Storyville: Finding It In The Sun

Apr 17, 2014
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Baseball season is underway. This is a sacred time where I’m from. Sun, grass, children playing in the park, all the memories of youth rushing back. But in New Orleans, the start of baseball season is but a placeholder: some 200 days until the Saints’ opening kickoff. This city lives on its own schedule.

I didn’t know this when I moved here.

Storyville: When Jesters Have Their Day

Feb 20, 2014
Adam Karlin

The guy next to me is wearing an orange fur coat and a red feather boa; his wife is dressed as a giant grape. Someone playing the trumpet looks like a cross between a post office employee and a Mad Max road warrior. I'm wearing an inflatable alligator on my head.

This is the Bayou Boat parade, which happens on Lundi Gras, the Monday before Fat Tuesday. It's simple: folks get in boats and have an aquatic second line up Bayou St John. Anyone can join, as long as they have a floatable water craft. Or not so floatable; the trombone player's kayak is starting to list.

Storyville: 'Grieving For The Pies I've Never Eaten'

Feb 6, 2014
Laura McKnight

I’m a fan of most South Louisiana specialties — crawfish, king cake, Zapp’s Potato Chips, et cetera — but a few things make me feel like a traitor to my local roots: I prefer my coffee without chicory, I’m ambivalent about oysters, and I’m pretty sure I have never in my life eaten a Hubig’s Pie.

Storyville: 'Hollerin'

Jan 23, 2014
Woodlief Thomas

In Memory of Rod and Miss Imelda

Man, I swear you could hear Rod coming all the way from clear across Broad Ave. Laughing that big throaty Rod laugh and hollering out his “Alrights!” and “Okays!” while that old rusty bike dodged those Guv Nicholls St. potholes, squeaking up a storm. Didn’t matter if you were a stranger or not, you were gonna catch a holler from Rod.

Storyville: 'Not Exactly A Lady'

Dec 12, 2013
Ryan Khatam

I first visited New Orleans in the 1970s as a teenager with my father. He and four of his friends coordinated their business trips to meet here several times a year. They did not bring their wives. They wound up their various meetings by late afternoon and drifted into the courtyard at the Hotel Richelieu one by one. Loosening ties and dropping jackets on the backs of chairs, they ordered double bourbons. By dusk, they were blearily intoxicated and ready for dinner.

Storyville: Thirty

Nov 21, 2013
Derek Bridges

I take a job during the summer as a weekend crime reporter.

The first morning nothing happens. Mostly, I bend my ear over the police radio. I’m listening for a 30 — the code for homicide — but the numbers jumble together in a messy soup of cop lingo.

I have a list of police stations and call them and ask if anything is happening.

“No, we’re quiet,” the dispatchers say.

By the afternoon, the routine has become a bore. I drift in and out of conversations about stolen Xboxes and domestic disputes.

At dusk, I pull out my list and dial again.

Storyville: Repaying Karmic Debt

Nov 7, 2013
Max Wolfe / Flickr

When I tell people I’m a high school teacher in New Orleans, they look at me like I’m a few inches taller than I was before. They look at me like I’m a saint, but if they heard how hard I laughed at things I shouldn’t, they wouldn’t assume I was so pious. This past week one of students in AP Language and Composition said Drake was the type of rapper who wears a pad when his girlfriend gets her period so he can feel her pain. Inappropriate? Definitely, but it’s lighthearted compared to the vitriol I used to spit at my teachers.

Storyville: NOLA's Petals

Oct 10, 2013
Maurice Carlos Ruffin

"Just get in your car and drive, George."

Richard Goodman

Richard Goodman, a University of New Orleans professor of creative nonfiction writing, sits down with Jack Hope to discuss the new Storyville series — a collaboration between WWNO and the university’s Creative Writing Department.

Goodman has been at UNO for three years as an assistant professor to both graduate and undergraduate level students. Describing himself as a lifelong writer, Goodman also touched on some of his work, including his first book, French Dirt.

Storyville: The District

Sep 25, 2013

Storyville. What strikes me most when I hear the word or see it emblazoned across the chest of a baby romper is how weird New Orleans is. We have embraced the memory of a red light district that closed its green shutters almost a century ago as a source of pride. We’re nostalgic over prostitution. Maybe that shouldn’t surprise me, considering this city’s often-exuberant relationship with its own debauchery. But the way our city gleefully remembers Storyville has always sat strangely with me.