Posts tagged "Louisiana"

Louisiana aka L.A. South

USA Today Article Versatile Louisiana becomes ‘L.A. South’ for movie shoots

http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2010-08-03-louisianafilm03_CV_N.htm

By Claudia Puig, USA TODAY

[QUOTE]

Hollywood is eternally searching for the filmmaking Shangri-La. In the 1990s, filmmakers often traveled to Canada. But that eventually became less fashionable, and these days the industry is migrating in a different direction — to Louisiana. “L.A. South” has become the go-to spot for shooting movies.

Even before the economic recession hit Hollywood, the state of Louisiana had been quietly gaining stature as the place to make quality movies and stretch dollars.

“We have the largest number of productions outside of Los Angeles and New York City,” says Chris Stelly, director of film for Louisiana Entertainment, a division of the state office of economic development.

“Like Vancouver used to be ‘Hollywood North,’ Louisiana’s the hot spot now,” says Patrick Lussier, director of Drive Angry 3D, a supernatural road movie starring Nicolas Cage and Amber Heard, opening in February.

The state subbed for Texas, Colorado and New Mexico in Drive Angry, Lussier says.

The consummate versatile character actor, Louisiana has also played Utah, Washington, D.C., and London. “The film industry wants to find places it can reinvent and make look like anything it needs,” Lussier says. “There’s a lot of opportunity do that in Louisiana.”

Movies shooting in Louisiana range from mega-budget blockbusters to quirky indies. Films shot this year include testosterone-fueled action-adventure The Expendables, which opens Aug. 13, and the comic book-inspired The Green Lantern, due in 2011. The low-budget horror film The Last Exorcism opens Aug. 27, and the big-screen version of the 1960s TV show The Big Valley arrives next year.

And the films cross all sectors, from Oscar bait to tween phenomena. The much-nominated The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was shot in New Orleans in 2008, and Breaking Dawn, the fourth installment in the hugely successful Twilight series, films this year in Baton Rouge.

In 2009, 60 films and TV shows shot in Louisiana. By mid-2010, 85 productions have already signed on, Stelly says: “We’re well on our way to having a record-breaking year.”

New Orleans as Anytown, USA

The boom is most visible around New Orleans. In 2009, 22 movies and TV shows filmed there. Records have already been broken in 2010; by July, 24 projects had shot there.

“We’re way ahead of the curve in the New Orleans region,” says Katie Gunnell, interim director of the city’s Office of Film and Television. “The city has seen an incredible bump in applications for 2011 as well.”

Across the state, work is consistent and year-round, despite hurricane season and blazing summer temperatures. “We’ve maintained 20 to 25 productions at any given time during the year,” Stelly says. “We’ve doubled for New York City, Los Angeles, the Northwest, basically Anytown, USA.”

Those who have shot there point to several factors contributing to the region’s appeal: diversity of scenery, financial incentives and proficient crews.

“You can get an 1800s look, you can get a Parisian look,” says Todd Lewis, producer of The Chaperone. “You can get suburbs, you can get the country. It’s got a little bit of everything.” His movie, out next year, is one of several Louisiana-based films funded by World Wrestling Entertainment and featuring wrestling stars, in this case Paul “Triple H” Levesque.

Director Rod Lurie was looking to duplicate rural Mississippi in Straw Dogs, a remake of the 1971 classic coming out next year. He did so in and around Shreveport. “They really do have it all there,” he says. “You can go anywhere from swamps to beautiful rivers to cities to football stadiums. We were able to shoot the entire film within a 10-mile radius.”

Jonah Hex, the supernatural action thriller in theaters earlier this summer, used New Orleans to double for the Old West.

Though producer Andrew Lazar initially had reservations about shooting a Western in Louisiana, his concerns disappeared when he considered the obvious. “The French Quarter hasn’t changed much over the years, so you don’t need a lot of set dressing,” Lazar says. “We just put some dirt on the road and we were back in the 1870s.”

Says Lussier: “New Orleans has so many looks. You can get a European look, and it also has an unmistakable feeling of the American frontier. It’s such an amazing city unto itself. Why not take advantage of it?”

Filmmakers say it’s hard to go wrong with scenery like this.

“Wherever you point the camera, you have a beautiful and picturesque set design,” says Daniel Stamm, director of The Last Exorcism. “And the atmosphere does something for the actors. It’s so old world. We shot at a plantation, and the smell and the sounds of the floorboards did something to the atmosphere that’s tangible, that you wouldn’t get in L.A. on a soundstage.”

Stamm’s horror movie was enhanced by the surprise appearance of a toothy visitor.

“We were shooting in the Ninth Ward (an area in New Orleans hard-hit by Katrina), and you could still see the waterline in this old plantation,” Stamm says. “One day, we couldn’t shoot for three hours because an alligator had crawled on set. That does something to the team, something you can’t fake.”

Tax incentives best in USA

The hauntingly creative vibe may be palpable, but the bottom line is equally alluring.

The state offers the most competitive economic and tax incentives of any in the country. A system of financial perks was enacted after Hurricane Katrina destroyed $81 billion in property and killed 1,836 people in 2005.

“We approached it like a business, and it keeps (filmmakers) coming back, based on our reliability and stability,” Stelly says. “For every dollar you spend in the state, we’ll give you 30% back (in rebates). And we give you an additional 5% for hiring Louisiana residents on productions.”

Tax incentives can be sold as credits or used to offset personal or corporate income tax, he says.

“As things get more expensive, you have to go wherever you get the budget relief,” Lussier notes. “You can no longer use Mulholland Drive for your backwoods road movie.”

There is also the sense among filmmakers that they are helping an area that sorely needs a hand in bouncing back from one of the worst natural disasters in history.

“Louisiana has been through so much, and I’m glad to be able to make a film there,” says Nicole Kidman, who is shooting the 2011 film Trespass in Shreveport this summer with Nicolas Cage.

“The economy desperately needs the film business,” Lurie says. “And it’s fantastic watching people get employed. We hired a thousand people to be extras and put a couple of hundred bucks in their pockets, and that’s helpful to the economy. The film commission is among the most proactive I’ve ever seen.”

Between that obliging spirit and the financial incentives, Lurie says, “It doesn’t pay to make movies in Los Angeles anymore. You can save too much money by going out of town.”

Crews with skill, enthusiasm

Shooting movies outside Hollywood is certainly not new. But the more common scenario is to shoot segments in distant cities and use Hollywood studios as a base. As more films are shot in Louisiana, the ancillary businesses and infrastructure associated with the industry — post-production centers and soundstages — are also increasingly cropping up.

Every Hollywood-based filmmaker interviewed spoke glowingly of the local production personnel and regional actors.

“Because of all that’s being shot there, local crews get better and better,” says Ken Zunder, cinematographer for The Chaperone. “You get a lot of crews that are very savvy here. It’s not like going to, say, Detroit.”

The combination of skill and energy is something particularly appreciated by those coming from Hollywood.

“In L.A., everyone is exhausted by the film business, with all the noise and shooting at night,” Stamm says. “Down there, everyone is not jaded. There is still an enthusiasm about the whole thing.”

So much enthusiasm, in fact, that some Los Angeles residents have moved south with the jobs.

Producer Joshua Throne made several films in the state, the latest being The Expendables. He has homes in both Louisiana and Los Angeles. Throne’s next project is The Technician, co-starring Kevin Bacon and Kurt Russell, which will shoot in Louisiana in January.

“There’s such a zest for life here,” he says. “There’s lots of good food, good people, wonderful history, and it still has the Southern charm.”

Lewis and his wife also have made the move to New Orleans. “I love L.A., I really do,” he says. “And I’m sorry that productions are running away from L.A., but this is a really easy and cost-efficient place to make movies.”

Ed Borasch Jr., a property master, moved from Southern California. “I have to go where the work is,” he says. “It’s just so much nicer and quieter here, and the traffic’s not as crazy, and the people are super friendly. You feel like you’re welcomed here. I lived in Los Angeles for 15 years, and that was a great run for me, but the work dried up, and now my time is here.” Meanwhile, he’s gotten married, had a baby and laid down roots.

‘A sexy city’

Some stars have bought homes in New Orleans in recent years, including Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock and Cage, who has shot several movies there.

Actress Annabeth Gish shot two films in New Orleans this summer. The first was The Fields, co-starring Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and the second was The Chaperone.

“So much is happening in New Orleans,” says Gish, who’s married to stunt coordinator Wade Allen. “It’s been a long time since I or my husband shot in Los Angeles. You’d think with Arnold (Schwarzenegger) as our governor, we’d be bringing movies back to L.A.

“But one of the great things about coming here on location is you feel like you’re paying back the debt the country owes by being here and feeding the economy. And it’s a character in its own right, so saturated with culture and flavor. It’s a sexy city with so much history — a little hot, though.”

Hollywood types are never shy about complaining, but except for occasional remarks about the searing summer heat, no one has a negative thing to say about the southward migration. “The love affair is on,” Lussier says. “When filming starts going to a place, there’s a real excitement. You can feel that, and it can be very productive for both sides.”

Ties between Canada and Hollywood grew frayed as resentment mounted over film crews taking up so much space in cities like Vancouver and Toronto. Will Hollywood and Louisiana maintain a lasting romance?

“It’ll be interesting to see if seven or eight years down the road, people get tired of road closures and the novelty of having movies come to their town,” says Lussier. “For now, it’s great. Hopefully, it will last a while.”

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New Orleans Louisiana Creole Cajun Zydeco Music. Blues & Jazz of Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday NOLA Saints

New Orleans (pronounced /nu???li?nz, nu???l?nz/ locally and often pronounced /nu??r?li?nz/ in most other US dialects French: La Nouvelle-Orléans is a major United States port city and the largest city in Louisiana. New Orleans is the center of the Greater New Orleans metropolitan area, the largest metro area in the state.

New Orleans is located in southeastern Louisiana, straddling the Mississippi River. It is coextensive with Orleans Parish, meaning that the boundaries of the city and the parish are the same. It is bounded by the parishes of St. Tammany (north), St. Bernard (east), Plaquemines (south), and Jefferson (south and west). Lake Pontchartrain, part of which is included in the city limits, lies to the north, and Lake Borgne lies to the east.
The city is named after Philippe II, Duc d’Orléans, Regent of France, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It is well known for its multicultural and multilingual heritage, cuisine, architecture, music (particularly as the birthplace of jazz), and its annual Mardi Gras and other celebrations and festivals. The city is often referred to as the “most unique” city in America

La Nouvelle-Orléans (New Orleans) was founded May 7, 1718, by the French Mississippi Company, under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville on land inhabited by the Chitimacha. It was named for Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, who was Regent of France at the time; his title came from the French city of Orléans. The French colony was ceded to the Spanish Empire in the Treaty of Paris (1763) and remained under Spanish control until 1801, when it reverted to French control. Most of the surviving architecture of the Vieux Carré (French Quarter) dates from this Spanish period. Napoleon sold the territory to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The city grew rapidly with influxes of Americans, French, and Creole French. Major commodity crops of sugar and cotton were cultivated with slave labor on large plantations outside the city.

The Haitian Revolution of 1804 established the second republic in the Western Hemisphere and the first led by blacks. Haitian refugees both white and free people of color (affranchis) arrived in New Orleans, often bringing slaves with them. While Governor Claiborne and other officials wanted to keep out more free black men, French Creoles wanted to increase the French-speaking population. As more refugees were allowed in Louisiana, Haitian émigrés who had gone to Cuba also arrived. Nearly 90 percent of the new immigrants settled in New Orleans. The 1809 migration brought 2,731 whites; 3,102 free persons of African descent; and 3,226 enslaved refugees to the city, doubling its French-speaking population.

During the War of 1812, the British sent a force to conquer the city. The Americans decisively defeated the British troops, led by Sir Edward Pakenham, in the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815.

As a principal port, New Orleans had the major role of any city during the antebellum era in the slave trade. Its port handled huge quantities of goods for export from the interior and import from other countries to be traded up the Mississippi River. The river was filled with steamboats, flatboats, and sailing ships. At the same time, it had the most prosperous community of free persons of color in the South, who were often educated and middle-class property owners.

The population of the city doubled in the 1830s, and by 1840 New Orleans had become the wealthiest and third-most populous city in the nation. It had the largest slave market. Two-thirds of the more than one million slaves brought to the Deep South arrived via the forced migration of the internal slave trade. The money generated by sales of slaves in the Upper South has been estimated at fifteen percent of the value of the staple crop economy. The slaves represented half a billion dollars in property, and an ancillary economy grew up around the trade in slaves – for transportation, housing and clothing, fees, etc., estimated at 13.5 percent of the price per person. All this amounted to tens of billions of dollars during the antebellum period, with New Orleans as a prime beneficiary.

The Union captured New Orleans early in the American Civil War, sparing the city the destruction suffered by many other cities of the American South.

Duration : 0:3:25

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Bourbon Street- Taylor Baggott

A song about being half drunk in the big easy.

Duration : 0:5:8

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If the Iberville housing development is ever razed, do you think they should rebuild Storyville?

Anyone who lives in the Nola area should know about Storyville. if not, look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storyville

There would be tremendous opposition from the existing downtown merchants to building a new "entertainment district" on the site of the Iberville, and particularly from the ones in the French Quarter. That doesn’t mean they want the Iberville to continue as it currently is, but wouldn’t want the direct competition.

Note that the city considered locating the Arena (the basketball dome next to the Superdome) on the site, but it ended up in its current location because construction costs were much less as the Superdome’s air-conditioning system could be co-used by the Arena.

The city also wanted to sell the Iberville to a developer in 1982. The complex would have been renovated and sold as condos. The city would have earned enough from the sale to make a "profit" after paying to relocate the residents. HUD said no because the city would not own the property "free & clear" until 1989 – 50 year bonds were used to build it in 1939. By 1989 the oil industry depression ended the interest in converting the property. There are reports the buildings are no longer salvageable, but I don’t actually know. Certainly they have not had a major renovation in the 60 years since they were built.


Finding a Reputable Dating Agency

Dating agencies are a great way to meet new people, especially when you feel as though you keep running into the same people in the same places. Internet dating has become very popular, but local and national dating agencies still exist to hook people up face to face. While Internet dating can be a lot of fun, dating agencies can also prove very useful. To have a good time and meet quality people, one has to find not just a dating agency, but a reputable dating agency.

If you are in the market for a new agency, ask your friends what dating agencies they have used. Word of mouth is how many dating agencies survive, and when you get the recommendation of a friend or family member, that means a lot more than getting a flyer on your windshield or seeing a commercial while viewing your nightly television. Dating agencies all have something different to offer, so you also need to determine what you want and expect of an agency before you decide on one for you.

When you contact dating agencies, you should interview them as much as they interview you. Ask questions about what clientele they target, and what your expectations should be when you work with them. If you only want to date a specific type of person, be up front about this so that you can take advantage of your exposure through dating agencies. Check out your dating agency, and be sure that they are reputable, even if you have to ask for references.

My Experiences with Dating Agencies: I never could have imagined that dating agencies would bring back romance back into my life. After my wife died two years ago, I plunged wholeheartedly into my medical career. There was no social life for me beyond the white walls of the hospital where I worked as a medical practitioner. I longed for a mate who would understand me and kindle the same kind of spark in me as my beloved wife did.

During one of my lunch breaks, I happened to read an interesting article about dating agencies. Until that point in time, I believed that dating agencies were meant for people with personality flaws, big time introverts, or for people who had ulterior motives like scamming someone out of her money and modesty. However, that article set me thinking positively about trying out a dating agency. Just after I finished my days work, I logged into one of the computers and surfed an online dating side. What I saw made me feel interested, and curious to know more.

I checked through some of the profiles, and to my amazement found some like-minded men who were rather cute and seemed to have honorable intentions. I registered for a dating website and prayed that my personal contact details were kept private and my information was not given to anybody until I gave the consent. My doubts were laid to rest when I saw genuine responses coming from people who were interested in knowing more about me. The dating agency just sent me a brief profile about them and gave me the liberty to pursue or reject them.

The online dating agency stuck to its promise about the confidentiality factor, and passed on to me the information of men who met my picture of an ideal man. I particularly began to forge a steady friendship and relationship with a man from New Orleans who was an electrical engineer. To our amazement, both of us had a lot of common interests and tastes, from television programs to food. We hit it off like long lost friends. We met in person after a month, and the relationship has only grown stronger thanks to the dating agency. Trust me, dating agencies work wonders!

George Wood
http://www.articlesbase.com/dating-articles/finding-a-reputable-dating-agency-53405.html


Susie Sunshine of Hollywood South

New Orleans

As some of you may know, I recently entered into the burgeoning Louisiana film industry.  One of the first people I met on a New Orleans set was Susie Labry, or as I like to call her, “Susie Sunshine” .  An amazing ambassador for Hollywood South she was quick to offer a welcome, a smile and a crash course on Extras 101.  When it comes to mentoring in the biz, Susie is the Yoda of the background extra  galaxy.  A recently written article about Susie was something I wanted to share.  Heres to you Susie Sunshine!           

Sharon Denise Talbot 

The extra mile

By Jeff Roedel | Also by this reporter

Friday, October 1, 2010

Susie Labry has appeared as an extra in nearly 250 movies and TV shows and is getting more work now than ever.

The closet is a tiny time machine. Inside, vintage dresses, hats, purses, eyeglasses and shoes document familiar fashion trends going back 75 years. The cat-eye glasses and pillbox hats—these are not just Susie Labry’s clothes. This is her wardrobe.

In 2004, the 56-year-old reached into her historical collection and dressed in mid-century threads her mother probably wore. She arrived an hour before call time on the New Orleans set of Taylor Hackford’s Ray Charles biopic, Ray, looking for work. Luckily, the production was in the middle of a major wardrobe shortage, and Labry was whisked swiftly to a production assistant and prepped for the cameras.

“That’s my job,” Labry says, her Yat accent bread-pudding thick. “Got to be ready-ready.”

From actors and crew technicians to legislators, a lot of people are taking the Louisiana film industry more seriously of late, but few have taken it more seriously—and for as long—as Susie Labry. Since her first appearance on the steps of the State Capitol to mourn Huey Long in 1975’s The Life and Assassination of the Kingfish, Labry has worked as an extra in nearly 250 movies and TV shows. What once was a passion—before it became trendy—she has now turned into her profession.

The life of an extra can mean long hours and little recognition for precious seconds of screen time. But the day is structured, the meals are hot and the paychecks arrive two to three weeks later like clockwork. Extras can earn $56 for every eight-hour shift, even if they aren’t needed the full eight hours. They earn $10.50 for every hour after the eighth. Lunch is 30 minutes, catered and free.

The rules are simple. Quiet on the set. No autographs or photos with the stars. No red, white or black clothes unless instructed. Basically, Labry says, follow the casting director’s instructions exactly.

Patient and even-keeled, Labry makes a dependable extra, says Brinkley Maginnis, a local casting director. Labry has met Paul Newman, Dolly Parton, Farrah Fawcett and others, but has never once been star-struck. “Stars are like co-workers to me,” Labry says.

Above all, being an extra gives her the chance to be someone, somewhere, sometime else. And it all starts with her character’s clothes. “It’s like going on a trip when you know you’re on the road and out of Louisiana,” she says. “But that’s a horizontal thing. Putting on a new wardrobe is vertical.”

Labry grew up in New Orleans daydreaming of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and the high-stakes dramas in other politically-themed movies of the silver screen era of Hollywood. In 1973 she was elected as a delegate to the state Democratic Convention, and four years later she graduated from LSU with a political science degree. After LSU, she drifted a bit, she says, taking odd job after odd job. Labry wanted to run for office, or at the very least, remake herself into a political insider with real pull. But with a quirky personality and little means, she wasn’t sure exactly where she fit. “I’m a conservative Jeffersonian Democrat,” she says. “I don’t ride with ideologues. I take one issue at a time.”

Labry remains politically active and is seen here at a rally for U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy.

Labry is, admittedly, no policy wonk. What attracted her to politics was the same thing that had drawn her to acting: the glitz and glamour, the pageantry of it all.

“I don’t care for the debates and controversy and all that,” she says. “I like the promotional aspects of it. It’s the people I like. I’m a people person.”

In the early 1980s, she worked as an extra when she could, though the industry was not nearly as active as it is today. To pay the bills, she worked as a typist for the state. It was an easy job that allowed her plenty of time to do movies and to throw herself into politics as a campaign volunteer in dozens of races, including campaigns for Mayor David Treen, Lt. Governor Fox McKeithen and earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy.

Labry became an enthusiastic extra in the political arena, too. Catch news footage from campaign rallies and victory speeches throughout the years, and chances are Labry will be there, somewhere in the background, her pinched smile and large eyes angling to the camera.

“I’ve always liked being in front of cameras and on TV,” Labry says. “I like the vibe of it. Being connected with history in some way always appealed to me.”

Steady work in Everybody’s All-American, Blaze and The Pistol in the late 1980s was a turning point for Labry’s filmography, and she began thinking of it as a career.

By 2004, Labry was making more money from her roles as an extra than she was working the cash register at Calandro’s. Less than two years after the state’s film incentives program passed the Legislature, Labry took a chance on the movie industry and left the grocery store for good. She didn’t leave just to put her passion for acting into practice, but she used her political bent to lobby for the film industry. Soon she was campaigning again—this time for her fellow actors. Taking a cue from a similar industry network based in New Orleans, Labry began developing and organizing a grassroots, web-based group of extras; ordinary people like her who wanted to make a decent wage in background roles. Part workshop, part social networking group, Labry’s “Baton Rouge Meetup” group disseminates news of casting calls, film screenings and professional development opportunities to locals in the industry.

“Susie is more than just your typical extra,” says Wayne Douglas Morgan, a New Orleans-based actor and producer. “She is quick to help people wanting to get involved into the industry, and her hard work and sheer dedication are infectious.”

Labry with former governor Jimmie Davis in 1982.

In July, Labry shot scenes in Jason Lee’s new detective series Memphis Beat. That followed her appearances in HBO’s post-Katrina hit Treme, the upcoming alien invasion flick Battle: Los Angeles and the Jennifer Garner and Hugh Jackman comedy Butter. Meanwhile, she has a battalion of actors in her group getting work and gaining experience in one of Louisiana’s fastest-growing industries. “Right now at my fingertips I have 100 extras ready to work tomorrow,” Labry says, snapping her fingers.

More significantly, Labry’s long-sought-after political influence finally blossomed last year when her group joined hundreds of other industry professionals and made enough noise to prove to the state Legislature that an indigenous industry, now supported by the state’s film incentives program, was growing. In the face of picket signs and rallies of actors and crew members on the Capitol steps where Labry had made her first TV appearance 25 years earlier, legislators voted to expand the state’s tax credits for film production from 25% to 30% and erased the law’s sunset clause.

It was a huge political win not lost on Labry. She sees the effects of the state’s incentives every day when she slips into character and goes to work on productions across Louisiana. “This is my vacation,” she says. “I’d rather spend it on a film set than laid out on a sun-baked beach.”

New Orleans


SECRET NEW ORLEANS: TJ & Di Hoochie Coochie Ladies!

VIEUX CARRÉ CONFIDENTIAL! (series) episode #9! TJ Fisher and Di adventures! Drinks and tea with TJ and Di! Start the day with the zany duo, and enjoy a rollicking behind-the-scenes French Quarter morning! Wake up with CNN’s anchorwoman Robin Meade, but come home with TJ and Di, and live their life! So absurd, absolutely fabulous, and slightly off kilter!

The retro-style short film begins with a montage of imagery — a colorful gay parade, the Natchez steamship, Jax Brewery, the Cabildo and St. Louis Cathedral — then the camera zooms in on zany TJ and Di breakfasting in TJ’s old-timey kitchen, in a historic Vieux Carré home on Bourbon Street. TJ’s two blonde-and-blond dogs, Colonel Dudley Boudreaux Waddlesworth and Madame Calliope de Bourbon, join the Belles of Bourbon for mealtime. A dose of local-local comedy, satire and renegade behavior!

After a wakeup-call breakfast at TJ’s haunted house, the two friends check out a French Quarter adult clothing store and happen upon Marilyn Monroe (bawdy local drag queen character and showgirl Princes Stephaney); Marilyn offers up titillating tidbits of advice, along with an outburst of vivacious singing and storytelling. Afterwards TJ plays with Baby Totie, the loudmouth squealing miniature pig, deep in the heart of one of the French Quarter’s famed secret gardens. Private. Exclusive. Surreal. Insider sneak peek at life in the Quarter. From there TJ and Di move on to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the oldest bar in American, then they encounter a silver-painted street performer mime. Finally the double-trouble pair wind up in front of Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.

Jack Jones makes a cameo appearance in his boutique Alternatives.

Eccentric French Quarter author/Bourbon Street resident TJ Fisher and Boho-chic stylemaker Di Harris fit the mold for outrageous New Orleans characters. Both enjoy hare-brained escapades and loony-tunes humor.

See Sandcastle Queen TJ Fisher and her fiesty friend and comrade Lady Marigny Di Harris in additional Tanzmanianmudbug YouTube postings: http://www.youtube.com/user/Tanzmanianmudbug.

Swamp Empress TJ drives a ’59 pink Cadillac convertible named Lulabell, and Di rides a 1968 “My Fair Lady” model banana-seat Stingray. TJ is the nationally acclaimed author of multiple New Orleans-based nonfiction and fiction works. Award-wining designer/artist Di owns Zogwald’s, an eclectic French Quarter boutique, and her original pinup-girl artwork graces celebrity homes. (TJ also maintains a home in Palm Beach, Florida and Di in Melbourne, Australia.)

Learn more about TJ at:

http://www.tjfisher.com

http://www.tjfisher.net

VIEUX CARRÉ CONFIDENTIAL! The intersection of fact and fiction! Louisiana has a legacy of many lifetimes of passionate, flamboyant and parading women, magnificent and meaningful larger-than-life personalities, women of many mindsets, passions, nationalities and exotic traditions. Leaving an indelible mark on the world are the ladies of New Orleans: femme fatales, noblewomen, glamour girls, baronesses, placées, literary lionesses, nuns, singers, Mardi Gras maids, jazz musicians, restaurateurs, Creole belles, artists, burlesque dancers, Voodoo priestesses, entertainers, women of letters, politicians, sculptors, beauty queens, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, gens de couleur, society matriarchs, painters, shopkeepers, Storyville seductresses….??

Their stories live on, their essence lingers, their threads remain, embedded deep within the fabric of New Orleans.

The three-centuries-old French is like nowhere else in the world. Beyond the clamor and fracas of the Quarter, ancient prayers of patron saints sprout like briars of damp growth, calling forth memories. People feel a draft and thoughts of old pierce the heart. History traipses through the mind. Delicious ambrosia seems nearby, just beyond the brambles and thistles. The Vieux Carré houses the sundown and scintillation of checkered characters and centuries faintly known, misting all around. History intrudes. Filigree twists of the rise and fall of man and memories remain seamed into the bricks.

The French Quarter exudes the undertones of a tragic quality that cannot be denied; yet the hypnotic effect is otherworldly beauty, stark and startling, pure and paramount. She is a city that stirs the senses and seduces the soul, for she tampers with a person’s inclinations and toys with the mind. In New Orleans, time passes differently.

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HBO and David Simon’s lush new drama series Treme “gets” New Orleans; they definitely get it, do you? Do you get the resilient heart, soul, spirit and humor of the people and places of New Orleans…?

DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO MISS NEW ORLEANS?

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What to do in New Orleans? Metairie safe & close to French-Q?

I am going during the Essence music festival. If you are from N.O. or have visited please give me your opinion on the best resturants, ferries boats, bars, club, attractions, etc. Don’t forget a safe place to stay and parking advice thanks!

Metairie is NOT close to the French Quarte – it is a mostly middle class suburb to the west of the city. Metairie was damaged by Katrina but did not suffer the really extensive flooding that devastated New Orleans so it has almost fully recovered.

Katrina flooded about 80% of New Orleans with salt water, and the water stayed for almost a month. Much of the city is still struggling to recover and all you have to do to see devastation is drive around. It will take years for NOLA to fully recover from Katrina.

However, the parts of the city that tourists usually visit were not flooded. It’s not a coincidence – the French Quarter and other old parts of the city were built on relatively high ground and only suffered wind damage from Katrina. Almost all of the damage has been repaired and you have to look closely in the FQ or city center to see that Katrina happened at all.

If you drive or rent a car, put your car in a lot or garage and leave it there unless you are traveling away from downtown. You don’t need a car to get around in the French Quarter, Central Business District, or Warehouse District. Also, the parking regulations are Byzantine and there are lots of "parking control agents".

The regional transit authority (www.norta.com) sells 1 and 3 day passes that offer unlimited use of buses and streetcars for the day(s) you select.

There is always music, but the bands change: Go to www.bestofneworleans.com and click on Music then Listings or to www.offbeat.com and click on Listings, then Music.

Wander around the French Quarter, enjoy the architecture, watch the street entertainers (do tip), and visit some of the historic buildings that have been turned into museums. Most of them charge admission but some are free (go to www.frenchquarter.com and click on Historic Attractions).

Assuming the weather is nice, you can collect a sandwich lunch and eat in the riverfront park (watch the shipping) or in Jackson Square (a very nice park).

The Riverwalk shopping center has a food court with dining overlooking the river (www.riverwalkmarketplace.com)…

Cafe du Monde is in the French Quarter and you shouldn’t miss having cafe au lait & beignets (www.cafedumonde.com). Another great coffee shop is the Croissant d’Or (at 615 Ursulines Street), which is open from 7:00am to 2:00pm and has food other than pastry.

There is a free ferry across the Mississippi at the "foot" of Canal Street. It is a short trip but like a harbor cruise w/o a guide.

The Aquarium and Audubon Zoo are world-class attractions (www.auduboninstitute.org) and you should see them if you can. There is a shuttle boat (not free) between the Aquarium (which is next to the French Quarter) and the Zoo (which is several miles away). You can also drive to the Zoo (which has free parking) or take public transit from the French Quarter.

New Orleans is home to a number of other museums, such as the National World War II Museum (www.ddaymuseum.org) and the New Orleans Museum of Art (www.noma.org). Both can be reached by public transit: The WWII museum is in the central business district but a long walk from the French Quarter and NOMA is not within walking distance of downtown but has free parking if you choose to drive there…

Crime tends to become a topic in questions about New Orleans. Use the same common sense you need in every major city in the world and there is little chance you will be a victim of anything except a need to visit the gym: Pay attention to your surroundings. Stay away from anywhere dark & deserted. Pay attention to your feelings – if anyone or anywhere gives you a bad feeling, leave the area. Don’t leave something like a camera-bag or backpack unattended on a park bench while you wander off to take photos. Etc.

Hope you have a good visit!


New Orleans’ Jazz Still Hurt, Inspired by Katrina

Jeffrey Brown has an update on musician Michael White who continues his effort to keep a musical tradition strong, five years after Katrina.

Duration : 0:5:20

Read more…


How much does a dancer make on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana?

Im trying to make quick money and this is the only way I know how. But just how much money a night would I be taking home?

depends on the tips and what’s in town.

if it’s really slow you could end up with zip, if it’s a big party crowd sky is the limit.

but be aware it’s a tough job and not for the faint of heart.

how are your feet? you’ll be on them a lot


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