New Orleans is a gumbo; a mixture of ingredients that come together and create something undeniably unique. It is a city with energy, creativity, and individuality that represents the best of what American cities are doing today.
Before I sat down to write about John Currence's new cookbook -- Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey -- I surveyed my brown liquor shelf and found just the right courage: a bottle of Willett Rye with one good pump left in it.
After a week like this it's too early for a cocktail, but barely. Divas are getting dressed for their numbers. "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger" ends up being the most performed song of the day.
Finally, I'm NOLABound. Six and a half years since Hurricane Katrina destroyed my home and sent my community into a far flung diaspora of despondent resignation, I find myself returning home, as part of the BeNOLABound program.
As the people of New Orleans have rebuilt, their city has also quietly become a laboratory for some of the most innovative social service initiatives in the country. Indeed, we can all learn from New Orleans.
I've grown a pretty thick skin over the years when it comes to celebrities. However it's just not that often that I find myself sitting across someone who, frankly, was a bonafide teen idol in my particular pantheon. We're talking photos stuck onto bedroom walls here.