Creole World Exhibit

Richard Sexton’s Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere (THNOC 2014) continues to garner praise and attention.

The New York Review of Books recently featured the tome on its website. Writer Nathaniel Rich began with a quote from 19th-century travel writer Lafcadio Hearn about New Orleans: “While it actually resembles no other city upon the face of the earth, it owns suggestions of towns in Italy, and in Spain, of cities in England and in Germany, of seaports in the Mediterranean, and of seaports in the tropics.” The review goes on to say that “there’s no better illustration of this than the photographs of Richard Sexton.”

The concept behind Sexton’s Creole World project was also the subject of an lengthy article in the Miami New Times. Sexton discussed the similarities between New Orleans and Miami with the paper prior to a book signing and presentation in Coral Gables, saying that “New Orleans was the lone historical example of kind of a Creole-Caribbean place getting assimilated into the United States and an Anglo-Saxon culture with a different history. New Orleans is the historical example (of that); Miami is the modern example.”
The exhibition is on view at the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art at 400 Chartres Street, through December 7.

Artist colony in our midst

I think there is a lot to be discovered about self organization, itinerant communities, illegal and informal activities and much more from the Jackson Square community. There is much good and maybe some bad to this place no doubt, and the more that city officials, police and nearby businesses and residents understand it and specifically understand how the space works (or doesn’t) with new groups taking control at different times of day and events, the better.
Jackson Square artists

A Musical Prelude to the Celebration of Easter, Free Public Concerts…

…Concludes With
A Performance by Cynthia Cheri-Woolridge & Friends
At Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in the Vieux Carre

NEW ORLEANS, LA—On April 10, 2014 the sixth and final of Bishop Perry’s Center’s series of free, public concerts will take place at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1116 Chartres St. at 6 p.m. Stars of this concert will be Cynthia Cheri-Woolridge and Friends, a gifted group of gospel and spiritual singers and musicians. Among friends expected to join Cynthia in the performance on Thursday is Dr. Michael White, the renowned jazz musician, jazz historian, and teacher.
Others joining Ms. Cheri-Woolridge will be Desmian Barnes and Percy Williams on trumpet; Arthur Mitchell on Saxaphone; Robino Barnes on Bass; and Jarvis McCelos on drums. Singers will include Jerrydette Joseph, Sylvia Thomas, Anicia Cheri, Gary Foster, and William Wiloughby, along with the Bishop Perry Center “Heavenly Notes.”

The series—A Musical Prelude to the Celebration of Easter—features music ranging from classical favorites of the great gothic and baroque cathedrals of the world to Broadway to New Orleans jazz, spirituals, and gospel. The concerts take place in the architecturally and historically significant Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, part of the old Ursuline Convent Complex, located in the French Quarter.

lovely paper

I have been roaming the FQ over the last few days, off from work for a week and with a car at my disposal. Car rented from the nice Hertz people at the Omni Hotel at Royal and St. Louis-well in the garage on the Chartres side. (It’s the only car rental counter in the FQ, and has nice staff who chat about all types of things with you although I DO wish Mr. Hertz would staff it everyday and stop being forgetful about taking the gas up fee off, but other than that, hurrah for all of the Hertz family and that does include little Hal Hertz and even Minnie Hertz who is still a bit whiny.) The car means Maddie the Cartoon Dog gets to come along and take a perambulation along her streets, happily poking her head in shops and smelling people’s shoes.
Between parking successfully and taking advantage of Golden Lantern’s drink prices, one of the things I have indulged in recently-while on my 2-3 trips to FQ-is paper.
Oh I love paper. I love to write notes or to send letters or to drop a card with some satsumas to someone’s door before they come home, so they can find it after (maybe) a bad day or just a ho-hum day.
This may be the only true manner that my Southern mother drilled in me. Well, I do say yes ma’am to older women and could curtsey still but since I haven’t had a dress on since the 1990s, it’s a lost art in my repertoire.
And you would think I had lovely penmanship they way I go on, but no, I lost that early in life and substituted nothing in its place. Maybe the beautiful paper is to make up for that loss.
So, paper. I almost always buy some beautiful cards at Nadine Blake’s on Royal. Her store is lovely, she and her “staff” both. And to have a store that takes serious care and delight with their window displays is a treat to those of us who remember the days of many of those type of store owners throughout the Quarter. There I buy greenery tropical cards, drinking quote cards, single funny birthday cards and the last time I bought a silver crescent moon that I when I returned home I immediately hung on the end of my ceiling fan pull chain.
After spending hour(s) there, I usually walk 2 blocks to the corner of Dumaine and Royal to my Florentine paper supply place, Papier Plume. Yes, Italian paper. I went to Florence in 2008 and was dazzled by the many, many things that Italian artisans still make. Paper, leather goods, textiles, cars, scooters, coffee makers, long underwear- the list goes on and on.
I bought paper while there and used it so sparingly because when would I be able to return for more? Then one day, I saw the same design through a window in my hometown and walked inside this magic place. Papier Plume also does calligraphy and wedding invitations and has lovely pens and (my latest addition) sealing wax and stampers. If you see an envelope with a blue owl or a red sun on the flap in your door, do know where it came from. Especially if food comes with..
The third is the dynamic sister store Ragin Daisy on Dumaine and Chartres. These two ladies are destined to be legends with their charming personalities and dry wit. They have such cool stuff; this is where I get journals and sometimes find boxes of vintage-styled postcards.
(I also use the tourist store at the corner of Camp and Magazine for cheap FQ postcards when I want to send a bunch of news out, like for a party. I think they are 10 for 100 there, don’t pore over the clichés too much; it’s better to just embrace the tacky once in a while.)
And you can stop by Historic New Orleans Collection’s gift shop on Royal, past Toulouse. You can get some oyster cards or maybe a lovely map. And view the collection and talk to the nice docent and gift shop ladies who are of a type, it’s true but still part of our gumbo. Just maybe not part of the dirty rice.
And finally, I will always give you a heads up to go see Gnome on Barracks and Decatur for many, many inspired finds. They will surely have moleskin journals and plain ol paper journals and probably some pens and you will be absolutely be fortified by the sense that good design is an important part of any ordered life.
Then go home and practice your penmanship.