While some folks around the country seek to destroy and tear down because they don’t get their way, I thought it would be good to see what others do here in New Orleans to celebrate life. And how to really send a soul off to glory.
New Orleans Jazz Funeral For Jaunita Brooks – Sending a Soul Off In Style
Juanita Brooks, a jazz and gospel singer was perhaps best known for her stint in the extremely popular stage production, “One Mo’ Time.” “I consider her one of the greatest singers to have ever come out of New Orleans,” says bandleader/pianist Lars Edegran
And if you think a jazz funeral is something that happens every once in a while it happens in New Orleans almost every day. It crosses class, race and culture.
What we need is more celebration and less tearing down. That’s the kind of life New Orleans has to offer.
So you know Miley Cyrus ain’t got nothing on Big Freedia, the inventor and queen of the twerk. She recently went all the way from New Orleans to New York city to set a Guinness world record for the number of folks twerking at one time. OK, so they got about 300 or so. I big giant city like New York with millions of people and they could only manage a little over 300? Oo wee…what’s up wit dat?
Queen of Twerking Big Freedia Sets Guinness Record in New Orleans Central City Fest – Video
Well, New Orleans has got only a coupla hundred thousand people and we managed to dig up 400 folks willing to twerk for 2 minutes to set a new Guinness Twerking World Record. Really. They had a guy from Guinness supervising the whole thing being very vigilant, disqualifying people if they stopped mid-twerk.
This video was shot last weekend at the new New Orleans Central City Fest, a celebration that only started only a coupla years ago. And of course, we like our festivals and this has become the new big thing. In new Orleans if you build a festival… they will come.
So here we got out own inimitable Big Freedia doing only what she knows how to do best. Keep an eye on dat thing. It’ll burn your eyes out.
OK, well you know New Orleans is famous for our food and music and weird funky customs and our history and all of that. But did you know we are also famous for dancing? Yep. No kidding. And here we got a compilation of some of the city’s best… and not so great dancers.
Crazy Funky Dancing in New Orleans – Funny Video Compilation
Here ya go, our dancers going to it wild and free. Ain’t nobody holding them back, moved by the music, moved by the moment, moved by living itself, moved by the spirits that move in the river, the land, the soil, the wind, they just lettin’ it rip. Poetry in motion. Wild and free.
I’ve never heard of police horse brutality but this funny video shows that even our Bourbon Street horses in New Orleans know how to put revelers in their place.
New Orleans Police Horse Takes No Guff From Bourbon Street Revelers – Video
The horse pushes people with its nose and actually pushes some of the ladies off balance as they pass by. Kinda makes you wonder if he is doing it to protect himself… or could it be possible that he’s just having some fun? I don’t know, but it looks like he’s getting a kick out of it.
Anyway, I’ve been around horses a lot and have never seen one of them do these so randomly and consistently. And he still allows folks to pet him without any complaint.
OK, here ya go, some real, raw New Orleans Dixieland right there on the street in the Quarter. Excellent musicians right there for free on Royal Street
Real Raw Dixieland on Royal Street in New Orleans French Quarter
Some folks might say this is hot jazz, but really what’s the difference? Armstrong sometimes played what some folks would call hot jazz. This sounds like pure dixieland to me. I mean, really, isn’t that where ALL jazz comes from?
Get a load of the kid dancing half way through the video, movin’ and groovin’. And when that guy starts playing the clarinet real low like it reminds me of those real early Disney cartoons in the 1930s with all those animal characters bouncing.
I got goose bumps watching this, I mean these guys are that good. And it’s the groove they create, that whole otherness that happens sometimes with great musicians coming together to do great art.
And I was thinking, here we got a recording probably done with a cell phone. It’s amazing the quality of the sound. No studio with multiple microphones, just a tiny little hole in a cell phone. The whole band playing together like they used to record in the old days. That’s what made the music so hot and immediate. I don’t think you can really create that in a studio.
Marcelle Bienvenu is from St. Martinville, Louisiana. It is considered the heart of the Cajun Country. It’s also the heart of Cajun Cooking, and the true heart of Cajun Cooking is Marcelle. For 30 years she written about Louisiana foodways and provided us with recipes steeped in the traditions of our ancestors while recognizing modern tastes and conveniences.
New Orleans Favorite Food Writer and Chef Celebrates 30 Years Writing Cooking Creole Column for the Times Picayune
Marcelle Bienvenu food writer for the Times Picayune in New Orleans for 30 years here does cooking demonstration in Covington.
My father’s family is from St. Martinville and when I was a kid we would go there often to see his mom (my grandmother) and visit with the rest of the family. I loved those times, because as far was we were concerned going to St. Martinville was a good vacation and it was one that was to us out in the country. Marcelle is a cousin of ours and in St. Martinville the Bienvenu name is as common as Smith.
I first heard about Marcelle when I was living out in Washington State and got the book Who’s Your Mama, Are You Catholic and Can You Make A Roux? Filled with great recipes and personal family stories it was a combination cookbook and memoir. What was neat for me was that she talked about cousins in her stories that Iactually knew.
She got the job writing for the TP after her restaurant closed in Lafayette because of the oil bust in 1984. Ella Brennan of the famous local restaurant family, you know, the one that runs Commander’s Palace among others, said that she should pitch the TP with the idea of becoming their food writer. She was hired immediately and moved to New Orleans.
Allow me to reminisce. The Louisiana World Exposition was being held in New Orleans in 1984. I had young hair back then. Not a single gray strand could be found in my straight black tresses. I was living in St. Martinville in a small rental house near my parents and I so wanted to return to the Crescent City.
In a couple of weeks, I found an apartment on Coliseum Street and got a second job at what is now Riley Foods company on Magazine Street to supplement my income. My father was still alive and was excited that I was returning to the world of newspaper journalism. (My grandfather established the first weekly newspaper, the Weekly Messenger, now the Teche News, in St. Martinville in 1886. My father, then my brother, both served as editors.)
I’ve enjoyed reading her column over the years and sometimes try my hand at her recipes. Cajun and Creole food is rarely ever complicated and the flavors, well, people flock here from around the world to partake of our wonderful food.
So congrats to you, Marcelle, for providing us with your talent as a writer and cook, and sharing with us your stories and glimpses into your family. May you continue to be a popular fixture Thursday mornings for us New Orleanians who like to read your columns over a nice cup of coffee and chicory.
New Orleans has lots of bars. I mean we got slews of bars, tons of bars. Some would say we got a plethora of bars.
OK, all that is owing to what? Well, we like to party, we like to celebrate, we like to take it easy, we like to be with friends. We are into it. I mean who needs a bar when you got a front porch? Well, some bars have front porches – so there ya go.
The Five Oldest Bars in New Orleans
They got your bars in the French Quarter, we all know that. Lafitte’s Blacksmith shop is touted to be the oldest bar in the city. It’s in a building that supposedly has been around since the 1700s. Maybe one of the original buildings in the Quarter and one that escaped the two fires that destroyed most of the city in the later period of that century.
But there is one bar they talk about in this video that I, alas, have NEVER heard of. And it’s uptown where I live and that would be Henry’s Bar. And down the street from that is where Lee Oswald used to live. How about that?
We got da bars, babe. Big ones, little ones, quirky ones, elegant ones. Some fa you and some only fa me. Den dey got some for both of us. So open up your jaws and take in da bars.
“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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