I guess for most people, the holidays in December are where its at for events, get togethers and visitors, but for us New Orleanians – and esp Quarterites – nothing is quite like January.
First up, is New Year’s Eve with its own rites with fireworks and gumbo pot drop at the river. We also host the Sugar Bowl every year on January 1 at the Superdome. This year, the city decided to add a parade on New Year’s Eve Day…
In 2016, Ole Miss and Oklahoma State are coming, which means that vehicles and entire families or groups are more likely than some of last year’s crowd, which came from Alabama and Ohio if memory serves. I am sure that the Alabamans drove but I’d guess that few Buckeyes did. When the teams are from nearby, the spending is different, as is the vibe: Folks arrive in town later, bring more of their own food and drink and head out after the game if they lose. I hope someone, besides the disliked Allstate insurance company that did their best to make profit off Katrina, makes some coin off this stuff.
Since many Ole Miss folks are New Orleans-savvy, they’ll be more likely to know the good places to eat and go (I’d look for the red and blue/Hotty Toddy paraphernalia and go where they are going…) I’d guess that Oklahoma folks will be new to the area, so I’d expect to see lots of orange and black map-wielding groups on the corners!
Welcome to all.
So, here is the schedule on Decatur:
Wednesday, Dec. 30
- Usher Concert – 6:15 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 31
- Oklahoma State Pep Rally – 1:30 p.m.
- New Year’s Eve Parade – 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
- Ole Miss Pep Rally – 5:15 p.m.
The Allstate® Fan Fest is free to the public and open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 30, and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31. Fan Fest is located at Jackson Square in the Jax Brewery parking lot off Decatur Street.
THEN, Carnival season begins on January 6 with the glorious Joan of Arc parade on Chartres, and Phunny Phorty Phellows on the St. Charles Streetcar route which will come all the way to Canal again. That is, of course, followed by over a month of visitors and parades in our neighborhood for the 2016 carnival season, which ends on February 9 of this year.
The Jolly Lama aka The Night Mayor aka The Funtrepreneur Pat Jolly shared this today:
A couple of weeks ago 3 different people asked me if Kruz had died!!!
So I decided to write to tell you that he is very alive and happy!!!
KRUZ moved to a new location!
1301 Decatur St. (kitty corner from his old location)
504 523 7370
Celebrate his 44th anniversary this weekend … Whoohoo!!!
September 26-28, 2914
Please help get the word out to his cherished customers and friends
You can also like and share his Facebook page
Wonderful news. This could help alleviate the strange little vacuum of business activity that exists between Chartres and Decatur and lead to more New Orleans based businesses in the Quarter. And this means that Cafe Du Monde and Morning Call will once again be within a few blocks of each other, serving 24 hours a day .
If this doesn’t beat all. FQ building owner showing his ignorance for his own family’s legacy and his building by saying he is selling one of the most historic restaurants in the city to a t-shirt shop owner in the Quarter who says it will soon be filled with fried chicken and more t-shirts. This building housed Madame Begue’s which was the most popular pre-Civil War era restaurant in New Orleans (and maybe North America) and was rejuvenated by This guy’s brother, the convivial Steven Latter as an “everybody knows your name” French Quarter place. Now that Steven Latter has passed away, they have barely waited for him to be in the ground before pulling this crap.
Not sure much can be done by regular citizens-this may be up to the money folks who can throw some dollars at this jerk to get him to sell and move the hell away.
UPDATE: SAVED by the citizens of our city with new menu and cookbook.
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.