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Your Own Personal New Orleans Tour Remains Bestseller on Amazon! – Video

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!

your own personal new orleans tour cover

You really don’t wanna be without this book when you come to New Orleans.

 

Click Here to GET IT NOW!

 

Check out this 7 minute video below to find out more about the book:

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.

orange_buynow copy

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.

Also now available in paperback!

Leave a COMMENT. Tell us what you think.

Posted in New Orleans Books, New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Videos.

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Adopting Boxing Day in America: 10 Fantastic Reasons

Adopting Boxing Day in America, the British holiday the day after Christmas, is something I think we should seriously consider. I’ve provided some excellent reasons below.

Adopting Boxing Day in America: 10 Fantastic Reasons

adopting Boxing Day america

Boxing Day in England was apparently not very relaxing.

10 excellent reasons we should adopt Boxing Day here in America.

1. It’s the day after Christmas and so we are already dealing with a lot of boxes left over from opening gifts so why not just make a holiday out of it anyway

2. We all have servants or someone working for us in some way shape or form. I know it was adopted Downton Abbey style where the employers would give boxes of goods to their servants. I think that is a nice custom, you know. So anyone who works for you gets a box of something. It doesn’t have to be a big box, it can just be a little box with maybe some jam or some oranges or something in it.

3. Here in New Orleans any excuse to have some kind of celebration is welcome. But really who wants to “celebrate” after the biggest celebration day of the year? I  think most of us just wanna lay around on the floor by the Christmas tree… in silence. But we could have Boxing Day lunch at Antoine’s or Commander’s Palace.

4. And you know, heck, it’s the day after Christmas and who doesn’t need a break from all the festivities. I know I did. I had so much to do to get ready for our Christmas dinner and Christmas Eve party that we have every year, not only preparing for that but just putting gifts together. I make jams that I give as gifts and although that is not hard in anyway, it is time consuming.

Like this year I made turtle soup for our Eve party, not a big deal but what with everything else I had to do it still took time. I made it several days before, like 2 gallons of it, and stuck it in the fridge to be taken out the afternoon of the 24th and heated up.

Then I had to make mirliton casserole and mashed potatoes for Christmas dinner. And besides that there were the other preparations for the party. You know, if you’ve ever given a party you know what it takes to put it all together. It helps to make a list of all there is to do and just follow that to make sure you know forget anything.

5. I think since we are a British colony (yep, although we are independent and all we are still an extension of Great Britain, I mean why are we so fascinated with the queen and her family?) we should adopt their holidays that make sense. (Which does not mean they should adopt any of ours, I mean I know the Brits ain’t particularly thrilled with the 4th of July.)

6. It would help businesses because it would just be more reasons to have more sales during the holidays.

7. You don’t have to wrap the boxes with gift paper which would make the process of gift giving a lot easier.

8. I think it would be a great way to thank and acknowledge those who work for you, let them know they are appreciated. Even if you have given them bonuses a nice box of something is just a nice gesture.

9. Boxing Day is also the feast of St. Stephen, the first martyr of Christianity stoned while Saul of Tarsus, later to become Paul, looked on.

Well, I can only think of 9 reasons. And I was just thinking that you know Boxing Day is another holiday we have to prepare for and take into consideration. Isn’t Christmas a type of Boxing Day anyway since we gotta deal with all those boxes? Just thinking out loud here.

Or maybe we could just adopt a different meaning for Boxing Day. I’m just thinking of ways that we could still make this a holiday without having to go to too much trouble especially right after the biggest day of the year. I mean who wants to think about going to the trouble of giving more gifts right after Christmas. Maybe that is overkill you know.

Maybe to make it easy we could just give out Boxing Day cards, like gift cards or something that say “Happy Boxing Day” day on it. That would make it easy without having to box anything up. Maybe put the gift card in a little box and give it to your servants, er, employees.

But as I said in number 4 above, everyone just needs a break really, to not have to work or do anything. All the department stores should stay closed for that day to let their employees take a break too. I think that would be healthy for our country for folks to just take a deep breath, and relax without having to think about sales or gift returns. But… that ain’t gonna happen.

We need to a way to regain our sanity after the hectic and insane week before Christmas. I think adopting Boxing Day with a more relaxing, taking-a-break meaning is the best way to do that for everyone.

So, anyway, Happy Boxing Day!

Posted in New Orleans Business, New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Life.

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New Orleans Gingerbread Buildings – Sweet Versions of Your Favorite NOLA Places

New Orleans gingerbread buildings – are you kidding? You mean buildings made outta gingerbread?

You know there ain’t nothing like a good gingerbread cookie. Me, I like to get that big ole tin of ’em at World Market for the holidays, I like the spicy sweetness, but really, they ain’t too sweet as most cookies go, they just right.

New Orleans Gingerbread Buildings – Sweet Versions of Your Favorite NOLA Places

Well, how ’bout some buildings made outta gingerbread. And we got some here in New Orleans, some real elaborate ones too, just take a gander at the photos below.

The Roosevelt Hotel has always been famous for it’s little gingerbread village. Nice, cute quaint.

New Orleans gingerbread

Detail of the Cajun Night Before Christmas village at the Roosevelt Hotel.

Now we got some other places looking to one up them. How bout an entire Jackson Square done up in gingerbread? Oh yeah. That’s gotta be a lot of woik, cher. Whadyathink?

new orleans gingerbread buildings jackson square

A gingerbread building display of Jackson Square New Orleans

150 pounds of gingerbread, about 200 pounds of sugar and 250 pounds of candy went into making this spectacle. Oh my gawd, think of the kinda woik dat goes into this. The hours and hours and sugar and sugar and flour and time baking it I mean, what a production. And then whadaya do after Christmas with alla this?

You can read more about this at nola.com

Now how bout this – a life-size gingerbread mansion at the Ritz-Carlton. Whaaaaaat? Ya gotta be kiddin’ me.

new orleans gingerbread buildings ritz carlton

The gingerbread house at the Ritz Carlton New Orleans

This one is on the modeled on the “wedding cake” house at 5807 St. Charles Avenue. And yes, you can actually walk through it. Chef de partie Eliza Abeleda spends weeks on this project. It’s nice that someone has the passion and expertise to put all this together and delight us with these woiks of awt during the Holidays.

Find out more about this gingerbread house at nola.com

New Orleans gingerbread buildings – who knew awchitectyah could be so danged yummy. But ya know as always, just look, babe, and keep ya hands to yourself.

 

Posted in New Orleans Art, New Orleans Landmarks, New Orleans Life.

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New Orleans Neighborhoods and Short Term Rentals – Mayor Landrieu and the City Council Deal a Disappointing Blow

New Orleans neighborhoods got dealt a disappointing blow yesterday with approval of the new “compromise”short-term rentals legislation. This allows anyone with a homestead exemption to rent out year round.

New Orleans Neighborhoods and Short Term Rentals – Mayor Landrieu and the City Council Deal a Disappointing Blow

new orleans neighborhoods short term rental

What a lot of people in New Orleans neighborhoods feel about short term rentals.

Those who own apartments and condos will be able to do the same. And whole home rentals, probably the worst offenders and the biggest threat to the fabric of our neighborhoods, will be able to rent for a maximum of 90 days per year. This in essence means that someone could rent out their entire home for every weekend of the year and then some.

Prices for homes have sky-rocketed in New Orleans over the past few years making it more and more difficult for those born and raised in the city to remain in their neighborhoods. And of course with higher home prices come higher taxes.

The city council and the mayor have basically betrayed the city residents and have threatened the very essence of  New Orleans neighborhoods, one of the main things that makes our city unique. These STRs have cut down on the number of units for long-term residents, accelerated price increases for homes and apartments and gutted neighborhoods of permanent residents.

All with the supposed benefit of collecting more and more taxes. And with the promise of close enforcement and regulation. I love my city but enforcement of existing laws in the city is not one of its strong suits. What makes anyone think that it’s going to be any different with STRs?

I also don’t get why the city feels it needs to negotiate or please in any way AirBnB and other such services. They are an out-of-state company that is in the business to make money plain and simple. The city doesn’t need to do anything to try to please them. Yet, that is what the politicians seem to want to do.

I have no problem with a home owner renting out a room in their home or even the vacant unit of the duplex or double they live in. It’s the whole home rentals and multiple units in apartment buildings that are a threat to neighborhood stability.

Even the mayor’s sister spoke out against the concept saying it will causes more parking problems in the Garden District.

As she states in this Washington Times article:

“This is not a good thing for our neighborhood, and we don’t think it’s a good thing for the whole city,” said Shelley Landrieu, who serves as executive director of the Garden District Association.”

The winners in this scheme are the landlords of these properties, and the city coffers – if they will follow through with proper enforcement, which is questionable – the losers are our unique New Orleans neighborhoods and its long-term residents.

Posted in New Orleans Business, New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Neighborhoods.

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New Orleans is One Scary City Where Most Believe in Ghosts

New Orleans is one scary city where 90 percent of the people believe in ghosts according to a recent article on the WWL radio website. I don’t know where they get the 90% number from but not only are ghost stories part of our heritage I would bet most people here have a ghost story or two of their own.

New Orleans is One Scary City Where Most Believe in Ghosts

Spooky house on St. Charles Ave - New Orleans is one scary city

Spooky goings on outside a house on St. Charles Ave. in uptown New Orleans for Halloween.

Growing up, my parents, especially my dad, would promote the idea that we had a family ghost whose name was Gus that lived in the attic. Gus, of course, was a friendly ghost. And we still tell our young nieces and nephews about him, and some are afraid to sleep here in our house because of the stories about Gus. When they ask if Gus is for real, we just kind of hem and haw without admitting it one way or the other.

Now, I don’t really know if Gus is for real. I just know there have been some strange things happen in this old house, you know, like noises and sounds. I’ve had dreams of someone or something hovering over me which could just be a creation of my own mind from some morsel of food, something more of gravy than grave, as Dickens’ Scrooge would describe it.

My nephew tells of a time he was visiting when he was awakened by something in the middle of the night. Upon sitting up in bed saw the bedroom door slowly close a few feet. I think I’ve heard footsteps and sounds like someone coming up the stairs in the dead of night. It’s these experiences that make me hesitate when a wary child asks if Gus is real. Frankly, I just don’t know and if it is real its name is probably not Gus… or maybe it is.

Cosmopolitan magazine lists New Orleans as being the second most haunted city in the United States with Salem, Massachusetts, the site of the infamous witch trails, as number one. Estes Park, CO is on that list too. Go figure.

Perhaps the reason most people believe in ghosts in New Orleans is because we live in old houses which tend to be the structures most frequented by ghosts. And also, despite what you might get from the news media about all the supposed debauchery that goes on here, New Orleans is probably the most religious city in the country. So, spirituality is an integral part of our lifestyle and customs – even if you have no religious affiliation or you’re an atheist!

The article asserts that there is something about being near large bodies of water where ghostly sitings prevail:

“It seems to have something to do with the age of the city and the fact that it’s by so much water,” says the article’s author, Kelly McClure.

She’s not sure what water has to do with it, but that’s what her research shows.

“I’m coming to find that haunted locations are usually by large bodies of water.”

“New Orleans, being as old as it is…so many souls have come and gone…and the fact that it’s by water, seems to make it a hotbed for all of this activity.”

And New Orleans is between two huge bodies of water – the Mississippi River to the south and Lake Pontchartrain to the North. So there ya go.

Lafayette Cemetery-New Orleans is one scary city

Lafayette Cemetery is in the heart of New Orleans Garden District.

Another thing. Whereas most cities put their cemeteries on the outskirts of the city away from populated areas, New Orleans is dotted with numerous old cemeteries right in the middle of neighborhoods. One of the most famous is the Lafayette Cemetery right in the heart of the Garden District across the street from the iconic restaurant Commander’s Palace. So the cities of the dead live right among the city of the living.

And I’ve always said, and most would agree, local and visitor alike, that there is a mysterious something about New Orleans, that is difficult to put into words, a spiritual something to the place that grabs you and won’t let go. Could it have something to do with those who have come and gone before us and the lasting impression they’ve left on the city?

So New Orleans is one scary city. Hm. Perhaps “scary” is not the right word. Maybe “spooky” is better. And most likely it’s occupied by a lot of ghosts – I would say most of them friendly. It’s possible one of them named Gus “lives” in our house. Who knows?

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Neighborhoods, New Orleans News.

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First New Orleans Saints Superdome Game After Katrina Anniversary

The New Orleans Saints and the Superdome celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the re-opening of the dome after the destruction and havoc wrought by Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005. Here is some oral history from several celebrities. I’ve just selected a few here. You can read more at the New Orleans Saints website.

First New Orleans Saints Superdome Game After Katrina Anniversary

The roof of the Superdome after Hurrican Katrina

The roof of the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina

Drew Brees:  I would have been in San Diego, California. I was playing for the San Diego Chargers. We would have been getting ready for our first game of the season.

Sean Payton: I was coaching in Dallas and we would have been in our preseason training camp.

Edge: I was in my house in France. We were between two legs of a tour and we were recuperating after a long and hard first leg and first caught the news that there was this hurricane on its way to New Orleans. Then turned on the news channels and just watched as this horror unfolded.

Steve Gleason: The team had just evacuated a day or two before that. So we were in the San Francisco Bay area ahead of the preseason game against the Raiders.

Quint Davis: I was in a fetal position in a hotel room in New York City.

 

Later Payton would recruit Brees as quarterback, who had had his shoulder severely damaged in a 2005 game, to be quarterback for the Saints. They took a trip to New Orleans.

Sean Payton: I’m driving the car, Drew in the front seat, Brittany in the back seat. I’m driving like I’ve been a resident for 10 years and I’ve only been here for a couple of months. So we went over to the North Shore to look at some housing. We came back and somewhere off the Causeway I ended up, spun around. And I was heading toward Baton Rouge. Now just over and back from the North Shore would take an hour and a half. So there’s that point I look in the rear-view mirror and I see Brittany kind of nodding off and I’m thinking, “I might as well drive them to the airport and put them on the Miami Dolphins plane.”

Drew Brees: “I remember looking to my left and seeing a house that was really just a concrete slab and no house. And then seeing another house that was halfway off the foundation with a truck upside-down in the living room. Then we had to stop because there was a tug boat sitting in the middle of the road upside-down and it was that moment where I looked at Brittany and I remember our eyes met and we knew that this was so much bigger than football. I think we both felt the calling there to New Orleans. That this was just not the resurgence of a football team or an organization, but that it was about the rebirth of a city.”

New Orleans Superdome reopens for Septemeber 25, 2006 the Saints home game

New Orleans Superdome reopens for Septemeber 25, 2006 the Saints home game

I’m not much of a football fan, but have always liked the Saints. I remember the night of the reopening watching it on TV. The energy and excitement were palpable. I got goose bumps, my eyes glued to the screen. Of course, the Saints would win that game, it was a given.

Those of us who lived through it, those days and months of wondering what was going to happen to our city, I for one never doubted we’d make it through and rebuild and go on with our lives. Most of it was wondering how we were going to go about doing it. But I also had no doubt that people would move back. What surprised me was that more people from around the country came to help and to make their home here as well.

In many ways the city is better than it was before the hurricane. Sometimes it takes tragedy to ultimately triumph. That September 25, 2006 New Orleans game in the Superdome a year after Katrina told the world “We are back and we will be better than ever.”

Posted in Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Videos.

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