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Defender Picks


NoDef Nods

2015's Top Political Stories

2015 is ready to fade into Carnival Season and it is once again time to look back at the past year. This year, we will be leading off the annual NoDef Nods with the politics edition. Louisiana had a big election this year and Governor Jindal fizzled out in an even bigger contest. Then, there was the smoking ban and the monumental fight. And, of course, crime.

Drinking Culture

A Stroll to the Avenue

Gentle reader, the winds of change blow bleak. The first temperate days of the coming fall intersperse with the lingering, hot afternoons of summer. The conventioneers and tourists like migratory things begin their return to the French Quarter. The football season opens to wild, Sunday afternoon shouts that cheer the sunshine at intervals from the dim barrooms. Though it should be fun, I find a period of wandering melancholy, intimate as these days are with the passage of time. And thus wandering in a black mood, found myself at the door of the Avenue Pub. 

Drinking Culture

Dropping A Dime On Barcadia

Gentle reader, as sojourners in this life we must take our entertainment where we find it. The dive bar and the neighborhood bar please us well. But let us indulge our curiosity and step inside an establishment that can be many places at once, brushing by geography and local culture like the broadcast of a syndicated television program. It’s time to take a peek into a chain bar – if only a regional chain bar. We’re off for a game or two, and perhaps a drink, at Barcadia.

Drinking Culture

A Generational Journey at Henry's

Gentle reader, brick and mortar, stock and stone… A clever concept, rubber-stamped by some bloodless investor… The Bar must be more than these. The Bar, my friends, provides. For the friendless, it is society. For the friends, a place to meet. For the old man, it is remembrance. And for the youth to cut their teeth.

Drinking Culture

Pitcher Season at Mayfair Lounge

Gentle reader, the dog days of summer are upon us. Life is torpid in the heat. Business in the city hides its face from a sun that seems a mere mile removed. But we are prepared for our perspiring poverty, and we know the practice. Tighten the belt like a sweaty Spartan! Triage the invoices! And know your neighborhood bars, my friends. For a cheap pitcher of beer and a lovely lot of locals will carry us through at the Mayfair Lounge.   

Drinking Culture

A Mad Dog & an Englishman in the Midnight Sun at Chickie Wah Wah

Gentle reader, the mad blood burns as burning August drifts near. Crime spikes and tempers flare like sunspots. But let us not forget ourselves. New Orleans is a friendly and welcoming place more so than a violent one – with alcohol contributing to both, I should imagine. Let us then take this time to remember who we are, and treat a visitor to some refreshing hospitality. For nothing so salves the soul-boil of summer as a spot of good food, a cool drink, and a lively tune. And never was a venue finer for these fare than Chickie Wah Wah.

Room 220

What you were always trying to avoid was being party to an atrocity: An interview with Michael Pitre

Michael Pitre’s debut novel, Fives and Twenty-fives, delves into a war of endless tedium and Sisyphean roadwork, but there is no boredom. There is only routine, which saves lives, and a fog of death that clouds them. Each day, the soldiers—Pitre joined the Marines in 2002 and was twice deployed to Iraq—find potholes and, in each, a bomb. They deactivate the devices and move on to the next, motivated by banal routine rather than a sense of accomplishment.

Drinking Culture

La Vie Erin Rose

Gentle reader, a full glass of liquor can sometimes do the office of a shew stone. Sit quietly upon the bar edge and run a thoughtful hand along the crystal curvature. Peer within. And with enough drink, the soothsayer’s gift will be yours. So it was I found myself gazing into deep distances of gin. Images of the past week of Tales of the Cocktail emerged. Mysteries of the present summer lull. Auguries of days yet to come. All these I saw in a tumbler made cloudy and uncertain with ice at the Erin Rose. 

Drinking Culture

A Taste of Finn McCool's

Gentle reader, the “Irish Pub” no longer belongs to Ireland – just as the English language has grown beyond the dominion of the British realm. They are the ubiquitous possessions of the world, fated to indigenous inflection. In all your travels, the Irish Pub will find you. Climb the furthest reaches of the Five Sacred Mountains of China. Hack through the deepest jungles of Northern Bolivia. You will stumble upon an Irishman waiting there, polishing a glass behind a sturdy bar. Let us then look into one of our own – one of the finest in the world, according to the list-scribes of modern fancy. We’re off to hear a New Orleans accent over an Irish lilt at Finn McCool’s. Or try, a least.

Drinking Culture

Plotting a Course at the Chart Room

Gentle reader, the sun had set on a day so humid I could have taken my betta fish for a walk. An old street magician in a weathered top hat sat on my right stroking a wild beard. A drunken Australian sat on my left looking quite sober, but I knew damned-well how much he’d had to drink. A Frenchmen Street record store manager teetered nearby a French Quarter waiter. A conventioneer squinted one eye, gripping a Budweiser like he’d forgotten it was in his hand. We were talking global monetary policy – the Financial Crisis. Typical as taxes, really, for the Chart Room. 

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily