In the calm before the storm, in a time for reflection, I’d like to share a short story.
Everyone has a story from Katrina, about what happened to the city, their homes, neighborhoods and lives. I wasn’t here; I was in Arlington, Virginia that day, in the bubble of my job and daily life. As I had dinner that night in my neighborhood, at my favorite bar, with my friends, sitting down to my usual local beer and favorite sandwich, Katrina was the last thing in my mind. New Orleans was a city I had visited as a Mardi Gras tourist many times. I thought I knew New Orleans. I thought I knew the impact the storm would have on the city. I’d seen hurricanes make landfall, whip through towns, blow down trees and upend lives for a couple weeks. But only on TV, in newspapers and on the web, not in real life.
On that day, enjoying my normal life, I had no idea yours was going to be upended in ways far deeper and long-lasting than any of us could imagine.
I wasn’t a part of New Orleans then, but New Orleans is now a part of me.
I can’t tell your stories from Katrina with true justice. My eyes, ears, mind and soul haven’t seen what you’ve seen. But I’m listening, reflecting and learning. And next week, I’ll be revisiting Katrina with you. Thank you, NOLAlicious readers, for letting me be a part of it.
EAT Who’s your muse? We’ve found a new one: Three Muses brings together three stalwarts from the New Orleans restaurant and bar scene to create a fresh, diverse and creative bar, restaurant and club that is sure to be a new favorite place on Frenchman St. Tapas-style, $5 to $15. Daily, 3 PM until midnight. 536 Frenchman St.
DO We all love a good culinary deal, and whenever we spot a good deal on a full course meal, we like to spread the good word. Be sure to check out COOLinary New Orleans this month for some awesome opportunities to eat without breaking the bank! This summer restaurant promotion features mouth-watering three-course menus priced at $20 or less for lunch and $34 or less for dinner. Head to their website and see for yourself what restaurants are participating. Bon appetit! Promotion runs until September 1.
SEE The fifth anniversary of Katrina is fast approaching and many special events are being planned to remember the events of late August 2005. Oil and Water: The New Orleans Photo Alliance’s Photo Expo About the Gulf recently opened and this photo retrospective is not to be missed. The New Orleans Photo Alliance has been a staple of the community for years and they are known for their heartfelt and moving exhibitions. Sometimes the best way to celebrate is with pictures and this exhibit is not to be missed this month. It’s a great way for those photo enthusiasts of you to get your fix and see an important love letter to the city and the Gulf Coast. Exhibit until September 18, Gallery open 12-4 Saturday and Sunday. 1111 St. Mary Street.
GO In the mood to bring out your inner artist? Playworks is in partnership with Corks N’ Canvas Studios in Metairie and on Magazine Street. The event is called Paint with a Purpose where participants pay $45 for an evening of socializing and painting. Studio staff will be teaching everyone how to paint the beautiful lamppost picture featured on this page. All painting materials are provided and you get to take your original masterpiece home with you. Half the proceeds from this event go directly to Playworks New Orleans. Corks N’ Canvas is being generous enough to devote both their Metairie and Magazine Street studios to this event. Creating art for a good cause, what’s not to love? Sunday, Aug 22, 4 to 7 PM.
LAGNIAPPE We are still rolling on the floor laughing at the name of this event: Air Sex World Championships. Basically you choose a clip of music, you show up in whatever sort of wardrobe you like, and you come up on stage and show everyone how you do it. Or how you wish you could do it. Props are allowed, but nudity isn’t. The winner advances to regional finals. For those looking to participate, register online at their website. Thursday, Aug. 19. Doors open at 9 PM. $8. 907 S. Peters St.
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