Chances are if you have walked down any New Orleans French Quarter street in the last few years you have seen my friend, Ray Hostetter. He might have the phone to his ear or a tool of some kind in hand, but he always has a smile and a “Hey there” for passersby. Now that may have been the extent of our association too, except for one thing (ok, two) I love construction, reconstruction, building, renovating, decorating. Whatever name you put on it, the creative process is fascinating to me. Oh, and the second thing – I’m just nosy.
In my “ratting” around the Quarter, I had seen Ray at times working on a particularly beautiful place on the corner of Dauphine and Orleans. I could see the intensive work being done to the outside, but it was just killing me to know what they were doing to the inside. Come on, I know you know exactly what I’m talking about. I saw the nose smudges on the windows. (Oops, sorry. I guess those were mine.) Lo and behold, on this particular day a couple of years ago the door was wide open, so um, what to do, what to do? Exactly, I went in.
Ray grew up in the construction business and was working in California until a series of events changed life as he knew it. Work got scarce in big CA, Katrina hit New Orleans, a family member living in New Orleans said “Bring the wife and new baby over and work here”. After doing a couple of flood houses in mid city and a 20 unit apartment complex Ray was introduced to the owner of the Orleans Avenue project, who we will call Mr. C. It is interesting how one thing leads to another. Mr. C. had rented a Bourbon Street balcony one Mardi Gras from Ray’s relative years ago and they became friends.
While into the Orleans Avenue project, Mr. C. decided to acquire the property at 435 Bourbon and turn it from a t-shirt shop into a bar. (Incidentally, this was the same place that he had rented all those Mardi Gras’ ago.) The whole bottom floor had to be taken out for the new electrical so while Ray was digging trenches between floor joices he made a discovery, an 1850 bottle of “Dr. J. Hostetter Stomach Bitters”. This concoction of vitamins and herbs and 94% alcohol was sold to the Union army by train car from Pennsylvania during the first prohibition. Cool, huh? But it gets better. Did you notice that Dr. J and Ray share the same last name? After doing a little research Ray found he and Dr. J were actually related. That was when it all made sense for Ray, “I am in the right place doing what I am supposed to be doing.”
The Orleans Avenue project had discoveries of its’ own. The first came when removing walls, Ray came upon the initials A.H. (another relative??) carved in a board with the date 1901. Attached was a 1901 silver coin which today is worth $6,000.00. These old New Orleans French Quarter buildings are treasure troves and that is exactly what Ray thought when he uncovered the next surprise. Extensive work was being done on the previously lathe and plastered walls. Mr. C wanted the old brick walls exposed, cleaned and repointed. In the process it was noticed that there was a definite brick archway visible just above floor level in the downstairs bedroom.
At this point, you know a vision of Lafitte’s treasure was dancing in Ray’s head. The old wood plank floors were pulled out and what looked like a tunnel opening was uncovered several feet under the existing floor. Alas, the only thing inside was years upon years of mud and muck, no treasure. But could it have been a bootleggers’ tunnel from Orleans Avenue to St. Peter and Dauphine, where for years the Tunnel Bar sat on the corner? Research seems to lean more toward what was called a “cabinét”, something like a root cellar and not a tunnel at all. Rather than cover up this historic piece of architecture, lightning and special glass flooring was installed to show it off. It is breathtakingly beautiful, just like the rest of the New Orleans three story structure and “slave quarters” included in this compound.
Restoring this exquisite showplace to the splendor it deserves was a demanding, detailed project three years in the making and is today a phenomenal piece of workmanship. A credit to a man who truly loves what he does. The mastery of his craft is so obvious in even the smallest detail. Bo might know sports, but Ray definitely knows renovation. You rock Ray!
By Sharon Denise Talbot
*Stay tuned for more New Orleans Renovation Reports with Ray.
The weather is perfect for a courtyard concert! The Historic New Orleans Collection begins their fall concert series. Check out the info below. See you in NOLA.
Sharon Denise Talbot
Jason Marsalis to headline October 15 concert
Southern Eagle providing Avia wine and Heiner Brau beer
WHO: The Historic New Orleans Collection
WHAT: Concerts in the Courtyard featuring Jason Marsalis
With Avia Wine and Heiner Brau beer provided by Southern Eagle
WHEN: October 15, 2010
6:00–8:00 p.m.; rain or shine
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. In the event of rain, concert will be moved indoors.
WHERE: The Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal Street, in the French Quarter
HOW: Admission is $10 at the door, free for THNOC members.
Admission includes three complimentary beverages. Guests must be 21 or older to enter.
*Memberships begin at $35 per household and are valid for one year.
WHY: The Historic New Orleans Collection’s fall concert series continues on Friday, October 15, with a performance by Jason Marsalis and beverages from Southern Eagle distributor, including Avia Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay and Heiner Brau beer.
Jason Marsalis, the youngest son of pianist and music educator Ellis Marsalis, Jr., is well known for his prodigal drumming. As a drummer, Marsalis collaborates frequently with his father and his brothers Delfeayo and Branford. When he is not filling the drum chairs in these groups, Marsalis performs as a vibraphonist with his own quartet and with musicians such as Shannon Powell, Irvin Mayfield and others.
Southern Eagle is a beverage-based wholesaler and distributor of Anheuser Busch products and its alliance brands throughout southeastern Louisiana. Avia wines come from Slovenia, just across the Italian border, where they benefit from the Mediterranean climate and the warm breezes of the Adriatic Sea. Heiner Brau is a Covington-based microbrewery owned by German brewmaster Henryk Orlik.
Admission to the concert—$10 for the public, free for members of The Collection—includes three complimentary cocktails. Household memberships begin at $35 per household and are valid for one year. Guests must be 21 or over. For more information, call (504) 523-4662 or visit www.hnoc.org.
Herbal Incense is something that has become more common in the drug culture. This is a product that is dangerous and should be avoided. This article discusses the dangers. There are resources at the bottom of the article.
There are many people who are now trying a legal for of pot called Herbal Incense that has severe effects. Herbal Incense is simply synthetic cannabis is a psychoactive herbal and chemical product which, when consumed mimics the effects of cannabis. Herbal Incense is best known by the brand names K2 and Spice, both of which have largely become genericized trademarks used to refer to any synthetic cannabis product. (It is also for this reason that synthetic cannabis is often referred to as spice product, due to the latter.)
When synthetic cannabis blends first went on sale in the early 2000s it was thought that they achieved an effect through a mixture of legal herbs. Laboratory analysis in 2008 showed this was not the case and that they in fact contained synthetic cannabinoids which act on the body in a similar way to cannabinoids naturally found in cannabis, such as THC. A large and complex variety of synthetic cannabinoids, most often cannabicyclohexanol, JWH-018, JWH-073, or HU-210, are used in an attempt to avoid the laws which make cannabis illegal, making synthetic cannabis a designer drug. It has been sold under various brand names, online, in head shops and at some gas stations.
It is often marketed as “herbal incense”, however some brands market their products as “herbal smoking blends”.
In either case the products are usually smoked by users. Although synthetic cannabis does not produce positive results in drug tests for cannabis, it is possible to detect its metabolites in human urine. The synthetic cannabinoids contained in synthetic cannabis products have been made illegal in many European countries. On 24 November 2010, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency announced it would make five synthetic cannabinoids Schedule I drugs within a month using emergency powers. Prior to the announcement, several US states had already made them illegal under state law. As of March 1, 2011, five cannabinoids, JWH-018, JWH-073, CP-47,497, JWH-200, and cannabicyclohexanol are now illegal in the US.
I decided to give y’all and update on the SuperNova and let ya hear my thoughts on Nola Gold Herbal Incense. I’m from the city of the World Champs Nola Gold. It’s time I hit that b*t@h! I made a little commercial too, for fun. Enjoy the show!
Duration : 0:8:3
NOLA Gold Herbal Incense
I so hope it doesn’t!
I put up with Katrina, then we had to sit through Rita (family lives in Houston), and now … GUSTAV?!
And I guess this applies to UNO and Xavier students, too.
I would imagine they’ll charter buses and move those without a place to go to temporary shelters.
The song is from the first Down’s album -Nola (1995). I made the video with some cool Down’s photos. Enjoy!
Woe to me, battered man
Raise the monolith
Deities my spirit rise
Like days the world forgets – down the
Drain – laid to lame
A fool-ass hearty bliss
Celebrate before my death
Your promised land divide,
That’s why the world lies.
I give up.
That’s enough. I give up.
I’m underneath my life.
Dog in heat, beware the street
Its there you’ll meet your end
Poverty is not for me,
But I’ll take her back again
To prove a point,
To laugh it off, to cross you off my path,
Grip the night, pull the cord,
A much inspired wrath.
Your promised land divide,
That’s where the world lies.
I give up.
That’s enough. I give up.
I’m underneath my life.
Carry me back from the war
And from the lord.
Can we live it from above…
Down’s Official website:
Down’s Official Myspace:
Duration : 0:4:47
Justin & Chris on Bourbon St in New Orleans.
Duration : 0:2:59
Reporter Tim Estiloz visited New Orleans in this 1997 story about a group of homeless youth – dubbed by some in the city as “Gutterpunks”. Estiloz spent several days with this group of disaffected and indigent young people – many of whom willingly chose to live on the hard – sometimes dangerous, streets of “Pre-Katrina” New Orleans.
Most of these kids lived “day to day” begging for food and money. Some lived in deplorable conditions near the popular French Quarter… unimaginable in the years before Katrina. Estiloz gained the trust of many of these kids… who allowed Estiloz to follow them, interview them and show their difficult life on the streets – an existence that some city administrators and business people in New Orleans frown upon. This is a uniquely candid and sad window into a homeless youth underclass in New Orleans that existed well before Katrina… and also still exists today.
This story was written and produced by Tim Estiloz – who now reports on entertainment for CN8 – The Comcast Network.
See more of Tim’s videos on You Tube on his channel “FilmFanTV”… and be sure to subscribe.
Be sure to visit Tim’s website: www.TimEstiloz.com
Duration : 0:7:44
New Orleans Moments Of Mystery
When you live in New Orleans, especially the New Orleans French Quarter, you have to be prepared for the unique and unusual. One of my favorite things about New Orleans is its uniqueness. There is always something going on, constantly changing craziness, but yet somehow in all the craziness, the same. I love sitting at a favorite sidewalk table at a favorite dining spot with my favorite dinner companion. I have the same evening view of Decatur Street but the dash of different is the constantly changing scene. Taxis. cars, trucks, motorcycles, horse and buggies, delivery vans and bicycles make up the constant flow of traffic. The flow of people is just as eclectic. I might and usually do see people I know and definitely some I don’t and still some I don’t care to know. The cool part is meeting new, interesting people that I want to know. Usually it is because they stop to ask about what is in my plate, or maybe they want directions or even on ocassion because their dog wants to know what is in my plate.
Even though I have seen some very interesting and definitely different sights sitting on that same corner, I have never before left my table and chased one of those sights down to find out who and what they were. That is until last night. I told y’all I am nosey, but I don’t think many of you would have let this one walk by without asking the obvious questions: ‘Who are you?” and “What are you doing?”.
Let me be the first to introduce you to the “Mystery Monger”.
The Mystery Monger walks around the New Orleans French Quarter in the early or sometimes late evenings offering up “Moments of Mystery”.
For two American dollars you can have your own personal “Moment of Mystery” and where better than the historic Vieux Carre’ that is shrouded in the same.
In a cigarette box tray hanging around the Mystery Monger’s neck are assorted, multicolored plastic Mystery (aka Easter) Eggs. Once you have handed over the price of your “mystery” you get to pick an egg, any egg. I was told each egg holds something different. Since I only sprung for one, I can only pass on what I was told.
Next time you are hanging out in NOLA and spy this mysterious creature, add a little mystery to your evening and purchase your very own Moment of Mystery from the Mystery Monger. For you nosey people like me, who are hanging on the edge of your seat dying to know what was in my egg, I will share:
You gotta love this place! Only in New Orleans!
By Sharon Denise Talbot
Editor of Who Dat Do Dat
People To See, Places To Go, Things To Do In New Orleans Louisiana
Pre-Katrina, pre-2000s New Orleans culture comes to life in this parody of the classic “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Sadly, practically everything in this video is gone or changed drastically. Most of the businesses, if I’m not mistaken, had disappeared or were sold before my family even moved out of Louisiana in 2000.
Sorry for the mediocre audio/video quality, but the tape is well past its prime as its last recorded program—this sketch—was recorded no later than December 1995 or ’96.
The only thing missing from this is the few opening words—”On the first day of Christmas, my mawmaw gave to me a crawfish they caught…”—but I think the video makes up for it with a nice little surprise at the end.
Duration : 0:3:40