Well, I never thought it’d happen to lil’ ole me but my new book, Your Own Personal New Orleans Tour, has been on Amazon for almost a year now and it’s still a bestseller, in the top 5 in its category!
Your Own Personal New Orleans Tour Remains Bestseller on Amazon!
So here’s an interview I did with monster Internet maven Dion GeBorde about alla dat.
Click the Buy Now button below to get your copy of my bestselling travel guide
Your Own Personal New Orleans Tour
It used to be $0.99. Now you can get it for only $3.47.
But hurry, I may be raising the price in the near future. So now is the time to get it.
Don’t have a Kindle? No problem. You can get a free Kindle reader for your computer. Download the Kindle app. for your Mac HERE. Download the Kindle app. for your PC HERE.
New Orleans Public Libraries has 14 libraries in its system that serve everyone. Yes, everyone… even if you don’t use a library. I explain below. I use the Nix library on Carrollton Avenue and I check out books from there several times a year.
Save our New Orleans Public Libraries: Vote For the Millage Increase
If I go on Amazon and look for a book before I buy it I usually go to the New Orleans public libraries site, nutrias.org, and see if it’s available. A click here and a click there and I am able to find out if the library has it in its system. If it does I can order it with another click and have it sent to the Nix library.
Through email and text they notify me when the book is ready to be picked up. This usually only takes a day or two. I pick it up and enjoy it for a couple weeks and if I haven’t finished it I can renew it pretty easily either by making a phone call any time of day to a recorded message system or with one easy click on the library website. And, boom, within a matter of a couple minutes I get to keep the book for another 3 weeks. Pretty cool.
As things get more expensive and salaries need to be raised to keep up with inflation the New Orleans public library system demands more funds to keep operating.
But did you know that not only can you get books, you can get music CDs and Hollywood movies from the library? And importantly for our under-privileged citizens it also provides a place for those without computers or Internet access to go online and apply for jobs. It also provides access to courses and information so that they can improve themselves and get a better education.
And you know this whole thing with people thinking “why the heck do we need libraries any more with everything going digital.” Well, here is the thing: I hate to read things on a computer screen or any kind of screen.
It’s been discovered that your brain reacts differently to stuff you read on a screen as compared to actual words in a book or newspaper or magazine. Your eye scans the words differently. It’s been discovered that you retain the information you read in a book better than what you read on a screen.
You know when TV came about people were saying, well, it’s the end of radio. They also said it was the end of movies. Ha. That didn’t happen.
When the DVD came out they also said it was the end of movies. Also, not true. In fact, we have more movie theaters than ever. So just because we can read a book on a screen does not mean that is the end of real books.
Nor are we old-fogeys because we prefer to do our reading in actual print form. There is nothing better than sitting comfortably with a physical book in your hands that you can flip back and forth and actually see with your own eyes how many pages you have left to read.
You can’t flip through a screen no matter how good the technology is. Physical books will never go away. That is just the reality of it. And neither will digital books either. They complement each other now. But there ain’t nothing better than reading a real book.
If the library does not get a millage increase they will have to lay people off, close seven libraries and cut back on services. The Nix library which has been open for decades would have to close. That would be a shame, not only for people who get books from there but for people who use the library day in and day out.
Even if you don’t use the library it still serves you. It provides opportunity for people in the community who don’t have the personal resources to better their lives. And that is good for everyone.
So vote for the millage increase. Help save our New Orleans public libraries. It’s important.
OK, I admit that title might be a little overdone but the age-old Napoleon House in the New Orleans French Quarter run for 100 years by the Impastato family is now in the hands of Ralph Brennan who has built a modest empire of excellent restaurants in and around New Orleans.
Brennan’s Buys Napoleon House Causing a Rupture in the Fabric of New Orleans French Quarter
Brennan buys Napoleon House. Will he mess with what makes it great?
Here is the concern that immediately came to mind when I read the news in The New Orleans Advocate last week: will he keep this famous place like it is or will he change it?
What I and the people who love it, love about the Napoleon House is that it oozes history and character. The walls are stained and peeling paint, in the summer they open the big french doors onto St. Louis street and the cool patio in the back has a huge fan that keeps the air fresh.
Also, the food is great, just typical Creole New Orleans fare with red beans and rice, gumbo, poboys and, of course, the great refreshing drink the Pimm’s Cup, Napoleon House’s signature drink.
And the prices, well, just cannot be beat. You get a lot of food that’s good and, by anyone’s standards, cheap. The waiters dress in white shirt and bow tie and classical music plays continually on the stereo system. I would call this quintessential New Orleans.
OK, so what concerns me about a Brennan taking over? Well, I don’t know of any Brennan restaurant that has inexpensive food. I mean their food is great but heck, c’mon, it aint’ cheap. They are also known for their excellent service, something at which Napoleon House already excels.
And now Brennan has hired his own chef to “update” the menu. Really? If there is one place in New Orleans that does not need an update on the menu is Napoleon House. But Brennan says he’s not going to mess with what makes this famous, quirky, magnificent hole-in-the-wall restaurant unique. We’ll see.
So my question is, will he keep the walls the way they are with their timeless multicolored, natural patina or will he feel he needs to paint them? With the new chef and the new menu will he keep the prices the same to make it affordable to all comers?
Will he open the big doors in the summer so you can sit there with your Pimm’s cup and enjoy the scenery of the the tourists and quarter mavens as they walk by?
Another thing, every time I went to Napoleon House the owner, Mr. Impastato, was always there greeting guests and just being downright friendly. Will Mr. Brennan be present to do the same?
Brennan just recently completed are total revamp and wonderful remodeling of the famous Brennan’s on Royal Street after having wrested the falling down and failing restaurant from other members of his extended family. He’s been able to return that restaurant to its former glory.
But with the Napoleon House there is really no former glory it needs to be returned to because it is perfect like it is. Anyone who is a fan of this place, and this is my favorite place to go in New Orleans, knows that its uniqueness lies in the fact that it ain’t fancy. It just feels so good to be there among the history, the music, the great food and good people that have run it for a century.
It’s authentic, a rare thing to find in our culture of digital goings-on and fast pace. It’s really a world apart and that’s what people love about it. Let’s just hope that Mr. Brennan does not ruin what makes this historic restaurant-bar in the New Orleans French Quarter so special.
Every once in a while I really delight in doing a post about something cool some folks have done about New Orleans. In this video we got a group of young people from London who contacted Marriott Hotels to fund them to travel to three American cities and shoot a video covering 24 hours in each city.
Watch How These Young People Spend a Cool Twenty Four Hours in New Orleans – Video
This video is made by a group of young artists and designers who set about each year raising funds and awareness for causes they care about. They’ve chosen to delay going to university to nurture a brand called Jacksgap.com named after the creator, the smart and engaging chief filmmaker Jack Harries.
It is amazing what you can do nowadays with a inexpensive video camera, a vision and the ability to excite your fellows to be part of your ideas. And of course, Youtube where you can engage the whole world with what you are doing.
This little film about New Orleans is only a sample of the kind of stuff they do.
The devastation of the federal flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina set the stage for the rehabilitation and resurgence of the great city of New Orleans. Over the ten years since the catastrophic event New Orleans has managed to climb out of its heap of broken homes, broken lives and a broken system of government.
The Boom of New New Orleans and the Superbowl Blackout – Book Review
This new book explains the inner workings of much of what lead up to the New Orleans Super Bowl 2013.
Yes, we live in one of the world’s ten greatest cities. I’m not just saying that as travel and business magazine have all said it. We’ve managed to not only rebuild the city after the disaster but have somehow with a lot of love, backbone and luck managed to make it better.
With the coming of the 2013 Superbowl the city fathers and their ilk worked tirelessly to do its best to show our best face to the world. Thankfully we have our mayor Mitch Landrieu who’s love for the city is obvious.
And he is also someone who can be trusted and will work for the town’s and its citizen’s best interests rather than his own. It was unfortunate that during the disaster of such a devastation storm in 2005 Ray Nagin was mayor, someone who not only could not be trusted but was completely out of his element. During that time incompetence and corruption reigned supreme.
One hundred days leading up to the Superbowl were critical to making sure that all the important elements of a successful marketing campaign for the city would all be in place. Brian W. Boyles, director of public programming at the Louisiana Humanities Center, recounts his experiences deep within the bowels of City Hall and the movers and shakers in the New Orleans community that are basically in charge of making big things happen in the city.
His new book New Orleans Boom and Blackout: One Hundred Days in America’s Coolest Hot Spot is a must read for anyone who wants to get a glimpse at how things get done here. And being a transplant from Pittsburgh he can count himself amongst the “foreigners” who have moved to the city and are able to put into words that strange otherness that makes New Orleans unique from any other place in the world.
He points up the intricacies, the controversies, the weird idiosyncrasies of our culture, some of them good, some of them at odds with “progress.” Everyone who knows about the Superbowl of 2013 knows that the lights went out during the game plunging the Superdome into near darkness for a time. Of course no one wanted to take responsibility for what happened.
The last paragraph of his books pretty much sums up all that went before and gives a good example of his engaging and sparse writing style:
The one hundred days before Super Bowl XLVII included equal measures of goodness and light but also hostility and shadow. Three centuries from now, future generations may remember a people who lived at the crossroads of hard choices and extravagant celebrations. When they ask, “How was New Orleans doing?” historians will have better answers. The lights of the Superdome and the lights of police cruisers will illuminate their search. The Super Bowl and the rhetoric of the new New Orleans may come to represent this time, either as indicators of coming progress or as unfortunate overstatements.
Through this book I learned a lot about New Orleans that I did not know. The author managed to be at the right places at the right times to be like a fly on the wall, as it were, able to recount in great detail the three months that lead up the Super Bowl and its behind the scenes finagling.
In New Orleans everyone knows about the Mardi Gras Indians and their costumes and customs and parades like the ones held on Mardi Gras and Super Sundays in the Spring. But what about the kids? We never hear about them. We never hear about how these traditions are passed on. I mean we know they are passed on through the kids, that’s how traditions continue on.
New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Kids: The Red Flame Hunters Get Spotlight in New Short Film – Video
But now the group called The Red Flame Hunters which is made up of teens from the 7th Ward have a little movie made about them. And they are trying to raise money and spread the word to help continue and expand their efforts.
This organization provides a much needed creative outlet for these at-risk, black teens, the most vulnerable in our society. Helps to keep them off the streets and gives them the opportunity to really be a contribution to our society and the Mardi Gras Indian culture.
Where would Mardi Gras be without the exquisite creativity and dedication of the Mardi Gras Indians? It would not be as fun, nor exciting and beautiful. It’s great that these kids are able to contribute to their culture in this way.
The goal of this project is to provide young men and women in New Orleans with an opportunity to:
come together in a safe space as a community
learn the methods of the Mardi Gras Indian culture including beading, African drumming, drum circles, and dance
be introduced to a rich culture that has been forged between the Africans and the Native Indians to help keep the legacy alive
During their time with the Red Flame Hunters, the participating youth will be able to remove themselves and hopefully rise above many everyday issues that they face including school workload and competition, teenage peer pressure, difficult home situations, teen pregnancy and youth violence.
Participating with the Red Flame Hunters, especially the beading and drumming activities, helps keep kids off the streets, build up their self esteem, aid in conflict resolution skills, and enable them to become wiser, stronger individuals.
To help out with these kids who need a helping hand in life please check out World Nomads and give what you can. And help see that the Mardi Gras Indians live on.
“It is better to live here in sackcloth and ashes than own the entire state of Ohio.” — Lafcadio Hearn…. New Orleans is one of the most magical cities in the world. There is something about this city that has a tendency to take hold of you and won’t let go. If you are born […]more →
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