The best part about growing up in small town rural Louisiana was plotting to leave as soon as I could. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great childhood. I had my cousins as my best friends, my Maw Maw Toni’s home cooking, I went to private school, took art lessons, slept late, and didn’t have a care in the world. Life was perfect, except that it was there in that small town. I would sit in my bedroom and wonder what the rest of the world was like. I would imagine joining African safaris in the summer. In the winter, I envisioned myself surrounded by snow—anywhere.
February 05, 2015
When I was young, my mother filled our house with music. We would sing all the time, neither of us with any kind of real success. I specifically remember singing "Rhinestone Cowboy" riding in our car when radios were still dial tuned and before seat belts were "fashionable" . As festival season approaches, no time in the French Quarter is more filled with the sounds of music. We come out of the cold weather into longer, warmer, festival-filled weekends that sweep us off our ears and celebrate the sounds that make our neighborhoods famous.
October 27, 2014
It wasn't until recently that I developed something many of you have had from an early age. Dreams and aspirations not only escaped me, I thought they were downright foolish, and those who believed in them to be even bigger fools. I was perfectly content to live my life as the nice, neat, hot mess that I always have been, funny on the outside and a completely lost individual on the inside. This was especially true in the "dating and relationship" department. I watched as all my friends fell in and out of love, some marrying, and some divorcing.
July 28, 2014
I have a really big problem with movies about hauntings. Well, not so much a big problem with the movies themselves as much as the people in them. You know the kind I mean: they sit around wondering what or whose voice is telling them to get out, rather than packing. Personally, I don't need a voice. A post-it on the fridge would work for me, I am just that easy. Then there's that one guy who takes the broken flashlight into the basement full of dismembered baby dolls. And inevitably the chick who just must shower, alone, naked, in the haunted house, at night.
May 06, 2014
Sitting right on top my bucket list is a picture of me sitting right on top Mount Kilimanjaro. Whenever I say this, people look at me like I am bat swattin' crazy. You see, I am not exactly one who enjoys long strolls anywhere. I don't walk on the beach because lying down on the beach is better, I don't to hike in the forest because lying down in the forest is better, and I don't strolling through neighborhoods looking at cute houses, because lying down on my sofa in my own house is better.
February 12, 2014
While some romantics might think that looking for romance in the French Quarter is like Indiana Jones searching for the Temple of Doom, the truth is that romance is littered in every corner of this unique, American neighborhood we call home.
February 11, 2014
Being in the French Quarter in springtime, or festival season, is like being Marie Antoinette on the season finale of the show "Cake Boss" ; so many fabulous bites of moist and delicious cake to sink your teeth into, and so little time to do it. From February to April, New Orleans is bursting at the seams with cultural events, festivals, and parties that not only keep locals and visitors smiling, but also define the very heartbeat of the city for the rest of the year. And, the heart of the party is the French Quarter.
November 05, 2013
In Catholic school, Sister Roseland would slap my knee and remind me that a gentleman did not stick his knees in the aisle in front of lady. I tried to explain to her that I was freakishly tall and that my desk was far too small, hoping she would cut this giant a little slack. She did so by sticking me I the back of the classroom away from the normal sized kids, where, as she put it, she never walked. I grew to hate being tall. I looked for the lowest soles on shoes and wouldn't dream of wearing boots or anything that added height to what already seemed an obnoxious mistake.
August 02, 2013
I spent approximately five years of my childhood praying to baby Jesus that he would make me a Brady. I loved their house, their dog, their housekeeper, and I especially loved the day Jan Brady decided she wanted out. I thought "I could do that, I can be Jan Brady; I am bitter and jealous of everyone already." Needless to say, it never happened and I was forced to move forward as Ryan: sweet, soft, loving ... well.
April 29, 2013
God forbid I should ever have to take a really good look at myself on the inside. While so many of my friends spend countless hours and countless dollars trying to find themselves, one actually spent more time than I think he should have getting tattoos and donkey in a small Mexican town/prison, I prefer to embrace the mystery that remains in me. Call it fear, if you like, because really, that is what it is. I scare the dickens out of myself with what I already know about me; I care not to scratch any farther than the surface.
January 30, 2013
As most of you know, "Heart of the Quarter" is all about the faces that make this neighborhood the experience of a lifetime for locals and tourists alike. So when choosing my "Heart of the Quarter" this issue, I decided to step outside of my slice of heaven and find a face that represents the city as a whole. After all, we are moving into a season where our entire city comes together for what some call the greatest free party on Earth. And what better face to highlight than that of Mardi Gras itself: Barry Kern.