Sunday, February 27, 2005

Giving The Word "Blog" a Good Name

One of my first daily stops on the business end of the blogosphere is a very well written and informative blog by Bill Ives called, "Portals and KM". He writes in a practical and entertaining manner. During the week his topics cover the use of portals, blogs and knowledge managment with a switch to music and food on the weekends. His recent post about blog policies gave me a lot to think about. If you are serious about blogging, it is a definite must read.

Today I had the pleasure of receiving a very nice review of my fledgling blog, "Harmony St. Charles" in his post for today. Mr. Ives grew up in New Orleans in the 1950's. Like most other natives he comes back often for a taste of home. He's a true son of the city and knows his way around. In that vein, he brought up some really good insider points regarding one of my recent posts.

Last Sunday I wrote "Sunday Means Brunch" in which I cringingly made the suggestion of Brennan's and Court Of Two Sisters for brunch. He's absolutely right when he says they are at the very least touristy and overpriced. I agree and don't take much pleasure in offering them as the main traditional choices. Unfortunately, I have also learned a hard lesson from years of working in the French Quarter.

When asked "Where do we eat brunch on Sundays?" Your answer might as well be one of the two because that's either where their mamma, nanna or best friend ate once and by golly so must they. These types of tourists (bless em' and their pocketbooks) are looking for just that, a textbook tourist experience. Memories of the places seen in guidebooks and on cooking shows. The mere bragging rights of having been seems almost more important than the meal and its quality. This is sad to a native because there really is so much more to choose from.

I've tried to steer them straight but, usually without much success. Hopefully when others see Bill's post and knowing he's from here they will take a chance. Trying out Arnaud's (which is delicious!) or, the other less famous establishments that offer a brunch menu.

When you visit please, ask someone who lives here where they like to eat most. Then actually go try out what they suggest. Your belly and our economy will thank you for it.

**Thanks Bill!**

Go By Ya Mamma's!

If you ask a local "Where are you going?" There is a good chance the reply may be, "By my mamma's house "Asked on a Sunday, more often than not that means to have brunch or dinner with mamma and the rest of the family.

Grab some pastries or cook up a big ol' pot of grits and grillads. Call up someone you who you haven't broken bread with in a while and invite them to your table or bring your food to theirs. Sit for the moment and pass a good time. Monday sure does come way to fast!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Shake a Tail Feather!

One of my favorite aspects of living in New Orleans is the wide range of nightlife choices. No matter what your style there is something to be found all over the city. Live music is our specialty and can be heard in several flavors ranging from traditional jazz to down and dirty southern rock. There is always a little something for every taste. Check the music listings for what you can go out and take advantage of seeing tonight.

For us, there are a few decisions to make in regards to exactly what kind of night action we're looking for. For starters, what part of town we want to be in. Uptown or French Quarter? Tonight I'm feeling Uptown. In fact, I'd like to get in a few cheap drinks at Ms. Maes after dinner. (It has been a really long week after all) I also want to make it to the Chris Cortez CD release party at Dos Jefes. Cigars, tunes and a laid back crowd. Sounds like just the ticket for shaking off the effects of a long week.

Now, where to eat dinner in between? I am really in the mood for some mediterranean fare. I'm thinking Byblos on Magazine Street. I just love the way a cold glass of Pale Moon Ale goes with the Drunken Haloumi! The polished wood,white topped tables and, the open kitchen set up makes a nice backdrop for the food. Our experience with staff has always been a pleasure. Weekend nights are pretty full but we have never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table. We'll stuff ourselves silly for not much cash and, provide ourselves with a nice foundation for the libations to come.

Remember to watch were you park and don't stiff on the tip. There's also rain on the forecast and crispy temps. So, grab your jacket and don't forget your umbrella!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Locked Up

Some prisoners read, others even make bible holders out of match sticks but, not Corey Miller a.k.a. C-Murder. No, he managed (with a whole lot of help) to record new material and, film a music video all while behind bars. How creative and ethicly corrupt all at the same time.

C-Murder makes CD, video while in Gretna jail

Thursday, February 24, 2005

See You Later Alligator

Looks like this wacky weather has stirred up a snoozing gator from his winter siesta. Hide the doggies and kids folks, there's a set of luggage with teeth on the loose! for New Orleans - Local

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I Went On Down To The Audubon Zoo....

I chaperoned a field trip to the Audubon Zoo today with some real live wild and whooly kindergartners. We had a great time and didn't lose nary a one! The weather couldn't have been better. Really warm but, not so hot that the kids were miserable before we were past Monkey Hill. We were the first group through the gates today just as the zoo opened. The kids were able to take their time to really stop, look and learn about the animals in residence. We petted goats sheep, snakes and an alligator.
Audubon Zoo

Monday, February 21, 2005

Monday Is For Laundry & Red Beans

Grab you a big bag of Camellia Red Beans, some Zatarain's rice and some green onion sausage from Manda. It's Monday and that means, laundry, no haircuts and red beans with rice for dinner.

As a personal preference, I do not soak my beans over night. Instead, I put the beans in the pot with about an inch of water to cover, then put them on the stove until they come to a boil. I leave at a boil for about 20 minutes then drain the beans and add them back to the pot along with:

1 cap-full of cider vinegar, two cups of water, half a cup of good red wine and a can of chicken or beef broth. I slice about two inches of sausage to throw in for seasoning, a tablespoon of salt, half a tablespoon of pepper, a handful of seasoning mix(chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery) then I put the flame to about six on the stove dial. I put the lid on the pot and stir occasionally for the next hour or so until the beans become soft. When the beans are tender but not mushy, I turn the flame down and add the rest of the sliced sausage. It is all done when the beans are completely tender and the gravy has thickened nicely.

I've posted this recipe from one of may favorite P.B.S. cooks for more accurate measurements. Please try and enjoy!
Lucy's Red Beans & Rice

Sunday, February 20, 2005

How To Do Business With The Film Industry 101

I have no comment on the logic (or lack thereof) behind holding an event as relevant as this so far out of the way. However, it is free and if you have anything remotely to do with film or the businesses that are effected by the new spurt of filming in New Orleans then I suggest you find a way to attend.
Now where's the seminar to teach the film industry how to work with New Orleans? I wonder. Search: "Film industry seminar planned"

Sunday Means Brunch

Brunch is my favorite kind of meal, especially on a Sunday like this. Our good streak of weather is holding tight. If you are in the French Quarter or its outskirts, you have serveral dining options within walking distance of wherever you are. There are a wide variety of fancy to funky restaurants within the FQ that offer a brunch menu. I myself want something in between. The food and its service is absolutely number one, the price second, followed by atmosphere.

If you are in town with say, your mamma and granny, take them either to Brennen's or Court of Two Sisters. Trust me, this is their idea of brunch. It is what they have read of and heard of from their pals who have been here before them. It is the Bananas Foster, Eggs Benedict, as seen on t.v. style that they will expect from you.

On the other hand, there are other less stuffy and slightly more ecclectic choices, such as La Peniche or Cafe Latrobe which are both also within the FQ. Get up and out before 11 a.m. , check your guide book and seek good eats. Relax, no one at home needs to know you're having mimosas before coffee.

Breakfast is also widely available in other areas of town such as Uptown along Magazine Street, or in the Carrollton Riverbend area where you can have a one of a kind dining experience at the world famous Camelia Grill. Be forewarned, though, on weekends the line goes out the door. Be patient because it moves quick and a full belly will be your reward. The prices are good and the service is very unique. Say "Hi" to Marvin and as always, please don't scrimp on the tip.

For more suggestions here 's a quick list:
Find Restaurants in New Orleans from New Orleans.Com

Saturday, February 19, 2005

A Night In With Sweet & Sour Chicken

Since getting well I'm a little flu shy. So, tonight we stay in. No need to be dull though! We'll order a flick from Cox's On Demand, take-out a little Chinese food and hunker down with a couple of cocktails.

If I were however, in the mind to have my honey take me out, we'd go see Carl LeBlanc at Dos Jefe's. These two make for a very nice mix.

Dos Jefes is located on Tchoupitoulas Street in Uptown. It is a nice mix of homey neighborhood bar with some frou-frou upscale style mixed in. Dos Jefes always has interesting music, good food and a wide variety of beer and spirits. Their main theme is cigars and they have an excellent filtration system. The humidor is small but is nicely stocked. The co-owner Richie who is easily recognizable by his dapper moustache will happily suggest a cigar to suit your taste.

Music starts late and that makes it a lively place to be way on into the wee hours. A tall fence outside surrounds the courtyard which is so nice to be in this weather. There are some small tables right in front of where the band plays. In the back room you'll find a nice pool table, soft couches and, a bar that sits up high with a great view of the stage area. The staff is not only easy to look at but, they are also very polite and attentive to service. They'll take your order from anywhere in the bar and tend to you for the rest of the night. Please don't forget to tip (well) the server or bartender that helps you as well as the band. It makes you look good and helps them make groceries. You will be remembered and justly rewarded for your efforts. Try it and see!

Magazine St. Po-Boy Shop

An Oyster Po-Boy and a vanilla cone. Add on a large homemade lemonade to go and heaven touches earth.

It's Saturday, Get Out And Do Something!

This is one of my favorite times of the year in New Orleans. The weather bounces between chilly and crisp to almost pre-springtime. Today is an unusually and very welcomed sixty-six degrees with no sign of rain so far. The crowds should be at a minimum with carnival time over. I encourage locals and visitors alike (especially locals) to put down the laptop, walk away from the monitor, turn off the t.v and go out preferably with someone you love. Here's a good listing of the wide variety of fun stuff to do on such a fine Saturday.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Look Ma, The DA Has A Website!

I don't know what's worse: The press that Eddie Jordan our Disrtict Atty. has gotten over his intentions to have lawyers and others advertise on his website. Or how bad the thing actually looks.

C'mon he can afford something less 1996 that this right?


Thursday, February 17, 2005

Gothic Sky

Originally uploaded by Harmony St.Charles.
We have a cold front coming in and today the sky got dark faster than it has all week. As the sun went down the air became crisp and moist. The scent of copper mingled in the breeze making it seem as if perhaps rain is on the way.

Louisiana Music Experience?

Louisiana Music Experience? :: OffBeat Magazine Message Board
I've been following the follys that have plagued the development of a music museum here in New Orleans. The Grammy project is dead in the water but, it seems that there may be a better plan in the works. Progress is at snail pace here so it will probably be quite awhile when (and if) this comes to be.

Hey Mr. I.R.S. Where's My Refund?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Eggplant Skies

Took a roll through town today. The weather was absolutely beautiful especially compared to other areas. Today was not to be taken for granted. We savored it and managed to capture a taste of it on film. You can see some of it here

No Glamour For Flu

Even a girl with her own self made universe can get sick. I am just now returning to my full and upright position. Wouldn't you know, it would have to be duing the same time that I decide to dip my toe in the blogging pool. Well, here's a wish to good health for us all in the coming spring thaw.

Today is Wednesday othewise known as "hump" day. Just what we're supposed to be humping, I don't want to speculate on. In New Orleans (and other parts of the world for all I know) this particular day of the week is also affectionately termed "WEDNESDAY 2 FOR 1" which if you are so inclined to imbibe means cheap liquer and lots of it! For a gal like me who has that kind of fun way behind her, the day becomes more assciated with what crime drama is on when and how quick I can get the kids to bed. That doesn't mean I have to do without something to wet my whistle and maybe loosen my honey's shoulders a bit though. Tonight we'll make what has become one of my favorite(and super) simple cocktails. I call it a "Cream Soda" Here's the recipe:

1 oz. to 1 1/2 oz. of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1 Can of Diet Coke w/ Lime
slice of lime to garnish