Skip to main content

DEMISE OF THE TIMES-PICAYUNE: ADAPT OR DIE


The New Orleans Times-Picayune has ceased daily publication. It’s a sad commentary on the current state of affairs.

I know. Every major city considers its daily newspaper unique, a treasure. Rightly so. But New Orleans is a special case. Seriously. There was a time when I would have pooh-poohed the concept. No longer.

The Southern Woman That I Married (TSWTIM) is a New Orleans native, born in the Touro Infirmary. Although she was raised in Texas, her family maintained a foothold in NOLA and she was a frequent visitor throughout her youth. My first visit with her was over 40 years ago. Subsequent visits have taught me a great deal about why NOLA holds a special place in the hearts of its residents as well as people around the United States and throughout the world.

You know about the French Quarter, its clubs and its architecture and its crazies. You know about the blues and the jazz music. And then there’s the food. Oh, yes. The food. From iconic oyster bars like Casamento’s to great neighborhood eateries like Mandina’s and Pascal’s Manale to some of the finest restaurants on the planet like Antoine’s and Commander’s Palace, the dining experience in NOLA is unique and satisfying. Put it all together and there’s no doubt that there really is no place in this country that’s quite like NOLA.

Believe it or not, this brings us back to the Times-Picayune. If food is a quintessential ingredient in the life of the city, the Picayune has been an active participant in that food scene for decades through its publication of recipes and restaurant reviews as well as the essential Picayune’s Creole Cook Book – the original edition, not the abridged version that’s touted on Amazon. It’s a valuable resource for TSWTIM, the more so because it was given to her by Uncle John, a New Orleans native and something of a God-like figure in the family, with an inscription that touts TSWTIM as the best cook in the family.

Perhaps another reason that NOLA is such a special place is its timelessness in the face of a changing world. The Mississippi River, though constantly changing and challenging, is an ever-present force. If the dives in the French Quarter have gotten seedier, the rough-edged coffee and powdery beignets at The Morning Call remain the perfect early morning antidote for a night of revelry, even if it has moved from Decatur Street in the Quarter to trendier digs in Jefferson Parish. And now, though the Times-Picayune still exists, it has been forced to change as well, from a daily publication to, basically, a weekend rag.

Who am I to criticize? I’ve purchased a Kindle, changing my daily reading habits forever, taking the food out of the mouth of the dour woman behind the counter at my local used book store. But just as the Kindle isn’t a book, doesn’t feel like a book or sound like a book when I turn the pages, so breakfast several times a week won’t be the same in New Orleans without the feel and sound of the Times-Picayune playing accompaniment. I figure that in the not too distant future, I’ll wake up in the morning, put on my wifi, voice activated goggles with the heads-up display, and stare blankly at my morning ‘paper’ while I’m slurping my morning coffee.

Adapt or die.

They promised me flying cars. Where are the flying cars?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LA MAISON DE L'ECURIE, SALLELES D'AUDE: RESTAURANT REVIEW

(If you prefer a video review, go to my YouTube channel HERE.)

Restaurants in peaceful, out of the way locations with scenic, picture postcard views often fall into one of two categories. They tend to be only as good as they have to be or to be more expensive than they should be. Situated right beside the Canal de Jonction where it intersects with the Canal du Midi, La Maison de l'Ecurie (The Stable House) is indeed in a peaceful, scenic location. But it defies convention by serving food that's better than it needs to be at reasonable prices. We thoroughly enjoyed our luncheon on a warmish fall day and shall return. But we'll have to hurry. La Maison de l'Eclurie closes in early November and won't reopen until the first of March.

You can't drive right up to La Maison de l'Ecurie. You turn off the main road from Mirepeisset to Salleles d'Aude onto the tow path, then park and walk for 150 meters or so to the restaurant. The terrace filled rapidly after w…

KYCLOS, SAINT-GUILHEM-LE-DESERT: CONCERT REVIEW

The thirteenth season of the Festival Les Troubadours romanesque has come to a close. If you don't know about this fine series of concerts that takes place from May into October throughout Occitanie, mostly in churches and other ancient settings, take the time to find out about it. HERE'S a link to the website. You'll just have to wait until next year to plan your visits. And we do plan our visits. This year, 48 concerts were on the schedule in venues ranging from the Pyrenees to the other side of Montpellier. Artists came from all corners of the Med from Greece and Corsica, Occitanie and Catalonia, France and Spain. Their music can be classified as sacred and profane, polyphonic and simple, classical and folk, flamenco and world.

For this penultimate concert in the series, Kyclos performed in the Abbaye de Gellone in Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert, a UNESCO World Heritage village worth visiting in its own right. On a dark October night with heavy cloud cover, you miss much of t…

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…