SLABBED Daily: June 13 – 14 (weekend edition)

A trip to the Farmer’s Market is at the top of my “to do”  list for today; but, one thing I won’t be buying is a cucumber for the health tonic I’ve been taking daily since my trip to the beach.

I prefer my Pimm’s with lime and crushed mint – and cucumber in salads and sandwiches.

Julia Reed, a Mississippi writer regardless of where she lives, put Pimm’s first on her list of kick-back-and-enjoy-summer cocktails and added a great story:Pimms-Cup-1

I love a Pimm’s Cup, which is the house specialty at the Napoleon House here in the French Quarter…I discovered a Pimm’s Royale in Paris at the Ritz Bar, where I repaired after abandoning my almost husband on our sort of honeymoon.

I had called off the marriage at rather the last minute, and we already had this elaborate trip to France all paid for and planned, and Continue reading “SLABBED Daily: June 13 – 14 (weekend edition)”

Julia Reed on NOLA's disaster response

I borrowed Julia Reed’s update on post Gustav NOLA from the Ladder – great catch Editilla and you’re right about the title.  Dodging the bullet is distateful as both a title and an attitude considering the magnitude of the damage elsewhere in Louisiana – most of it covered by the news about what didn’t happen in New Orleans.

Reed, as usual, dishes up more of her excellent writing and, once again, reminds us that in NOLA there’s not just the southern tradition of funeral food but disaster food as well – and her take on Nagin alone makes this article a must read.

Three years ago, in preparation for Hurricane Katrina, Bob Rue, owner of The Sarouk Shop, an Oriental rug emporium on New Orleans‘s grand St. Charles Avenue, boarded up his windows with plywood and painted on a warning: “Don’t Even Try. I am Sleeping Inside with a Big Dog, an Ugly Woman, Two Shotguns and a Claw Hammer.” It worked. Almost every business lining the Avenue, from Smoothie King to the Please-U Restaurant, was trashed and looted-except for those within viewing distance of Rue’s sign. Continue reading “Julia Reed on NOLA's disaster response”

Mississippi writer pens Katrina story – twice!

Greenville’s Julia Reed – a senior writer at Vogue; a contributing editor at Newsweek; and a food writer for The New York Times, author of Queen of the Turtle Derby – probably backs up her grocery list after twice writing her latest book, the House on First Street: My New Orleans Story.

New Orleans’ road to recovery continues to this day. But the road to The House on First Street was a hard one too, because in the epilogue, we read of Reed’s no end of rotten luck. Roughly a year ago, her book was ready for the publisher. But a burglar got his hands on some things: the author’s TVs, some jewelry — and her computer. She’d backed up exactly one chapter of her book.

Renovation of a house. Recovery of a whole city. It’s all in how you look at it, but try rewriting a book from scratch. Reed did. She had to. And it’s hard to imagine the lost version being funnier, more exasperating, and more affecting. For fans of Reed’s previous book, the best-selling Queen of the Turtle Derby, I don’t have to tell you.

Actually, it’s not hard to imagine after reading this review in the Memphis Flyer – or to imagine a more candid assessment of NOLA before-and-after than Julia provided in responding to the Q&A.

My publisher wanted a book about New Orleans that would have staying power. I don’t know if I’ve done that. It is very much a description of a place before, during, and after. In a way, I’m hoping it stands up as a love letter. Continue reading “Mississippi writer pens Katrina story – twice!”