateries play key role in ambitious South Market District development

Rendering provided by Domain Cos. - The Paramount, the first phase of the South Market District development, shown here as designers envision the finished project.

As the South Market District continues to take shape in the CBD, word has trickled out about restaurants planned for the multi-block residential and retail development one announcement at a time, including a Vietnamese eatery, a small plates lounge, a quick-serve pizzeria and a bakery and cafe from John Besh’s restaurant group. Behind… Continue reading →

Ian McNulty’s Digging In: How you can find fancy braised lamb shank or casual meatloaf po-boy in New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Brasied lamb shank at Rue 127.

UPSCALE Braised Lamb Shank Rue 127 127 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 483-1571; Arriving on a neatly frenched bone, this lamb shank ($26) is regal in appearance but delivers rustic, hearty satisfaction. The bone surrenders its meat as irregular slivers and chunks, all… Continue reading →

Ian McNulty’s What Cooking: Check out these new restaurants scheduled to open in New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - St. James Cheese Co. plans to open a downtown shop early in 2015.

The South Market District will bring a lot to the table for CBD dining, but there are plenty of other restaurants preparing to open downtown, beginning this week and continuing in the months ahead. First up is Trenasse (444 St. Charles Ave., 504-680-7000;, a restaurant based on Gulf Coast seafood and south… Continue reading →

Steven Forster’s Party Central for Nov. 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: • After ‘Revisiting the Goddess’: “Revisiting the Goddess,” a two-story-tall, three-dimensional mural towering over the 800 block of Gravier Street, opened with other Prospect.3 events around the city.… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Make lunch a priority for your kids

I thought I was doing a pretty good job of packing my children’s lunch boxes by filling them with all of their favorites — pepperoni pizza Hot Pockets, ham and cheese Lunchables, mini Oreos, an orange and a juice box. It’s what they wanted, and I didn’t have to listen to them complain about… Continue reading →