Tag archives for louisiana

Louisiana, Three Ways: Atchafalaya Swamp

I’m in Killer Poboys to meet with Charles Chamberlain, a Ph.D. in American history and local History Man. Ten years a historian at the Louisiana State Museum before setting up his own company, Historia, to provide outsiders with insights into the Pelican State, Chamberlain knows Louisiana. He’s just the guy, I figure, to explain why Louisiana is so different, even a…

Louisiana, Three Ways: Creole Country

The river town of Natchitoches dates back to 1714, when French traders paddling up the Red River from the Mississippi put down roots here, making it the oldest permanent settlement in the entire 828,000-square-mile Louisiana Purchase. It immediately impresses me as a downsize version of New Orleans’ Royal Street, with its filigreed iron balconies, antiques stores, and art galleries.

Louisiana, Three Ways: NOLA

Homegrown, unique, and thoroughly wonderful, Louisiana has a character all its own. “[It] is another country,” local historian Charles Chamberlain says. “But you better see it soon; who knows how long it’s going to last.” By the time Thomas Jefferson bought the land from Napoleon in that 1803 geopolitical fire sale, he explains, this French colony was well populated with French and Spanish immigrants, refugees from Haiti, and Congolese slaves, all of whom had seeded the land with their cultures, foods, and traditions. Here’s a look at New Orleans.

The Best Dirty Rice in New Orleans

Comments Off on The Best Dirty Rice in New Orleans

Looks can be deceiving. Take the case of dirty rice, the lumpy, scruffy one-pot dish eaten throughout Cajun country–and beyond–as a side or, occasionally, a main course.

Event-o-Rama: 12 Must-Dos in April

Comments Off on Event-o-Rama: 12 Must-Dos in April

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in April.

Lundi Gras: Riding on a Super Krewe

For New Orleans natives, it’s a hard-won honor to ride in a Carnival parade. So when I was offered the chance to ride with the Krewe of Orpheus this year, it was kind of like a childhood dream coming true. Especially because Orpheus is a super krewe.

Six Things You Don’t Expect at Mardi Gras

When it comes to Mardis Gras, tourists are usually surprised to find that traditions dictate when to party, what to wear, and how to behave. From crowded parties to wild costumes, the revelry may appear chaotic, but locals know there’s a method to the madness.

Cajun or Creole?

A brief primer on the difference between the two terms from National Geographic Young Explorer Caroline Gerdes, a New Orleans native.

The Strangely Comforting World of Voodoo

Comments Off on The Strangely Comforting World of Voodoo

“Get back in here!” Miriam stood in doorway watching an embarrassed man in his mid-30s shouting at a woman who was running down the street screaming. “What is going on with that girl?” she laughed. “Oh she… she just gets scared easily,” he said. Miriam shut the door and turned to me. “Some people these days, they’ve just gone crazy.” She smiled, but you could tell that her feelings were a little bit hurt. And you could tell that it wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. But, then again, when you run one of the most famous Voodoo temples in the U.S., you have to expect a few faint-of-hearts to cross your path.

Irvin Durand: Ambassador of NOLA Goodness

I’ve been going about this all wrong, this looking for good in every city I visit. See, there was an assumption that if someone was doing some real good, then they’d have an office with a big sign, or a business card…something to suggest or confirm the goodness. But that’s not always true. When I jumped in a cab a few days ago in New Orleans, I met someone who was doing good without even knowing it.

The Secret Freedoms of Train Hoppin’

“No.” I’m confused. Two days earlier, I had met filmmaker Brian Paul in New Orleans while he was promoting his documentary, Cure For the Crash, a fascinating look inside the minds of “train hoppers.” I told him I wanted to learn about the “art” of hopping, and he agreed to meet me across the river.

“What do you mean ‘No?,’” I ask, not even trying to hide my annoyance.

The Pit Bull “Problem”

Dr. Seuss had one. Helen Keller claims they’re one of the best therapy dogs. Jon Stewart has two – and they watch over his young children. But these aren’t the stories you hear when you hear about pit bulls.