Oct 192018
 

The insanely rich, dark, mahogany hued Quail Gumbo, from the kitchen of Gabrielle’s Chef Greg Sonnier. (Photo Credit: Gabie Sonnier)

The return of Gabrielle Restaurant last October was literally the talk of the town. Not “literally” in the way millennials misuse the word, but literally, as in literally.

Twelve years is a long time to miss a menu. And few chefs and kitchens have been as missed by locals as James Beard-nominated Chef Greg Sonnier and his beloved Gabrielle.

The original Gabrielle—located on Esplanade in the historic Faubourg St. John–opened to critical acclaim in 1992, but like so many of New Orleans’ culinary institutions, was lost to Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters in 2005. Continue reading »

Oct 182018
 

Congressional candidate MiMi Methvin poses with Bobbie Hill and Micah Fincher at an Uptown fundraiser hosted by Seth and Julie Schwam Harris. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Women leaders around the state are excited about congressional contender MiMi Methvin – a Democrat running against incumbent Republican Clay Higgins in Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District. They expect Methvin, a former federal magistrate who was educated at Newcomb College, to take full advantage of the #Me Too Movement against sexual harassment. Numerous polls show that white, college-educated women are moving toward more culturally sensitive Democratic candidates and away from those who embrace President Donald Trump and his often divisive rhetoric. Continue reading »

Oct 112018
 

Martha Lemoine talks about the US Constitution to students of the Nancy Marsiglia Institute. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

In a fiery speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Gold Star father Khizr Khan talked about falling in love with the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. A Pakistani immigrant whose son Army Captain Humayun Khan was killed in Iraq in 2004, Khan offered to lend Donald Trump his copy so Trump could look up the words “liberty” and “equal protection under the law.”

New Orleans civic activist Madalyn Schenk was inspired by Khan’s speech and decided to form a different kind of book club – one that exclusively studied the Constitution and accompanying documents. That “constitution club” has now grown into the Nancy Marsiglia Institute, a 12-week cooperative program between Loyola University Law School and the United Way of Southeast Louisiana. The late philanthropist Nancy Marsiglia was the first person Schenk approached to participate. Soon other women including Councilmember Helena Moreno, Patty Riddlebarger, Ruth Kullman and United Way COO Charmaine Caccioppi joined in. Constitution expert Martha Lemoine Palmer, a mentor teacher and national judge for the Center for Civic Education’s We the People project, agreed to lead the class. Loyola Law School Dean Madeleine Landrieu – then Appeals Court Judge – bestowed the first graduation certificates. Continue reading »

Oct 052018
 

Three Weekends of das Oktoberfest!

German beers on tap at Deutsches Haus’ Oktoberfest

German beers on tap at Deutsches Haus’ Oktoberfest (Kristine Froeba)

Prost! Deutsches Haus and Oktoberfest are back in town.

Das Deutsches Haus, New Orleans’ German cultural and heritage center, aka the German house, is back in the city proper and celebrating Oktoberfest. This year marks the organizations 90th anniversary and its inaugural Oktoberfest at its new location in Mid-City.

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense that New Orleanians celebrate the most Bavarian of holidays down on dah bayou—Bayou St. John to be exact. Continue reading »

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Oct 052018
 

Southern Poverty Law Center advocate Curtis Davis II, New Orleans League of Women Voters President Rosalind Blanco Cook, and State Senator J.P. Morrell discuss constitutional amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

The Nov. 6 election ballot doesn’t just include federal, state and local races. Citizens will also have the opportunity to vote yes or no on six statewide constitutional amendments and on legalizing fantasy sports betting in Orleans Parish. “New Orleans voters should get the information about the pros and cons of the constitutional amendments on the November ballot so they can make informed choices at the polls,” said New Orleans League of Women Voters President Rosalind Blanco Cook. Continue reading »

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Sep 282018
 

“If it lacks authority, add more vodka,” those are Ernest Hemingway’s instructions while mixing his preferred Bloody Mary. Hemingway understood New Orleans.

The Deluxe Bloody Mary at New Orleans’ Apolline Restaurant

The Deluxe Bloody Mary at New Orleans’ Apolline Restaurant, garnished with a freshly baked bacon breakfast biscuit sandwich perched aloft of the mug. (photo by Kristine Froeba)

It’s Bloody Mary Season in New Orleans
The Classic Cocktail Enamored By Locals

Some might say Fall marks the arrival of Bloody Mary season in New Orleans—at least for me anyway. I find the Bloody Mary too heavy for the humid southern summer, but curiously sublime when temperatures drop or are supposed to drop.

Come late September or October, this staple of the brunch bunch becomes the staple of many a tailgate or pre-game party. Continue reading »

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Sep 272018
 

State Rep.s Julie Stokes and Rick Edmonds, both candidates for Secretary of State, pose for a photo at the Greater New Orleans Republicans endorsement meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 26. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Preaching in a staccato, firebrand rhetoric on numerous conservative sacred-cow issues, Baton Rouge State Rep. Rick Edmonds was heartily endorsed last night by the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee and the Greater New Orleans Republicans in the Nov. 6 race for Secretary of State, beating out better-known names locally such as Kenner State Rep. Julie Stokes, former State Sen. A.G. Crowe, and current Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin. Continue reading »

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Sep 202018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

When Mayor LaToya Cantrell addressed the Bureau of Governmental Research on Tuesday, she was quick to talk about her desire to add currently exempt property to the tax rolls while also re-distributing other tax dollars that are generated in New Orleans, especially those collected by the tourism industry. Even though the City Council recently proposed new millage to support senior citizens, Cantrell told the packed house that New Orleans could not tax our way into prosperity and has been clear that a budget shortfall of at least $24 million is anticipated for 2019. Continue reading »

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Sep 152018
 
Gabrielle’s Seared Duck Liver and Caramelized Onions

Gabrielle’s Seared Duck Liver and Caramelized Onions on Cinnamon Toast with Cherry Jam (photo credit Gabbie Sonnier)

New Orleans’ Restaurant Week has only two days and nights left to enjoy. September is one of the slowest months of the year for restaurateurs, but it’s an excellent opportunity for locals to experience new chefs and new menus from old favorites.

Celebrating its eighth year, Restaurant Week New Orleans offers a line-up of restaurants with innovative menus at discounted prices. The week, a brainchild of the Louisiana Restaurant Association in partnership with New Orleans & Company, runs through Sunday, September 16. Continue reading »

Sep 132018
 

Center for Developmental Learning vice president Frank Williams, Chair Holly Sharpe, speaker Dr. Tim Shanahan and Lusher CEO Kathy Riedlinger at a symposium Wednesday on the importance of early literacy. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

With an overall enrollment of more than 1700 students, Lusher Charter School CEO Kathy Riedlinger understands the importance of her students developing strong reading skills at an early age. That’s why Riedlinger, her elementary principal and two other Lusher leaders attended a symposium yesterday hosted by the Center for Development and Learning (CDL), a non-profit whose mission is to improve the life chance of all children, especially those at high risk. Continue reading »

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Sep 062018
 
Dr. Tammy Savoie will challenging incumbent Steve Scalise for Congress seat

Dr. Tammy Savoie, a psychologist and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel challenging incumbent Steve Scalise for Congress, speaks at a Democratic fundraiser in the Warehouse District on July 24. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

With a stunning victory Tuesday night against 22-year Congresssman Mike Capuano, Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley is the latest candidate to upend the traditional political party system in America. An avowed progressive who was endorsed by the Democratic Party structure, Capuano is the fourth House incumbent to be defeated by a fresh face who was able to connect with voters in a very real way. An African-American female, Pressley is a former aide to Rep. Joseph Kennedy and Sen. John Kerry who has worked her way up by keen networking and strong performances. Continue reading »

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Aug 302018
 

Stakeholders including GNOF’s Andy Kopplin, former Council candidate Tilman Hardy and former Councilmember Oliver Thomas discuss options for Spirit of Charity District at community meeting. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Though there is much progressive talk in New Orleans these days about the need for economic and social equity, the viability of the redevelopment of Charity Hospital and its surrounding footprint will be decided in part by the willingness of Mayor LaToya Cantrell, the City Council and the judges of Civil District Court to relocate into the former hospital. Without their participation, the overall development – with its strong commitment to affordable housing, DBE participation, training and workforce development – would suffer from a severe funding gap. A significant public subsidy would be needed to get the project off the ground. An “active tenant” such as city government is necessary to make the project’s financial numbers work. Continue reading »

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Aug 292018
 

(image courtesy of David Mora)

I hear it’s pouring rain today in New Orleans. How apt. Most of my friends say they will not watch television today. I haven’t seen my friend Kim Abramson in person for years, but today her Instagram post was one of grief. It reads, “We won’t turn on the TV today, because I can’t take the images. I love you, New Orleans, hang in there.”

Many others are planning a social media blackout. I will likely employ both survival tactics. For that is what we did—Katrina survivors, the luckier few anyway—we survived. Far too many did not.

Yesterday afternoon, Times-Picayune reporter Melinda Morris innocently Tweeted, “Where were you 13 years ago today?” The roundup’s responses brought forth emotions forgotten in the daily hustle. More poignantly, it brought tears. Morris admitted she can’t bring herself to watch video feed of Hurricane Katrina.

There were numerous emotional admissions from New Orleans and Mississippi on yesterday’s social media, emotions and memories that the rest of America will never be able to grasp. Many started crying. I was one of them. Continue reading »

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Aug 232018
 

Louisiana Secretary of State contenders A.G. Crowe, Gwen Collins-Greenup and Renee Fontenot Free address the New Orleans Coalition earlier this week. (photp by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Thousands of women candidates across the country — like two running for Secretary of State in Louisiana, Renee Fontenot Free and Gwen Collins-Greenup — will be celebrating Women’s Equality Day on Sunday, August 26. During the battle over the Equal Rights Amendment, Congresswoman Bella Abzug introduced a resolution in 1973 recognizing the August 26, 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the constitutional right to vote. Continue reading »

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Aug 162018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

What do Julie Stokes, Richard Perque, A.G. Crowe, Chelsey Richard Napoleon, Marie Williams, Heather Cloud and Omar Mason have in common? All are candidates for state or local office in the November 6, 2018 elections who made sizeable personal loans to their campaigns. By beefing up fundraising totals, these candidates became more viable which in turn helps future fundraising. Several other contenders – Kyle Ardoin, Kenneth Plaisance, and Renee Fontenot Free – also loaned themselves the fees needed to qualify and were quickly reimbursed. Continue reading »

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