This Week’s Various

As always, all images here made by me, copyright DeepFriedKudzu.

Front Dining Room, Antoine's, New Orleans LA
Above: the front dining room at Antoine’s

The NYT this week on the New Orleans dining scene:
This city, of course, has always been food-obsessed. But these days it has reached new levels of insatiability. Though the city has fewer people than it did before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, it has 70 percent more restaurants…

Old Monroe County Courthouse - To Kill A Mockingbird
Above: the old Monroe County Courthouse, one of the settings in TKAM

For the first time since 1911, a Mississippi State student has been named a Rhodes Scholar, and this is part of how he was inspired:

He hopes to seek a doctorate in African-American literature. The 2010 Vicksburg High School graduate said loved literature since his family was reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” together. His father, Willie Brown, cried over the death of character Tom Robinson, a black man wrongly accused of raping a young white woman.

“I really knew then that books had a lot of power, if my dad could cry over a fictional character,” said Brown, who plans to pursue parallel master’s degrees in American and English literature at Oxford, focusing on its interaction after World War II.

Sylvia’s, the Sylvia’s from Harlem that has an outpost now in St. Pete, got a poor review from a local newspaper critic who not only questions the freshness of the food there:

So, it’s grandma, maybe great-grandma food. Fine, but food availability is different now. At Sylvia’s, the peaches in the peach cobbler and the yams in the candied yams taste like they come from a can. The banana pudding and the dumplings taste like they come from a mix. The buttered corn tastes like it was frozen and the black-eyed peas (Wed.-Sun.) and lima beans (Mon.-Tues.) are stewed so long and are so mushy it’s hard to tell whether they came from dried, canned or fresh beans.

…but apparently is so struck by the food that she questions whether the heightened expectations of the Southern food ‘renaissance’ as she puts it should be applied to this new restaurant.

Yummy Poutine, Montreal Pool Hall, Montreal Quebec
Above: Av and I had to go to a pool hall in Montreal to find what we were told was the best poutine in the city

McDonald’s gives the gift of poutine to the entire nation of Canada.  It will still be from McDonald’s, but at least you can get your poutine in Yellowknife (657.96 km from the other nearest town with a McD’s).

I heard Trader Joe’s is selling their own poutine, frozen.

And the Harvard School of Public Health has determined that the healthiest diets cost $1.50 more per day.

Dahomey Plantation (For Sale : $20 Mil), Bolivar County MS

Mississippi State offers an alternative spring break in the Delta — I would have jumped at this in school!:
The trip will begin with a worship service in traditionally white and black churches. During the rest of the trip students, will embrace the culture of the Delta through blues music, civil rights and Native-American experiences. Students will also take part in service projects with youth development programs, Mississippi River conservation groups, locally-grown food initiatives and health education organizations. Students will also canoe down the mighty Mississippi River.

There’s a plan to turn the Louisiana ArtWorks building into a multi-component food industry conglomeration called NOCHI to include: Delgado Culinary Center of Excellence, UNO’s Master’s in Hospitality Degree, Tulane Hospitality and Entrepreneurship, NOCHI Culinary and Hospitality School, and a food incubator.
If all goes well, it would open in 2016.

The advisory board of the Louisiana Civil Rights Museum is also interested in bidding. From The Lens:
The museum group wants to use the building “to report on the civil rights story for all people in Louisiana,” said Madlyn Bagneris, a retired Entergy executive and civic activist who is president of the Friends of the Civil Rights Museum. She said the museum would tell the story through permanent and traveling exhibits and serve as a place for lectures. She said the museum would have retail space to generate income.The museum was created by a unanimous vote of the state Legislature in 2004 and is supposed to be housed in New Orleans but has yet to secure the necessary funding or find a home. Bagneris said the museum has $1.5 million in state funds.

A while back, I found Kentucky for Kentucky, a team working to rebrand the state’s tourism and inject more fun:
Kentucky Kicks Ass – Rebranding Kentucky from Kentucky for Kentucky on Vimeo.

Among their offerings, fried chicken-scented candles (that sold out in no time).  In Alabama, we’d surely need an Old Greenbrier Barbecue hushpuppy candle.  

Sylvania, Alabama

A study, here, of America’s ‘Most and Least Bible-Minded Cities’ — only past #17 does a non-Southern city rate.

The Heidelberg Project in Detroit — now that so many HP homes have been lost to fire — has an Indiegogo campaign going on right now to save what remains, and rebuild:

In other  news, Christie’s has estimated the collection of the Detroit Museum of Art (the collection seen by some as non-essential and up for sale to help with the city’s financial woes) at between $452-866MM.

Lonnie Holley
Above: Lonnie outside a gallery a few years ago

The Washington Post counts Lonnie Holley’s album as one of the ten best of 2013:
It’s an album by an eccentric Alabama sculptor, released in 2012, re-released with bonus cuts in 2013. But it’s also a free jazz fever dream from the deep South, a babbling Baptist sermon from deep space, a lullaby for the end of the world, a songbook that’s frequently beautiful and occasionally frightening.

W.C. Handy Home and Museum, Florence AL
Above: the W.C. Handy Museum in Florence

W.C. Handy, from Florence, Alabama, was according to stories forever changed after a visit to Cleveland, Mississippi where he heard a type of music he would later be known for, as the ‘Father of the Blues’. This week, the Mississippi Historical Society is erecting a Mississippi Blues Trail marker at the site.

Scottsboro Boys Museum, Scottsboro AL
Historic buttons of support for the Scottsboro Boys

The last three Scottsboro Boys have officially been pardoned.  Now, from the Crimson White:
…track down the graves of each of the Scottsboro Boys and place a historical marker. She’s already made an appointment with the mayor of Chattanooga, Tenn., to discuss marking two known graves there.

In January and February of next year, students will have the opportunity to see a traveling exhibit of photographs from the Decatur trials at the University of Alabama’s Paul R. Jones Gallery. “To See Justice Done,” an online exhibit of letters, is also available through the Alabama Digital Humanities Center.

Water Tower, across from McCarty's Pottery in Merigold MS

Kudzu’s tendrils are heading north.  Hello, Ohio.

And there’s a concern in North Carolina that just started selling their sake: Blue Kudzu Sake Company.

Jessie Owens Memorial and Park, Oakville AL

There’s a Jesse Owens Museum in Lawrence County, Alabama, where he grew up — yet they don’t have any of his Olympic Gold Medals.  The location of three of them are apparently unknown, but one is up for auction this week, and it may well sell for over $1MM from the Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson estate (yes, that Bojangles).  Read the lot description for more on Owens and Robinson’s relationship.

Jesse Owens’ daughters are quoted:
“We are all saddened by the sale of this invaluable piece of history,” they said in a prepared statement. “We can only hope that the person making the winning bid in this auction shares in this view of our father’s great legacy, and sees fit to place this medal in a place of honor and respect available to the public in perpetuity.”

A celebration of John Egerton‘s life will be at the downtown (Church St) Nashville Public Library on December 8 at 2:30p.

Being Johnny Cash’s daughter, at the Oxford American:
The drama, love, schisms, and reconciliations of Dad and Marshall’s relationship were played out for the most part in public, but no one saw the heartbreak of Mom and Etta’s inevitable separation after my parents’ divorce. Etta still talks to me about Mom, how they loved each other; how, when we moved to California, Etta put a stool in the hall outside her kitchen next to the wall phone so that she could sit and have long conversations with my mother every day. In one conversation Etta recalled my mother saying, in reference to the Carter Family traveling with my dad’s show, “Etta, I’m a little concerned about Anita.” Etta said, “Vivian, you ought to be a little more concerned about June.” Prescient, to say the least.

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