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Archive for louisiana

The Cajun Food Trail

By Linda Tancs

Cajun cuisine is a staple of Louisiana’s food culture. That’s especially true in the Cajun Bayou. Just 45 minutes south of New Orleans, it flows through wetlands and Cajun communities, the perfect place for a Cajun Bayou Food Trail. Along the route you can sample the Cajun delights of over a dozen restaurants. Stop by the visitor’s center in Raceland for a foodie passport and trail information. You can exchange your passport for a free, commemorative t-shirt once you’ve visited seven restaurants.

D-Day in NOLA

By Linda Tancs

Appropriately enough, the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, opened on June 6, 2000, the anniversary of D-Day. In fact, it was originally named the D-Day Museum. Designated by Congress as the official World War II museum of the United States, it’s located in downtown New Orleans on Magazine Street. New Orleans is home to the LCVP, or Higgins boat, the landing craft that brought U.S. soldiers to shore in every major amphibious assault during the war. The six-acre campus features five soaring pavilions (and two more on the way), a period dinner theater and restaurants. Visited by over 2 million tourists from around the world, the facility is a premier research institution, offering visitors the fruits of decades-long research by the late Dr. Stephen Ambrose, the museum’s founder. He tirelessly researched and wrote about the war, Eisenhower and D-Day and collected more than 2,000 oral histories from D-Day veterans.

Spinning for Over 60 Years

By Linda Tancs

In New Orleans, Louisiana, there’s one carousel that requires adult admission. That’s the famous Carousel Bar & Lounge in Hotel Monteleone, a long-time favorite NOLA hotspot. It’s the city’s only revolving bar, spinning for over 60 years now. The brightly hued, circus-style merry-go-round seats 25 guests and turns on 2,000 large steel rollers, pulled by a chain powered by a one-quarter horsepower motor. Patrons circumnavigate at one revolution every 15 minutes. Prized for its whimsicality as well as its drinks, the Goody and The Vieux Carre cocktails were first concocted at the bar. Why not go for a spin!

The Essence of Creole

By Linda Tancs

Creole, a blend of western European, African and Native American influences, flourished in Louisiana before it joined the Union in 1803. You’ll find its essence alive and well at Laura, a Creole plantation in the heart of New Orleans Plantation Country. Originally called l’habitation Duparc (after Duparc, a French naval veteran of the American Revolution who acquired the property in 1804), it was renamed Laura Plantation after Laura Locoul, a descendant of the Duparc-Locoul families. At its largest size, it was approximately 12,000 acres, which included properties amassed over time. More than a house and garden tour, visitors are enriched in Creole culture through a 70-minute tour (in English and French) sharing the compelling, real-life accounts of multiple generations of the plantation’s Creole inhabitants—plantation owners, women, slaves and children who once called this centuries-old, sugar cane farm their home. The property is located on Highway 18 midway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, only 35 miles from New Orleans International Airport.

Life Along the Bayou

By Linda Tancs

Ever wonder what life was like along the bayou in colonial days? You’ll find out at the Pitot House, the only Creole colonial country house that is open to the public in New Orleans. Located on historic Bayou St. John (accessible via the Carrollton Spur streetcar), the site is named for James Pitot, the first mayor of New Orleans after the city’s incorporation, who lived at the residence in the early 1800s. Guided tours are available from Wednesday through Saturday.

Amazing Grapes

By Linda Tancs

Amazing Grapes is an annual wine auction event in New Orleans benefiting the Hermann-Grima and Gallier historic houses. These Victorian homes are two of the oldest in NOLA’s French Quarter. Taking place this Saturday at the Hermann-Grima house, the event will feature a wine tasting from Bizou Wines, a buffet by Broussard’s Restaurant and auctions featuring rare and hard-to-find wines as well as luxurious vacations and art.

The Heart of Old New Orleans

By Linda Tancs

The triple-steepled cathedral forming the backdrop to a triumphal statue of Andrew Jackson in the Big Easy is one of the most iconic images of the city. Completed in 1727, St. Louis Cathedral fronts historically rich Jackson Square and kisses the Mississippi River in the heart of old New Orleans. Dedicated to Louis IX, sainted King of France, it remains the oldest Catholic cathedral in continuous use in the United States.

Plein Air on the Teche

By Linda Tancs

Picture this: a juried art exhibition amidst stately oak trees draped in Spanish moss framed by a classic antebellum historic house.  If that doesn’t get paint brushes moving, then what will?  This weekend marks the weeklong inaugural Plein Air Competition at Shadows-on-the-Teche, a 19th century southern Louisiana plantation.  Located in New Iberia’s Main Street District on the banks of Bayou Teche, The Shadows was built in 1834 for sugar planter David Weeks and preserves 150 years of history through four generations.

A Victorian Fantasy in New Orleans

By Linda Tancs

Turrets, columns and gingerbread aren’t the usual fare associated with architecture in New Orleans.  But then again, anything goes in the Big Easy.  In the middle of the Garden District you’ll find a turquoise and white Victorian dream known as Commander’s Palace, a restaurant known for its cuisine–and famous guests–since 1880.  Located on Washington Avenue just steps from the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, this is where Emile Commander entertained folks like Mark Twain and Confederate Jefferson Davis.  Nowadays it’s particularly known for its festive weekend jazz brunch, featuring a special menu and live New Orleans jazz by Joe Simon’s Jazz Trio.

 

Drinks on US

By Linda Tancs

Did you know that the earliest known recipe for a cocktail in the U.S. comes from a response to a newspaper editorial in 1806?  What was the original cocktail?  How many patents have issued for barware?  These and other libation-related curiosities will be answered at the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans at the Riverwalk Marketplace.  What better time to visit than during World Cocktail Week, now through 13 May.

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