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The Second Best Blog in the City of New Orleans

Everything you need to know about what's happening in New Orleans!


Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the producers of the French Quarter Festival have postponed the festival until the fall of 2020.  The new dates for the festival will be Thursday, October 1st through Sunday, October 4th.  

The French Quarter Festival is said to be the largest free music festival in the South, bringing thousands of music lovers to the Vieux Carre to listen to some of New Orleans' and Louisiana's best musicians, sample food from some of our finest restaurants, and peruse crafts and artwork from local artists and artisans.

The producers have put together a stellar lineup of musicians. Thursday's headliners include the Ellis Marsalis Quintet, Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Friday's acts include Irma Thomas, known as the Soul Queen of New Orleans, Rickie Lee Jones making her French Quarter Fest debut, and the Dukes of Dixieland. Saturday brings Aurora Nealand and her Royal Roses, Bonerama, Deacon John and the Ivories, and Dana & Tom's friend Wendell Brunious. And Sunday closes out the French Quarter Festival with Astral Project, John Boutte, Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns, Rockin' Dopsie Jr, and the Washboard Chaz Trio. This may be the strongest FQF lineup in years.

Dancing Man 504 Leading the French Quarter Festival Second Line Parade
Photograph by Zack Smith -  Courtesy of French Quarter Festivals Inc
Dancing Man 504 Leading the French Quarter Festival Second Line PArade


Wednesday at the Square, sponsored by the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans, presents a series of free outdoor concerts by well-known New Orleans and Louisiana artists that will liven up your spirits and maybe even get you into a dancing mood. Elevated above the crowd on a big stage, bands perform a wide variety of local musical styles, including jazz, rock, funk, swamp pop, Latin rhythms and more. In addition, you will be treated to the sounds of some of New Orleans' most famous brass bands. You can bring your own chairs or blankets and sit on the ground. The front of the stage is reserved for dancing.

There is no admission charge to the square. Food and beverages – alcoholic and otherwise – are available for purchase – and proceeds help pay for the event.

The concert series runs from late March through mid-May every year.

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Wednesday at the SQuare Concert -  Lafayette Square in New Orleans


March 11 Flow Tribe and Dave Jordan and the NIA

March 18 Tab Benoit and The New Orleans Johnny's

March 25 Marc Broussard and Erica Falls

April 1 Galactic with Anjelika Jelly Joseph and The Quickening

April 8 Anders Osborne and Daria and the Hip Drops

April 15 Andrew Duhon and Alexis and the Samurai

April 22 Big Sam's Funky Nation and NOBABE

April 29 Shamarr Allen and Little Freddie King

May 6 Partners-N-Crime and The Big Easy Bounce Band and Robin Barnes

May 13 Lost Bayou Ramblers and Margie Perez

Photograph by Infrogmation of New Orleans

Two Weeks Until Mardi Gras

But the action starts this weekend.  On Friday afternoon the Krewe of Cork, wine enthusiasts, amble through the French Quarter wearing wine themed costumes and stopping at various restaurants to sip a toast.  Friday evening three parades will travel down St. Charles Avenue:  the Krewes of Oshun, Cleopatra and Alla.

On Saturday five krewes will parade on the traditional uptown route:  the Krewe of Ponchartrain, the Krewe of Choctaw, the Krewe of Freret, the Knights of Sparta and the Krewe of Pygmalion.

Sunday brings the popular Krewe of Barkus, the doggy parade, to the French Quarter.  And uptown the Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale, the Krewe of Carrolton and the Krewe of King Arthur parade starting at 11:00 AM.  

Photograph by Crescentcitycharm licensed under Creative Commons 4.0
Float in the Knights of Sparta Mardi Gras Parade
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Old Time Photo of Cake Bakery on Chartres St in New Orleans

Before It was Cake Cafe & Bakery 

This 1902 photo of the Ferrera family was taken in front of their grocery store at the corner of Chartres & Spain Streets: just down the street from B&W Courtyards , where our favorite neighborhood bakery is now - and where our king cakes come from at this time of year!

Saturday Night on Frenchmen Street 
The David Torkanowski Quartet at Snug Harbor

Last night we braved the Chewbacchus hordes on Frenchmen Street to catch the David Torkanowski Quartet at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro with Torkanowski on piano, Derek Douget on tenor and soprano saxophones, Jasen Stewart on bass, and Shannon Powell, the Treme King, on drums, cymbals and tambourine.

They played mostly New Orleans modern jazz standards - Ellis Marsalis, James Black, with a Herbie Hancock tune or two for lagniappe. They closed out with a soulful rendition of A Closer Walk With Thee as a memorial to trombonist Lucien Barbarin, who passed away this week
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The DAvid Torkanowski Quartet at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans
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Route Map for the Chewbacchus Parade 2020

Chewbacchus Parade Rolls This Saturday
February 1, 2020

The Krewe of Chewbacchus parades through the Bywater, Faubourg Marigny and the French Quarter. The name is a mash up of Chewbacca, the wookie from the first Star Wars movie, and Bacchus, one of the big uptown krewes. This is a science fiction nerd's dream parade. If you've ever wanted to see 45 or so Princess Leias marching together, or a squadron of bicycles with ET in the basket, then this is the parade for you.

French Quarter Festival:  Changes to Dates
April 16 - April 19, 2020

Because of the Women's Final Four Basketball playoffs, April 3rd through April 5th, and Easter weekend, April 11th & 12th, the dates for the French Quarter Festival have been moved to the third weekend in April, from the 16th to the 19th. This year's French Quarter Fest will conclude just days before the start of the 2020 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, April 23 to May 3 at the Fair Grounds race track in Gentilly. The French Quarter Fest, which takes place in Woldenberg Park, Jackson Square and other locations around the Quarter is the largest free music festival in the South.

B&W Courtyards is an ideal place to stay for French Quarter Festival - we're only five blocks away from the nearest stages.  And we're just three blocks away from the music clubs on Frenchmen Street for all the night time shows.

Overheard in New Orleans

"Diet season doesn't start with the new year. It starts with the end of king cake season. I don't make the rules"

Another New Orleans Quote

"You can live in any city in America, but New Orleans is the only city that lives in you." – Chris Rose
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We discovered Bar Marilou one evening in December while walking back from Luna Fête. The entrance is down an alley on the side of Maison de la Luz at 544 Carondelet St. You pass under a series of arbors on your way to the entrance, illuminated at night by a series of lanterns. A turn to the right at the end of the passage and you're at the entrance.

The space, originally the library for the old City Hall Annex, is decorated like a hybrid of a reading room and a Parisian brothel. All surfaces - bookcases, woodwork, ceilings – are enameled a deep Chinese red. Banquettes are arranged around the perimeter with cushions so deep you might have difficulty getting to your feet after several cocktails. All in all the sort of place you'd expect to see a louche character or two lounging around.

There is a kitchen. The menu is brief – mostly smallish plates with a European influence.

We only had time for a cocktail apiece. Dana had a What We Do in the Shadows - Bourbon, Amaro Sfumato, verjus, absinthe, chai syrup, and black lager. Tom sipped on La Maison Corn n' Oil - Agricole rum, black strap rum, Velvet falernum, lime juice, and bitters. The cocktails were well crafted.

Give Bar Marilou a try the next time you're in town

Forty Days Until Mardi Gras!

Butterfly King at the Rex Mardi Gras Parade

The Butterfly King Float in the Krewe of Rex parade
Photograph by Infrogmation of New Orleans - Creative Commons License -