Last night's episode and the season finale of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" took place in Cajun Country. The show was just too good - and Bourdain's one-liners too plentiful - to watch just once, so we viewed it a second time and wrote down our Top 10 favorite lines. If you missed the episode, it airs again next Monday, September 5, at 8 p.m. E/P. And for a behind the scenes look at filming during the boucherie in Eunice, watch our video here. (A travel guide for Bourdain's Cajun Country is also in the works and will be up on our site soon!)
Top 10 Lines From "No Reservations" in Cajun Country (in order of appearance)
1. New Orleans still has a regional culture. In much of the rest of the country, you ask them what kind of food they eat, they say McDonald's or Burger King. You ask them what kind of music they listen to, whatever's Top 40. New Orleans, you get emblematic food, emblematic music, emblematic architecture, and we are an example for the rest of the country to rediscover those things about themselves. - Lolis Eric Elie on New Orleans
2. Two hours drive from New Orleans, and
Printed in recognition of the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
by Lydia Ondrusek
Break, water on
stones lifting from the sea,
earth’s very arms, hands cupped;
and we, small birds, held safe.
Break, water, on.
Truth obeys no tide,
we cannot change it,
only try to understand -
only sit on truth, together,
looking out across the water.
Only sit on truth, our feet wet,
dreaming of the sky.
by Lydia Ondrusek
If I believed in reincarnation, she says,
I’d think I used to live in New Orleans
every cast iron railing
makes me think of home
my hand remembers flowers twisting,
muscle around bone
when I bite into a moment, she says
powdered sweetness drifts
hangs in the air,
sparkling like this rain
it settles on me
anoints me as a child of God
Listening to her
I hear a paddlewheel stirring water
and the clop of hooves
the car horns
become a jazz symphony
no one hears but me
and maybe her
She raises her umbrella as the light changes;
hips swaying like a dancer,
sashays to the other side
Lydia Ondrusek lives in Richardson, Texas, and often writes about Southern experiences and locations. She has had fiction and poetry published online and in print since 2008 in a diverse range of publications that include Flash Fiction Online and Falling Star Magazine. Her new story "Help Wanted" is included in Beast Within 2: Predator & Prey
by John Bowers
A frog in my playpen. It is my earliest memory. Between the bars, a fat Red Oak River marsh frog on the floor of my playpen, breathing bulbously and staring at me. I cried out in alarm. I hadn’t learned much language yet, and I cried out by echoing the words I had just heard on the TV. “Crest twenty feet!” I yelled. “Cwest twenny fee twenny fee twenny feeeeeet!”
My grandpa Farhad rushed into the room and stood looking at me. “You talk to the frog,” he breathed in amazement. He got down on the floor and picked up the frog and held it in his hand, waiting for more information. The Red Oak was flooding and all the property owners along its banks were worried about where it would crest. My successful forecast via the frog became family lore.
Mom and I visited Grandpa Farhad at the Talaville prairie home every summer. We lived 600 miles east in Louisville. Come late May we’d leave behind school buses, supermarkets, traffic lights, and urban vermin to make the grueling trip on two-lane roads. I would mentally shelve my latest resentments and crushes, brushing away a year’s worth of tests and
Joining Georgia museums Scarlett on the Square in Marietta, Road to Tara in Jonesboro and Scarlet's Secret in Sautee, and Scarlett O'Hardy's in Jefferson, Texas, is a new Gone With the Wind Museum in Branson, Missouri. Gone With the Wind: A Book and Film Museum held its grand opening this past weekend. Located on Main Street downtown, the museum showcases the collection of Dr. Novella Perrin, a retired dean from the University of Central Missouri. It all started with a Gone With the Wind snow globe for Dr. Perrin, and she's been collecting memorabilia, from original costumes to props and autographs, for more than 25 years. Visitors can see a pair of Clark Gable's pants and his top hat from the movie, a theater seat from the Atlanta premier and Aunt Pittypat's umbrella, in addition to a large display of dolls and movie posters.
Only about half of Dr. Perrin's collection is on display now, and a representative with the museum says they plan to rotate things out seasonally. A Christmas ornament display will be on view for the holidays, and special events will be held monthly. The museum is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and admission is $10. Fan the
by Patricia Thomas
My mother was a gorgeous southern beauty queen, with long brown hair and big green eyes, and my father was a dashing blond who swept her off her feet. They met on a double date and married young, right out of high school. It was a shotgun wedding, as they say in the south, meaning my mother got pregnant and so they got married. That’s what people did in the 1950s. That is how I came to be. I don’t think my mother ever really adjusted to being married and giving up her carefree days of parties and dancing, and sadly for us both, she never seemed to enjoy being a mother. However, my grandmother, to my delight and good fortune, loved being a grandmother. When I was a little girl, I spent every other weekend at her house in a small town in southern Alabama called Elba. It was built around a square, with all the merchants in shops around the sides. The town square had park benches and picnic tables, lots of grass, and best of all, at Christmas, a giant Santa Claus with a little train that tooted and blew real smoke. My grandmother knew
As many of you know, we've been working on a Southern Literary Trail app for a while now. Due out on iTunes this fall, it includes literary sites across the South, from writer's homes to museums, gravesites, restaurants and bars and statues. So, a tweet on Sunday night that said "Br'er Rabbit statue stolen in Eatonton" caught our attention.
Brer Rabbit is a character created by writer Joel Chandler Harris, who was born in Eatonton, Georgia, and has several sites there dedicated to him (as well as a house museum in Atlanta). One of those is the Uncle Remus Museum, named after the fictional narrator of Harris's stories. A site on our app, the museum is constructed of three Putnam County slave cabins and features a statue of the rabbit out front, with mementos, first editions of Harris's works and photos from Disney's movie version of Harris's stories, "Song of the South," on view inside.
The 3-foot-tall, 250-pound statue of Brer Rabbit was reported stolen on Aug. 7. On Monday, the rabbit was found in the woods about 5 miles east of town. His pipe and left ear had been broken off, but otherwise he was in pretty good shape. The sheriff's
10 films that dive into the beauty and terror of Southern life.
By Jake Cole
"Gone With the Wind" may be the film that dominates the conversation when it comes to the South, but it's hardly the only great movie about the region. The South may not grace the screen regularly enough, or at least not as something more than a cultural punching bag, but there are movies that capture both its reality and cultural spirit. From a silent masterpiece to modern works of poetry and progressiveness, these 10 films should be on every Southerners' to-watch list.
The General (Buster Keaton, 1926) The Civil War was at the heart of American cinematic innovation in the medium's first few decades, from D.W. Griffith's medium-changing "The Birth of a Nation" to a little film about a woman named Scarlett. The conflict even made for seminal comedy, as seen in this movie Orson Welles called "the greatest comedy ever made, the greatest Civil War film ever made, and perhaps the greatest film ever made." Keaton's rebel engineer moves through a world as realistic as the still photographs to come from the conflict — and as absurd as anything the great clown could come up with. Epic in
by William Matthew McCarter
The late morning sun felt like it was bashing in the sky and a darker, hotter, purer form of light was leaking through the clouds. Jake and I knew that it was too hot to do much of anything except go swimming and that’s why we were down at the swimming hole that all of the locals called Round Hole. Somewhere, not far from Round Hole, there was a spring that fed into a creek that fed into the creek that helped make Round Hole and somewhere on the other side, there was a creek that fed into Scott’s Creek that eventually emptied into the Piankashaw River. Gram showed us Round Hole years ago. She told us that she used to walk down to Round Hole and pick blackberries from the bushes scattered along the road that led up the rocky hill where the railroad passed through Piankashaw County. This was the first year that Gram would let us go down to Round Hole by ourselves. Jake and I weren’t entirely sure if it was because we had taken the swimming classes at the pool the previous summer or if it was because Gram and Big Daddy
Today is jazz great Louis Armstrong's birthday. He would have been 110 years old. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Armstrong is remembered, and revered, for his gravelly voice, ability to break down racial barriers and timeless songs like "What aWonderful World" and "When the Saints Go Marching In." Each August, New Orleans celebrates the life of its native trumpeter with the Satchmo Summerfest. "Satchmo" was a popular nickname for Armstrong, and the festival kicks off on his birthday and lasts through the weekend. Music featured includes traditional jazz, brass and more, and special events include a club strut, jazz breakfast and Mass, and birthday celebration and trumpet tribute. Seminars on Armstrong and his music are also held during the festival.
In honor of Armstrong and his birthday, intern Jake Cole has written a review of a new book about Armstrong, "What a Wonderful World," by Ricky Riccardi, who will be showing rare video footage of Armstrong at a Satchmo Fest seminar tomorrow. Jake has also compiled a list of the 5 essential albums and 10 essential recordings any Armstrong fan or emerging fan should have.
So, Happy Birthday Louie. It truly is a wonderful world with your music in it!
by Jake Cole
5 Essential Albums
Building a solid Louis Armstrong collection necessitates digging through endless singles collections. Such is the nature of music made before the fifties and even beyond. The lack of truly definitive box sets for Armstrong's material, or at least official or in-print box sets, makes the task all the more difficult. (This, however, is finally being rectified with the upcoming release of a 10-CD monolith titled Satchmo: Louis Armstrong, The Ambassador of Jazz, due out August 8 in Europe and hopefully making its way across the Pond shortly thereafter.) There are a handful of truly solid albums out there that fans should own in addition to the various compilations. These five a affordable packages are musts for those seeking to introduce themselves to Satchmo.
1. Hot Fives & Sevens
Bypass Columbia's shoddily produced (and slightly more expensive) box set for JSP's more-than-affordable four-disc set that not only stands as the document of Armstrong's early years, but the definitive statement of jazz as an emerging art form. With these recordings, Armstrong rapidly evolves jazz from a staccato, folk-inspired group sound to a spotlight for elegant solo improvisation. Armstrong strains on some notes, but that is the price for innovation, and