Archive for February, 2005

The Museum of the American Cocktail

The last time I heard anything regarding the museum, it was merely rumors of anticipation several months before it opened and I hadn’t heard anything until the NPR story yesterday.

Rue on North Peters: Closed?

Was I hallucinating? Tell me I was.

When did the Rue on North Peters close? I haven’t been a regular around there since my service industry days but always kept it in mind as the alternative to meretricious Starbucks across the street from Canal Place. I walked by Saturday and it looked dark and empty.

There are too many alternatives in the quarter to make the Carondelet location ever worth going to. Beginning to accept that Rue might have just moved out of my French Quarter bubble, it will be surely missed.

Oh Rue

I’m so disappointed

What the hell’s going on here? I think Louisianans drank more than this during Prohibition.

Louisiana booze use tumbles to No. 41

Louisiana, often thought of as ground zero for intoxication, has sobered up a bit.

Louisiana ranks No. 41 in alcohol use among all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the recent U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report. It ranks No. 23 in binge drinking, 26th in drug use and 17th for tobacco use.

The study counted usage among those age 12 and older in 2002 and 2003.

A total of 46.27 percent of Louisianians surveyed used alcohol in the past month. New Hampshire had the highest percentage at 59.8 percent.

Forty-six percent in the last MONTH?!? That’s it?! Jeezm, I mean, what’s the point of Circle K pricing beer less than fruit juice if we’re not going to consume it?

Louisiana had a binge drinking rate of 23.77 percent. Binge drinking is having five or more drinks on the same occasion. North Dakota had the highest rate at 31.37 percent.

Louisiana drug use in the past month was in the middle of the pack with 8.07 percent while Alaska had the highest rate with 12.01 percent.

In Louisiana 32.7 percent of the population used tobacco in the past month. Kentucky was first with 39.78 percent.

No longer the fattest state. And now far from the “drinkingest”. I shudder to think about what’s next.

Article from CityBusiness (sub req, my emphs).

Chris Cortez CD-Release Party this Saturday

Local musician Chris Cortez is having his CD-Release party this Saturday night at Dos Jefes Cigar Bar here in New Orleans. His new CD is called ‘Mum is the Word’ and features some catchy originals and  some covers like "Everyday I Have The Blues, Georgia On My Mind, Sweet Georgia Brown."   The CD has already gotten a 5 star rating from eJazz News.

The festivities kick off at 9:30.  Chris is going to have a killer 6 piece band that promises to rock the house.  Admission is free, and there will be lots of cool prizes and giveaways, including some of his new CDs.  His old stuff is available at Apple’s iTunes Music Store at this link (requires that you have iTunes installed on your computer) if you want to check out what his stuff sounds like.

The Art of Happiness: Back in the New Orleans Job Market


This past week I realized how unhappy I was with my job and the following article from the February 13th NYT pumped me up enough to quit:

LIFE’S WORK; Take This Job and Hug It

I think most people in this modern world will turn to Internet job sites as a first instinct towards finding another job. If you

Lee Circle of Life

Maybe you’ve noticed…Lee Circle isn’t so desolate at 2am any longer. Welcome, “On The Run”…our newest downtown tobacco, beer and energy plant. And yes, the gas is cheaper.

But turn your head to the left, follow the tracks around past Cirque rental room inn, and there, mere feet from Exxon’s newest exploit lies our dear, old, beloved Lee Circle Shell.
You can compare the price for unleaded, and almost as if Exxon didn’t exist, the Shell station touts a bounty of 12 cents more…and I’m ready and willing to pull that dime and two pennies from my car’s ashtray/coin hole any day of the week.

I remember moving to NOLA and finding respite in Lee Circle Shell, open all the time…and stocked with some of the most interesting women working the register…I even earned the name “Messy” from one of them. Yeah, “Messy.” Almost like a fortune teller on the square, Maya Angelou behind the counter handing me my Marlboros has yet to explain the nickname to me…

The owner of the place, a woman who when I first stepped foot in the door of the Lee Circle Shell, bitching and moaning because my Dos Equis was way high in the American peso equivalent…said confidently to me, (price list in hand), “So tell me how much you’d pay for that somewhere else, then”.

I recoiled. And I returned.

As Exxon sprouted up, I began to wonder if I could stand the resistance. Almost like a silent protest, loyal Lee Circle Shell customers return..

But there’s more to the story, as I found out in the latest issue of my Human Rights Campaign (BIG BLUE EQUAL SIGN STICKER PEOPLE) newsletter. After affixing the always included yellow and blue sticker to my hatchback proudly, I noticed an article about how Exxon/Mobil removed domestic partner benefits from their corporate policies. Now, I’m no activist of sorts, but that equal sign sticker suddenly related to Lee Circle.

Shell, offers domestic partner benefits. Shell is chosen as the receiver of my soul – my cash. I won’t step wheel nor foot across the street from here on, as the circle truly did come full with the realization that…

I love the locals. I love loyalty. And now, as I pay that 12 cents more a gallon and carry my XX out the door of Lee Circle Shell, I realize I’m now paying…not only to keep a landmark and support the owning couple of the Shell as they continue to charge more to a point that up until now, came with a sly grin of “yeah, we’re the only ones around”…to watching them still do so…and my twelve cents now goes not only to show I care in some awkward way that Shell stay…but I’m paying in protest to a company across the street that thinks kissing boys is just not worthy.

My gas tank has connected to my wallet, my beliefs, my sexuality, my midnight cravings…in truth, Lee Circle Shell has caused everything that is me, to relate backward to the unleaded…and has proven how even the gas station on the corner reeks through and through with the light of nola, the meaning of our city, and when I buy my menthol lights, in essence, the shell station connects to my death.

There’s a lot going on at that Lee Circle Shell…
Not to mention the General Lee parked overnight randomly during the movie month a while back…almost as if Bo and Luke needed some work done…

“No, I’m Paid Enough; No, Really, Thank You”

The Times-Picayune reports that top members of Mayor Ray Nagin’s administration have had their payraises rescinded. The T-P was informed that the administrators themselves individually requested their own pay increase be rolled back. (I detect skepticism radiating faintly from the page, but decide for yourself.) The administrators were already receiving six-figure salaries, so if your pity is scarce, you may want to keep it in reserve.

Overheard in the French Quarter

Man: I can’t imagine what’s wrong with my car. I take care of it.

Woman: Well, you put miles on it.

Man: Yeah. If there’s a party in Timbuktu, you gotta be there!

An Open Letter to the Editors of

Dear Old People:

I know you’ve had a rough life. I know that when you were children, you had to walk to your little red schoolhouse in three feet of snow, uphill, both ways, in July. I know that you could go to the cinema with a nickel in your pocket and a ladyfriend on your polio-shriveled arm, buy candy, popcorn, and filet mignon for the both of you, and still walk out of the theater with change in your pocket. I know that you scrimped and saved so that your children and grandchildren wouldn’t have to grow up farming dirt and eating stray turnips. You’ve made your point: you need a break.

But jesusfreakingchrist, people, can’t you at least find a couple of decent writers for that abortion of a travel website you host? This pablum-filled article on New Orleans is littered with every lame cliche about the city we call home, not to mention some rather startling inaccuracies. Namely, the French Quarter’s architecture isn’t French, it’s Spanish. And for goddess’ sake, they’re called streetcars, not trolleys. And frankly, I think the use of “swimming” to describe the preponderance of live oaks in the Garden District not just odd, but overwrought.

It doesn’t sound to me like this schmuck even visited the city. No, it sounds to me like he sat at home on his lazy, wrinkled, 87-year-old ass and pieced together some info from other crappy travel sites and from conversations he had over lutfisk with a bunch of his pals from the First Lutheran Church of St. Paul who had a one-day stopover in New Orleans on a bus tour last spring. (Hey, if he can stereotype, so can I.) I understand that you need something simple and exciting and short for your increasingly senile readership, but goddamn, that’s just offensive.

I’m gonna let it pass this time, but if I ever hear of you encouraging people to call New Orleans “The Big Easy” again, I’m gonna hop in my car, drive straight to Des Moines or Terre Haute or wherever you fuckwads live, and cut your flaccid, flaccid penises right off.

The Sturtle

P.S. No, I’m neither a member of AARP nor a reader of your magazine. It was Tyler who brought your hideousness to my attention. You can thank him yourself.

P.P.S. Yes, I’m switching to decaf now.

Fat Tuesday, 2005


Well, I don’t know about you guys, but my Mardi Gras with the Society of Saint Anne was pleasantly uneventful–covered in glitter, jubilantly loud, and filled with curious samba beats, but uneventful just the same. If you want the full story, I’m happy to recount it, but from the way you’re rolling your eyes, I’m guessing you’d rather jump right to the pictures.

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