Thought for the Day

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“You may not agree with a woman, but to criticize her appearance — as opposed to her ideas or actions — isn’t doing anyone any favors, least of all you. Insulting a woman’s looks when they have nothing to do with the issue at hand implies a lack of comprehension on your part, an inability to engage in high-level thinking. You may think she’s ugly, but everyone else thinks you’re an idiot.”
~ Hillary Clinton

(H/T to  Jarrod Broussard on FaceBook.)

Those Who Came Before Us

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Marilyn Monroe, Isak Dinesen, Carson McCullers

I came across this photo of three women I admire, all together, and had to share it with you. Isn’t it fabulous? “On this day in 1959, Carson McCullers hosted a small luncheon party in order that Baroness Karen Blixen-Finecke (Isak Dinesen) could meet Marilyn Monroe.” Read more here.

“Where the storyteller is loyal, eternally and unswervingly loyal to the story, there, in the end, silence will speak. Where the story has been betrayed, silence is but emptiness. But we, the faithful, when we have spoken our last word, will hear the voice of silence.” ~Isak Dinesen

Angela: “A Jewel in New Orleans”

Photo by Chad Bower / Eyewitness News

Photo by Chad Bower / Eyewitness News

I cannot lie. I teared up Thursday evening during the “Good-bye” broadcast of Angela Hill’s last day on WWL TV. When I moved to New Orleans in 1978, Angela (and Garland Robinette) were THE faces of New Orleans for me. I was so excited to be beginning a new life in such an exciting and vibrant city – everything was brand new and watching the evening news on WWL was a big part of learning about life in my new city. It was all so big, so exciting, so different from anything I’d previously experienced.

Angela as I remember her in the late '70's. Photo via the Broadcast Arts Museum of Greater New Orleans website.

Angela as I remember her in the late ’70’s. Photo via the Broadcast Arts Museum of Greater New Orleans website.

Over the years I came to respect Angela more and more not only for her professional news delivery and reporting skills but also for the  genuine and personable way she had of delivering the news to us. I admired her work with the local SPCA and her advocacy for abused and neglected animals. She was a champion for Good Will Industries and often wore clothing she bought there on air which I admired most of all. How many celebs take their activism to that level? Not many.

From the WWL website:

Yet Angela’s contributions to her community also extend way beyond the television cameras. Her profound love of animals and people alike has inspired her to give countless hours to diverse organizations ranging from the LASPCA to the United Way. Angela was named the first-ever “Animal Ambassador” by the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine for her tireless work promoting the issues of animal welfare. For years, she has led the diabetes’ “Walk for the Cure,” and has also chaired dozens of fundraisers. While year after year, she proudly wears her “fashion bargains” on the anchor desk as part of her beloved “Goodwill Week” to support Goodwill Industries.

So many of her “special” reports coincided with my own interests and beliefs that I felt a kinship with her and I daresay many others felt the same.

Angela has been someone I’ve looked up to for many years as a strong, compassionate woman of the people and an excellent ambassador for New Orleans. A few years ago she was in the same jury pool as I and I took the opportunity to just watch her with her fellow prospective jurors. She was gracious and so down-to-earth, smiling and talking with everyone who approached her – not at all playing the diva part we see so often with celebrities. I regret not speaking with her myself but I was reluctant to impose when there were so many others seeking her attention.

While I will miss seeing her every evening, as I have for 34 years, I’m happy to know she will still be doing special reports from time to time. So I guess we’re not really losing her and seeing her less often will make the times we do see her so much sweeter.

Congratulations on this new phase in your life, Angela. New Orleans will be waiting in anticipation of what you’ll show us next!

(The title is paraphrased from a comment by Dennis Woltering during the Goodbye broadcast.)

Guest Blogger: Theo Eliezer of Momma Tried Magazine

MOMMA TRIED_LaBastilleFor the past year my partner Micah and I have been working on creating a new conceptual magazine called Momma Tried. Both long term New Orleanians (he was born in Opelousas LA, I moved here in 1998), our vision is to bring together a print-only publication that is equal parts literary journal, art magazine, and non-heteronormative nudie mag; a new platform to showcase the talents and perspective of our community.

From the very beginning of this project, we’ve been inspired by the idea that print is “dead,” and chose to fully embrace the romance of this allegedly lost medium as a part of our concept. By only making it available as a tangible publication printed in editions of 1000 and distributing it internationally, we’re hoping to create a magazine that is an archive of a moment in time and feels more permanent and precious than what can be achieved with pages displayed on the internet. We’re endeavoring to create something that is a nod to the publications that influenced us most when we were growing up, including the role of iconic and often misogynistic retro advertising. As an ad-free publication, Momma Tried gives us the opportunity to explore the tropes, manipulations, and possibilities of print advertisements, so through an aspect of the magazine that we call “disruptive content,” we’re partnering with artists to create original and appropriation based satirical adverts that deconstruct the nature of advertising, while simultaneously embodying the essential visual role of magazine ads.

Micah and I started the magazine while we were working on a large multi-disciplinary art installation in New Orleans last year, and from that experience of collaborating with many local and national artists, we realized that a cornerstone of our objective for Momma Tried was to create a new platform to share the talent of local artists and writers with the world. Since then, this dream has manifested into a collaborative work that is nearly complete. The first issue of Momma Tried will be approximately 150 pages long, full color, perfect bound, and contains the work of dozens of contributors from New Orleans, across the U.S, and abroad, as well as our core team of local collaborators which we have worked closely with to create our conceptual nude photo editorials.

The aspect of sexuality in Momma Tried is something we feel strongly about as an opportunity to create a new, more diverse and inclusive presentation of bodies and identity. We feel that art and sexuality go hand in hand as forms of expression and discovery, and that being interested in depictions of nudity or sexuality shouldn’t be an embarrassment, or kept away from other expressions of creativity and thought. We believe that sex and art are intrinsic to the human experience, and it is our hope that by pairing them in a way that is inclusive of people regardless of orientation or gender, we will be creating common ground for a diverse array of people to share, regardless of perceived differences. Idealistically, we’re attempting to create an artistic platform that allows artists, writers, and readers of the magazine to be embracing of their sexuality as well as intellect, which however small of a gesture it might be, is a step towards being more comfortable and honest with ourselves and each other.

After a year of working on this very rewarding and ambitious labor of love, we’re almost ready to send it to print! We’ve recently launched a Kickstarter campaign where people can pre-order the first issue and support us in our efforts to publish what we believe is a valuable addition to our local creative culture.

Please join us on facebook, tumblr, and twitter to learn more and keep up to date on our progress!

www.mommatriedmagazine.com

PSA for NOLA Women: Free Wellness Program

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“This Tuesday’s Women’s Wellness Program session is our monthly cooking class, held down the street at Algiers United Methodist Church on Opelousas. All women are welcome! This month we’re focusing on healthy snacks.” ~Via Common Ground’s FaceBook Page

“Mardi Gras morning when the sun comes up, I drink fire water from a silver cup”

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Last night began six days of non-stop parading leading up to Fat Tuesday, the happiest and most fun-filled day in the New Orleans calendar. We at NOLAFemmes want to wish all of you a wonderful and safe Mardi Gras. We’ll see ya on the other side.
Photo courtesy of the very talented Dawn Carl.

Bourdain: How To Appreciate New Orleans

bourdain-layover-final-season“There is no other place on earth even remotely like New Orleans. Don’t even try to compare it to anywhere else.” ~Anthony Bourdain

New Orleans is a huge tourist destination so it’s often featured in various travel media. Trouble is, usually it’s all about the French Quarter and not so much about all the other areas of the city. Not so on the latest episode of The Layover, Anthony Bourdain’s newest travel-foodie-culture show on The Travel Channel. The French Quarter is visited but so are Bywater, Uptown, Bucktown, Gretna and other areas. The next time I’m feeling the NOLA Blues like when another politician is indicted, or when it’s another swimming-in-the-humidity hot-ass summer day or by one more incident of an innocent bystander shot in the street, I’m gonna whip out this show on my DVR to remind myself why I stay and why I love it.

I confess to being a Bourdain fan who’s watched almost every episode of No Reservations but I also will confess to snarky skepticism when he was involved with writing a couple of Treme episodes. What’s a celeb from New York know about New Orleans? I kinda take it back. This in-depth episode proves he doesn’t just skim the surface of NOLA culture and cuisine; he digs deep and reveals the real New Orleans. The whole production was beautiful and I especially loved the clips of locals giving tourist advice and opining on New Orleans colloquialisms and eccentricities. In between and during segments vignettes of street life, neighborhoods, parks and architecture are featured in all their splendor both shiny and shabby.

So here are a few tantalizing tidbits from the show which should make you run to the website to watch this episode. I don’t want to totally give it away.
“New Orleans. The French Quarter. Yeah, yeah, yeah and go right ahead – it’s fun. But the outer neighborhoods of New Orleans are where you should be going.” ~Anthony Bourdain

Bourdain prowls the city with several locals including Davis Rogan, Lolis Eric Elie, John Besh, Donald Link and his favored cabbie, Elliot Flood. (Next time also seek ye out a woman to hang with, Tony!) Davis Rogan talked about being a native, life here, music and, of course, food. I want to meet this guy one day – he was a kick. bourdain and rogan

Favorite quote:

“Then I went away to college, I went to Portland, Oregon and I discovered how terribly white the rest of the world is and that The Grateful Dead is an organized f***ing religion and I just ran screaming for my Professor Longhair and my Meters records and never looked back.” ~Davis Rogan
Yeah, you right.

I loved, loved, loved the rapport between Bourdain and Chef Besh, who I think is so ultra cool, at Pho Tau Bay (yay, Wank!) and I love hearing him talk about NOLA. Favorite quote:

“Hurricane Katrina hit and it changed everything for me. Prior to the storm, August was about winning awards, having my name in the newspaper and, in a way it was really just all about me. Just cooking for my ego. Then after the storm it became a quest to rebuild, make a difference, do good where we can….” ~John Besh

“Be a traveler, not a tourist. Drink heavily with strangers” ~Anthony Bourdain

Down the hatch. Drinks and bars were heavily featured and all looked amazing. bourdain in kingpin

A list of bars visited or mentioned:

Sazerac Bar
French 75 Bar
New Orleans Originial Daquiri’s
R Bar
The Kingpin
Le Bon Temps Roule
Three Muses Jazz Club
Snake and Jakes

“The main thing is, we drink to have a good time. Drinking is not the end. Life is supposed to be fun. You don’t have to turn off your senses in order to suddenly have fun.” ~ Lolis Eric Elie

Food, food and more food. I always marvel at how much food Bourdain appears to eat on his shows. Where does he put it?bourdain-layover_210_new-orleans_ss_007_596x334

A list of restaurants visited or mentioned:

The Crab Trap
Cochon
Cochon Butcher
Dookey Chase
Borgne
Pho Tau Bay
Atchafalaya
Satsuma Cafe
R & O’S
Big Fisherman’s Seafood
Taceaux Loceaux

Music. Bourdain loves Rebirth Brass Band. Music venues visited or mentioned:

The Maple Leaf
Tipitina’s
One Eyed Jack’s
Rock n Bowl

All in all a very satisfying whirlwind of a visit that was sweet, sassy and satisfying. Thanks for getting it right, Anthony, and come again.

“New Orleans is a glorious mutation.” ~Anthony Bourdain

All photos via The Travel Channel.

PS – Via a Taceaux Loceaux tweet, here is a petition to change the food truck laws in  New Orleans.