Archives for November 2013

Read Bean On Monday: Fleur de Lit, A One-Stop NOLA Literary Resource


Fleur de Lit

modern-booksFor today’s Read Beans On Monday I’m linking to a couple of reviews by local blogger and literary advocate Candice Huber. I stumbled on her site, Fleur de Lit, a few weeks ago and it’s already been a great resource that has turned me on to several local events and enabled me to network with a few local authors.

This site attempts to create a comprehensive list of local readings, book signings, book fairs, and other literary focused events. Fleur de Lit has also started a monthly reading series of its own at The Pearl Wine Company: Reading Between the Wines. Be sure to check out the site for dates, times, and locations.


Huber also maintains a personal blog where she has started including book reviews of her own. Her first two entries are by local authors and involve New Orleans or southern Louisiana so fit perfectly with this blog’s theme.

The Booklovers’s Guide to New Orleans, Susan Larson

This book sounds like part literary history of and part literary tour guide to New Orleans by the popular local NPR host of The Reading Life, Susan Larson. It sounds fascinating and I hope to review it myself soon. In fact, it sounds like a book I should have read nine months ago!

Night of the Comet, George Bishop

This story set in rural southern Louisiana is starting to garner national attention, telling the story of a high school science teacher who stakes his reputation on the promise of a comet and his bookworm son. Huber has high praise for its pathos and relatability.




Read Beans On Monday: My Bayou by Constance Adler


My Bayou: New Orleans Through the Eyes of a Lover

by Constance Adler

My Bayou is a difficult book for me to review. I don’t like to focus on the negative, and this book certainly wasn’t without merit. Constance Adler is a skilled writer and there were times her reflections on life in New Orleans centering on her strolls along Bayou St. John intellectually intrigued me and other times where they emotionally moved me, yet for large stretches they also left me cold. Part of this was audience–I’m pretty sure I’m not her primary target–but part of it was the haphazard, wandering nature of her reflections. Adler is also an accomplished blogger, so it bothered me that I didn’t like this book because of the meandering format. The book struck me as a blog bound together in book form, though I’d like to think–hell, desperately hope–that this transition can be accomplished more naturally.

My Bayou opens with [Read more…]

Halloween in New Orleans, The NOLA Social Ride, & All Hallows Happenstance


This Painting Is Currently Up For Bidding In A Silent Auction . . .

This Painting Is Currently Up For Bidding In A Silent Auction . . .

My last post (excepting the book review) detailed my experience with local bicycle club the Crescent City Cruzers, and the first Thursday I had planned to meet up with CCC (before being discouraged by the weather) they were doing a joint ride with the NOLA Social Ride’s ‘Happy Thursday Ride.’ Yes, there are two groups of bikers that dress in theme and hit the streets on Thursday nights yelling “Happy Thursday!” though I would later learn, not surprisingly, they started as one. For the sake of comparison and contrast, I had vaguely planned on joining the NOLA Social Ride sometime, but it turns out planning wasn’t necessary for Halloween night I ended up riding with them completely by accident!


As my first Halloween in New Orleans dawned I so excited that I shaved my head.

Breaking Bad!

Breaking Bad!


For the Halloween weekend I’d updated my pirate costume after stumbling into a cool costume shop in the Quarter, but had previously ordered a pork pie hat intending to go as [Read more…]

Read Beans On Monday: Prime by Poppy Z. Brite



by Poppy Z. Brite

Poppy Z. Brite is a popular New Orleans author who, following in the footsteps of Ann Rice, came to popularity with homo-erotic horror stories often involving vampires, though apparently upping the ante on violence, weirdness, and explicit scenes. Or so I hear. I wasn’t familiar with Brite until recommended by friend and native Chris Tusa, and when I headed to the library, one of the books that abandons horror for the gritty realism of the New Orleans restaurant world, Prime, was his only book available. (We’ll use the masculine pronoun per the author’s preference, as the issue of Brite’s gender identification is a story unto itself and doesn’t concern me.) After a long-term relationship with a local chef, Brite was apparently fascinated with the inner working and dirty underbelly of the local fine dining scene, and though I stumbled into this work blindly, it ended up being a great choice and compelling portrait of this unseen side of New Orleans.

Prime, it turns out, is [Read more…]

New Orleans Bicycle Clubs: The Crescent City Cruzers


Mobile Selfie During the Chewbacchus Ride

Mobile Selfie During the Chewbacchus Ride

Social rides’ such as the bike parade I joined for my first Chewbacchus adventure are popular occurrences in New Orleans. A social ride is where group of people take to the streets with decked out bicycles, often in costume, for mini-parades of undetermined route, blocking traffic along the way. Why? In New Orleans, the answer is always Why not?

Chewbachhus Rolls:  All Hail The Sacred Drunken Wookie!

Chewbachhus Rolls:
All Hail The Sacred Drunken Wookie!

I had been aspiring for a while to join in on a ride, my appetite whetted by the Chewbacchus parade, when friend and long-time reader, Ann, sent me a link to the Crescent City Cruzers Facebook page. My initial attempts to meet them, though, though were thwarted for a month by rain and other plans, so when I drove back from Florida one Thursday in mid-October I told myself I had to suck it up and hit the pocked pavement after my nine-hour drive. During October CCC was meeting at Armstrong Park for the Jazz in the Park series, and I was looking forward to seeing Jon Cleary that night, but once I unpacked and hit the couch, my motivation dissolved. I’d gotten up early after getting to bed late, but it was a beautiful Autumn night so I told myself I’d be glad once I pushed through the exhaustion. I certainly, though, wasn’t going to bike all the way from my home about as far Uptown you can get with dry feet all they way to the French Quarter, so tossed my bike in my truck telling myself I could just drive back if I didn’t perk up by music’s end.


2013-10-17 20.08.17I didn’t realize there was a weekly theme as I rolled up, but I assumed the group of people dressed like [Read more…]