Sunday Mornings

It is Earth Day weekend and nothing like a heat wave in Los Angeles to remind you of climate change! E is away for a bachelor party and I’m enjoying some quality solo time. I decided to head west for the cool ocean air.

I found myself first near LAX, at a park watching planes take off and land. It is a weird quirk, but I am strangely fascinated by watching them. Then I explored Marina del Rey, finding a spot in a park to lay down under a tree and watch boats (err, yachts) come in and out of the harbor. After the past few months, I found a close kinship with a nearby sea lion (as shown above with a buddy), who only moved once… to sneeze.

Here’s a slice of internet fodder for you Sunday reading pleasure:

  • If you like analyzing photography, this is all kinds of intriguing: “Fairytale Prisoner by Choice: The Photographic Eye of Melania Trump
  • I need to get back to my Seinfeld evening routine.
  • I need suggestions for summer reading! I’m adding this one to my library list. What else should I add?
  • Did you listen to S-Town yet? I binged on the flight back to LA and then finished it off from the couch. What’d you think? (I loved it.) An interview with host/narrator/producer, Bryan Reed. (Also a nice reminder: make sure you have a will.)
  • I only got through about season 2 of Girls before moving on to other shows, so I have not watched the last episode or season obviously and read this article prepared for the spoilers. Valid points made and hitting home to me. I wonder how much of the ending was influenced by Apatow. Your thoughts?
  • I’ve been drinking a lot of lemonade lately as spring has sprung. This cucumber lemonade will be next.
  • Anything Men Can Do I Can Do Bleeding
  • Anna Faris live-tweeted Chris Pratt’s Hollywood Walk of Fame morning. I’m not one for celebrity following, but this was cute.
  • A little Earth Day weekend reading. Louisiana, my home away from home. This is nothing surprising to me, just a sad reminder that where I use to live will likely not exist for my grandkids to see.
  • Space Mountain is my favorite ride at Disneyland. They are dropping the Star Wars decor and going back to being just a ride in space… As long as they keep the song, I’m good.

I hope your day has a little sunshine and wildflowers in it today. Enjoy a little mother nature if you can!

Films & Food: New Orleans Film Festival

The New Orleans Film Festival kicks off its 27th annual event this week, running from October 12 to 20, 2016. I was privileged to attend this festival three years ago as a Juror and had a blast. The NOFS team, led by Executive Director Jolene Pinder, knows how to put on a show and treat filmmakers well. Between the creative and very New Orleans-based parties, the community of filmmakers and the many local film fans this is a wonderful, festive atmosphere to eat, drink and happily sink into film screenings for a week.

If you are lucky enough to attend NOFF this year, here’s a few of the programs I recommend checking out:

  • Opening Night & LBJ: Coming off its premiere at TIFF, Rob Reiner’s latest film about President Lyndon Johnson (played by Woody Harrelson) will kick off the festival. NOFF had by far one of the best Opening Night events I have attended. They fully embraced and celebrated the local scene, having a second line parade from the film to the party, where live jazz and brass band continue to play throughout the evening.
  • FARMER/VETERAN: I was honored to host the world premiere of this intimate documentary at DIFF earlier this year. It follows Alex Sutton, an Iraq vet with PTSD, as he attempts to rebuild a life and family by creating a farm at home. It’s a haunting and honest portrait of a soldier.
  • WHITE GIRL: Filmmaker Elizabeth Wood is a force. She’s definitely one to watch and this feature is proof.

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    Contemporary Color
  • CONTEMPORARY COLOR: The Ross brothers’ latest captures a rare and unique live event with performances by David Byrne, Nelly Furtado, St. Vincent, Ira Glass, tUne-yArds and others.
  • Short films: Short films are always a treat and important as I’ve mentioned before. NOFF has a great lineup of shorts this year. While I haven’t seen it yet, I must highlight THE NEW ORLEANS SAZERAC in the “Louisiana Stories: Act Three” block. I am so intrigued and love the synopsis (and the cocktail)!

In between films and festival parties, be sure to check out a few of my favorite spots for a taste of New Orleans. (Plus, there are things to do beyond Bourbon Street y’all.)

  • Treat yo’self to an amazing meal at Cochon or Herbsaint. You won’t regret it. I’m drooling just thinking about it. (Reservations encouraged.)
  • Speaking of Sazeracs, sip one at the beautiful Sazerac Bar inside The Roosevelt. #NewOrleansClassyDrinking #Adulting
  • If you can manage to get a seat, take a spin on the Carousel Bar & Lounge at Hotel Monteleone and order a Vieux Carre.
  • Don’t miss the amazing fried chicken at Willie Mae’s.
  • If near the French Quarter or Central Business District, you can’t go wrong with brunch at Palace Cafe or Mother’s.
  • Looking for a dive? Try a frozen irish coffee at Molly’s at the Market.
  • Po’boys and beignets (and cash). That’s really all you need in life.

Congratulations to Clint Bowie and the programming team on a great lineup! And best wishes to Jolene as she moves on to new and exciting work after this year’s festival. It will be strange not to see her at the helm of NOFS, but I’m looking forward to what the future holds for her and the film society.

Have you attended NOFF before? Are you excited to see any films in their lineup? What’s your favorite restaurant in New Orleans? Tell me in the comments below.