"In cities across the country, Michael Manos has thrown fantastic parties with faux celebrities and top-shelf tequila sponsors.
He ingratiates himself in gay communities, fakes a European accent, and often has claimed to be the disavowed gay son of a Greek millionaire, though he actually grew up middle-class in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Along the way, he’s taken thousands of dollars from socialites and the well-heeled, who were easily blinded by his glitter and glamour. He duped actress Jane Fonda. He sold tickets to a “chic” fundraiser in honor of Sen. John McCain, who later said he’d never heard of him. Manos is a bank robber, a one-time male escort on Capitol Hill, and the target of more than one cross-country manhunt. He is also a convicted kidnapper who helped keep a man locked in the trunk of a car for four days. For that, he spent more than a decade in a New York prison. And now he’s behind bars again, this time in Louisiana."
posted by porn in the woods
on Oct 25, 2013 -
Doors cracked, and people peered out at the apparitions on the street. Most of the grown-ups smiled and said “Good morning”, or “Happy Mardi Gras!” Kids peeked around their parents, looking thunderstruck. “Get up outta that bed! It's Mardi Gras morning!” the bone men yelled, “You gotta get your life straight!”
One of the less well-known traditions of Mardi Gras in New Orleans are the Skull and Bone gangs who come out in the early morning. Their mission, besides the celebration of Mardi Gras, is to seek out small children and warn to live their lives rightly least the skull and bone spirits should have to come to them too soon.
The tradition lives on
, continuing what began around 1819
, now mingling with the "younger" traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians
and the Baby Dolls
. For more history, check out Gumbo Ya-Ya
, a collection of Louisana Folk Tales, on Archive.org
posted by filthy light thief
on Oct 24, 2013 -
Rescuing a kitten from a tree is child's play compared to the crew of Engine No. 35's capture of a hawk in City Park early Sunday evening (Aug. 18). A resident called the New Orleans Fire Department to report a hawk trailing a long length of twine, tangled in a tree. "I don't like how he is looking at me" said Andy Monteverde, a firefighter working up the nerve to grab the hawk. Capt. Mark Shubert encouraged F/F Andy, "Just grab a handful of leg." Scroll down
for the live action video. [more inside]
posted by JujuB
on Aug 20, 2013 -
"Just before 8:00p, the doorbell rang insistently. To answer it, you had to unlock a steel door that opened onto a flight of stairs leading down to the ground floor. Bartender Buddy Rasmussen, expecting a taxi driver, asked his friend Luther Boggs to let the man in. Perhaps Boggs, after he pulled the door open, had just enough time to smell the Ronsonol lighter fluid that the attacker of the UpStairs Lounge had sprayed on the steps. In the next instant, he found himself in unimaginable pain as the fireball exploded, pushing upward and into the bar." -- Forty years ago today in New Orleans thirtytwo people lost their lives due to arson
in what was the deadliest attack on LGBT people in the US to date. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on Jun 24, 2013 -
19 people were shot
at a New Orleans parade on Mother's Day, including 2 children. 3 are still in critical condition. David Dennis asks:
"So why am I allowed to go outside? Where's the city quarantine or FBI and Homeland Security presence for this act of 'terrorism'?" [more inside]
posted by Starmie
on May 16, 2013 -
"'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.' So goes the old saying. Yet conditions in some American facilities are so obscene that they amount to a form of extrajudicial punishment." Mother Jones is profiling "America's 10 Worst Prisons."
Facilities were chosen for the list based on "...three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on May 14, 2013 -
Brad Pitt's Make It Right
foundation has committed millions to try and revitalize New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward by building 150 affordable, green, storm-resistant homes from designs by the likes of Gehry Partners
, Kieran Timberlake
, and McDonough + Partners
. Thing is, the ward doesn't have enough residents to attract stores and services, so no one wants to live there. Meanwhile, the city continues to follow through on millions in commitments to rebuild roads on streets where no one now lives, and to erect police stations and schools for a lonely, "barren moonscape" of a neighborhood. About 90 households, primarily elderly people, are living in futuristic homes that most Americans would covet, and yet there’s not a supermarket--or even a fast food restaurant--for miles.
posted by DirtyOldTown
on Mar 20, 2013 -
"In 1911, the Saenger Brothers
, Abe and Julian, operators of a drug business at Louisiana and Milam streets, decided to enter the amusement field. They were impressed with [Shreveport movie theatre operator E.V. Richards] and induced him to join them in their new field of endeavor ... In 1912 the Saenger Amusement Company was organized with Saenger Brothers, E.V. Richards and L. M. Ash as the stockholders. Richards continued as manager and an expansion policy was adopted which linked Texarkana
, Monroe and Alexandria with Shreveport
and thus formed the first Saenger chain
of theatres in this area ... The company moved to New Orleans where the Strand Theatre
, a building of magnificent modernity
, was formally opened on July 4, 1917 ... In 1924 the company again inhaled deeply before exhaling a new record of expansion that established branches in 12 southern states. In 1926 and '27 further expansion took the company into Cuba, Jamaica, Panama and Costa Rica. During the expansion peak 320 theatres were involved in the holding company." Sadly, few remain. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Nov 8, 2012 -
From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader.
Jerry DeWitt is a former Pentecostal pastor in the evangelical parish of DeRidder, Louisiana who slowly lost his religious faith. Last Fall, he went public with his atheism, committing what he calls "identity suicide," and instantly becoming "the most disliked person in town." Since then, Mr. DeWitt's lost his job, his wife, his community and may be losing his house, but is still persevering and working
to help others
who find themselves in similar circumstances. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 27, 2012 -
A wall with large buttons that trigger voices, mellotron-style; An Indonesian gamelan xylophone orchestra played with a arcade game-like control panel; A leslie speaker that amplifies whatever a stethoscope touches. These are just a few of the instruments
built into a unique New Orleans musical architecture installation called Dithyrambalina, or simply, The Music Box. [more inside]
posted by umbú
on Jun 29, 2012 -
Hot Potato Style
is a video by New Orleans rapper Nicky Da B made with a little help from Jean Luc Picard, Pee Wee Herman, John Stamos, and Charlie Chaplin (among others). Lyrics are probably slightly not safe for work.
posted by codacorolla
on Jun 3, 2012 -
A federal justice report on policing in New Orleans since 2009 presents damning evidence of brutality, cop misconduct and systemic abuse of black citizens post-Katrina. The city’s jails are not far behind. No limits to the law in NoLa
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Apr 25, 2011 -
I'd like to welcome you all lords and ladies, gentlemen, ladies, time-ladies, time-lords, aliens and those of you in the cheap seats to a documentary produced and aired by WYES-TV New Orleans in 1986, focusing on Panopticon, the first US Doctor Who convention. (1
) (MLYT, in authentic multi-copy VHS fuzz-o-vision!) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Apr 14, 2011 -
"It was always about the intersection of creativity and chaos."
So said Kirsha Kaechele, described at Wikipedia as an "American contemporary art curator, artist, and practitioner of sustainable architecture," of the avant-garde Life is Art Foundation/KKProjects
art happening that she carried out via Katrina flooding-devastated homes in the St. Roch area of New Orleans' Upper Ninth Ward. These homes now lie in ruins, as they did before. She owes back taxes on the homes, and city has placed tax liens worth $28,000 on two of them. While she can afford the back taxes, she says, the liens are beyond her means. A medicinal marijuana farm created to fund Life is Art failed to make enough money to fund the projects. In any case, she has spent the past five months in Tasmania with her boyfriend, professional gambler and art curator David Walsh
, where he has established something called the Museum of New and Old Art
. (Pause.) I believe that connects all the most relevant dots as succinctly as possible. [more inside]
posted by raysmj
on Apr 4, 2011 -
Drugs seeped into the band, and were accompanied by an entourage of lowlifes stuck in a dizzying cycle of despair. Theresa was uninterested in the drug world yet she was too afraid to challenge her situation in her role as backup singer and dependent partner of Osborne.
After nine turbulent years, the tension came to a head. Theresa had finally decided to confront Osborne about the drugs during a show at the famed Howlin' Wolf in New Orleans. The conversation predictably turned confrontational and with the usual crowd of partygoers surrounding the backstage area, Theresa snapped. She flung her violin through the window of the club. Glass shattered all over the ground and her violin lay broken beyond repair. It was over.
Such is the life, death and the rebirth of accomplished violinist and singer,Theresa Andersson's
music career. [more inside]
posted by KevinSkomsvold
on Jul 6, 2010 -
Let's say that you're Lenny Kravitz and you're relaxing on a balcony in New Orleans when you hear someone singing one of your songs. What do you do? Well, you could always join in.
posted by ColdChef
on Jun 29, 2010 -
2008's "Glory at Sea
" [.mov] [vimeo] [youtube]
is an extaordinary 25-minute short film in which a group of mourners and a man spat from the depths of Hades build a boat from the debris of New Orleans to rescue their lost loved ones trapped beneath the sea
. [more inside]
posted by churl
on Feb 17, 2010 -
The Who Dat nation is composed of long-suffering
, divinely inspired (?)
, and - as of tonight - very happy
citizens. What's the deal with "Who Dat," anyway?
posted by honeydew
on Feb 7, 2010 -