Spotlight on a Southern blog about life in New Orleans.
We continue our ongoing feature highlighting blogs throughout the South with one from The Big Easy today. Marketing executive Arthur Smith writes the blog "Calliope Street" from his ground floor apartment on Burgundy and Esplanade Avenue on the edge of the New Orleans French Quarter. Described as "mispronounces about life in New Orleans and the big world beyond," Smith gets into the mispronounces part right away with his choice of blog name.
A street that runs through the central part of the city, Calliope is correctly pronounced KAL-ee-ope, and New Orleanians can spot a tourist from a mile away just from their mispronunciation of this word. By the way, Smith's street name of Burgundy is pronounced Bur-GUN-dee.
Smith's blog doesn't take itself that seriously, though. Post topics range from a morning walk through the Quarter to activity along the Mississippi River as flood waters were rising and Palm Sunday in the city. The best part? Smith is also an excellent photographer, and most posts are heavy on photos of New Orleans sites and people. We love his photo below, titled "Debauchery at Pontchartrain Beach."
Earlier this summer, Smith captured a group of Russians
Residents and tourists of St. Simons Island, Georgia, might be familiar with a concession stand called The Snow Shack. A snowcone business owned and operated by couple Charlie and Melissa Turner (pictured with their two kids on the right), the "shack" can be found at the East Beach concession stand. The Turners specialize in organic syrups in flavors like raspberry lemonade and Georgia peach, and would like to take their snowcone show on the road year-round. A Kickstarter campaign was unfortunately unsuccessful in raising funds for a true shack on wheels, but the Turners aren't giving up. Visit them at St. Simons Island and contact them through Kickstarter to help support their snowcone dream.
Deep South intern Jake Cole interviewed Melissa about her snowcones and her plans to bring them further South as part of our summer focus on some of the South's best snowball stands. Submit your favorite stand to our Snowball Photo Contest for the chance to win Cypress Tees' "Cajun Sneaux" t-shirt and a few additional prizes in the works.
Why did you decide to start selling snowcones?
My husband, Charlie, is a pastor. We left a comfortable, well-paying church job to join a much smaller church in downtown Brunswick,
by Sarah Matalone
Celebrating summer's most coveted fruit, the Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival returns to Atlanta on July 17 for the third year in a row. Since its inception, the festival has drawn a variety of the Southeast's best chefs, farmers and mixologists. JCT. Kitchen & Bar, an Atlanta-based restaurant whose specialty is what Chef/Owner Ford Fry calls "Southern farmstead cooking" - think buttermilk-brined fried chicken, fried apple pie, chopped salad and a citified version of chicken and dumplings - plays host for the tomatoey shindig. When I talked with Chef Fry, he explained what led to the creation of such a killer event. "Georgia has amazing tomatoes in the summertime, from heirlooms to little cherries and sungolds," he says. "Typically in late July, our local farmers have tons of tomatoes and need to sell them. And, I've always wanted to hold a crazy fun food event at JCT. and our surrounding property."
In addition to showcasing the state's bounty of tomatoes, the festival pits chef against chef, mixologist against mixologist, in a competition for the best recipe. Chefs pair up with local farmers to create unique, tomato-based dishes for festival goers to sample, while mixologists fashion some accompanying tomato-based cocktails. After the slicing,
For music lovers, there’s no better time than now to visit “Sweet Home Alabama.”
by Bobby L. Hickman
Alabama state leaders have designated 2011 the “Year of Alabama Music” to salute the many artists, events and destinations that make the state a unique draw for music lovers from all genres. Communities across Alabama are pulling out all the stops this year to draw musically inclined visitors. So this summer and fall provide the perfect time to hear live music at concert halls, parks and juke joints; visit the birthplaces of legends; explore recording studios and museums; or enjoy music-themed festivals throughout the state.
The list of Alabama musical artists covers a wide range of genres over the past century. There’s Hank Williams ( both Sr. and Jr.), Jimmy Buffett, Wilson Pickett, Chuck Leavell of the Allman Brothers Band, Clarence Carter, Emmylou Harris, Lionel Ritchie, “American Idol” contestants Bo Bice, Taylor Hicks and Ruben Studdard -- and of course, country supergroup “Alabama.”
Muscle Shoals has the Swampers …
When many people think of Alabama music, their first thought is often Muscle Shoals. And why not? For more than 100 years, the Shoals area has played a major role in the development of American music – from
On their blog earlier this month, Louisiana's St. Landry Parish did a post about the Southern Foodways Alliance's new boudin exhibit. Never before have we heard the words "boudin" and "exhibit" in the same sentence. South Louisianans just eat tons of the rice and pork mixture stuffed in a sausage casing and don't always think about where it comes from. But starting tomorrow, visitors to the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Eunice can find out.
"Boudin: The Traveling Exhibit" includes oral histories of storied Louisiana boudin makers to tell the tale of one of South Louisiana's most iconic foods. Funded in part by The McIlhenny Co., makers of Tabasco, the project also includes The Southern Boudin Trail created by the SFA with close to 50 oral histories available online.
See "Boudin" through July 23 at the Acadian Cultural Center, open Tuesday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Afterwards, pick up a link at one of the shops featured, like Best Stop or Mowata Store.
Photo Credit: St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission
by Erin Z. Bass
A few weeks ago, I heard Travel Channel star and chef Anthony Bourdain was going to be in Lafayette filming for his show, "No Reservations." I didn't know exactly when he'd be here, but figured the local rumor mill would start to churn once he arrived. On Friday afternoon, a few people tweeted they'd seen him at Tsunami Sushi downtown. It didn't take long for y'all to wonder why Anthony Bourdain was eating sushi instead of a poboy or bowl of gumbo, and he actually replied to a few tweets saying he'd only had a beer. To further clarify, he and his crew were staying in the lofts above the restaurant, and Tsunami does serve a crawfish roll.
There was no need to worry though. On Bourdain's agenda for Saturday was an all-day boucherie at Lakeview Park in Eunice that included the 6 a.m. butchering of a pig. For those of you not from South Louisiana, a boucherie is an old tradition of making use of all parts of a pig before there were freezers and refrigerators. In communities like Eunice and Mamou, west of Lafayette, neighbors got together and spent the day killing and cleaning the hog,
On May 20, our good friend Anna Kline in the Mississippi Film office sent out an email about her new song, "Flood Waters." Anna writes the Grits & Soul blog and is the founder and lead singer of a band by the same name. She says the song's lyrics came to her at work one day, so she immediately recorded a rough version of the song into her phone and brought it to band practice in her living room the next day. Her band recorded the song and within a matter of hours, it made its way to Jackson's local news station. Less than a week later, "Flood Waters" was on the air. (Scroll down to listen.)
With a chorus that goes: "Ebb and flow, them flood waters creep up slow. The tide it turns, but this got nowhere to go," it's obvious Kline was inspired by the uncertainty of rising flood waters from the Mississippi River recently. Plenty of other Southerners shared her concern, and the song resonated. It's since been played on the air in Memphis, Baton Rouge and caught the interest of CNN.
Kline describes the song as having a "bluesy twinge" and says the Grits & Soul band is roots-based,
by Carol Marks
Huntsville, Alabama, may be known for its connection to the space industry, but "The Rocket City" also boasts a booming arts community. You wouldn’t think engineers and artists could get along, but the two communities actually compliment each other quite nicely.
The best time to get a feel for Huntsville's dual personalities is on the third Thursday of May, June, July and August, when visitors and locals can see artists, vendors and businesses setting up their displays on the town square for the Sidewalk Art Stroll.
This year, the Art Stroll has branched out and is hosting a variety of creative minds, including those growing produce locally. The city's downtown restaurants and pubs open their doors, and a fashion show put on by local clothing boutique Envy, made its way into last month's event.
Other sights from the May stroll? Juggling by a local radio deejay. Goin’ To The Cats and Dogs Groomers and Retail Store handing out treats for four-legged attendees. A cooking demo from What’s For Supper and handmade ice cream to beat the heat. The Stroll established itself in 2006 as an experiment of sorts, mainly to attract people to the historic downtown area of Huntsville. In the middle
by Erin Z. Bass
Today, I want to kick off a new summer travel feature. Since I had such a great time on my recent Florida Keys vacation, and discovered so much literary history, I thought we'd start with that. It wasn't a work trip, per se. My cousin was getting married at Hawk's Cay Resort, and my husband and I gladly accepted the invite. But since we figured a long weekend in the Keys wouldn't be enough time to properly explore, we decided to stay the following week. I had never been to Key West or Hemingway's Home, and since we were flying in and out of Miami, we thought we should see some of that beachside city as well.
If what you're looking for is luxury, relaxation and someone to bring you drinks by the pool all day, then Hawk's Cay in Duck Key is the place. Located on its own private island, the resort is great for both couples and families with kids. You can go from pool to lagoon and order lunch from the grill overlooking the water, never having to leave the property or sunshine. After a few days though, it's hard to sit still knowing Key
by Erin Z. Bass
On June 12, Alabama lost its beloved storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to meet Kathryn. I first heard about her while on a tour of rural Alabama a few years ago. Our guide, Linda Vice, told some of Kathryn's stories to us and even took us by her house in Selma, but the storyteller wasn't home. At the Kathryn Tucker Windham Museum in Thomasville, we learned more about her life and legacy in the community.
Many of you know we're working on a Southern Literary Trail application here at Deep South, and the museum definitely made our list of literary sites. I'd like to share our app entry on the Kathryn Tucker Windham Museum as a tribute to her today and hope you'll all click here to listen to Kathryn talk about her experience with ghosts on YouTube.
A Tribute to Alabama’s Storyteller
Born in Selma, AL, and raised in nearby Thomasville, Kathryn Tucker Windham is known as “Alabama’s Storyteller.” Windham got her start at the town newspaper reviewing movies and eventually went to work for the Selma Times-Journal, where she won several awards for her writing and photography.
Locally, she’s know for her ghost stories