‘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
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.