Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trip to New Orleans

The seniors at my school are offered some wonderful opportunities at the end of the year.  They are given several options for trips, experiences, and investigation.  We call it "Senior Explorations.  One of the teachers in the Upper School is planning a trip to New Orleans, and she asked for my input on things for them to do.  I was so eager to help that I have been asked to even go.  I have now started contacting people for ideas and help organizing the trip.  It's a fun challenge to keep 17 and 18 year olds entertained for 5-6 days in New Orleans.
I would like the students to go on a ghost tour, perhaps tour the SuperDome (Sacredome?), eat at one of Emeril's restaurants, go to Cafe' Reconcile, the WWII Museum, Aquarium of the Americas, and do a bunch of other touristy things.  The only thing I have done on this list is Cafe' Reconcile.  I think a critical part of this experience is to do some kind of community service, but I don't simply want them to do Habitat for Humanity.  There's nothing wrong with Habitat, but I think they need to see another part of New Orleans - one that was flooded and doesn't get much attention.  So far, I am thinking that we can work for the St. Bernard Project. 
If anyone has other groups that are doing good in Gentilly or New Orleans East, I would appreciate more information. 
Here are some of the things I could use help with:
Cheap food
A cooking demonstration that doesn't cost a fortune
interesting and offbeat opportunities (610 Stompers - I am looking at you!)
Soup Kitchen (Is Ozanam Inn the only place?)
Food bank or pantry
fun breakfast places
sporting events

Leave a comment if you can help me out!


Thursday, September 16, 2010


I can't help but think that there is a major connection between the type and ferocity (and frequency) of crimes in New Orleans and in border towns in Mexico recently.  It seems that both places depend heavily on tourism, drugs and the drug trade is a major source of revenue, and poverty abounds.  I am sure that sociologist, anthropologists, economists, etc., could tell me more, but I wonder why life is so undervalued in such environments?
The principal of my school lived for several years in Mexico, and it is very interesting to see the correlations between life there and in New Orleans.  There are many similarities in our daily life and in our interactions with each other.  But especially interesting are the ways that holidays and Holy Days are celebrated.  I like trying to explain why we New Orleanians do things a certain way and I like hearing how others do it. 
Much of life in both places seems to be a celebration of life, but I still can't get it out of my head - why the high crime?  What is it that causes people to think that violence and revenge are the answers?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

"Louisiana isn't the only place with shrimp"

Mr. Prescott,

You have made my life simpler.  Thank you. 
Louisiana isn't the only place that has shrimp, that's for sure!  But it
is where I grew up and where most of my family is.  None are shrimpers
or oystermen or even work on the rigs out in the Gulf of Mexico.  So
this little spill of yours doesn't directly affect my family.  But you
and your irresponsible company have ruined countless miles of our
valuable coast.  You see, the wetlands that the oil is invading and
destroying protect the rest of my state from hurricanes.  I was there
for Katrina.  The oil and gas industry that we have welcomed to our
coast is raping Louisiana of natural resources and natural protection. 
Your oil spill is just the latest in long line of travesties committed
against my home state.  To compound the feeling of ill will, you chose
to make a poor decision in saying that Louisiana isn't the only state
with shrimp.  This is true.  Other states have shrimp and access to
shrimp.  But the money made in Louisiana by Louisiana fishermen and
Louisiana restaurants should stay in Louisiana.  Before this, we did not
have to get shrimp from other places.  Now we do.  Thank you.

But definitely don't need to buy any products from BP.  And I am
committed to sharing that feeling with any others that may ask.  In
fact, there is a BP just down the road from me.  I plan on spending a
few hours each week there holding a sign with a dead pelican on it, a
burning oil rig, and the words "Can you afford this?"  on it.  Be
responsible, do all you can to fix your mistake, and watch your words

Thank you again for giving me a new job to do in the coming weeks.  I
wasn't sure what I was going to do with my summer.


Latin Teacher

Friday, May 07, 2010


I showed my class a short video about the oil spill today. It looks as though some of the oil may get caught in the Loop Current and could head up the East Coast. This isn't a Louisiana problem, it's a national one. We aren't getting nearly enough news up here about this, but we should be. Things are going to get much worse, I fear.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Pledge

The Saints are my favorite team. There are no two ways about it. When I had had enough after the 92 season and yet another playoff loss, I said I was done with the disappointment and heartbreak and was going to root for another team. I sorta did, too. I began following the Philadelphia Eagles - back when they had Randall Cunningham and that really nasty defense. But they weren't my home town team. I still followed the Saints. I couldn't get away from it. On Sunday mornings I would drive or ride my bike down to the French Quarter to get a cup of iced coffee at Royal Blend and some beignets at Cafe' Du Monde. I made sure to get back home in time for the pregame show and watch the Saints if they were on TV. If they weren't on, I would have the radio blaring, visualizing the plays while I puttered around my apartment cleaning up from the night before. I never had enough money back then to go to a game unless someone gave me a ticket or we waited until after kickoff to get in.

In 2006 when the Saints made their run to the NFC Championship game in Chicago, I bought a ticket for an outrageous price, booked a flight and reserved a hotel room to go see the New Orleans Saints. It was a beautiful thing to be there with MY team. And sure there were some jerks. I didn't care. I didn't care that they lost - what they had done was so unbelievable and amazing and spirit lifting that I still can't forget the elation of walking into Soldier Field wearing my Deuce McAllister jersey. And though I was slightly deflated after the game was over, I still was able to hold my head high. The Saints had done all of their fans proud (except that Reggie flip into the end zone in Urlacher's face thing).

Once I moved from New Orleans, I took up the charge. After all, I am from New Orleans. The Saints are my team. I found a dive bar that had the Sunday Ticket. Every Sunday. Then I started going to a hotel Sports Bar. Then another and another - just to root for the Saints. I even found a mob bar that was shut down suddenly when the FBI took the owners to jail for god knows what crimes. I even bought a Sirius Satellite radio so I could listen to Jim and Hokie when we were traveling around the country.

I moved to PA and found a bar and another real life Saints fan to watch the games with. It's weird to have this thing, this love and passion for a team that no one anywhere around here feels. It's my kinship and birthright to be a Saints fan. So I am. And I will be from now on. I am here in Jets/Giants/Eagles country proudly wearing my black and gold (and shrimp boots!). I am sorry that I wavered in my faith in you. I hope you can accept my apologies.

Today I am wearing my Deuce jersey. I have on my Be A Saint t-shirt. I will have on a sweatshirt and drink Abita Amber. I will bring my two year old wearing his Drew Brees jersey with me to watch the game. I will encourage him to say "Who Dat!" and "Deuuuuuce!" I will order the Cajun Burger and not criticize the lack of flavor or depth. I will introduce myself to strangers and entertain them with stories of New Orleans and of the Saints. I will read blogs and learn statistics and memorize all the players names and numbers. I will bleed Black and Gold.

Today I am a Saints fan, proud, unabashed and unashamed. Today I will scream and cheer and laugh with people I don't know. Today, I will show some unsuspecting New Jerseyans what a person from New Orleans is like and I will display the grace and courtesy we show to all our visitors. I will show them the passion of a Saints fan, too.

The Cardinals won a great game last week against the Packers. It was a shootout, and I enjoyed watching all the great plays from two great quarterbacks. Today's game features two great quarterbacks, but this week the two teams are playing in what has to be the loudest and most excitable crowd in the league. I have no doubt about the outcome today.

And when I wake up tomorrow, I am still going to be a Saints fan.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


After my last post, the Saints have gone on a 2 game losing streak. I did not intend to offend any of the following - God, Allah, Yahweh, Brian Bordelon, voodoo queens, witches, vampires, people who believe in jinxes, or any other person or being who connects with higher powers. I am sorry for this post, and I hope my apologies are accepted. I just want the Saints to finish strong and do us proud in the playoffs. Who dat!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Catching the Fever

Not swine flu.  The Saints. (amazing story about New Orleans AND the Saints)

Other than that, things are great.  More once this amazing season ends.  WHO DAT!