Louisiana Gumbo (and some Lagniappe)

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Macrology
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Re: Louisiana Gumbo (and some Lagniappe)

Post by Macrology » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:03 pm

New Orleans, Exported

Just a quick throwback to this post, featuring Homer's odyssey (heh heh) through the New Orleans culinary scene.

In a Herculean effort, two Swiss tourists, Katrin von Niederhäusern and Janine Wiget, created the montage shot for shot.

I'm both jealous and impressed.



(Note at 00:17 seconds in, where the iconic Gene's Poboys has since shut down -- victim of a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.)
Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.
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Wooley
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Re: Louisiana Gumbo (and some Lagniappe)

Post by Wooley » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:59 am

Macrology wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:03 pm
New Orleans, Exported

Just a quick throwback to this post, featuring Homer's odyssey (heh heh) through the New Orleans culinary scene.

In a Herculean effort, two Swiss tourists, Katrin von Niederhäusern and Janine Wiget, created the montage shot for shot.

I'm both jealous and impressed.



(Note at 00:17 seconds in, where the iconic Gene's Poboys has since shut down -- victim of a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.)
So amazing, those two women are welcome in New Orleans for life.

Also, I thought I'd heard that Gene's was being saved or coming back somehow?

But the gentrification of our fair city has become a terrifying issue. Will all our culture be lost and we'll be reduced to transplant-led second-lines for tourists?
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Macrology
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Re: Louisiana Gumbo (and some Lagniappe)

Post by Macrology » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:10 am

Ernest J. Gaines, whose A Lesson Before Dying I recently wrote about in this thread, just died today. His NYT obituary. I need to read more of his work.

Planning to update this thread with a more substantial post soon.
Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.
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Macrology
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Re: Louisiana Gumbo (and some Lagniappe)

Post by Macrology » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:44 pm

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The Apostle | Robert Duvall | 1997

I first heard mention of this film when I was reading up on Flannery O'Connor after finishing her
Collected Stories. While the film is a far cry from the brutal (and decidedly Catholic) religious
ecstasies of O'Connor's fiction, it's easy to see why the writer compared the two: both strive to
reconcile religious attitudes with violent realities, and they are among the few works of American
fiction that handle the subject of religion without resorting to condescension or sentimentality.

The story starts in East Texas, where an Evangelical preacher (Duvall) commits a crime of passion
and flees to rural Louisiana to evade arrest. With incredible, riveting charm, he connects with the
local community and goes about starting a congregation. Based on the violent beginnings and the
standard Hollywood take on evangelicals, one expects him to callously manipulate his followers,
but this is the anti Elmer Gantry: Duvall treats his protagonist with absolute earnestness, a
man who believes that he is called by God to call others to God. The result is not only an electrifying
character study (and arguably Duvall's greatest performance), but one of the only honest depictions
of evangelicals in cinema -- one that addresses human failure without condemning its ensemble.

The film is most remarkable for the way that it illustrates how religious life engenders a sense of
community and belonging, with Duvall rallying diverse people (across race lines, although almost
invariably poor) and creating a physical and emotional space that enriches their lives. This culminates
in a scene where a belligerent, racist outsider (Billy Bob Thornton) shows up with a bulldozer and
threatens to tear down their newly restored church, and the unexpected emotional force of this
scene rivals some of O'Connor's most vivid revelations. As for the setting, while it doesn't scream
Louisiana (West LA and East TX are very similar), it captures the vernacular of the area as few films
do -- the way people talk and preach and interact -- thanks in part to its location shooting in St.
Martinville and Des Allemands and its casting of several local actors and nonprofessionals.

Lagniappe
While The Apostle is about evangelicals, Louisiana is comprised primarily of Southern Baptists
(in the predominantly Anglo North Louisiana) and Catholics (in French/Spanish South Louisiana,
where I live). And while cities like New Orleans have grown more secular over time, and some of
the city's Catholic churches have been converted into theaters and event spaces, many Catholic
traditions are still firmly in place and have even been adopted by non-Catholics.

Even the New Orleans football team is called The Saints, and I discussed our St. Joseph's Day traditions and the
Holy Trinity of Louisiana cooking in previous posts, but there are a few other peculiar local traditions
that deserve our attention. In the Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel on Rampart Street in New Orleans,
there's a statue depicting Saint Expeditus, a Roman centurion martyred for converting to Christianity.
According to local lore, the chapel received a large shipment of saintly statuary, but one of the
packages wasn't labeled. Since the package was marked 'Expedite', the nuns figured it must be St. Expedite.

Image
St. Expedite in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel.

One of the most prevalent Catholic traditions in South Louisiana -- one that is still practiced, though
it is beginning to fade -- is the celebration of All Saints Day. Traditionally, this involved dressing
up in your finest Fall fashion, visiting the cemetery to bedeck the family tomb with flowers and
wreaths, repairing any damage to the tomb, and mingling with the other visiting families.

Image
An illustration depicting All Saints Day in the late 1800s.

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All Saints Day in the 1940s.

Now, only a few families in New Orleans actively take part in All Saints Day traditions, but the
tradition still thrives in some of the small towns outside of the city, particularly places like
Lacombe, Louisiana, on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, where observers spend the day
decorating their family's grave sites and tombs with flowers and candles, so all through the
evening roadside cemeteries and graveyards tucked into the woods glow with gentle, beautiful
persistence. I've gone to Lacombe twice with friends to see the All Saints decorations, and each
time ended up conversing with local residents, who shared stories about dead loved ones or
their struggle to keep this slowly dying tradition alive. Here are a few of the pictures I took.

Image
Approaching one of the cemeteries set back in the woods.

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A closer look at that cemetery.

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One of the most lavishly decorated cemeteries.

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I visited this grave both years: it's adorned not only with candles, but a whole miniature fairy tale scene.

If you're interested, this lovely article goes into detail about more of Louisiana's Catholic folk traditions.
Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.
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Re: Louisiana Gumbo (and some Lagniappe)

Post by Torgo » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:50 pm

Image
Last Great Movie Seen
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Mitchell, 2001)
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