Snippets of New Orleans by Emma Fick – Podcast!

Snippets of New Orleans by Emma Fick – Podcast!

Snippets of New Orleans by Emma Fick

Snippets of New Orleans

Our Review this week: Snippets of New Orleans by Emma Fick

Snippets of New Orleans by Emma Fick

Snippets of New Orleans

The back cover

We’ve got a book review for you this week, a fun title on New Orleans by artist, historian, and illustrator, Emma Fick. Snippets of New Orleans is a wonderful illustrated primer on New Orleans history and culture. Emma’s book covers a lot of ground. So, it’s a great book for local and visitor alike. I see it as a great book to give someone before they come to New Orleans for the first time. It will really build up excitement.

The Basics

Snippets of New Orleans

Emma’s map of New Orleans

Emma starts with the basics of navigating New Orleans. It’s important to understand uptown/downtown and lakebound/riverbound, since the cardinal compass points of North, South, East, and West have so little real meaning here. She leads with this, giving us some solid directions and explanations right as you open the book.

The French Quarter

Snippets of New Orleans

French Quarter Street Signs

Lots of excellent detail here, as we wander around places, people, and things that strike the author. The “Spanish street signs” that explain how the street names were pronounced during the Spanish Colonial period are a particular favorite of mine when walking through the Quarter.

Common Themes Across Neighborhoods

Snippets of New Orleans

Corner Stores

Corner grocery stores were once ubiquitous across the city. You can usually tell a house or building that used to be a neighborhood grocery because the corner facing the street corner is “cut off” a bit. We will definitely be coming back to this topic in a future pod.

Buy the book!

Snippets of New Orleans

The Network

You’ve got several options for buying Emma’s book. So, if you don’t mind, go buy it at a bookstore, like Blue Cypress Books (like I did), or Octavia Books! Support the Indies, they’re an important part of the community. If you’re not local, you can buy the book through Octavia’s website. While we encourage the locals, we know many prefer Amazon, of course #primeJunkies.

I’m proud to be included in Emma’s Network! We had a lot of fun exploring Faubourg St. John together, as she took notes for inspiration.

Snippets of New Orleans

French Truck Coffee and Blue Dot Donuts at Wakin’ Bakin’ on Banks and Alexander in Mid-City

And let’s not forget Wakin’ Bakin’, my regular morning haunt. While you listen, you can hear New Orleans flowing by you as you listen to the pod,

 

 

 

Limmud Fest New Orleans 2018 – We’re talking Krauss next weekend

Limmud Fest New Orleans 2018

Limmud Fest New Orleans 2018

We’re going to Limmud Fest New Orleans 2018! Mr. Hugo Kahn and I will discuss Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store. The presentation is on Sunday, March 18th, 10:20am, at the Jewish Community Center Uptown. We’ll gladly sign the copy of the book you buy from Octavia Books at the event.

What is Limmud Fest New Orleans 2018?

From the Limmud Fest website:

LimmudFest New Orleans is a weekend festival of Big Tent Jewish learning, arts, culture and spirituality — all planned by volunteers. It is part of a global movement inspired by the idea that when Jews from diverse backgrounds come together to celebrate and learn about everything Jewish, the entire community is enriched.

Krauss Department Store on Canal Street is steeped in New Orleans history. Since the Krauss Brothers, their brother-in-law, Leon Heymann, and his family, and Hugo Kahn, the top-level ownership and management of the store through the years, are all Jewish, the store is a cornerstone of Jewish retail history. It’s a great topic for a weekend of Jewish learning.

Hugo Kahn – President of Krauss, Incorporated.

Mr. Kahn is the reason the book has been so well received. When Hugo closed down the store for the Heymann family in 1997, instructed that all the stuff from the offices be boxed up and brought out to the Earl K. Long Library at the University of New Orleans. Those twelve linear feet of photos, documents, and memorabilia were essential to telling the Krauss story.

At talks and presentations I’ve done since the book dropped last September, Hugo will gladly join in. He answers questions from guests and shares his memories and thoughts on the store. For Limmud Fest New Orleans 2018, Hugo is the star, and I’m looking forward to him taking the mic. Hugo’s involvement with Krauss began in 1967, when the late Jimmy Heymann hired him as Controller. Hugo, working for Jimmy and later, his son, Jerry, ran the store, from Jimmy’s passing to the store’s closure.

Edward Branley, the NOLA History Guy

Yeah, I’ll be there, too.

Sunday, March 18th

Come out and hear Hugo tell the story! I’ll be along with photos and background on the origins of the store.

New Orleans History Books for Christmas – Part 3

New Orleans History Books for Christmas – Part 3

New Orleans History books make great gifts!

New Orleans History Books for Christmas – Part 3

Third part of a series. Part 1 here, Part 2 here.

Three more books you can run out to local stores or the usual online suspects to get before Christmas.

Baseball in New Orleans by S. Derby Gisclair

New Orleans History Books

Baseball in New Orleans by S. Derby Sinclair

Catchers and pitchers in The Show report on February 13, 2018. Know your New Orleans baseball history before it warms up! From the description:

In 1887, local businessmen and promoters secured a minor league franchise for the city of New Orleans in the newly formed Southern League, beginning the city’s 73-year love affair with the New Orleans Pelicans. From Shoeless Joe Jackson, to Hall of Famers Dazzy Vance, Joe Sewell, Bob Lemon, and Earl Weaver, to today’s stars such as Jeff Cirillo and Lance Berkman, the road to the majors brought many notable players through New Orleans. From these early beginnings to the present-day New Orleans Zephyrs of the AAA Pacific Coast League, local fans have continued the tradition of baseball in New Orleans.

Yeah, the “Babycakes” is an awful name, but it’s still baseball.

Crescent City Snow: The Ultimate Guide to New Orleans Snowball Stands (Paperback) by Megan Braden-Perry

new orleans history books

Crescent City Snow by Megan Braden-Perry

It’s chilly enough outside that you’re likely not thinking about snowballs right now. It’s still a great time to give this book to someone, to be prepared for the summer! From the description:

Crescent City Snow is part guidebook, part diary, and part biography of fifty snowball stands and their customers in the greater New Orleans area. Keep a copy of Crescent City Snow in the car for when you want to try a new place, and use the table in the back to record your own observations.

I was at a pop-up with Mz Megan last weekend. She’s looking really good, in spite of becoming a snowball expert! 🙂

New Orleans: The Canal Streetcar Line by Edward J. Branley

New Orleans History Books

New Orleans: The Canal Streetcar Line by Edward J. Branley

My first history book! I wrote this book in 2003-2004, and it marked the return of streetcars to Canal Street. From the description:

New Orleans was one of the first cities to embrace street railways, and the city’s love affair with streetcars has never ceased. New Orleans: The Canal Streetcar Line showcases photographs, diagrams, and maps that detail the rail line from its origin and golden years, its decline and disappearance for almost 40 years, and its return to operation. From the French Quarter to the cemeteries, the Canal Line ran through the heart of the city and linked the Creole Faubourgs with the new neighborhoods that stretched to Lake Pontchartrain.

So much fun to write, and it’s a great introduction to the city’s Main Street.

Links are to Octavia Books on Laurel and Octavia, uptown. You can find these books at all the usual suspects.

 

Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store

by Edward J. Branley

For almost one hundred years, generations of New Orleans shoppers flocked to Krauss. The Canal Street store was hailed for its vast merchandise selection and quality customer service. In its early days, it sold lace and fabric to the ladies of the notorious red-light district of Storyville. The store’s renowned lunch counter, Eddie’s at Krauss, served Eddie Baquet’s authentic New Orleans cuisine to customers and celebrities such as Julia Child. Although the beloved store finally closed its doors in 1997, Krauss is still fondly remembered as a retail haven. With vintage photographs, interviews with store insiders and a wealth of research, historian Edward J. Branley brings the story of New Orleans’ Creole department store back to life.

New Orleans History Books for Christmas – Part 2

New Orleans History Books for Christmas – Part 2

New Orleans History Books for Christmas – Part 2

Part 2 of a series. Part 1 here.

New Orleans History Books for Christmas – Part 2

Three more books tonight! Links go back to Octavia Books’ website, but you can get these books at all the usual suspects.

Lake Pontchartrain by Catherine Campanella

new orleans history books

Lake Pontchartrain by Catherine Campanella

This book brings back so many fond memories for me, as well as a lot of interesting history. I always like to say, I “slept” in Metairie, and “grew up” in Gentilly, because my dad worked at LSUNO/UNO, and I went to Brother Martin High School. My dad was not a fan of driving on I-10. He enjoyed his morning sunshine on Lakeshore Drive. So, he would cruise with no red lights to Elysian Fields, and drive me down to school. While this took him a bit longer, it gave him peace. He got peace, therefore I got quiet time to listen to the radio with him, occasionally talk about what was going on.

From the book’s description:

Native Americans used Okwata, meaning wide water, as a shortcut for inland trade between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River. When the Europeans arrived, the original inhabitants showed them the route the settlement near the river became the city of New Orleans, other lakeshore communities grew, and Lake Pontchartrain continued to be a vital waterway well into the 20th century. Aside from its economic value, Lake Pontchartrain was a cultural mecca: Mark Twain wrote about it and jazz sprang from its shores; locals and visitors traveled out to the amusement parks and opera pavilions, simple fishing villages and swanky yacht clubs, forts and lighthouses; and majestic hotels and camps perched precariously over the water. In Images of America: Lake Pontchartrain, photographs document memories of a time that not even Hurricane Katrina could erase.

Of Ms. Campanella’s books, this is still my favorite.

Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store by Edward J. Branley

new orleans history books

Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store by Edward J. Branley

My latest book! Released in September, Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store tells the story of Krauss, the department store that occupied 1201 Canal Street from 1903 to 1997. I got an email from The History Press around this time last year, asking if I’d be interested in this project, since Krauss closed twenty years ago this past October. I jumped at it! While I worked at Maison Blanche back in the day, I felt a kindred spirit with Krauss. From the description:

For almost one hundred years, generations of New Orleans shoppers flocked to Krauss. The Canal Street store was hailed for its vast merchandise selection and quality customer service. In its early days, it sold lace and fabric to the ladies of the notorious red-light district of Storyville. The store’s renowned lunch counter, Eddie’s at Krauss, served Eddie Baquet’s authentic New Orleans cuisine to customers and celebrities such as Julia Child. Although the beloved store finally closed its doors in 1997, Krauss is still fondly remembered as a retail haven. With vintage photographs, interviews with store insiders and a wealth of research, historian Edward J. Branley brings the story of New Orleans’ Creole department store back to life.

By the way, if anyone wants someone to talk about Krauss, Jewish retailing, Maison Blanche, Canal Street, or streetcars, email me. 🙂

New Orleans Radio by Dominic Massa

New Orleans History Books

New Orleans Radio by Dominic Massa

Massa’s second “Images of America” book. Just as entertaining and informative as his television book. From the description:

From humble beginnings in a physics lab on the campus of Loyola University came the sounds of the first radio station in the lower Mississippi River Valley when WWL Radio signed on in 1922. The little station would grow into a national powerhouse, with its morning Dawnbusters show and nightly broadcasts from the Blue Room of the Roosevelt Hotel. The city’s second oldest station, WSMB, with studios in the Maison Blanche Building, developed its own cast of favorites, including Nut and Jeff. Later, in the city known as the birthplace of jazz, radio played a key role in popularizing early rock and roll. Disc jockeys at leading stations WTIX and WNOE helped develop the Crescent City sound, along with local personalities with colorful names like Poppa Stoppa, Jack the Cat, and Dr. Daddy-O.

This book was fantastic for me, when I was working on the Jazz book.

Go get ’em!

Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store

by Edward J. Branley

For almost one hundred years, generations of New Orleans shoppers flocked to Krauss. The Canal Street store was hailed for its vast merchandise selection and quality customer service. In its early days, it sold lace and fabric to the ladies of the notorious red-light district of Storyville. The store’s renowned lunch counter, Eddie’s at Krauss, served Eddie Baquet’s authentic New Orleans cuisine to customers and celebrities such as Julia Child. Although the beloved store finally closed its doors in 1997, Krauss is still fondly remembered as a retail haven. With vintage photographs, interviews with store insiders and a wealth of research, historian Edward J. Branley brings the story of New Orleans’ Creole department store back to life.

New Orleans History Books for Christmas – Part 1

New Orleans History Books for Christmas – Part 1

New Orleans History Books for Christmas – Part 1

new orleans history books

Images of America – New Orleans Television by Dominic Massa (Octavia Books link)

New Orleans History Books for Christmas – Part 1

Over the next few days, we’ll be offering some suggestions for books on New Orleans History for Christmas. We’ll feature two or three books each evening.

Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children: . . . and Other Streets of New Orleans! (Paperback) by John Churchill Chase

new orleans history books

Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children by John Chase

This is the first book I usually recommend when someone says, what’s a good New Orleans history book. I grew up with John Churchill Chase’s editorial cartoons, at the New Orleans States-Item newspaper and on WDSU-TV. I remember the huge history mural he drew for the lobby of the main branch of New Orleans Public Library on Loyola Avenue.

Chase’s book tells the story of the city through its streets. Just roll with it. It’s awesome.

The Joy of Y’at Catholicism by Earl J. Higgins

new orleans history books

The Joy of Y’at Catholicism by Earl J. Higgins (Octavia Books link)

I first met Earl Higgins at a book signing at Loyola University in 2006. i signed my Canal Streetcar book, he this book. I’d never heard of him before. It was one of the best two hours of my life. He’s bloody brilliant. The book is, in many ways, a follow-up to Chase’s book. He uses the streets, buses, and streetcars to tell stories, but they’re tied together with Catholicism. My favorite line from the book is (paraphrasing), everyone in New Orleans is a little bit Catholic, even the Jews. 🙂

From the book’s description:

The term y’at is an affectionate nickname proudly worn by some New Orleanians. Higgins, a proud Jesuit High School blue jay and y’at, explains how all these Catholic customs and traditions have blended throughout history to create a unique lifestyle and shorthand language found only in New Orleans.

This is a great book for locals and visitors alike.

New Orleans Television (Paperback) by Dominic Massa

new orleans history books

New Orleans Television by Dominic Massa (Octavia Books link)

There are going to be a number of “Images of America” books in this series of suggestions, and not only because I’ve written four of them. 🙂 I love this book, because it brings back so many memories of television when I was a kid. Now that I’m approaching sixty, the memories are fuzzy. So many of the old shows weren’t recorded, so Massa’s photos make for fond recollectins.

From the book’s description:

This collection of vintage photographs highlights the history of popular programs and personalities, beginning with the city’s first station, WDSU-TV. After signing on the air in 1948, Channel 6 introduced favorites like Mrs. Muffin, The Great MacNutt, and Midday while building a news team that included local icons Mel Leavitt, Nash Roberts, and Alec Gifford.

If you’re not familiar with IoA books, they’re essentially photo collections. Easy reads, for all ages.

Krauss – The New Orleans Value Store

by Edward J. Branley

For almost one hundred years, generations of New Orleans shoppers flocked to Krauss. The Canal Street store was hailed for its vast merchandise selection and quality customer service. In its early days, it sold lace and fabric to the ladies of the notorious red-light district of Storyville. The store’s renowned lunch counter, Eddie’s at Krauss, served Eddie Baquet’s authentic New Orleans cuisine to customers and celebrities such as Julia Child. Although the beloved store finally closed its doors in 1997, Krauss is still fondly remembered as a retail haven. With vintage photographs, interviews with store insiders and a wealth of research, historian Edward J. Branley brings the story of New Orleans’ Creole department store back to life.