Stop by my Walgreens Book Signing!
Walgreens Book Signing 13-December
Stop by the Walgreens Drug Store, 900 Canal Street, on Friday, December 13th, and buy my books! I’ll be signing New Orleans: The Canal Streetcar Line, and New Orleans Jazz, from 3pm-5pm. I’ll also gladly sign any of my other books the store has in stock, when you buy them.
Walgreens, 900 Canal Street
Walgreens, 900 Canal Street (courtesy Frank Aymami III)
While it continues to be a target for “shop local” folks, they’re often unaware of how long this Walgreens has been on Canal Street. I have a photo of this store in the book, from 1939! The neon sign gave way to LEDs a few years ago. They’re more efficient. Frank’s talent really brings out the scene in the photo, above.
The Streetcar Book
New Orleans: The Canal Streetcar Line is my first book for Arcadia. I wrote it in 2004, when the Canal line returned to streetcar service. It’s a photo history of the street and the line, which dates back to 1861. There was a forty-year bus interlude, from 1964 to 2004. I rode those Canal buses so much in my high school and UNO days.
The Jazz Book
When HBO’s series, Treme, was still in production, I pitched a book on Faubourg Treme to Arcadia. The next day, I got an email back, asking if I’d be interested in writing a book with a broader scope. I was hesitant at first. Jazz is such an integral part of our DNA in New Orleans, and has been since the 1890s. I went for it and am very pleased at the reception New Orleans Jazz continues to receive.
Walgreens photo by Frank Aymami, III
If you’re not familiar with Frank’s work, you want to be. Check him out, and hire him if you need a great New Orleans photographer!
Author Websites – x-posted to www.ebranley.com
Jeff Parish Library Workshop, just before the meeting of the RWA chapter
Jeff Parish Library Workshop
I had the privilege of speaking at the Jefferson Parish Public Library (East Bank Regional Branch) this morning. This Jeff Parish Library workshop was titled, The Importance of Author Websites.
The top-level topics of the talk:
- What is your goal? – you need to have an idea of where you’re going with this.
- Domain names and hosting – get YourName dot com at a minimum.
- Content Management with WordPress – It’s the easiest way to do this.
- Design – logos, banners, book covers, images/art, specific fonts
- Content – write! fire up the blogging!
- eCommerce – It’s OK to punt sales to Amazon and your publisher. There are ways to sell your own stuff (books and book-related merchandise) from a WordPress site.
- Connections – Start everything from your blog. Syndicate your blog to Amazon Author’s page and your Goodreads author page. Push your blog posts out to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr
- Personal Networking – promote your friends who are writers, as well as local booksellers, podcasters, and others.
- Search Engines – spread the word about your blog.
- Have Fun!
We went a bit over the time Chris set for us, but the group had fun, and that’s what it’s all about.
You can download the PPT file of the presentation here. This was a good talk, so we’ll likely jump off into some specific blog posts about this stuff. If anyone wants to discuss something in detail, find me on Facebook, or email me.
We did the “live” thing again today. I’ve got it sorted out now. You can click through and watch the entire presentation on my Edward Branley’s Author Page on the Book of Zucker. I don’t know which of Facebook and YouTube is the “lesser evil,” but I’m good with using Facebook Live for now. Fewer crazies and such there. YouTube is such a sewer.
Several folks asked after the wallpaper on my computer. Here’s the story.
Be sure to check out NOLA History Guy Podcast!
Ghost Ads New Orleans from magazine article to a full book.
A. Shwartz ad, 800 block of Canal Street (Infrogmation photo)
Ghost Ads New Orleans
In October, I wrote an article for Preservation in Print, the member magazine for the Preservation Resource Center. The article features “ghost signs” – signs painted on the walls of buildings. These signs and ads fade over time. The original products disappear. The signs are now “ghosts”.
It was a great idea for an October/All Hallow’s Eve theme. It was also fun to research! The article came out wonderfully, mainly because PRC used professional photographers to shoot the ads. My writing was OK.
Magazine to Book
Jacob’s Candy ad in the Warehouse District (Infrogmation photo)
An editor for a publishing house approached me after the article dropped. They’ve published books on “fading ads” in several cities. The editor inquired about my interest in writing a book for New Orleans. While my immediate reaction was, YES!, the decision wasn’t that simple.
Turning a 1200-word article into a 30K+ word book requires more resources. It wasn’t hard to find a few ads for a fun piece. Finding 100 or so images for a book? A bit more work.
Research and Rabbit Holes
Trianon Theater Ad, 1917 (Mugnier photo)
Most photo archives don’t tag images as “ghost ads”. The ads appear in photos of buildings and streets. They appear as a streetcar passes by, and someone took a photo of the streetcar. It’s in the background of a selfie. A book project requires a universe of photos about three times the number to be published. So, for the Krauss book, I assembled about 400 images and published about 100. I’ll need a similar number for this book.
The process involves rabbit holes. Start with a neighborhood. Then, maybe a street. Look for buildings that are mismatched in height. For example, a four-story building next to a one- or two-story. That exposed wall offers a canvas for the sign painter. Now, look over 120+ years of photos. It’s fun, but time-consuming.
Send me your ads!
The thing about “fading ads” is that they’re, well, fading/faded. That means they’re easily overlooked. I need to find them! I’m going to be doing some contests. Submit an ad (photo or location), you get entered in a giveaway, maybe a book, maybe a gift card to PJ’s or Wakin Bakin. I’ll think it through this week.
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Snippets of New Orleans by Emma Fick
Our Review this week: Snippets of New Orleans by Emma Fick
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.
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
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
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!
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.
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
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 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 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 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
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.