‘GANGS’ OF NEW ORLEANS
Outside of the black neighborhoods in New Orleans, few know the tradition of Mardi Gras Indians is so rich and complex. But University of New Orleans history professor Al Kennedy does, through more than 70 interviews with Donald Harrison, who rose through the ranks of several of the city’s highly hierarchical Indian “gangs,” as the Indians themselves call them, to become a big chief. With Harrison’s life as the backdrop, Kennedy’s new biography/history, Big Chief Harrison and the Mardi Gras Indians (Pelican Publishing), throws back a veil on the colorful, intricately beaded subculture. The exact origins of the Crescent City’s Mardi Gras Indians are lost to time — there is no contemporary written account — but the oral tradition among its adherents is strong, and Harrison, as steeped in French existentialism as he was in the mores of New Orleans’ black neighborhoods, had a fierce respect for the “elders” who came before him. Harrison died in 1998, but his accounts for Kennedy will long serve as yet another testament to the unbelievably vibrant and diverse character of a great city. Big Chief Harrison and the Mardi Gras Indians retails for $35 and is available at virtual and brick-and-mortar book sellers everywhere. — Walter Pierce
ITS A CINCH
The first thing you have to figure out about Annie Odell’s Bootie Belts, made out of vintage ties, is how to wear them. I passed them around the office, most folks threaded them around their waists, but I saw one guy who did the traditional thing, hung it around his neck looped with a four-in-hand. Either way, the nifty little Velcro-zipped pocket on the end is handy for holding the essentials: credit card, $20 bill, cell phone and lip gloss, all anyone needs for a day at the festival or a night on the town. Odell is a New Orleans artist and member of the Louisiana Crafts Guild. Her Bootie Belts, $35, are available at Sans Souci Fine Craft Gallery, call 266-7999 or go to www.louisianacrafts.org, for more info. — Mary Tutwiler
HOW’D YOU LIKE THEM ERYSTERS?
Fried. Oh so delicately in a thin crust of cornmeal. My favorite downtown plate lunch place, Antler’s, has just added fried oysters to the poboy menu and are they good. I crunched down on the poboy one day and just jonesed for those crispy oysters so bad that day two resulted in another order. This time, in an attempt to save myself from collapsing at the computer after lunch, I asked for the just-out-the-fryer oysters to be scattered over a green salad, along with a twist of bacon. Bleu cheese dressing on the side. Antler’s was accommodating, lunch was swell. Hurry up, however, the oysters are only on the menu through Lent. Poboy or salad, $9.95, call Antler’s, 234-8877, to order ahead. — MT
Congratulations to Stella Theriot and seven friends who will enjoy a private dinner hosted by INDEats and EatLafayette
The City-Parish Council on Tuesday will be asked to sign off on an agreement between UL Lafayette and Lafayette Consolidated Government that would expand mass transit opportunities for UL students by adding five additional buses to its shuttle run between Cajun Field and campus.
Four bedroom traditional or three bedroom French home
Louisiana's high school seniors are making increased strides on Advanced Placement exams.
The hip little River Ranch shop will open in the Acadiana Center for the Arts in time for the September ArtWalk.
Hot prints and cool wolves
The Alabama game is sold out but tickets for all other homes games can be purchased online at www.LSUtix.net.
Among the one-percenters nationally, Louisiana's fattest cat is a relative pauper.
The Republican governor sent a letter Thursday to the president, saying placement of the children in Louisiana could have "potential negative ramifications."
Many laws are minor, though some impact health care options, change educational programs and reach into people's everyday activities.
Responding to Tuesday’s federal appeals court decision to save Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic, Esquire magazine profiles the unique story behind one of the doctors working at the clinic in Jackson.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Lafayette’s first-ever Whole Foods Market will open its doors in September.
In reacting to the recently resurrected allegations of sexual abuse among local clergy, is the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette maintaining its old stance of protecting their own?
Louisiana's annual state sales tax holiday is Friday and Saturday.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Breakfast favorites served on a bubbly crust pair with a crisp salad
NJ lady beats Donald Trump; Israel calls up more troops; border hearings accelerated and more national and international news for Thursday, July 31, 2014.
State Rep. Lenar Whitney — one of a handful of Republican candidates vying for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional district — has been described by Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman as one of the most “frightening or fact-averse candidate[s]” he’s ever met following her reaction to an interview last week.
West coast casual
Mid-August hearing dates have been set for dueling lawsuits over Louisiana's use of the Common Core education standards in public schools.
An investigation into the last-minute passage of a pension hike for the state police superintendent continues, despite Col. Mike Edmonson's decision not to accept the increase.
Four bedroom traditional Youngsville home or three bedroom traditional Broussard home
On Tuesday, a three judge panel (voting two to one) of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutional Mississippi’s controversial law requiring that physicians who perform abortions maintain admitting privileges in a nearby hospital.
Safety Jairus Byrd practiced with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday for the first time since his signing in March.
Sentencing has been delayed for a businessman who provided key testimony in the corruption case that resulted in the conviction of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
The spectre of priest sex abuse has returned to haunt the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette following the recent release of an investigative report by Minnesota Public Radio, revealing new allegations of another child predator hiding behind the clerical collar.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
A ballpark snack topped with BBQ meat can be found cruising town on a food truck
"Although the administration is moving forward with climate change regulations at home, we don't consider how policy decisions in the United States impact greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world," says Roger Martella, the former general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.