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Botanical Garden, 10AM
Art exhibit and sale en plein air
Alex Beard Studio, 5PM
Drinks, food, painting to celebrate the artist's studio opening
Maison Dupuy Hotel, 5PM
Fancy foods, music by jazz great Tim Laughlin, and event raffle
Benachi House & Gardens, 6PM
Southern Rep's fundraising dinner and party
New Canal Lighthouse, 6PM
Coastal scientist discusses his work
Smoothie King Center, 7PM
The Birds and the Mavs go head to head
Allways Lounge, 7PM
Last game planned in the Allways's popular performance & game night
2314 Iberville St., 7:30PM
Cocktails for a cause
Saenger Theatre, 8PM
The Beach Boy presents "Pet Sounds"
Catahoula Hotel, 8PM
Free drinks if you can do his dance. Vote for Pedro!
BJs in the Bywater, 8PM
Poetry with Clare Welsh and Todd Cirillo
Bar Redux, 9PM
NOLA's Horror Films Fest screens shorts
Howlin Wolf, 10PM
Bronx hip hop comes south
Bywater Art Lofts, 6PM
Live art in the air
Ogden Museum, 6PM
Feat. Mia Borders
New Orleans Jazz Museum, 6PM
Exhibit opening on the late Pete Fountain
Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture, 6PM
Unveiling of Big Freedia's 2018 Krew du Viewux costume
Langston Hughes Academy, 7PM
8th annual dinner party in the Dreamkeeper Garden
The Republlic, 7PM
Immersive pop-up gallery, boutique, and stage show
Euphorbia Kava Bar, 7PM
DIY rock, pop, punk show
Saenger Theatre, 7:30PM
Joy Theater, 8PM
The Carver, 9PM
NOLA brass all-stars
Gasa Gasa, 9PM
Feat. Burn Like Fire and I'm Fine in support
Allways Lounge, 10:30PM
Feat. Creep Cuts and Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers
One Eyed Jacks, 10:30PM
80s dance party
Taceaux Loceaux's BP-Sponsored Seafood Giveaway
by Brad Rhines
This free, curbside taco was brought to you by BP. As New Orleans rang in the New Year with packed hotel rooms and football fever, the excitement spread far beyond the Superdome. Blimps and billboards shined overhead, as corporate entities like Allstate, AT&T, and even the much-maligned British Petroleum were taking advantage of the crowds, and making their presence known around town. The oil company that was responsible for the Big Oozy sponsored the “Gulf Coast Seafood and Tourism 2012 Bash,” a two-week push to support local seafood and help clean up their own image.
The stunt struck many as doing the right thing, but for the wrong reasons. With last fall's white shrimp harvest down and lots of fomenting anxiety about next year's oyster crop, locals continue to feel a need to promote Louisiana's seafood industry as it tries to pull itself back up. But, like always, BP's promotions contain a sunny picture of a fully recovered Gulf Coast that seems to obscure the long-term impacts of the oil disaster.
Plaquemines Parish fisherman A.C. Cooper told the AP the overall campaign distorts the image of the Gulf Coast's recovery.
"The numbers on our shrimp are way down," he said. "They (BP) make it sound like they're doing a lot, but they're not doing much to help the fishermen out ... I got good fishermen struggling to pay their bills right now."
On the streets of New Orleans, Uptown food truck Taceaux Loceaux got in on the Bash, giving away free seafood taceaux during the promotion, much to the delight of tourists and locals alike. NoDef caught up with Taceaux Loceaux co-owner Maribeth Del Castillo to talk about the navigating the rough waters between big oil and local fish.
According to Del Castillo, Taceaux Loceaux was contacted just days before the event and asked if they were interested in participating in the Gulf seafood promotion. “We agreed to that because the times that we have done seafood, we’ve always used Gulf Coast seafood,” Del Castillo told NoDef. “It was a good way for us to help promote a product we already believe in.”
The truck set up around town at bars like Kingpin and along Canal St. at the aquarium, giving away free spicy Gulf shrimp taceaux inspired by the coastal cuisine of Oaxaca and the Yucatan Peninsula. They also made fresh ceviche with blacktip shark and Louisiana black drum. While Taceaux Loceaux has done seafood specials in the past, the overwhelmingly positive response has led them to consider doing seafood dishes more regularly.
“The response was really great,” said Del Castillo. “We actually got to see quite a few people that we hadn’t seen before, who didn’t know about the truck. We had a lot of folks from a lot of the games who were coming up, so we thought it went really well.”
Nevertheless, some critics and skeptics can’t get past the fact that the promotion was funded by BP. Del Castillo understands the anger directed at the oil giant, but she also believes in supporting the people whose livelihoods depend on Gulf Coast seafood.
“As far as BP is concerned, I think they’ve got a lot of damage control to do, and they’re going to have to reach out to the community for years,” Del Castillo said. “We didn’t really view it as something that helps them so much as it was something that helps the entire Gulf Coast.”
BP, like the Army Corps of Engineers, will long be considered enemies of the state by most Louisianans, and throwing money at the problem is unlikely to save their reputation. Still, regardless of BP’s motives, supporting the local seafood economy—from fishermen, to the hospitality and service industries, to the tourists and locals devoted to the fruits of the Gulf—seems to be a top priority for Del Castillo and others, like chefs Emeril Lagasse and John Besh, who also participated in the promotion.
“Obviously I think BP’s initial concern is to change how people perceive them, and that’s not going to happen with something like this,” admitted Del Castillo. “But I’m glad they are taking steps, and I feel like if they can become a better company and better people,” she said with a chuckle, “then that would be fantastic.”
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