Wednesday, August 31, 2011



Gunner was a dog who was one of my favorites but I had to let my grandparents take... for his sake. When I moved to NY my roommates and I decided we wanted a dog. When I say “we” I mean “they pet him once in a while and I train him, walk him feed him and so on”. We went to the pound and there wasn’t any small dogs and our place we needed a small dog. I was so sad because I wanted a pup. The lady behind the counter saw how bad I wanted a dog and gave me her number and said to call she had a dog who had pups. It turned out to be a Chihuahua that was raised by cats.
This was one of the funniest dogs ever. We set him up with an awesome dog house. Over the next month people were missing things and when we cleaned out his dog house we found rings, earrings, lighters, a pack of cigarettes and an old corncob pipe(don’t ask).
He seemed like a happy dog and always loved cuddling with me (only time he pooped was in my roommates room or on our walks) and on his last day at our place in the middle of a conversation with my parents, grandparents and roommates he walked right over looked right at up at Tom the roomate... Then lifted his leg on Toms leg and walked away like nothing happened.
The reason we had to give him up is because when my grandparents would come over and he wouldn’t leave them alone. Sitting on grandmas lap, following her everywhere (sitting outside the bathroom door when she would be inside) and the worst was when she would leave he would sit by the window and wine for 2 or 3 days after waiting for her to come back. The only way he would pep up is when she was around so I had to give him to her. He now gets home cooked meals and has his own bedroom at my grandmas house. When I come home is gets excited but I think gets nervous I will take him back.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Haunted New Orleans part 1

We goinga do sum ghost huntin'
We got up and spent a whole day in pursuit of haunted NOLA

Stop one- The court house:
During the filming of the movie JFK there were sighting of two ghosts walking down the hallway in the Court House. The security guards asked them to freeze and they just disappeared. The two security guards immediately quit after.
Pharmacy Museum- Ill tell you about that on the next blog.

Here is where the fire started.

The Great New Orleans Fire of 1788: was a fire that destroyed 856 of the 1,100 structures in New Orleans, spanning the French Quarter from Burgundy to Chartres Street, almost to the riverfront. Allot of people died that night, I think that's why NOLA has such a haunted feel. I could hear the "Castlevainia" Theme playing in my head as we walked the streets.

The Good Friday fire started about 1:30 p.m. at the home of Army Treasurer Don Vincente Jose Nunez, 619 Chartres Street, and within five hours consumed almost the entire city. They were told it was caused by a candle in a window, that hit the curtain.The Spanish were to replace the wooden buildings with structures with courtyards, thick brick walls, arcades, and wrought iron balconies. Still a colony of Spain, rebuilding continued in Spanish style, and most French architecture was eliminated from the French Quarter IRONic huh... get it..


La Petite Theatre: Katherine and friends

La Petite Theatre du Vieux Carre, a French Quarter playhouse.
Katherine was an actress. She was sleeping with a director (he was straight.. can you believe it), and she was picked for the lead role of an upcoming production... bet I know how she landed that role...
However,the investors said she wasn't good enough to keep the lead.
Days before the opening night, the director replaced Katherine with one of her rival actresses. This ended up screwing Katherine up big time.
During opening night, Katherine decided to end her misery and ruin that bitches show. She walked up to the catwalk over the stage, tied a rope around her neck, and jumped over in front of the entire audience, before the "big scene" Everyone from visitors, to patrons, and to staff members have the seen the ghost of Katherine either on the stage or in the attic. In the attic, she is seen crying among a wide variety of costumes.On stage she paces pensively.

Jackson Square at night is creepy.. especially when a giant thumb is coming down from the sky



The Lalaurie Ghost Story - The Most Haunted Mansion in New Orleans - and Nick Cages old house. So instead of writing this one I found a Video that tales the tale so sit back and enjoy this great video explaining... dum dum daaaaaa- The Lalaurie Family! oh and notice- I think its funny firemen no matter where from have a NYC accent



Absinthe is a strong herbal liqueur distilled with a great number of flavorful herbs like anise, licorice, hyssop, veronica, fennel, lemon balm, angelica and wormwood.  Thats what gives its awe-full taste.

Wormwood, (what everyone acts like they know about) is Artemisia absinthum AKA gettin loaded.  Much of the liquor's legendary effect is due to its extremely high alcohol content, ranging from 50% to 75%. Almost as strong as some good shine. It has been assumed by many that the so-called "active ingredient" in absinthe is wormwood, although that is apparently not the case.

Traditionally served with ice water and a cube of sugar; the sugar cube was placed on a slotted "absinthe spoon", and the water was drizzled over the sugar into the glass of absinthe. 

The sugar helped take the bitter edge from the absinthe, and when the water is drizzled into the the liquor it all turns milky greenish-white-louchen... or as I call it: watering it down.

The drink was referred to in France as "La Fée Verte", or The Green Fairy, which is a reference to its often green color we saw cool posters with green fairy's.

Around the turn of the century, after observing a subset of alcoholism referred to as "absinthism", and noting that heavy absinthe users had a propensity toward madness and suicide.... we need to get this stuff to some comedy club audiences, by the second decade of this century it became banned in the Western world, unfairly lumped in with opiates, cocaine, and marijuana when it is, in fact, just another alcoholic beverage. Although the effects of thujone can be toxic when consumed in very large quantities, this substance is found in properly made and distilled absinthe in only the smallest trace amounts. The most popular misconception about absinthe is that it is a drug. "Not so!" As for the so-called "secondary effect", we refer to as "Trippin Balls"

Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Verlaine, Alfred Jarry, Angie Riccadonna and Oscar Wilde are among the most ardent imbibers

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Orleans WW2 and Cemetery Tour

Even on my honeymoon people prepare for a bombing
From the beaches of Normandy to the sands of Iwo Jima, The National World War II Museum's exhibits are a blend of personal accounts, artifacts, documents, photographs and original film footage. The stories of the dozens of amphibious landings and the thousands of men and women who made Allied victory in World War II possible are told through three floors of exhibit space. In addition, special exhibits draw on the Museum’s own collections, as well as relevant traveling exhibits to further illustrate and explore the war that changed the world. We recommend allowing at least two to three hours to visit the Museum... and three hours we did! The amazing thing was because of the Germany trip and south Pacific trip I got very choked up seeing these places live now days and then really viewing what was happening then. I have always liked ww2 but after going over sea's I am kind of obsessed with it.
Racism was in the open us against them and them against us
I couldn't believe Angie didn't know about The Bataan Death march- the south pacific theater is my favorite in WW2- I feel like The Europe one got allot more play I felt so cool to be able to show her stuff I knew about- 
On April 9, 1942, about 70,000 American and Filipino prisoners were forced to walk a deadly march of about 65 miles from Mariveles to San Fernado.

On this walk the soldiers were badly treated, some were killed, and others died from sickness. If you were walking in this procession, you would see two heads on the side of the road every mile. If a person on the sides of the roads tried to give a soldier water or food, the person on the road would be killed.

On the railways, the soldiers were squeezed into the cars. People couldn’t breath, and some people died right there on the spot. The troops finally got to Camp O’Donnel tired and weak. This was the end of the Bataan Death March. All of the American and Filipino soldiers were held prisoners.
Japanese Occupation of Guam (1941 - 1944)
On December 10, 1941, Guam surrendered to the Japanese. Guam became the only populated U.S. soil to be occupied by another country in World War II, the people of Guam were forcibly subjected to intolerable hardships administered by the Japanese military. Grenade slaughters and rapes were common.

love the architecture
Concentration camps were established by the 29th Division of Japan's Kwantung Army and approximately 600 Chamorro's (that is what people native to Guam are called) were executed. Some Chamorro's were beheaded when the Japanese learned of the 3-year humanitarian effort by Chamorro's to successfully feed and hide U.S. Navy radioman George Tweed who escaped in the initial invasion.
Tweed's cave is a popular "boonie stomping" destination on Guam today.

There were more than 140,000 black and white prisoners in Japanese prisoner of war camps. Of these, one in three died from starvation, work, punishments or from diseases for which there were no medicines to treat.

Some of the guards made a sport of hurting or killing the POWs. The Marchers were beaten with rifle butts, shot or bayoneted without reason. Most of the POWs got rid of their helmets because some by Japanese soldiers on passing trucks hit them with rifle butts. Some enemy soldiers savagely toyed with POWs by dragging them behind trucks with a rope around the neck. Japanese guards also gave the POWs the "sun treatment" by making them sit in the sweltering heat of the direct sun for hours at a time without shade.
78,000 prisoners (12,000 U.S. and 66,000 Filipino). They began marching up the east coast of Bataan. Although they didn't know it, their destination was Camp O'Donnell

One of my favorite places when I was overseas.

Prisoners of the Japanese found themselves in camps in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and other Japanese-occupied countries.

The terms of the Geneva Convention were ignored by the Japanese who made up rules and inflicted punishments at the whim of the Camp Commandant.
The majority of prisoners were put to work in mines, fields, shipyards and factories on a diet of about 600 calories a day. I topped out at 6000 calories a meal in NOLA.
Prisoners suffered from malnutrition, ulcers and cholera.  Around 61,000 prisoners were put to work on the railroad. Of those 13,000 died.
Now lets get back to light fun stuff. CEMETERIES


walking to the cematary
Only in New Orleans could cemeteries be major tourist attractions. It was amazing-  With a spooky history, unique, ornate tombs, and some of them dating back to the late 1700s, I really felt even in the day time the dead may zombifi or come out..

St. Louis Cemetery, home to Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau's grave, a popular location for movies shot in New Orleans. Easy Rider the most famous.

These houses are built on old cemetery grounds

“Marie Laveau- Died in 1881
Marie Laveau tomb
Marie Laveau was the famous Voodoo priestess of the nineteenth century that Dr. Hook wrote a song about. New Orleans Voodoo as a social phenomenon became popular during the 1800’s. Under Marie Laveau’s guidance Voodoo thrived as a business, served as a form of political influence, provided a source of spectacle and entertainment (like politics nowdays), and was a means of altruism. But what Voodoo is in its pure form is religion: forms of worship brought to Caribbean and American colonies through the slave days.
This mutation of West African religion under the strain of slavery ultimately gave rise to the New-World phenomenon known as “voodoo.” More than any one person, Marie Laveau transformed the religious practices of African slaves into a major social and cultural institution of nineteenth-century New Orleans.
Her tomb is the most visited tomb in the US- people still bring her offerings and put 3 x's on the walls for good luck.

One of the tombs From the Italian American one head is missing and they think Dennis Hopper ripped it off and had it on his fireplace mantle during the filming of easy rider.


From the hit movie Easy Rider this is the ACID TRIP scene.. 1969.
After this happened the city never allowed shooting in the cemetery's again.... see below
scale of old New Orleans

Wall vaults - burial compartments within perimeter of burial ground. One vault was often used for an entire family. After a respectable time, the remains of a burial were pushed to the back where construction of the vault allowed it to fall to a receptacle below; the space was then ready for another recipient. These compartments were vaulted in early construction. 

 Pediment Tomb - A multiple vault tomb whose height is greater than its width and whose top is surmounted by an integrated frontgable end pediment of flat, triangular or segmental design.
When you die in NOLA its like the green way to die- no single plots.

"Sky Scrapper"
Society tomb - professional or benevolent societies were common in the early history of New Orleans and served to administer to the burial needs of the individuals who belonged to them. There are many historically important ethnic groups as well as volunteer firemen groups represented by this tomb style. A society tomb is a multi layered tomb wall that contains several burial vaults. They are like mausoleums in most ways, except that most people in a society tomb are connected in some way.

Time for a Cosby moment
This was a super factual post so this is your moment of laughter..

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Orleans Food and Drink

about to get all Cosby on this meal.
I am an eater- I love food, I love all kinds of food. NOLA was a great choice for me and Angie. Angie is more health conscious then me but she loves seeing me happy and I am Happy when I'm eating new food. I am like Cosby when good food is front of me- I start dancing and wiggling in my seat and acting like my grandfather being all grandiose with my movements and over acting things out. Some of my favorites to eats in NOLA-
Unbelievable EVERY MEAL: fancy or hole in the wall
Oysters- My favorite, raw and spicy. toss some horse radish on there till it burns your forehead and you can feel the inside of your face melting and wash it down with ice cold beer.

Gumbo- Seafood, chicken, sausage, or okra – no matter what goes into your gumbo, you can’t go wrong. Toss some beans and rice in there along with that Louisiana hot sauces.. woooweee!
PoBoys- Overstuffed sandwiches served on French bread. A little better than Muffalattas in my opinion. Fried and fried again.
Bourbon or freanchman street you cant go wrong.
 The French-Creole colonists who came to inhabit the city in its earliest days originally introduced beignets to New Orleans in the 18th century. The concept of the dessert is simple – dough is fried then covered with mounds of powdered sugar – a fancy dougnut with a nice hot cup of coffee to melt the honey and powdered sugar.. Unbelievable.. Beignets come in orders of three.
Crawfish- The court of Two sisters.. Our waiter- wish I remembered his name shown me how to eat crawfish. The band (the jazz trio) came over not only sang us an anniversary song- they also sang about eating crawfish for the first time... ooooooohweee That was good.

Light years removed from the glitzy neon lights and blaring cover music of Bourbon Street but, in reality, only walking distance away, is a compact musical enclave where the “locals” hang out. Its like taking a Dolarien- I had no concept of time or year.
Frenchmen Street you are likely to hear anything from jazz to Latin to blues to reggae . . . and just about everything in between.
No neon lights; only plain wooden signs to designate a dozen music clubs in the greatest concentration of live music venues outside the French Quarter. Marc Stone told us this is the way to go if we wanted the "real New Orleans" we heard some of the best live music.

The food was perfect every meal. The drinks where often and always available. We did the regular drinks that are musts in NOLA.
America's first cocktail, the Sazerac, was created in New Orleans, the city that loves to party? Back in the early 1800's, Antoine Peychaud created the drink in a French Quarter bar and named it for his favorite French brandy, Sazerac-de-Forge et fils. In 1870, the drink was changed when American Rye whiskey was substituted for cognac, and a dash of absinthe was added by bartender Leon Lamothe.

Milk Punch is a drink I knew about but never knew where it was from. My Brother and cousin laughed when I ordered this in Ohio- I also get made fun of for wearing linin by choice. This drink serves up strong Milk Punches. Like most sugary drinks, the taste of alcohol is cleverly masked by the milky sweetness, so exercise caution and clear your calendar for the afternoon.
even if you have a car this awesome don't drive after a milk punch

Brandy Milk Punch Recipe

  • 2 oz brandy (Bourbon is also commonly used)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • 3 ice cubes
  • cracked ice
  • freshly grated nutmeg
In a cocktail shaker, combine the brandy, milk, and sugar with 3 ice cubes and shake until frothy, about one minutes. Strain into a double-old fashioned glass with cracked ice. Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.

Tracing their roots back to a time when American Indians helped shield runaway slaves, the Mardi Gras Indians are among the most colorful and mysterious of New Orleans' cultural phenomena. Finding it difficult to participate in Mardi Gras “krewes,” early African Americans developed their own way of celebrating by organizing Mardi Gras Indian tribes as krewes. Today, Mardi Gras Indians shine at every opportunity by showcasing their spectacular hand-made costume, lovely song and contagious spirit. Watch them parade and perform at several events including Jazz Fest, “Super Sunday” the Sunday after St. Joseph’s Day or come during Mardi Gras season when their celebratory spirits shine most – you can’t leave New Orleans without having joined in this truly unique tradition!

No one in the city dons more elaborate attire or takes costuming more seriously than Mardi Gras Indians do. Their fantastic costumes are unforgettable hand-sewn creations of intricate beadwork and dramatic images which rank among the nation's best folk art. Worn just once, the costumes take an entire year to create, with hundreds of thousands of beads, brightly dyed ostrich plumes, sequins, velvet and rhinestones sewn on by hand – some weighing as much as 150 pounds!

Art work with PUGS

Garden District Hunting for John Goodmans.

Street band.. Dancing in the streets

Horses raid the strip club!

Although this historic French Quarter street has a bawdy reputation due to the burlesque clubs and all-night partying, come experience a whole other side of Bourbon Street steeped in history, folk lore and beauty that dates back to 1718 when New Orleans was founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville. Also known as “Rue Bourbon,” this historic street sits at the heart of the French Quarter extending 13 blocks from Canal St. to Esplanade Avenue but even more important is the bawdy, burlesque clubs, all-night booze fest and buy 1 get 2 free huge ass beers.I felt its the equivalent of Times Square- not "real" more "show real".

Here is where we stayed- Quarter House

great name
Cajun or Zydeco?
One common point of confusion for visitors and new initiates to zydeco music is its relationship to Cajun music. Just as Cajun and Creole cooking are often equated, so too are Cajun music and zydeco often mistaken as two different names for the same thing. Like the cuisines, they do share much in common - but each developed under its own set of influences and have unique sounds and styles. Cajun music comes primarily from the traditions of the French-speaking Cajuns who came to Louisiana from modern-day Nova Scotia, while zydeco music reflects the African-Caribbean roots of its players, Tisserand explains.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Orleans Zydeco Music Festival

 We woke up bright and early- First Morning in NOLA. It's the zydeco festival. Lets get rolling.
 Settled in 1720, the town of Washington is the third oldest settlement in Louisiana. The trails also take you through Opelousas where zydeco music was born.
At its essence, zydeco is the dance music of the black Creoles of southwest Louisiana and east Texas, says Michael Tisserand, whose book "The Kingdom of Zydeco" tells the story of the music and the communities that produced it. Though it started in the swampy bayou lands in the early part of the 20th century, it has exploded in popularity in the past few decades. It's common to find zydeco festivals in California and the Northeast and Louisiana bands can now tour the world with their music.

Terrence Video

Louisiana is known for Cajun, Creole and French mixture- Its not some- hold on to the "motherland". Its its own culture in the here and now as much as parts of the past. New York, Savannah and Chicago has history and allot to offer- NOLA is an American city that I think is so different and unique enough you honestly think Old Orleans must be a country somewhere.

1755 - Cajun & Zydeco Music Cajuns, who were expelled from Nova Scotia in 1755, brought with them music of French origins to Louisiana. Then it simmered in a gumbo of Native American, Creole, West Indian, British, Spanish and other European influences. Now ...Cajun & Zydeco Music Cajuns, who were expelled from Nova Scotia in 1755, brought with them music of French origins to Louisiana. Then it simmered in a gumbo of Native American, Creole, West Indian, British, Spanish and other European influences. Now, Cajun tunes are primarily thought of as dance music, gallops, reels and polkas
Dec 12, 1987 - 12 December 1987, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA. Singer, guitarist, and harmonica and accordion player is regarded by many as the "king of zydeco music" . Chenier  started performing at dances.
1988 - Founded in 1988 , the festival has managed to transform itself into a city-wide, multi-venue program featuring a wide variety of renowned artists ranging from classical and jazz music to Americana and world music. Held in historic downtown Savannah, the festival will shake your foundations during its themed dance parties with Cuban, Cajun, Funk, and Zydeco music.
These guys where the Kings of The Festival. Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience .. and yes That is Marc Stone hiding in the back. The place was jamming, old people young people drunks and conservative.. Love shaking there ass's to zydeco. New Orleans is the place to grow older- there was no judgment with older "well to do people drinking and dancing like teenagers in the middle of the day. I could only imagine the judgment if these folks acted like that in central park or where I grew up in Ohio. -" it's hard to stand still when you're hearing great zydeco," says Tisserand.
Sure enough, wherever a zydeco band is performing, feet begin moving, bodies begin swaying and couples come together for fast-paced dancing.

Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience

Here is Marc Stone, he told us he was performing  at the festival the night before, we figured it was on one of the small stages. We walked around the market- one band better than the next, we were sipping frozen cocktails for breakfast and worried we missed Marc.. We hit the final stage and it was the coolest sound- Controlled Chaos.. Instruments that you wouldn't think go together making perfect music Angie and I grabbed a couple Abita's and danced in the grass along with the others. Angie said- wait that's Marc on stage and he was playing his ass off- couldn't believe it- he was unbelievable and just then Amanda Walker- Marcs girlfriend came out and sang.. or should I say- belted an amazing couple songs out.

We were just hanging with them the night before- Ive hung with artists my whole life but there was zero ego on these two and they could have been jerks with that talent!

Angie and I loved IKO IKO- our favorite song and the whole band came out to close with it!.
"Iko Iko" is a New Orleans staple song that is about two "tribes" of Mardi Gras Indians. The song, under the original title "Jock-A-Mo", was written in 1953 by James "Sugar Boy" Crawford in New Orleans. The story tells of a "spy boy" meeting a "flag boy"  He threatens to set the flag on fire, it truly is the first "rap song"- its just talking shit about how our flag boy can kick your flag boys ass.
"Jock-a-mo" was the original version of the song "Iko Iko" recorded by the Dixie Cups in 1965. Their version came about by accident. They were in a New York City studio for a recording session when they began an impromptu version of "Iko Iko", accompanied only by drumsticks on studio ashtrays.
Can you imagine how cool that had to be- just fooling with your pals and it becomes what you known for.

Said Dixie Cup member Barbara Hawkins: "We were just clowning around with it during a session using drumsticks on ashtrays. We didn't realize that Jerry and Mike had the tapes running". Session producers Leiber and Stoller added bass and drums and released it
After 6 or 7 hours of dancing we met up with Marc and went to Frenchman street for food and drinks- It really was a perfect night. Started early, ended late and there was a lot in the middle. Between the music, food, heat, dancing I felt great- alive! like I haven't since a Jr High School dance. Being completely honest: I wasnt sure how time really worked in these moments.. It felt like we were there all day but at the end of the night I didnt know where the time went.

Marc Stone

Because zydeco is so strongly associated with the culture of south Louisiana, visitors are often surprised to find not allot of clubs offer live zydeco music on a regular basis. Jazz, New Orleans-style brass bands, blues, rock and funk are much more played in the city than zydeco or Cajun music. That's because most zydeco musicians come from southwestern Louisiana and east Texas - from the communities in and around Lafayette, Lake Charles and Houston - and when they aren't touring the country or abroad tend to play closer to home.
Perfect way to end an amazing day of watching The Best Music.. Oysters.
To me The best way to describe Zydeco is controlled chaos. Here are The Lost Bayou Ramblers. I love it- in fact I want to rename Gizmo Jobear