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The Flood's Been Over: Exploring the New New Orleans

The Flood's Been Over: Exploring the New New Orleans Aug 8th, 2011 at 11:00AM: Driving to the best breakfast spot in New Orleans, a somewhat dingy beignet shop in suburban Metairie called Morning Call, where cops and bounty hunters converse at the corner table, I turned on the local radio. The set picked up AM 690, and a program called Inside New Orleans. The host, Eric Asher, started talking about Tales of the Cocktail, an annual drinking convention for bartenders...

Cuba: Nine US cities cleared for charter flights

Cuba: Nine US cities cleared for charter flights Aug 1st, 2011 at 1:30PM: Nine US airports have been approved for charter flights to Cuba, Reuters reported this morning. The Cuban travel agency Havanatur Celimar made the announcement on Friday. The US government forbids commercial flights between the United States and Cuba, so all air travel between the two countries has to proceed on charter planes. The Obama Administration has already removed all restrictions...

Pop-up restaurants: dining for a new decade

Pop-up restaurants: dining for a new decade Apr 28th, 2011 at 1:30PM: First, it was underground supper clubs. Now, everything's coming up pop-ups. As with food trucks, this form of guerrilla cheffing borne of economic need has become a global phenomenon. Equal parts dinner party and dinner theater, a pop-up refers to a dining establishment that is open anywhere from one to several nights, usually in an existing restaurant or other commercial food establishment. ...

A first-timer's guide to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

A first-timer's guide to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Apr 20th, 2011 at 11:00AM: The annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, or simply Jazz Fest, is a massive springtime music and cultural festival that takes place over two consecutive weekends in late April and early May. Many music lovers of all ilk consider it the country's premier music festival and return year after year. Others have called it the best party in America. The name Jazz Fest is somewhat...

4 U.S. cities that need a major theme park

4 U.S. cities that need a major theme park Apr 14th, 2011 at 8:00AM: A glance at a map of the United States makes my theme park-addicted mind flag the states and cities with theme parks. To me, the states without theme parks look like big holes in the map. I figured I'd list the cities that I feel could use a major theme park. I'm going to preface this list by admitting that I have a completely outsider's view of these cities. I'm going mainly on the population, so...

Five great upcoming food and wine festivals

Five great upcoming food and wine festivals Apr 5th, 2011 at 12:00PM: Food and travel often go hand in hand - after all, the best meals are often found away from home, and some of the best memories can be made over a meal. Want to really get away for a gourmet feast? Check out these five great upcoming food and wine festivals. Pebble Beach Food & Wine This grand tasting is held from April 28th – May 1st and includes 200 wineries plus 25 chefs,...

Fat Tuesday - top 5 places to party for Carnival

Fat Tuesday - top 5 places to party for Carnival Mar 8th, 2011 at 3:30PM: Fat Tuesday is the culmination of Mardi Gras, Carnival, Carnevale, and like minded celebrations that take place across the world today. From Guatemala to Greece, Fat Tuesday represents the last bastion of excess in Christian culture before the Lent fasting season begins. The streets pulse with energy and revelers don costumes, throw beads, shout sheenisms, and generally have a booze-fueled...

Mardi Gras in New Orleans 2011, let the good times roll!

Mardi Gras in New Orleans 2011, let the good times roll! Mar 8th, 2011 at 2:30PM: Today ends Carnival season in New Orleans, a two-week festival of parades and partying in leading up to the Christian Lenten period of sacrifice, and culminating in Shrove (or Fat) Tuesday and known to New Orleans residents as Mardi Gras. There are other Fat Tuesday celebrations throughout the world such as Rio's Carnival, it's most famous in America as Mardi Gras in New Orleans, where around 1...

Update from the shores of Louisiana

Update from the shores of Louisiana Feb 17th, 2011 at 10:00AM: A trio of events happening simultaneously this week along the Gulf coast is stirring debate: The team responsible for paying out damages to Gulf spill victims is about to start writing checks to those who've proved they deserve it; NOAA has given its blessing to reopening a 4,200-square-mile area of the Gulf of Meico to fishing, near where the BP well exploded; and chemical...

5 tips for actually enjoying Mardi Gras

5 tips for actually enjoying Mardi Gras Jan 30th, 2011 at 6:00PM: While New Orleans seems to celebrate Mardi Gras all year round, it is at this time of the year--the weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday (in French: Mardi Gras) and the beginning of Lent--that the city earns its hard partying reputation. It happens...

New Orleans Band Better Than Ezra Welcomes us to Mardi Gras

New Orleans Band Better Than Ezra Welcomes us to Mardi Gras Jan 28th, 2011 at 12:00PM: Ever thought about going to Mardi Gras, only to quickly reconsider? Daunted by the idea of drunken crowds and inadvertently turning up on an episode of Cops? Well New Orleans-based rock band Better Than Ezra is inviting newbies and veterans alike to a Mardi Gras experience that promises much more than the balcony-hanging, bead-throwing debauchery one might expect. The event is called Krewe of...

Biking is easier in the Big Easy

Biking is easier in the Big Easy Jan 21st, 2011 at 12:00PM: New Orleans is a magnificent city by bicycle. It's flat, temperate for much of the year, has lots of streets with slow or no traffic, and, as reported in the Times-Picayune, a growing number of bike lanes (about 30 miles and counting). To tap into the local biking scene, start with the Metro Bicycle Coalition. From there you might check out the monthly New Orleans Critical Mass ride, and the...

Top 10 travel spots in the United States

Top 10 travel spots in the United States Jan 17th, 2011 at 1:30PM: So, Orbitz noted when we like to travel ... but where do we go? The top 10 destinations in the country were mostly predictable, with big tourist-magnet cities dominating the list. There were a few surprises, according to the information supplied by Orbitz: Boston, for example, didn't make the list, after having ranked ninth in 2009. Los Angeles, fifth in 2009, also fell off in 2010. New Orleans...

Bowermaster's Adventures: Checking in on the BP spill cleanup

Bowermaster's Adventures: Checking in on the BP spill cleanup Dec 10th, 2010 at 11:00AM: Reports last week from the beaches of Alabama and Mississippi suggest that the post-BP gusher cleanup continues, with varying degrees of success, and that new oil continues to show up. Near the Alabama-Florida border, a placed called Perdido (Lost) Key, BP-contracted crews have been sifting sand for more than six months to try and get rid of tar mats buried nearly three feet beneath the sand. ...

Bowermaster's Adventures - Measuring the extent of oil spillage

Bowermaster's Adventures - Measuring the extent of oil spillage Nov 29th, 2010 at 11:30AM: With the six-month anniversary of the BP spill now in the rear view mirror the company as well as a variety of officials both federal and state would like the world to believe the oil is gone. But photos and first-hand accounts from Barataria Bay recently show the opposite – oil still reaching high into the marshy grasslands, baby crabs and adult shrimp covered by crude, slicks on the...

Best college restaurant: Good Morning America wants your vote

Best college restaurant: Good Morning America wants your vote Nov 19th, 2010 at 11:30AM: For most of us, college was a low period in our culinary lives. Ramen, macaroni and cheese, beer for breakfast. . .ah, the memories! When we got tired of contributing to our freshman fifteen with junk food, there was always that one place that served up something a little better, a little special. If you've been to college, or even if you haven't, I bet you just thought of that place right now....

Bowermaster's Adventures: Lifiting the drilling moratorium

Bowermaster's Adventures: Lifiting the drilling moratorium Nov 19th, 2010 at 9:00AM: Less than 180 days after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank and less than 60 days after BP finally sealed the well that leaked 200 million gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama Administration lifted its own moratorium on deepwater drilling. While Gulf State oil workers, especially in Louisiana, are relieved, hoping that new permits will be approved by year's end and jobs...

The New Orleans Marriott wants your mustache (for charity)

The New Orleans Marriott wants your mustache (for charity) Nov 9th, 2010 at 2:00PM: Got mustache? Get one, and head to New Orleans for some serious upper lip fun. November is also known as Movember, the one month of the year when men are challenged to embrace their facial hair for charity. This year, the New Orleans Marriott is getting into the game and offering a free cocktail to men who show their Mo at the hotel's 5 Fifty 5 restaurant and 55 Fahrenheit lounge. The hotel...

Abandoned Six Flags New Orleans video is creeping us out

Abandoned Six Flags New Orleans video is creeping us out Nov 5th, 2010 at 4:30PM: Six Flags New Orleans, which closed as Hurricane Katrina approached in 2005 and has never reopened. The sign outside the park still announces that it's "CLOSED FOR STORM." The theme park was in New Orleans' Ninth Ward, one of the hardest hit areas during Katrina and the flooding after the storm. Though many of the rides still stand, Six Flags says that saltwater from the flood has corroded...

Katrina exhibit opens in New Orleans

Katrina exhibit opens in New Orleans Oct 31st, 2010 at 11:00AM: It was the most catastrophic event in New Orleans history. Hurricane Katrina destroyed large swathes of the city and left hundreds of thousands homeless. Now the Louisiana State Museum has opened an exhibit chronicling the natural disasters that have visited New Orleans, culminating in the most recent and worst. Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond, a 6,700 square-foot multimedia...

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