Notes From New Orleans

Fridays at 8:35 a.m.

Notes from New Orleans is a weekly peek inside the life and culture of the Crescent City. Sharon Litwin, president and co-founder of NolaVie.com, covers all aspects of the unique and vibrant contributions of this creative society.

From established and emerging visual artists to the new breed of young entrepreneurs; from extraordinary musicians to world class performing artists; from Mardi Gras Indians to pop up restaurants — whether it’s going on Uptown, Downtown or Back of Town, their stories are sure to show up on Notes from New Orleans.

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Take Five
5:16 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Take Five: New Orleans Dialect Coach Provides Dose Of Authenticity

Francine Segal on set with Heath Ledger in “Monster’s Ball”.
Credit Tommy Hughes

Actress Francine Segal played prison guard Georgia Ann Payne in 2001’s Monster’s Ball, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry and the late Heath Ledger. “I had a gun. It was a lot of fun,” said Segal.

There was some trouble on the set, however, as Ledger was not getting along with the dialect coach that had been brought in from L.A. to help him learn the thick Georgia accent his role called for.

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Community
5:07 am
Mon January 6, 2014

7th Ward Residents Await The Return Of The Circle Food Store

The iconic outside of the Circle Food Store.
Laine Kaplan-Levenson

More than eight years after it flooded and closed due to Hurricane Katrina, the Circle Food Store on the corner of Claiborne and St. Bernard Avenues is about to reopen its doors. The historic landmark served the 7th Ward from 1938 up until the storm, and it’s said to have been the first New Orleans grocery owned and operated by African-Americans. Long time residents and customers voice their reactions to the long-awaited return of this neighborhood staple.

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Money's Tight And Times Are Tough: How To Grow An Arts Organization

Jesse Rosen was both a musician and a CEO of an orchestra before he began working with the League of American Orchestras. These jobs provided him tremendous perspective for dealing with organizations around the world.
Credit flickr/Pedro Sanchez

Jesse Rosen is President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras, an organization with more than 800 members. In town for a meeting of the National Performance Network, he stopped by to talk with Sharon Litwin on this week's Notes from New Orleans.

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Notes from New Orleans
7:00 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Italian Singer Performs Baroque Concert At Marigny Opera House

Baroque singer Mattea Musso performs with Stuart LeBlanc at Trinity Church in 2013. Her latest concert will be this weekend at the Marigny Opera House.
Credit Mattea Musso

One can hear all kinds of music in New Orleans. There’s blues and Bartók; soul and Sibelius. There is not, however, a whole lot of Baroque being played. Mattea Musso, a newcomer to the city, plans to change all that.

In this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks to her about this centuries-old musical form.

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Lessons from Their Lives
5:00 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Lessons From Their Lives: Paul Fabry

Paul Fabry's involvement in a Hungarian underground resistance group helped to saved hundreds of lives from the Nazi concentration camps in World War II.
Credit creative commons/wikipedia

In any American city you can discover people whose lives have accomplished extraordinary things. Some have highly recognizable names, while others do not.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin begins the first of an occasional series, Lessons from Their Lives. This week: a 94-year old businessman named Paul Fabry, who helped establish a network of World Trade Centers across the globe. 

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NolaVie
4:30 am
Mon November 25, 2013

BYOB Square Dancing, And Change, At First Presbyterian Church

Square dancing in the Fellowship Hall at First Presbyterian Church on Claiborne Ave.
Laine Kaplan-Levenson

The 195 year-old First Presbyterian Church in Broadmoor is growing. It's in no small part thanks to a new pastor, who is reaching out to new communities and luring more people with special events. Like a square dance. With red beans... and beer... in a church? 

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Times-Picayune Reporters Rosemary James And Charlie Ferguson Remember JFK Assassination

Lee Harvey Oswald, third from left, handing out "Fair Play for Cuba" leaflets in New Orleans, August 16, 1963
Credit Wikipedia/The Warren Commission

In the past few weeks the intense coverage of John F. Kennedy’s assassination has reinforced that New Orleans was right in the middle of the story.

Although most journalists who covered the tragedy have long since passed, there are still a few who can recount the significant local events that surrounded that infamous day in Dallas. 

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NolaVie
9:49 am
Mon November 18, 2013

All Clear: An NFL Purse Review

A new list of prohibited items posted at the bottom of the Superdome's Gate A ramp.
Jason Saul WWNO

We’re more than mid-way through the football season, which begs a review of one of the more controversial new NFL rules. We’re talking, of course, about the NFL’s decision to allow only see-through purses into NFL stadiums nationwide. Here’s a field study of stadium bag theory.

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Loyola Student Travels to Mongolia, Documents Fleeting Subculture

Dimitri Staszewski documented the music of nomadic sheep herders in Mongolia, one of the final nomadic peoples on the planet.
Credit Dimitri Staszewski

Some people dream of getting off the grid, dropping out of the complications of our highly urbanized 21st century. One 21-year-old Loyola University student did just that — in Mongolia, of all places.

Sharon Litwin finds out why on this week's Notes from New Orleans.

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Take Five
12:41 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Take Five: James Franco's 'Sal' Reveals True Sal Mineo

Val Lauren as Sal Mineo
Credit Tribeca Film

He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in Rebel Without a Cause. At the height of his fame, he needed bodyguards to help him get through mobs of adoring fans. And, in the prime of his life, he died tragically. Not James Dean — Sal Mineo. James Franco’s recently released biopic follows the last day of Mineo's brief life.

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