Archive for the 'New Orleans' Category

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

I am so proud to be named one of the Urban Conservancy‘s 2014 Urban Heroes. What, me a hero? I am not much afflicted with the infamous vice of false modesty, but I have to admit this makes me blush just a little. Yes, the Lafitte Greenway in now under construction, but after all, I […]

Rising Tide 9

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

It’s time once again for Rising Tide. This will be the ninth iteration of this “conference on the future of New Orleans” which was launched by a bunch of local bloggers and concerned citizens on the first anniversary of Katrina. I think what I like most about this event is its grassroots nature. Even though […]

Advocating the Greenway

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

The New Orleans Advocate has a nice story by Andrew Vanacore on the greenway, including a couple quote from yours truly. Also, Here are a a couple items which I should have noted when I posted last week: Yes, they are about to start work on the greenway. At last. As the Advocate article notes, […]

Rest Easy, Ms. Foxworth

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

When I first met Ms. Foxworth, just 18 months ago, I was taken aback by her manner. She was quiet — very quiet. New Orleanians are known for many things, but being quiet is not one of them. Yet here was this woman talking so quietly I could barely hear her. My confidence was a little […]

Tree Blessing

Monday, November 25th, 2013

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 […]

Preacher’s Cart

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

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 […]

Parenting Panels

Monday, September 17th, 2012

I recently facilitated a roundtable discussion on parenting, and now I’m gearing up to moderate a parenting panel next Saturday.

How Long the Storm?

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

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 […]


Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

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 […]

We Are OK

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

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 […]

Rising Tide 7

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

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 Orleans

Monday, 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 […]

Screw the Picayune

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

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.

Bloomington & New Orleans

Monday, August 6th, 2012

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.

A Night with Desmond

Monday, July 30th, 2012

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 […]

By the Light of the Moon

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

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 […]

Somber Reflections

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

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 […]


Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

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 […]

New Beginnings Require Old Endings

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

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 […]


Sunday, September 11th, 2011

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 […]