Nov. 16, 2013: I officiated a civic tree-blessing ceremony on the bayou. We had a real-live fire dancer and Big Chief David Montana led us in singing “Indian Red.” Still can’t believe this really happened. It seems remarkable that someone like me, without any relevant credential, would be invited to do something like this. Many […]
Archive for the 'New Orleans' Category
How did this shopping cart full of miscellaneous hardware come to be parked in our yard for three months? Therein lies a tale. One day in late May, a guy came walking down our street. He started talking to Xy and somehow convinced her to hire him to cut our grass. Before I knew it […]
I recently facilitated a roundtable discussion on parenting, and now I’m gearing up to moderate a parenting panel next Saturday.
Isaac is gone, but his odor lingers on. Seriously. There’s a smell in the air, a certain peculiar smell I can’t describe. I’m not sensitive to smells. I often think if I was more tuned in to my sense of smell, I’d have a radically different way of being in the world, more animalistic perhaps […]
It wasn’t until after Labor Day that I passed by the bayou and saw what Isaac had done to my favorite tree. This is the tree where my daughter got her name back in 2008. Throughout the 2010-2011 school year I stopped at this tree almost daily for a moment of contemplation. This tree survived […]
So the storm came and lingered. Like us, Isaac dithered. Someone described him as the drunk Louisiana uncle who crashes on your couch when you were really thinking the party was over. Eventually he left. We weathered the storm with no damage. Bit of a leak in the ceiling of our kitchen addition, but nothing […]
For the last several months I’ve been embedded, ensnared, and otherwise entrapped in the planning process for Rising Tide 7. I haven’t actually done any work, but I’ve observed other people doing lots of work, and I’m happy to take credit for their efforts. The poster for Rising Tide 7 riffs on the demise of […]
Why We Pulled Our Daughter Out of a Private Suburban School and Enrolled Her in Public School in New OrleansMonday, August 20th, 2012
Why We Pulled Our Daughter Out of a Private Suburban School and Enrolled Her in Public School in New Orleans — a headline intended to provoke. New Orleans public schools have such a bad reputation. How on earth could we send our daughter there? It’s an act of hope. Also trust. And determination. And a lot […]
When I got back to New Orleans, I noticed the “Save the Picayune” signs and tee-shirts around town. With all respect to the good intentions behind this campaign, I feel it’s the wrong approach. Let me explain why. This could take a minute.
It’s inevitable when visiting some other place to compare it to home, especially if that other place is your former home. I lived in Bloomington for thirteen years, and I’ve now lived in New Orleans for thirteen years, so I can’t resist a few elementary observations.
Saturday night I found myself with a bunch of Pagans and other folks at an uptown synagogue, preparing food for the homeless. We whipped up some large batches of red beans and rice, salad, and watermelon. Then we took the food to a large encampment of homeless people and served it. I slopped out 130 […]
We gather by the side of the road on the edge of an urban forest. I know the others only because they are dressed like me, in white clothing. We talk amongst ourselves, getting to know each other. The signal comes at twilight, just as the sun is setting and everything is growing dark. We […]
It was five years ago today that I got the terrible news that Helen Hill had been murdered in her home. She will not be forgotten. A few months ago I had the decidedly bittersweet pleasure of viewing Helen’s final film, The Florestine Collection, which was completed by her husband Paul Gailiunas. A true labor […]
Once again we interrupt our regularly scheduled investigations to draw your attention to a notable screening. The Florestine Collection Experimental animator Helen Hill found more than 100 handmade dresses in a trash pile on one Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans. She set out to make a film about the dressmaker, an elderly seamstress who […]
I have a desire to make a new beginning. (Pardon the vagueness. I’ll expand on that later.) Paradoxically that has me thinking about endings as well. New beginnings require old endings. Plant a sunflower seed and, with some water and sunlight, you start a new life. But there is no new life without death. Life […]
I’ve often thought there was some deep connection between what happened in NYC (and elsewhere) on Sept. 11th, 2001, and what happened in NOLA on August 29th, 2005. I’m sure the following idea is not original. But I still think it’s important. After 9/11, Americans made a collective promise to ourselves: to take the safety […]
Hot on the heels of my “Streets of New Orleans” mix, I get this e-mail with the subject line, “New Orleans Streets to Avoid During a Storm.” Apparently this was released by the NOPD. I have to say in all my years of living here I’ve never seen such a list. New Orleans Police Department […]
Twelve tracks about the streets of New Orleans. One song about a street in New York, but the singers are from New Orleans. A field recording of some high school students rehearsing in the street right in front of my house. Including music by Earl King, Montezuma’s Revenge and Johnny Vidacovich. play on 8tracks
I’d heard there was a marsh fire out east, but we didn’t smell anything until Monday morning. By the time I left for work, I was surprised to see the streets of Mid-City were shrouded in gray smokey haze. It was bad enough that I wore a bandana over my face as I rode to […]
Six years ago today I woke up in a hotel room in northern Mississippi with Xy and three cats. We turned on the television and saw Katrina ripping the roof off the Superdome. We decided to keep on trucking, and we headed up to Indiana to bunk with my in-laws for a few days. When […]