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, 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

It’s probably been a few years since you last attended recess, but you’ll quickly recall it was a welcomed period to escape the four walls of your classroom and just hang out. So it may surprise you to learn about Playworks: a national non-profit that actually organizes recess for kids.

Their New Orleans branch is the subject of this week’s Notes from New Orleans

The Civic Theater

Welcome to 2014. While you’ve been making and breaking resolutions, I’ve been scouring the in and out lists to find out what’s hot and what’s not in New Orleans for the new year. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be caught wearing a mini instead of a midi, or high-top boots instead of wedgy sneakers. So 2013.

So let me share with you a few trending topics in areas important to New Orleanians. Like, well, drinking.

Thomas Walsh

It's been 50 years since The Beatles appeared in New Orleans. On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks about the contagion that is Beatlemania with some folks who plan to celebrate this still-remembered musical event

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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? 

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.