Standing on a balcony in her hometown, watch Ledisi stop an unsuspecting crowd, and all the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter, dead in its tracks.
It’s 8 years today that Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. In New Orleans, once-displaced Lower Ninth Ward resident Ronald Lewis has collected, in a shed behind his rebuilt home, cultural artifacts — like Mardi Gras photos and regalia — in an effort to keep his culture alive. There’s also a Hurricane Katrina display.
"This collection shows the resilience of the people. We had lost everything, but we didn’t lose hope. So every piece in here is symbolic of that — of people wanting to share in the story of us rising out of the ruins of Katrina and saying, ‘We’re here, we’re back,’ " Lewis says.
His collection is open to the public. It’s called The House of Dance and Feathers.
Photo: Debbie Elliott/NPR
Instagramming Mardi Gras from the Big Easy
Next week, Catholics the world over will recognize Ash Wednesday, the first day of a six-week-long period of fasting and prayer known as Lent. Around the world, the period before Lent is called Carnival and is marked by massive celebrations and parades. But in Louisiana, it’s called Mardi Gras.
While the culmination of Mardi Gras season occurs on Fat Tuesday—the day immediately before Ash Wednesday—the parades and festivities actually begin several weeks beforehand. Throughout New Orleans and Louisiana, “Krewes” (a variation on “crews”) with names like Orpheus, Zulu, Bacchus and Thoth hold parades and toss beads to revelers camped out along the streets.
To tune in from afar over the next five days, follow @NolaMardiGras, browse the #MardiGras hashtag, or watch the Times-Picayune’s ParadeCam. For tonight’s parades, check out #KreweofHermes, #KrewedEtat and #KreweofMorpheus.
Party on, New Orleans. -L
'New Orleans is a party city and they party,' Wein says. 'People party here. If you go to the hotels — 40-floor hotels — [there's] like 40 floors of parties.'
I’m sorry I didn’t know about Uncle Lionel before he died. He sounds wonderful. — Tanya
Lionel Batiste, vocalist, bass drummer and assistant band leader of the Treme Brass Band died Sunday after a brief battle with cancer. He was 81.
Cred: Lee Crum
Will you see 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' when it comes out on June 27th? I love this subtle gif of actress Quvenzhané Wallis, who plays the main character—Hushpuppy. In an interview for the Sundance Film Festival, director Benh Zeitlin told the story of knowing Wallis was right for the part: “…you see different children do a scene so many times, and then suddenly you’re looking at a warrior…”
In the Danziger Bridge case, 10 police officers gunned down civilians in the days after Katrina, then concocted an elaborate cover-up. This month’s guilty verdicts give momentum to a larger effort by the federal government to reform the city’s police department from top to bottom.