Traveling to New Orleans is difficult right now. The city has lots to offer visitors besides the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. We've outlined the history of City Park in the past, but since you likely won't be visiting City Park anytime soon, how about a video tour instead?
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
For years, Doug has maintained an extensive bonsai collection. In the past few years, he has taken that passion for bonsai and opened a bonsai nursery, selling trees and sharing his expertise with the general public.
Underhill Bonsai engages in educational programs on the third Thursday of every month for the public, that in light of the pandemic, have moved completely online. For those new to the world of bonsai, we have one of those videos for you all to enjoy.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
A few weeks ago, we offered some pandemic TV recommendations--well the pandemic is still raging and we still have plenty of time to watch TV, so here are a few more TV shows that could be worth your time.
The Great (Hulu): Elle Fanning plays Catherine the Great, Russia's longest ruling in monarch, in this TV series that is very loosely based on Catherine's real life. In the show, a naive Catherine arrives in Russia full of inspiration and a desire to transform her new homeland into a progressive European power. Instead she meets her boorish fiancé, Peter (Nicholas Hoult) who is as stupid as he is cruel. What follows is a dark comedy of remarkable depth and pathos. Catherine struggles with coming to terms with her new life of courtly intrigue and the capriciousness of her odious husband. Hoult revels in Peter's harebrained scheming and portrays Peter as both a monster and a pathetic man-boy seeking his dead mother's approval. (He keeps her in a glass case in the hallway just so he can talk to her.) Surrounding Catherine are a sassy servant, a secretly idealistic courtier, a beaten-down general, and an aristocratic couple trying to keep their marriage intact as Peter carries on an affair with the wife.
Battlestar Galactica (Peacock): Ronald Moore's reimagining of the campy 1970s Star Wars-knockoff premiered in 2003 as America was in the midst of navigating our post 9-11 world. The series, set after near destruction of humanity, followed a small band of survivors on the edge of the galaxy trying to avoid death from their enemies and to rebuild humanity. With towering performances from Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, BSG tackled the issues at the core of humanity's never-ending search for purpose. Episodes dealt with the morality of suicide-bombing, abortion, justice, forgiveness, the emptiness of revenge, and dealing with trauma. In four seasons, BSG pushed the boundaries of science fiction to fascinating and morally ambiguous ends, but never lost of sight of the humanity of its characters.
The Good Place (Netflix): This show, from Michael Schur (co-creator of Parks and Recreation), takes a rather high concept premise and runs with it. Kristin Bell plays a woman who is accidently sent to the “Good Place” after she dies. Only she’s not supposed to be there. Ted Danson, as a mid-level afterlife manager, reminds us why he might be the best sitcom actor ever. Over the course of its four season, the show dealt with ethical questions about humans and what we owe one another. It also presented a murders-row of characters from "Arizona dirtbag" Eleanor to Chidi, the indecisive philosopher to Tahani, the people-pleasing, name dropping socialite, and wanna-be Jacksonville DJ Jason. The Good Place will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Back in May, we shared some dog videos from UK announcer Andrew Cotter. Marshaling all of his announcing prowess to the task of gently mocking his dogs, Cotter has developed a loyal following, gotten a book deal, and reminded us all just how much we love our dogs--no matter how much grass they eat.
Here's a few more of his videos that have come out in the ensuing weeks. Enjoy!
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
We love Star Trek around here. Kirk, Spock, Picard, Riker, Data, Sisko, Dax, Worf. We love them all. Over the years, Star Trek has come to rely on a steady stable of tropes--the Holodeck goes crazy, Data takes over the Enterprise, Worf can't open doors, and the list goes on and on.
The intrepid YouTuber Ryan's Edits, who splices bloopers into real Star Trek scenes, has created a video detailing the biggest Star Trek trope of all--describing something as "some kind of." Enjoy!
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
The restaurant industry is at the heart of New Orleans and Louisiana. The old joke about New Orleans was that it had a thousand restaurants and only one menu--so devoted were locals and local chefs to the same creole and cajun staples that are nearly cliches--red beans and rice, jambalaya, gumbo, and shrimp étouffée.
In recent years, the New Orleans restaurant industry has seen a steady diversification of its restaurants. Alon Shaya at Shaya and then Saba offers some of the best Israeli food in the country. Nina Compton's Compere Lapin is true New Orleans fusion cooking, mixing the flavors of the Caribbean with old New Orleans favorites. Vietnamese cuisine has long been a prominent feature of the New Orleans culinary landscape. A banh mi is just a stone's throw away from a po'boy.
Since the pandemic, however, the New Orleans restaurant industry is struggling to survive. We thought we'd highlight some recent articles about the goings on in the NOLA restaurant industry.
The New Yorker had a recent piece about Compere Lapin's Nina Compton and her efforts to reopen amidst the pandemic. The article also explores Compton's rise in the context of the growing emphasis on BIPOC-owned restaurants and restauranteurs.
Ian McNulty at the Advocate wrote an obituary for chef Leon West. West, a longtime staple of the New Orleans food scene, never had a restaurant of his own, but was tremendously influential amongst the BIPOC food community in the Crescent City.