This past week was another super social marathon for me, if there is such a thing. I attended on Tuesday, the opening of the fabulous South Pacific at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. I also went the next day to the National War World II Museum where I met the cast of the show.
That week I also attended the lighting of the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel (where the switch was thrown by one of our most famous New Orleans natives, actor Bryan Batt), as well the lighting of the balconies of the Royal Sonesta Hotel. The Royal Sonesta Hotel formerly kicks off the season in the French Quarter at the 6th Annual Lighting of the Balconies. With a ceremonial flip of the switch, thousands of twinkling lights illuminated the hotel’s elaborate wrought-iron balconies. Gospel choir performances lifted our spirits as our favorite holiday characters came to life. Members of the New Orleans Saintsations lead this uniquely local celebration.
Thursday night was a chaotic for me since every party was very special but I am very proud to say that I attended everyone of them and I was home by 9 p.m. The Lighting of the Balconies at the Royal Sonesta was followed by Les Amis at the Consul Of France's residence, followed by the Young Audience Soiree at John Houghtaling's Romanesque Revival mansion on St. Charles Avenue and Valance Street, followed by a quick stop at The 23rd Annual Wine and and Spirits Auction-Reds, Whites and Sparkling, at the Uptowner. Guests enjoyed great food and libations while bidding on rare wines, fine spirits and other fabulous auction packages to benefit the Junior Committee of the Women's Guild of the New Orleans Opera Association.
On Friday, I attended the press conference and the kickoff of the month-long celebration of Christmas New Orleans Style. The fun-filled event was held at the steamboat Natchez. All the tourism VIPs were there, as well as the Historical New Orleans Characters.
On Saturday, I went briefly to the elegant Arts against AIDS soiree at the New Orleans Museum of Art. It was very elegant and well-attended. I had attended on Thursday, the patron party at Arthur Roger gallery.
I also attended the annual Julie and Stewart Juneau Christmas Soiree at their lovely penthouse above the Ritz Carlton. Julie is a superb glass sculptor and her delicate art work was for sale at their beautiful soiree.
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On Monday, I attended the lighting of the beautiful Christmas tree at the elegant Windsor Court and the annual Galatoire's Christmas auction which collected more than $55,000 to benefit the Galatoire Foundation, Crimestoppers and Raintree Children's Service The bid was to reserve a table for Friday, December 23.
Before I share all the fun events that my beloved New Orleans has to offer, I like to mention that the local community is mourning the loss of Architect Arthur Q. Davis, who designed the Superdome with a partner and designed the nearby New Orleans Arena on his own. He was 91. My sympathy to his family, which includes son Quint Davis, head of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He will be missed!
Here is what else this week has lined up and read below about all these events and make sure that you check out the website of the Christmas New Orleans Style Visit www.fqf.org so you can take advantage of all the free concerts, cooking demonstrations, and many other events
Get In The kNOwLA
Experience an evening of cultural indulgences at the JW Marriott Lobby Lounge from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This Week :
Welcoming back:Isabelle Jacopin,(In addition to her regular paintings of New Orleans scenes on canvas, Isabelle will be showcasing her new jazz series of acrylics on paper – perfect gifts for music lovers.)Live Entertainment by:Raphael Bas & Pierre Pichon
(Gypsy Swing) Spirit Tasting and complimentary Hors D’oeuvres. Lobby Bar- JW Marriott New Orleans, 614 Canal Street, (504) 525-6500
December 6- 21
Christmas New Orleans Style Concerts
All concerts are free and open to the public and take place at St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square, in the French Quarter. Concerts begin at 6 pm and last approximately one hour.
December 1 – 31
Christmas Celebration New Orleans Style
December 7-January 8
Holiday Musical with the Victory Belles
Enjoy the Victory Belles singing trio rings in the holiday with a Winter Wonderland of the most treasured songs of the seasons in this unforgettable musical at the Stage Door Canteen at the National WWII Museum. Matinees and evening include delightful dining by Chef John Besh. 504-528-1943
This online album has 29 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 03/05/2012.
December 6 -24
Singing Santa and the Riverwalk Jazz Band
Singing Santa and the Riverwalk Jazz Band stroll the the Riverwalk Marketplace playing holiday favorites and Dixieland jazz.504.522.1555 Visit website for more information on performance times:riverwalkmarketplace.com
December 6-Muriel's Jackson Square-Chef Gus Martin:Louisiana Citrus Gulf Shrimp
December 7-Besh Steak-Chef Jared Tees:Butterbean Cassoulet with Pork Belly, Wild Mushrooms,Sausage, & Rabbit Confit
December 8-Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse-Chef de Cuisine Alfred Singleton:Crab and Corn Chowder
December 9-La Côte Brasserie-Chef Chuck Subra:Bouillabaisse
December 13-Bourbon House-Chef Darin Nesbit :Turtle Sauce Piquant
Chef’s Holiday Cooking Demonstrations take place at the French Market Stage(between Ursuline and Gov. Nicholls) Cooking Demonstrations are free and open to the public and begin at 2pm and last approximately 45 minutes.
Learn the secrets of the local cuisine from the chefs who make New Orleans the culinary capital of the world! Acclaimed chefs from throughout the area share their favorite recipes at free cooking demonstrations and samplings that are guaranteed to spice up your holidays. Space is limited.
Downtown Development District Presents - Holiday Movie on the Mississippi
The Downtown Development District and the Riverwalk Marketplace present movies . Enjoy hot chocolate, tasty treats and the beautiful Mississippi River with your family, friends, and neighbors. The first 100 guests will receive free fleece blankets!6:30 pm at Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza, (504) 561-8927
Celebration in the Oaks
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of the most beautiful holiday light exhibits in the country. A New Orleans family tradition featuring ‘Cajun Night Before Christmas,’ dancing lights, a new nativity scene, photo with Santa,
musical laser show, and more! : Friday and Saturday 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm; Sunday - Thursday 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm.http://www.celebrationintheoaks.com - New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park. (504)483-9415. Admission: $7 per person, children under 3 and Friends of City Park enter free.
Sip and Shop Holiday Style
Just Say YA/YA 2011
Young Aspirations/Young Artists hold its annual Holiday art sale with a patron party that includes hors d’oeuvres and music by Charmaine Neville at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World (east bank). (504) 529-3306
Mahalia Jackson Centennial Plus One Celebration
Honoring Mahalia Jackson's 100 birthday and the 1st anniversary of the Mahalia Jackson Center, the evening will include cocktails, dancing and a special performance by Irma Thomas. The fundraiser that benefit Early Childhood & Family Foundation and the Mahalia Jackson Center will be held from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. at First NBC Bank Lobby, 210 Baronne Street. For info call 523-1193
Politics with a Punch
During Punch Happy Hour, we are honored to present the incomparable Armand St. Martin, the “Piano Man” who will entertain us in his unforgettable style.
Also, panelist Robyn Walensky will be signing copies of her new book, “Beautiful Life?” the CSI behind the Casey Anthony trial. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the OC Sheriff's Office 'Children's Safety Village ' for purchase of fingerprinting kits for kids.
Join us on Thursday December 8 for another unforgettable edition of Politics with a Punch, our local version of “Politically Incorrect.” It is a fast-paced, free-wheeling, no-holds barred discussion of what is happening in our city, state and nation. We place a premium on having a good time and expect plenty of laughs as we discuss the controversies and the outrageous antics of our local leaders and scoundrels.
We are excited to announce that our next show is the fifth one of our 10th season and will be held at the beautiful Eiffel Society, 2040 St. Charles Avenue .The doors open at 6 p.m. for Punch Happy Hour as the Eiffel Society bar will offer a delicious menu of specialty drinks for our patrons. As an added treat, dining will be available for our patrons at the Eiffel Society. After our event ends, we invite you to stay with us for cocktails and socializing with our fellow patrons and panelists.
Our show will begin at 8:00 p.m. As usual, we have picked an outstanding panel with some of our favorite all-stars plus some exciting newcomers. Check out our exceptional line-up of celebrities:
Mikko, Actor, Comedian and Playwright
Chris Rose, Author, Columnist, Commentator, Fox-8 TV
Sid From Gentilly, Legendary Talk Show Caller
John Slade, Radio Talk Show Host, WBOK 1230 AM
Vince Vance, New Orleans Original & Musical Genius
Robyn Walensky, Anchor/Reporter for Glenn Beck Radio Show
PhotoNOLA at The Collection
The Historic New Orleans Collection is pleased to return as a participating venue for PhotoNOLA 2011. Presented by the New Orleans Photo Alliance, the city’s sixth annual photography festival will take place at multiple venues. The Collection is hosting an exhibition, multi-artist book signing, and the keynote lecture. All events will take place at the Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street.
Thursday, December 8
In Katrina’s Wake: Restoring a Sense of Place-Photographs by Stephen Wilkes
Opens Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Free and open to the public.
This exhibition tells the stories of Bay St. Louis, Miss., and the Holy Cross neighborhood of New Orleans’s Ninth Ward—two historic communities united by disaster. More...
Friday, December 9
PhotoNOLA Group Book Signing
Free and open to the public.
The Collection will host a book signing with eight photographers. This event is presented by PhotoNOLA with The Historic New Orleans Collection and Octavia Books.PhotoNOLA 2011 keynote lecture and book signing with Joséphine Sacabo -7–9 p.m.Free and open to the public.
Seating is limited, and guests are encouraged to arrive early.
For the PhotoNOLA keynote lecture, fine art photographer Joséphine Sacabo will present an overview of her work and discuss her technical and aesthetic approach to the photographic medium.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society invite you to experience an evening of fine food, drink, entertainment, artwork and incredible auction packages to mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenge of everyone affected by MS at the Renaissance Arts Hotel.. Entertainment provided by Louisiana Spice. $150 per ticket and $100 per ticket for participants under 35. (504) 322-3790
The Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans’ Cornette Gala is an event designed to raise funds to provide health care services to the underserved. First NBC Bank, 210 Baronne Street.Tickets: $100 per ticket; $150 per patron ticket.: (504) 212-9519
Mignon Faget Trunk Show, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. at The Historic New Orleans Collection.
It is the exclusive French Quarter retailer for Mignon Faget jewelry and glassware. Additional collections will be brought in for this special trunk show, and THNOC members will be able to use their discount.
36th annual Holiday Home Tour
The Preservation Resource Center's annual event is a self-guided tour through seven Garden District homes, all dressed up for the holidays. The tour also includes a Holiday Boutique and café at Trinity Episcopal Church. $30 per ticket for PRC members; $35 per ticket for non-members.Contact: (504) 581-7032
Dec 10 17
Christmas Concert Series at St. Augustine Church
new this year is a series of concerts at St. Augustine, the oldest African-American Catholic Church in the United States. The free concerts start 4 p.m. Free parking at Henriette Delille St(formelly St. Claude Avenue.
December 10 and 17
CREOLE QUEEN’S CAJUN HOLIDAY TEA WITH PAPA NOEL
The enchanting book, The Cajun Night Before Christmas, will come to life this Holiday Season aboard the Creole Queen Paddlewheeler at a very special Cajun Children’s Holiday Tea Saturday December 10 and 17 featuring Papa Noel, the Cajun Gingerbread Boy, Gaston the Gator and other jolly holiday characters. Enjoy storytelling, children’s activities, and the opportunity to hold a real live alligator! Additionally, each child will receive a stuffed gator to take home. Guests board the Creole Queen at 1:30pm at the foot of Poydras Street at Riverwalk and cruise the mighty Mississippi River from 2-3:30pm. Cost is $49 for adults and $34 for children under 12 years of age. Reservations are required by calling 504.529.4567 or at www.creolequeen.com
Holiday Home and Courtyard Tours at Historic New Orleans Collection
The Celebrated New Orleans Black Chorale presents their 31st Annual Christmas Concert
"Spiritual Christmas...A Heritage for the Holydays" at 7 p.m.
Dr. John E. Ware, Conductor & Veronica Downs-Dorsey, Pianist.
1329 Jackson Ave. N.O – Call: 670 2520
Sunday, Dec 11
A Marigny Christmas
The 37th Annual Candlelight Christmas Caroling and Art Market
It will include an art market, a tour of the Marigny Rectangle. The tree lightining takes place at 5:30 p.m.and the Candlelight Caroling at 6 p.m. As in the past, the Phisters Sisters will lead the caroling.
Sunday, Dec 11
Trinity Artist Series present : Trinity 25th Annual Handel Messiah Sing- Along
The audience sings the choruses together with the Trinity Choir.The solos section will feature
the outstanding talent of Tenor Chauncey Packer,and a roster of other sparkling soloists including :
baritone Jamez McCorkle;sopranos: Crystal Morris, Annelise Cassar, & Vicki Moran;mezzo sopranos: Rebeccka Coe, Veronica Sharkey;The musical accompaniment will be provided by organist Albinas Prizgintas.
at 5 p.m. 1329 Jackson Ave. N.O – Call: 670 2520
Monday, December 12
Coco Robicheaux Memorial and Second-line Parade and Concert
Family,friends and fans will commemorate and celebrate his life with a second- line parade and concert. The parade will begin on Frenchmen St in the Faubourgh Marigny at 3:30 p.m. and the Treme Brass Band will lead the procession through the Marigny and French Quarter and will conclude at the House of Blues with a free concert that will start about 6 p.m. Free admission.
Please put it in you calendar:
DON'T MISS THIS SPECTACULAR SPECIAL EVENT SERIES
STARTING DECEMBER 13TH WITH
THE HOLIDAY CELEBRATION LOUISIANA BELLES!
THE LOUISIANA CYCLE
200 Years of Voices
in honor of Louisiana's 200th anniversary of statehood
The series that began in June with LOUISIANA LADIES continues ...
December 13 at 7pm
A celebration of holidays in New Orleans - memories, myths and carols.
This evening is presented in collaboration with WWNO.
Featuring: Margarita Bergen, Maureen "Mo" Brennan, Leslie Castay,Madelaine Feldman, Peggy Scott Laborde, Tari Hohn Lagasse, Diane Mack, Barbara Motley, Nell Nolan,Joyce Pulitzer, Janet Shea, Carol Sutton,& Ros Wingerter!
January 23 at 7pm
From the fields, the shrimp boats and kitchens, the voices of those who have put the food on our plate.
This evening is presented in collaboration with Chef Susan Spicer.
April 23 at 7pm
The lyrical ladies of Louisiana, their stories and songs, performed by New Orleans' favorite songstresses.
VIP RESERVED SEATS - $45
GENERAL ADMISSION - $25
OR BOOK THE WHOLE SERIES NOW!
Anais St. John
Polo Lounge of the Windsor Court on Friday and Saturday from 9 to Midnight.
Every Thursday and Weekend at the Ritz Carlton
BOMBAY CLUB -830 Conti St.586-0972
Presents:LIVE MUSIC -No Cover Charge
Jazz Trio Marlon Jordon @ 8-11 p.m. Every Wednesday & Thursday
Pianist Monty Banks @ 6-9 p.m. Every Friday, Saturday & Every Sunday 7-10pm
Pianist Amanda Walker every Monday & Tuesday 7 – 10pm
This online album has 40 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 03/05/2012.
Have a great week!
Margarita Bergen, M.Ed, Realtor with Keller Williams Realty
Society Editor - New Orleans Living Magazine
Cultural Diva- www.neworleans.com
Social/Cultural Columnist - www.bayoubuzz.com
811 Marigny Street, Unit C
New Orleans, Louisiana 70117
Tel/ Cell 504-495-9181 Fax/504-524-0611