Notes From New Orleans

Fridays at 8:35 a.m.

Notes from New Orleans is a 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.

Thomas Walsh

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.

Vincent & Bella Productions\flickr

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. 

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. 

Jeffrey Rouse/rouseforcoroner.com

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.

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

Mar 17, 2014
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.”

Thomas Walsh

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.

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.

Thomas Walsh

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.

Infrogmation / Wikipedia

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.

National Archives

The French Market may seem like one big urban flea market — with everything from tee-shirts to Mardi Gras masks, alligator heads to shot glasses. And tourists… lots of tourists. But upon closer inspection, you discover that this outdoor shopping plaza is full of individuals who couldn’t be more different from one another.

NolaVie's Laine Kaplan-Levenson and Renée Peck met some of these local vendors who make the French Market another unique corner of the city.

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