She shows up in my mind unannounced, especially in May, the month for mothers. With her hand on her hip and head cocked in a question mark with its slight tilt and hair piled high, her soft smile betrays the set of her body. My mother loved strays and tall flowers. We never bought a […]
THIS STORY AND scenario came to mind as I looked back on how the tricentennial of the City of New Orleans might have happened 32 years earlier. In the fall of 1996, I found myself standing on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico at Matagorda Bay. My heart raced. I took in slow deep
THERE’S USUALLY A line outside the Swan Oyster Depot restaurant on Polk St. in the tony Nob Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. And it was no different when my cab driver, Jonathan from Cameroon, dropped me curbside at 11 a.m. for lunch on a bluebird day in late winter. I was sandwiched between an auto
I’VE SPENT A lifetime staring at blank pieces of paper. The creative process is always a struggle. This comes to mind because my three favorite disciplines, writing, cooking and photography, all require a creative process and a starting point of staring, literally or figuratively, at a blank sheet of paper. To be in the creative
I’M NOT A fan of New Year’s resolutions. It’s not that I’m averse to promises of self-improvement. It’s just that the easiest promises to break are the ones we make to ourselves. Resolutions I make are usually made on a basis of need rather than time. Were I to change
Before the modern era of corporate farming and super supermarket shopping, most south Louisianans grew a lot of what they consumed. What our families could not produce was either bought from overflowing produce trucks that crawled the neighborhood streets or from the small family owned grocery where, my wife for example, would ride a mechanical
AHHHH…THANKSGIVING. It’s the reason for time honored recipes, stockpots and wagers on family behavior. The season of familiar relatives, old friends, new acquaintances— and casseroles, dressings, pies, rolls, more pies and tryptophan induced snoozes. It is also time for my annual serving of a slice of humble pie when guests decide to ignore home-cooked cranberries
Water. In my hometown you were never very far from water. It seems as if I’ve spent my life seeking it or it seeking me. The former was preferred as there was no better way to beat the heat. The latter was no fun because in Louisiana you run out of higher ground quickly.
As journalists, those were our darkest days. There were no lights, no phones, no power—anarchy ruled the streets. Flames floated on water from broken submerged natural gas lines. Tall, black columns of smoke rose from burning, flooded buildings. Citizens roamed the elevated highways pushing shopping carts of children and possessions. It was eerie, dystopian. But
An elegant figure of casual grace, Mr. Sharkey took a daily measured stroll on the tree-lined streets in our neighborhood. A pause, a casual glance at the watch on his fob, a personal nod and a few kind words were exchanged with passersby. Sharkey, an unpretentious man, was as lean as the sidewalk and a
The airplane dipped lower and lower, almost clipping the coconut palm, palmetto and ficus trees, then bounced to a landing. The hand-painted welcome sign across the prefab building, the terminal at the Montego Bay Airport, proclaimed it the “The Gateway to Jamaica.” The spiky yucca plants with stiletto yellow blades did not seem welcoming.
Well, the upside was I didn’t have to call the fire department. Grilling is the caveman of cooking. I believe a pyromania gene is embedded in the DNA of most boys. The love affair of boy meets grill as a rite of summer is evident. I don’t know a man who doesn’t own and