Skip to content


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.

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , .


Mobile Mardi Gras vs New Orleans: Which One is Better

mobile mardi gras parade

Reaching for the beads during Mobile Mardi Gras

Mobile Mardi Gras vs New Orleans: Which One is Better?

Mobile Mardi Gras to the rescue! Really? So Mobile thinks that because they had the first Mardi Gras in the country that somehow it’s better? Mitch Landrieu and Mobile’s mayor were having a friendly little fight on Twitter about this.

Now, I lived in Mobile for 6 years, went to Spring Hill College for the first four then stayed for a couple years to work in Mobile. And I really like Mobile, it’s got a real Southern feel to it, I think moreso than New Orleans.

New Orleans is more Carribbean than Southern really, more European as well. I liked the Mobile Mardi Gras okay. And it’s true that overall they are more family friendly. But for New Orleans that’s meaningless.

All along the uptown St. Charles parade route you will see families, little kids with their parents, everywhere. The French Quarter during Mardi Gras is, well, less family friendly, shall we say. But… I’ve seen families with little kids in the Quarter on Mardi Gras day.

The news media would have you think that there is nothing but debauchery in the Quarter, and as such this extends to the whole city. But nothing could be further from the truth. OK, you’ll see some drunk people in the Quarter but really not a lot. And some of the costumes there are amazing.

And lemme ask you, when someone says “I’m going to Mardi Gras” you naturally assume they mean New Orleans. In fact, most people don’t even know that Mobile even has a Mardi Gras.

I prefer New Orleans for the dozens of the amazing parades, the celebration, the costumes, the whole thing. And I think Mardi Gras in the Quarter should be experienced at least once in your life, or maybe twice.

And when you’ve had enough of that come watch the parades uptown on St. Charles with a beer, Bloody Mary or red wine in one hand and a piece of king cake in the other. And friendly families everywhere!

Mobile likes to say it is “home to the original Mardi Gras.” But sorry to tell them that the original Mardi Gras was in Europe. And all the trappings of their current Mardi Gras with the parades, the krewes, the balls, the kings and queens, the throws from the floats are all traditions originating from New Orleans.

On the Alabama Public Radio site comes this quote:

Judy Gulledge is the Executive Director for the Mobile Carnival Association. She says the city touts its family friendly atmosphere and fun for everybody approach to the festivities.

“We’ve been celebrating the public part of Mardi Gras with the parades for over 150 years. Our streets are lined with families, many of them staking out along the parade route where their families have been standing for generations.”

The quote above could just as easily been written about New Orleans. To set the record straight New Orleans’ first parade, Comus, actually started in 1856 and was founded by a group of friends from Mobile. So New Orleans has been parading a lot longer.

So, you know, let Mobile keep thinking their Mardi Gras is somehow better because it was the first. We in New Orleans know better. So if you want a Fat Tuesday where everything is calm and sedate and just a copy of the real thing perhaps Mobile Mardi Gras would be your cup o’ tea.

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Festivals, New Orleans History, New Orleans Life.

Tagged with , , .


10 Things You Must Do to Stay Safe at Mardi Gras

New Orleans Mardi Gras. Costumed revelers in J...

New Orleans Mardi Gras. Costumed revelers in Jackson Square. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

10 things you must do to stay safe at Mardi Gras

1. Don’t travel alone, if you are going to walk the streets especially in the Quarter it is best to have a companion, unless you are on the uptown route of the parades where it’s very safe.

2. Don’t go to any of the Mardi Gras Indian parades or celebrations. There have been so many shootings at these things that it is not worth risking it. Sorry. You can go to Zulu on Fat Tuesday and see some great costumes and such, but the Indians do not go on the traditional parade routes, they go through predominantly black neighborhoods where unfortunately crime is rampant.

Until New Orleans becomes a city where shootings are a rarity stay away from any place that there is a risk. If you go to Zulu stay away from the corner of Jackson and St. Charles Ave. Crowds are ridiculous here.

3. Don’t drink – yes, I know this is Mardi Gras and hate to be a killjoy but we are talking about staying safe. When I say “don’t drink” I mean don’t get drunk. OK, have a beer or two while you are wandering around but I wouldn’t go beyond that.

OK, well, maybe a Bloody Mary but it has to be a really good one that’s worth pouring alcohol in your body, like the one at the Pirate’s Alley Pub near Jackson Square where they make the BM right in front of you from scratch with none of that bottled mix. If there is such a thing as a healthy BM this would be it.

Anyway who says you have to drink or get drunk to have fun. You don’t. And another problem with drink is that at some point you are going to have to pee and places to pee are not readily available. So keep the drinking of really anything to a minimum, including water and soft drinks.

4. If you are a woman (or a maybe an “evolved” kinda guy) carry no purse, wear pants and keep what you need in your pockets. If you wear pants wear the kind you can button the pocket where you keep your wallet or keep it in your front pocket. I have been to many Mardi Gras throughout my life and have never had my pocket picked and don’t know anyone who has had this happen to them. But it does happen especially in the crowds downtown and in the Quarter.

5. Don’t challenge any body or piss anybody off, just walk away. Of course, if you see someone being harassed step in if you have to and there are cops everywhere so call them over for a hand. But chances are you will never see this.

You will find that the people in the crowds are usually very polite and well-behaved. You won’t see rioting and people going wild or really see any belligerence, if you do it is rare.

I don’t know why we in the city are like this, you would think with all the people tens of thousands of people in the streets there would be problems, but except for the random stupid shootings, again very rare, as they are usually targeting someone specific, you are pretty safe.

6. Despite what you might think the Quarter is safe if you stick to main drags like Bourbon St. Royal Street, Jackson Square. The quieter less-travelled streets are the ones you need to be concerned with. Don’t walk them alone and not at night. If confronted run as fast as you can screaming wildly the whole time. If you can’t run give them your money. Another reason to stay in shape.

7. Wear comfortable shoes if you are going to be out on the streets for any time at all. What does this have to do with staying safe? Don’t know, just thought I’d throw it in there as it is a consideration. Nothing more miserable than having to walk around in ill fitting shoes for hours.

And here is the weird thing: people walk distances during the Mardi Gras season that they would never even consider walking normally. Can you imagine walking from uptown to the French Quarter? Well, people do it during carnival, all the time. How bout walking down to the Quarter then walking back? Yep, people do it.

8. To stay really safe and avoid the raucous crowds don’t go to the Quarter especially on the Friday and Saturday before Fat Tuesday. This is when there are a lot of out of town people many of whom will be leaving Sunday or Monday because they can’t get off from their jobs to stay for Fat Tuesday. There is a crush of people in Quarter then. It’s pretty amazing if you like that kinda thing. And many people do.

9. See the parades on the uptown route on St. Charles Avenue between Napoleon and Melpomene. This is more family friendly and where most families hang out.

But I have seen families in the Quarter on Mardi Gras, yes, with little kids and it’s not really as scandalous as the media makes it out to be. And you will see some of the most amazing costumes down there. You will see more drunk people but not a lot. And it’s actually kinda fun, well, a lot of fun. But stay sober. You want to see the show, you don’t want to be the show.

10. I’ll say it again — Don’t get drunk – That is really some of the best advice I can provide to you stay safe at Mardi Gras.

And be sure to have a Happy Mardi Gras!! That’s really what’s important.

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Life.

Tagged with , , , , .


Talented Horse Dances for New Orleans Brass Band

Horse dancing to New Orleans brass band

Talented New Orleans horse dances to French Quarter brass band.

Not only do we have some of the most talented musicians in New Orleans but we also got some of the most talented horses. Here we got a cop on horseback letting his horse dance to the music of a street brass band in the French Quarter.

I don’t see the cop giving the horse any kind of signals and looks like the horse is copying the moves of the dancer in front. Well, they say that animals like to copy people.

Some “experts” say that only people have a sense of self. I would beg to differ with that. Because it looks like this horse is actually enjoying himself. I don’t think you can enjoy yourself unless you have a sense of self.

 

These horses have to be smart because they are chosen and trained extensively for crowd control especially during Mardi Gras. Nobody messes with a cop on horse back, and I would say that very few people can dance as well as this horse.

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Music, New Orleans Videos.

Tagged with , , , , .


New Orleans Hit By Major Cold Snap – It’s Cold As S**t!

My frozen fountain in New Orleans. No fish in this one and has already started to split and leak.

A lot of people wonder if it every gets really cold in New Orleans. Well wonder no more. For the last few weeks we’ve been hit by some pretty cold weather.

Is this unusual? well yes and no. I remember when I was a kid we had it go all the way to 18 degrees once, those we called hard freezes. It does snow occasionally and hard enough that it stays on the ground and we can make a snowman, at least when we were kids we did this.

Some people think that when we have this kind of cold weather than it sets us up for some major hurricanes in the fall. Well, I don’t know. We shall see.

Hurricane Katrina came in 2005 after we’d had some good snow during Christmas in fact I think it was actually on Christmas day. I can remember big flurries of snow coming down as I knocked on the door of my Aunt Eleanor’s house.

But to have this type of frigid weather come so frequently, heck, I can’t remember when it has been so.

When I woke up this morning it was 24 at our house although my weather app said it was 21 somewhere in the city. For some reason we are in a little pocket here close to the Mississippi River which I think helps to warm it up a few degrees.

When I went to bed last night I looked outside and could already see a bit of snow accumulated on the ground as the temperature was dropping.

I have two nice big aloe vera plants that I had stashed under the Japanese plum tree a couple weeks ago when we started having this frigid weather and they seemed to do OK. But when I checked them this morning although they looked really healthy and beautiful they were frozen solid. Oops. The fronds were like big popsicle sticks easily broken off.

I have a little fountain outside that’s got some big goldfish in it and I know they will be OK as long as the water does not freeze solid. But the fountain spigot froze and the top was frozen very thinly and having it against the house helps to protect it.

So now I have a lamp with a box over it to get the water flowing again, not that the fish really need it since they are kind of in a state of suspended animation. They won’t even bother to eat when it gets this cold.

Right now I got most of the shades drawn and the curtains closed with the heat to 66 but it’s not getting above 62. These old houses were not built for cold weather, although before the house was remodeled in the early 1960s there was a fireplace in every room and back then they used coal for heat.

My folks did keep one fireplace in the living room, but that was not used for heat as much as for decoration and when they rebuilt it it was poorly done so when we lit the wood it never really drafted well sending smoke into the house while the chimney heated up.

Now we occasionally light it during the holidays with one of those pressed logs that last for 3 hours. I got it lit now to see if it makes any difference.

So I sit here in a comfy chair in the living room in thermal underwear and sweat clothes and jacket. We got one more night of this. I could not imagine weeks of this or the months that folks in the northern climes have to endure. So yeah, it does get cold in New Orleans, really, really cold.

Posted in New Orleans Life.

Tagged with , .


Santa Buddy (Santa Baby) Southeast Louisiana Version

Eartha Kitt originally did “Santa Baby” decades ago and it was a sultry and sexy version. Madonna also did this, a faster version with a voice like Betty Boop. Then recently Michael Buble put it on his excellent Christmas album, but, of course, being a guy, you gotta change the lyrics. His is a nice slow version similar to Eartha Kitt’s without her steamy sexiness, and it works.

So I was getting ready a couple days ago to do my annual Christmas show at the famous Neutral Ground Coffee House in New Orleans and I wanted to do this song. Well, Michael, being Canadian, had some words in his version that would only apply to someone of that country. So I changed them, then I got the idea that heck why not change some more lyrics that would fit southeast Louisiana. I did. And the song was a hit when I performed it Thursday night.

So here ya go.

Santa Buddy (southeast Louisiana version)
additional lyrics by Richard Bienvenu

Santa buddy, slip a pirogue under the tree, for me.
I’ve been an awful good guy,
Santa buddy, and hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa buddy, some crawfish traps and outboard Evinrude, steel blue.
I’ll wait up for you dude,
Santa buddy, and hurry down the chimney tonight.

Think of all the fun that have missed,
I think of all the dawlins’ that I never kissed,
Next year I could be just as good,
If you’d check off my Christmas list,

Santa pally, I wanna yacht and really that’s not a lot,
I’ve been a really good dude all year,
Santa buddy, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa buddy, one thing that I really do need, the deed,
To dat nice big chunka land down da bayou,
Santa pally, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa buddy, fill my stocking with N’Awlins Saints tix, for kicks.
Throw me down dere on the first line,
Santa buddy, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Come and trim my Christmas tree,
With some nice decorations bought at Adlers you see,
I really do believe in you,
Now let’s see if you believe in me

Santa poppy, forgot to mention one little thing, cha-ching,
No, I don’t mean as a loan.
Santa buddy, so hurry down the chimney tonight,
Hurry down the chimney tonight,
Oh, hurry down the chimney tonight.

Posted in New Orleans Life, New Orleans Music.

Tagged with , , , , , .




© 2009-2018 Richard Bienvenu All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Affiliate Disclaimer