My, how we love our characters in New Orleans. Which is a good thing.
Locals still talk about Ruthie the Duck Girl, even though she died in 2008. In my neighborhood of Tremé, we have a tall man with a scraggly beard who pushes a grocery cart around, having random conversations with a street corner. Or an empty can.
We celebrate these characters. We tenderly laugh with them. But we don’t always see that, underneath the eccentricity that makes for a funny story, is often a mental illness that is anything but funny.
Most New Orleanians have probably heard that the Dalai Lama is in town this week. But perhaps you do not know of the work it took to bring the spiritual leader of 6 million Tibetan Buddhists to this city.
On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Ronald Marks, the Tulane scholar who organized the visit.
A ride on Club Whatever, and an interview with the DJ/Driver behind the wheel.
You may have seen it before: a behemoth of a vehicle, rolling at a snail’s pass up Canal Street blasting speaker smashing beats. Its violet exterior shields its partiers from the outside world — all that can be seen of them are their arms, flailing wildly from every open window. And then there is the noise: a penetrating boom that reverberates off the surrounding buildings, shakes the bus and compels riders and bystanders alike to bounce up and down.
Click here to listen to this week's Notes From New Orleans.
Sixty eight years ago this week — May 8, 1945 to be exact — the Second World War ended in Europe with the signing of the official documents in Berlin. But, for one group of British military women, it would be more than 30 years before they were allowed to talk about their secret role in that devastating conflict.
Sharon Litwin had the chance to speak with one of them for this week's Notes from New Orleans; she filed this report from the back patio of a charming, soft-spoken resident of Covington, Louisiana.
Laine Kaplan-Levenson spits the 60 Second Weekend.
Despite flash flood warnings and the Fairgrounds not looking to dry up until next year’s Fest, there’s still reason to celebrate. Music is everywhere, from the Bayou to Tchoupitoulas, and so much so that it’s almost impossible not to end up at one fest or another over the next few days. So whether you’re down to drop some dough, or are looking for a free ride, we’ve got your weekend:
Inarguably, festival season in New Orleans is in full swing. But while most of the attention is going to multi-million dollar projects with international fans, there are still other festivals happening under the radar.
On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin speaks to a Marigny artist about the festival she's put together at two separate venues. One's family friendly, while the other is a bit taboo.
A one way sign is put up for Jazz Fest a week in advance, but until the day of, these signs are covered and ignored by residents of Bayou St. John (seen here at the corner of Mystery St and Esplanade Ave).
Nina Feldman learns from residents and business owners in Bayou St. John how the Jazz Fest (and the traffic that comes with it) temporarily transforms their neighborhood.
In shady Bayou St. John, the neighbors really know each other. The same crew assembles each morning at the local coffee house to read the paper and debate its assertions; another crowd convenes at the various watering holes each evening.
“It’s one of the great things about this neighborhood,” says Fortin St. resident Jonas Bishop. “The fact that I know everyone on my block… It’s definitely a community-centric area that you don’t find a lot of places.”
Delanie Manuel, server at Liuzza’s by the Track and Jonas’ neighbor, agrees. “I thought I’d be a Quarter Rat forever,” she admits. “But no, I love it here.”