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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NolaVie
5:15 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Jazz In The Park Adds Something For (Congo) Kids

This year's lineup at Jazz in the Park.
Credit People United for Armstrong Park

When Jazz in the Park gets underway this Thursday afternoon at Congo Square, the age span may skew a little younger than usual. For the first time, the weekly jazz concert series will feature an additional tier of programming aimed at local youngsters. It’s called Congo Kids.

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Musical Architecture In New Orleans: The Return Of The Music Box

Children bang on cans that will be used in Dawn Dedeaux's "Can You Hear Me House." Their percussion performances and voices are recorded and incorporated into the final installation.
Credit Thomas Walsh

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In 2011, a group of more than 25 artists created the Music Box, a house made of found objects designed as a laboratory for musical expression. By the time it closed in Spring 2012, it had been visited by more than 15,000 people.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with artist Dawn Dedeaux about the return of the Music Box project.

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Notes From New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Is French Quarter Fest Still For The Locals?

Crowds swell at Woldenberg Park for French Quarter Fest. Many estimate that 250,000 tourists arrive for the annual event.
Credit Vincent & Bella Productions\flickr

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Over the course of 31 years, New Orleans' French Quarter Festival has grown from a small event to the largest free music festival in the United States. Along with Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras, it's become one of the crown jewels in Louisiana's cultural economy.

On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin speaks with executive director Marci Schramm about the festival's growth and its plans for the future. 

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French Quarter Festival
5:21 am
Mon April 7, 2014

A Small-Town Mayor Takes The French Quarter Festival Back Home

DeRidder Mayor Ron Roberts.
Credit Ron Roberts

More than half a million people are expected at the 31st annual French Quarter Festival this weekend. They come from far and wide — and a few of them come not only to enjoy the music, but also to take it back home. 

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Dr. Jeffrey Rouse's Lessons From The Campaign Trail

Dr. Jeffrey Rouse is New Orleans' new coroner. He's only the second person to hold that seat since 1974.
Credit Jeffrey Rouse/rouseforcoroner.com

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Of all the people running in the most recent Orleans Parish elections, only one of the winners was a true newbie. On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, the new coroner, about his first personal encounter with the facts of political life.

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NolaVie
4:19 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Keeping The Tradition Of St. Joseph's Day Altars Alive

A St Joseph's Day altar, with cakes.
Credit Billy Brown

Growing up, Nick Scramuzza’s childhood home never had its own St. Joseph’s Day altar.

“It didn’t need one,” said the co-owner of the Lost Love Lounge in the Marigny. “There was one on each side of us, one across the street, and one on the corner," he says.

"On my block alone, Kerlerec and Chartres, there were at least four or five altars on that one block.”

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu March 13, 2014

After School Programs: Make Music NOLA

Some of the favorite moments Paul Macres has had in the classroom are when his students finally see the payoff of their discipline. He calls these eureka moments.
Credit Thomas Walsh

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Keeping New Orleans music alive for the next generation of our children means ensuring they have access to instruments, as well as to teachers who want to share the magic of melody with them. On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with a couple of musicians who are doing just that.

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NolaVie
4:19 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Pondering The Purpose Of Small Plates

Do you love or hate small plates?
atelier-robuchon-saint-germain.com

With the arrival of Lent, we’re all scaling down our appetites. No more sloth, lust or gluttony. After all, less is more. And good things, they say, come in small packages.

But when it comes to food? In New Orleans? I’m not so sure.

The small-plate trend seems to be, well, mushrooming. Baru, Booty's, Dominica, Salu, Three Muses — the list goes on and on. Even the owners of Finn McCool's, that Irish bastion of barbecue and beer, are jumping on the tasting bandwagon with the new Trèo on Tulane Avenue.

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu March 6, 2014

The Rigors Of Robotics: After-School Programs At Military And Maritime Academy

Dr. Chuck Garner teaches students how to develop software applications for autonomous robot systems.
Credit Thomas Walsh

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These days there’s lots of talk about preparing young people for real life occupations after college. But here in New Orleans, one unusual high school is having that conversation with their students now. On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin goes to the New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy to talk with one faculty member about what’s going on there.

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Dan Davis The Wine Guy Wins Grand Award For Commander's Palace

Commander's Palace — killin' it since 1880.
Credit Infrogmation / Wikipedia

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Ella Brennan, owner of Commander’s Palace and doyenne of the New Orleans restaurant community, had wanted to win the Grand Award from Wine Spectator magazine for a very long time. When that happened in 2013, she gave full credit to the restaurant’s wine director, Dan Davis. On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Davis about how a Mississippi boy got into the world of wine.

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