The few times I saw her she always gave me a big smile and reached out to touch me when we met. I do not know why she did so, but it may have been that she could feel my respect for her organizing skill and longevity. I certainly hope that was why.
We did not lose our ability to fish. Don’t bring the fish to our door, just bring us some fishing poles and some bait. We didn’t lose our minds. I don’t know why we didn’t, but we could have. We lost all of the necessities we need to support our survival. Just give us that. Just give us that, and I promise you, in six months … come back, we’re going to make you some gumbo.
Sadly, the lively cookbook/ spice/vinyl/art store Kitchen Witch had to leave the Quarter, due to the ridiculous commercial rents. (Even though I believe ever more residents are living in the Quarter than had been since the mid 1980s, I also believe that commercial rents are so out of control that we are rapidly losing our good, useful stores at a frightening rate.) What is truly sad is the owners of Kitchen Witch have been working/ living in the Quarter for decades but now are completely out of it, which is a real loss. I wish them well.
Happily, Kitchen Witch immediately found a place quite near their home in a lovely community on N. Broad and Bayou Road. You can shop there with Deb and Philipe, add a stop at the Community Bookstore just a few footsteps away, buy vinyl and cds at Domino Records, browse for beauty prods at King and Queen Emporium and at Beauty on de Bayou, pick up first-class fried chicken at McHardy’s, find some Jamaican tastes at CoCo Hut, meet friends for excellent coffee and egg cups at the great Pagoda Cafe at Bayou and Dorgenois, and refresh your artistic eye at the brand new world-class Joan Mitchell center one more block to the river.
Broad Street has so many new and longtime businesses from Canal to Bayou that it is impossible to list them all here. Lucky for me, the community center has a excellent list.
The Bayou Road area is one of the richest cultural corridors in the city, since it is one of the oldest streets. New Orleans had been founded when Bienville was directed by Native Americans to travel from the Gulf of Mexico up Bayou St. John. There, the group portaged over land using a stretch of the area that is now Bayou Road to the present day French Quarter.
Here’s one slice of culture in this section of town that most present-day New Orleanians either don’t know about or have forgotten about:
The Greek New Orleans population goes back to French Colonial New Orleans and was centered around this area. Roughly half of all Greeks in New Orleans lived within a mile of Holy Trinity which was at 1222 N Dorgenois before moving to its present location along Bayou St. John at Robt. E. Lee. A wealthy Athens merchant named Michael Dracos arrived in the 1760s and married a local woman of mixed Acadian and Native American lineage. When their daughter married a Greek native in New Orleans in 1799, it became recorded as the first known marriage of two people of Greeks origins in North America.
Debbie Lindsey and Philipe LaMancusa opened their store at 1452 N. Broad, suite C, on All Saints Day. Kitchen WItch Cookbook is planning to be open 7 days a week, 10ish to 4ish and will feature book signings and related events.
Its in the little strip mall-like building with the Boost Store and the Beauty Supply.