Category Archives: books

Battles of New Orleans

Today the Battle of New Orleans anniversary celebration continues at the Chalmette Battlefield. Oh yes, there will be reenactments and cannon firings, as well as stuff for kids to do, food and more. Starts at 9 am and continues throughout the day. Once the sun sets, the Battle of New Orleans Lantern Tours begin. Admission is $5. The first tour begins at 5:45pm.

Perhaps coincidentally with the anniversary of the big battle, perhaps not, Daniel Rasmussen author of Uprising: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Slave Revolt will be discussing his book from 1-3pm at the Garden District Book Shop. Rasmussen is a kind of a big deal scholar and journalist–C-SPAN will be televising the event. Free.


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Filed under books, historical reenactments, kid-friendly, lecture, literary events

New Orleans: What Can’t Be Lost

Looking for a meaningful holiday gift? How about a copy of New Orleans: What Can’t Be Lost signed by the author. This afternoon at 2pm,  Lee Barclay and contributors to the book will be at Octavia Books signing copies.

Here’s a description of the book:

The eighty-eight stories and traditions in New Orleans: What Can’t Be Lost are the piano keys in a love song to the city. Alongside Christopher Porché West’s alluring black-and-white photographs, New Orleans’ culture bearers pay tribute to the city they call home. From Storyville to the Super Bowl, from cover to cover are found Pulitzer Prize-winning writers–four of them gathered on these pages; Creole chefs; float and costume designers; a break-acrobat flipping forward over tourists lying on the pavement like matchsticks across from Jackson Square; Black Mardi Gras Indians; parade captains; musicians; protectors of the city’s historic landmarks; writers of its poems and articles and novels and plays; and those who pass down traditions in the performance of New Orleans culture.

Proud to call New Orleans home, LEE BARCLAYlives in Faubourg St. John, down a bend of the bayou from 600-year-old oaks, pelicans, ibises, and blue herons. She is devoted to the preservation of New Orleans through community education and collaboration and the performance of New Orleans culture–in kitchens and down backstreets; through trumpets and voices; on page, stage, and sidewalk; and when any time, for any reason, a parade rolls by.

CHRISTOPHER PORCHÉ WEST is a photographer and artist who has been documenting the people and culture of New Orleans for over thirty years. A native Californian with Franco-European roots in Louisiana, Porché West first came to New Orleans in the late 1970s and relocated permanently to the Crescent City in 1981. He currently lives and works in one of New Orleans’ oldest neighborhoods, Bywater, founded in 1809, where he continues to document and preserve the culture and life of New Orleans and its people.

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Black White + Gray

Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe is about the lives of museum curator Wagstaff and his lover, photographer Mapplethorpe, of  70’s and 80’s New York art world fame.

Speaking of Robert Mapplethorpe, the book Patti Smith recently published about her and Mapplethorpe’s early days in New York, Just Kids, would make a great holiday gift.

The film screens tonight at 7:30 pm @ the Contemporary Art Center. $7. $5 for CAC and New Orleans Film Society members.

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Chanukah Night @ Circle Bar

We’re midway through Hanukkah, how about celebrating with a Jewish-themed singer/songwriter night at the Circle Bar? I’ve got my fingers crossed for some Leonard Cohen covers.

Speaking of enormously talented Canadian Jews, I’ve been listening to the audio version of David Rakoff‘s new book Half Empty. It’s great, especially read by the author. In fact, the other night I was listening to his essay about going on a book tour in Germany as I was trimming my Christmas tree. ‘Cause I’m like that.

Anyway, back to tonight. Here’s what the organizers have to say about it:

This year Chanukah runs from Dec. 2nd through Dec. 9th, so to celebrate the commemoration, Josh Wexler has assembled (mostly) jewish musicians, playing songs written (mostly) by jews, and plenty of jew jokes.


J. David Wexlerberg
Jonathan Freilichstein
Jesse Morrowgold
Hannah Krieger-Benson-Schwartz
Micah McKeewitz

Emily Robertson
Thomas Furtado
Tess Brunet
Mark Bingham
Blind Texas Marlin
Sunny Mehta

No cover.

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Love Bites

I have a soft spot for Adrienne Barbeau. Maybe it’s because we are from the same town. Perhaps it’s because she was in Escape From New York, which is a classic of my favorite B-movie genre–the dystopic post-apocalyptic scenario. Possibly it’s because she was married to John Carpenter for a while. Did I mention she was the original Rizzo in Grease, or that she was Bea Arthur’s daughter on Maude? Very  likely I like her so much because she is a model for how to grow older well–she’s still gorgeous, she decided to have kids in her fifties, and she’s now turned author. Adrienne is in town tonight this evening promoting her second novel: Love Bites. Garden District Book Shop. 5:30pm

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Ondaatje at Tulane

Man, I’m really impressed by the authors Tulane gets for its “Great Readers” series. Tonight they have Michael Ondaatje, most famous for The English Patient and Divisadero. He will be reading and signing this evening at Tulane University’s Dixon Hall. 7pm.

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Ugly Dolls

I just liked the title of this event invitation so much, I had to repost it. Who doesn’t want to go to an ugly doll making workshop? I also wanted to post about the Martin Luther King branch of the New Orleans Public Library in the lower Ninth Ward, because it seems like they have some great people working there, doing some really great and free community events. Here’s the invite I got:

Come for an all-ages crafty event! Bring a pair of old tights or pantyhose and we’ll provide you with everything you need to make your perfect halloween companion! Have fun adding googly eyes, silly grins, fangs, funny hair, and anything else you can think of!

Today from 2:30-4.


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Filed under books, crafts, kid-friendly