‘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
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Pat Bowlen steps down; typhoon caused Taiwan plane crash; Arizona execution botched and more national and international news for Thursday, July 24, 2014.
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Three bedroom traditional Lafayette home or three bedroom Breaux Bridge home
Style market slated for old Artesia
The city prosecutor has released the case file for Lafayette Parish School Board member Tehmi Chassion’s simple battery complaint against Superintendent Pat Cooper, and the seven witness statements given to police illustrate two very different scenarios.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana fell one spot in an annual national ranking of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.
A federal judge has decided he doesn't need to hear more arguments in the case of a gay couple who want a Louisiana marriage license.
Saints again bring playoff aspirations into 2014 campaign.
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Citing conflicting witness accounts, the city prosecutor will not pursue Tehmi Chassion’s allegation of simple battery against Superintendent Pat Cooper.
Smoked meat, fresh sides and the best boudin around
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers opens on Johnston.
Cirque du Soleil effortlessly combines circus art with beloved Michael Jackson hits.
Kelly Guidry Open House
Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards sued Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday over his actions against the multi-state standards, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An arrest was announced this morning in connection with last week’s bomb scare at UL Lafayette.
Attorneys, judges and others interviewed by LaPolitics expect 15 to 20 district judge races this year.
"I feel like I'm under siege," an attorney said recently over drinks at Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. "We all do. Every time I turn around somebody wants a check. District attorney races. The judges. They're killing us."
As a requirement for running for Congress in the 6th District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has filed his financial disclosure statement with the U.S. House showing his income in 2013 totaling $242,787.
Unlike those swindled by Bernie Madoff, the victims of Texas businessman Robert Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme won’t be getting any relief from the Securities Investor Protection Corp.’s emergency fund after a recent appellate court ruling.
Acadiana's Top 50 Private Companies
It would be an understatement to say Schumacher Group had a challenging year in 2013.
Hampton Toyota has been serving Acadiana as the premier Toyota dealership for more than 10 years. And now, the glossy Johnston Street dealership is looking forward to a makeover.
Even when Floyd Degueyter is on “vacation” he’s hard at work.
As the second largest metal heat treating company in the country, Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1979.
When the Prohibition era came to an end in 1933, Joseph R. Streva saw an opportunity to make a little extra money to supplement his day job.
When a hurricane hits, Brent Mouton doesn’t run. The convenience store chain owner is proof that the challenges of mother nature can almost break a business, but Mouton learned to grow out of temporary closure from near devastation in 2002 and of lost potential revenue.