How and when did you get involved with FQ Fest?
I started with French Quarter Festivals, Inc. in January 2008. One of my board members at the Opera (where I was working) told me about the position and encouraged me to apply. I had NO idea it would happen! It was the most intense interview process that I think I have ever been through.
What have been some of the best moments in the years you have been with the Fest?
Friday morning opening, backstage, hanging out with Pete Fountain and Connie Jones. I adore them – they truly embody the spirit of New Orleans, the French Quarter and traditional jazz.
If you were not working the Fest all day and could do it like any regular visitor, what would be your perfect day out there?
I would get here early and stake out my place in Jackson Square. In the afternoon I would hit the Royal Street stages and then head down to the Old U.S. Mint for the Esplanade in the Shade Stage. There are so many ‘must do’ lunch options, but a few of my favorites are Galatoire’s fried shrimp BLT po-boy, Dickie Brennan’s bourbon BBQ shrimp, an egg roll from Tommy Wong at Trey Yuen, and GW Fins fish tacos – and of course, a mango/vodka daiquiri for dessert.
Doing Mardi Gras like a local, an evening on Frenchmen Street, Chaz Fest, doing a lap walking in Audubon Park with friends (and cocktails if it's the right time of the day), breakfast at Brennan's (beginning with strawberries & cream and a glass of champagne).
What does it mean to be a New Orleanian?
It's a different attitude and a different way of embracing life... finding celebration in almost everything, an incredible sense of community and roots, and knowing your neighbors in a way that's been lost in lots of other places across the country.
What neighborhood do they live in?
I live in New Orleans' most unique (and off-the-grid) neighborhood - the batture. It's the land between the levee and the River - there's no place like it on earth. The views from our deck on a beautiful day are worth a million bucks, or more.
What is great about their street and block?
My neighbors are amazing (there are only 12 of us) and super eclectic - a millionaire, an accomplished urban farmer, a riverboat pilot, a musician, a psychoanalyst, a carpenter and artist, and a doctor who is also a ballet dancer.
Who do they respect as creators of culture and great community members and why?
Our musicians, even the ones who aren't from here but adopted this city and love it like locals; Mardi Gras Indians; Zulu; and the Big Easy Rollergirls.
Who would be their ultimate festival headliner?
How do they do Mardi Gras Day?
Costume up, load up our two little ladies (ages 4 and 8 months) onto bikes and hit the streets - everywhere.
Their favorite Dirty Coast shirt design?
It's a tie - "Listen to your City" and the New Orleans compass/map - I love that one on your tank top!