‘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
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Casual cool for Thanksgiving
Shop Lafayette goes strong
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
A divided 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a Lafayette district judge’s ruling absolving the co-owner of a New Iberia accounting firm of liability in an embezzlement case.
Our View: It’s reasonable, temporary and invests in Lafayette’s future.
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By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
Three bedroom in Port Barre or two bedroom in Opelousas
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
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State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.