Monthly Archives: June 2013

New Orleans Community

St. Claude Ave: Arts and Music in the New Orleans Bywater Neighborhood


close up of a sign for Saturn bar on St. Claude Ave, scripted font with red lettering




St. Claude Ave is at the heart of the St. Claude neighborhood in the Bywater/Upper 9th Ward. The street is a stretch of music venues, art galleries and community centers that cater mostly to locals, but visitors are starting to learn about and explore the area more and more.

There are now about a dozen galleries on St. Claude Ave, featuring artists and works of varying styles and genres. The street is especially known as a hub for contemporary and experimental art, so if you’re looking for modern additions to your collection—or simply love walking through the galleries and exhibitions—St. Claude Ave is a prime destination.

In terms of music venues, St. Claude Ave has several unique offerings up and down the street, though there are a few clustered just off Elysian Fields Ave. One of these just off Elysian Fields is the AllWays Lounge and Theatre, which is a hotspot for local, modern theatre productions as well as music of varying types. You can find anything from jazz and experimental to indie rock and brass bands. The Hi Ho Lounge also serves up a wide variety of musical genres, including everything from bluegrass and singer-songwriters to blues and rock. Siberia mainly caters to the rock, punk and metal scenes, and Kajun’s Pub has widely popular karaoke selections. Down the way, you’ll also find the Saturn Bar, which is mainly known for their Mod Night dance parties on Saturday nights.

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New Orleans Traditions

Shaved Ice


Summertime refreshment

Summertime refreshment



Shave Ice.  It all seems so simple, but it wasn’t always so.   Where elsewhere they’re all screaming for ice cream in the summer, in New Orleans we scream for snowballs-which are, of course, only possible because of shaved ice.   Very, very finely shaved ice, almost to a liquid state, melting on your tongue with a refreshing sensation.   In Baltimore, we hear, they claim they invented snowballs because they also use shaved rather than crushed ice—but it’s not as fine as ours, and here we pour not just syrup but toppings on top of that shaved ice, like condensed milk.   But it all began with the shaved ice.  Legend has it that Ernest Hansen, of the original Hansen’s Sno-Bliz now on Tchoupitoulas, invented the first block ice shaving machine in 1939; before that, the “snowballs” were made of hand-shaved ice, none too sanitary.   Ernest’s wife Mary started making her own syrups, and there we have it—something else New Orleans does better.   Apart from the Hansens’ contribution, it’s not a far stretch to connect the Sicilian immigrants to New Orleans, who knew about such treats from the old country, to the love of snowballs here.   They’re almost like gelato, really, with the delightful array of snowball flavors available—like Satsuma, or nectar cream, or frozen mint   Everyone has their favorite stand, like the venerable Hansen’s, or Plum Street Snoball uptown, or Pandora’s by City Park. read more »

New Orleans Attractions

Books and Beasts: Fundraiser for SoFAB Culinary Library

Books and Beast Fundraiser 2013





It’s not news that in New Orleans, everything centers on food—and that includes books.  New Orleans Public Library has partnered with SoFAB (Southern Food and Beverage Museum) to create the first-ever culinary library branch of NOPL as a satellite branch, at a renovated building on O.C. Haley Blvd.  With over 9,000 volumes of vintage and contemporary cookbooks and food reference books collected by SoFAB, this is the first library branch in that neighborhood since the 1940s.  It’s intended as a way to celebrate cooking and the love of food, contributing to the area’s unique identify and culture.  It’s also part of what the NOPL is calling a “living collection,” passing down traditions to the next generation.

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