2013 SAA Local Arrangements Posts

Here are all the posts we’ve done over the last few months rounded up in one big guide. The local host blog will be on the quiet side this week, as we’ll be busy with our other local arrangements duties. If you have any local questions, stop by the registration desk, since several of us will be working over there. If you’re on Twitter, you can tweet local questions to local host blogger Eira, @eiratansey.

General Guides

The CoSA-SAA 2013 dining guide
Websites and apps to help you plan your trip
Frenchmen Street
New Orleans Museums
New Orleans Strange and Unusual Curiosities
New Orleans Parks
Kid-Friendly Activities in New Orleans
Cooling Down on a Hot Day!
Side trip to Lafayette


Information on Accessible Venues in New Orleans
Quick Guide to NOLA Transportation

Announcements and Notices

SNAP Lunch Buddy program
Places of Worship in New Orleans
Take me out to the ball game!
Service Projects in New Orleans
New Meeting Resource for First-Timers!
For the bowling and zydeco fans among us 

Exercise and Walking Tours

Relax and Rejuvenate: Walking and jogging edition
Relax and Rejuvenate: Yoga edition
Outing Number One – City Park, Bayou St. John, and back along Esplanade
Outing Number Two – St. Claude Arts District, Faubourg Marigny, French Quarter
Outing Number Three – Through the Warehouse District to the Garden District

New Orleans in the Press

New Orleans national food news
New Orleans in the national press

Music Monday

Music Monday: Galactic
Music Monday: High School Marching Bands
Music Monday: Bounce edition
Music Monday: Trombone Shorty
Music Monday: Amanda Shaw
Music Monday: Kermit Ruffins
Music Monday: Lady Crooners
Music Monday: Zydeco edition
Music Monday: Allen Toussaint
Music Monday: John Boutté
Music Monday: Rebirth Brass Band
Music Monday: Essential New Orleans Jams

Local Flavor

Hidden Treasures: Singing Oak
Hidden Treasures: 610 Stompers 
Old Ursuline Convent

SNAP Lunch Buddy program

The SNAP (Students and New Archives Professionals Roundtable) Lunch Buddy program will return for its second year to the 2013 annual meeting. Launched at last year’s San Diego meeting, the Lunch Buddy program was an informal program set up to facilitate networking and connections between new and established members of SAA. The Lunch Buddy program was started to assist first-time attendees with important opportunities for networking (e.g. coffee breaks, meals, etc). The Lunch Buddy program is entirely voluntary, and no one is obligated to attend all meals. Furthermore, the Lunch Buddy program is not restricted to lunches; last year the program was used for dinner, brunch, coffee breaks, and happy hours. The Lunch Buddy program sign-up sheet is located here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsE0Ioh8rL5jdGVDZ0UwWERsVEkwdUU2dDJHbk1VWHc#gid=1

Meals or meet-ups are suggested by a person willing to “lead” a group. The leader simply acts at the point of contact for the meal, s/he is not obligated to recruit attendees or pay the meal expenses of anyone other than him or herself. The leader selects a restaurant, a meeting place (the default meeting location is in the hotel on the first floor [near the escalators, across from the concierge desk]), a time, and contact information. Interested attendees then add their name to the list (which the leader can limit to any number of spots under 5 attendees). Restaurant listings near the hotel can be found at http://www.gnoarchivists.org/announcing-the-cosa-saa-2013-dining-guide/

The Lunch Buddy program was widely praised last year by all who participated. If you are interested, please sign up to host (or simply attend a meal) here.

We also highly encourage folks to check out the COOLinary dining promotion, which many fine dining restaurants participate in by creating an excellent and affordable prix fixe menu. Check out participating restaurants here.

For further information, please contact Eira Tansey at etansey@tulane.edu or eiratansey@gmail.com

Places of Worship in New Orleans

For information on various houses of worship in New Orleans, please see this link.

The closest houses of worship to the conference hotel are the following Catholic churches: St. Patricks on Camp Street and Immaculate Conception on Baronne Street.

Information on Catholic church masses for the August 15 Holy Day:
St. Patrick’s
724 Camp Street
Vigil Mass on August 14th at 5:30 p.m.
On August 15th mass will be said at 11:30 a.m., 12 :15 p.m. and 5: 30 p.m.

Immaculate Conception
130 Baronne Street
Vigil Mass on August 14th at 5:15 p.m.
On August 15 masses will be said at 7:30 a.m., 12 noon, and 5:15 p.m.

St. Louis Cathedral
Jackson Square
Vigil mass on Agust 14th at 5:00 p.m.
On August 15th mass should be said at 7:30 a.m. and 12 noon.

Music Monday: Galactic

To celebrate the last Music Monday before the conference begins, we’re highlighting New Orleans’ funkiest party band, Galactic. While they may tour all over the country, they’re best known for their local shows – particularly their Lundi Gras (the day before Mardi Gras) set at Tipitina’s, for which tickets sell out quickly. Galactic has collaborated with many local and national musicians, and their most recent album, Carnivale Electricos, is something of a musical homage to all the various sounds and rituals associated with Carnival. The first track embedded below is off that album.

Hey Na Na

Heart of Steel feat. Irma Thomas

From The Corner to the Block w/ Juvenile & Soul Rebels Brass Band

Information on Accessible Venues in New Orleans

For conference attendees with accessibility-related travel concerns, we’d like to share this information prepared by New Orleans’ Advocacy Center. These guides to popular local restaurants and bars provide information on the accessibility of entrances, interiors, and restrooms.

Accessibility Guide to Restaurants

Accessibility Guide to Bars and Music Venues

For information on public transportation accommodation, please visit this page. Taxi cabs in New Orleans are not typically accessible for those using mobility devices. If you need to arrange paratransit in advance, please contact Joe Watkins, RTA/Veolia, Paratransit Director. Phone: (504) 390-4712 and email: joe.watkins@veoliatransdev.com

New Orleans Museums

Jennifer Waxman is a native New Orleanian who is delighted to return to the city soon. She is an archivist and collection management consultant with a background in preservation. Thanks to Jennifer for contributing this guest post!

Museums and the City

At times the City of New Orleans can feel like one giant museum about itself: food, music, culture, art and history can be discovered on practically every corner of the city. However, should you have a couple of hours to spare and want to explore the city in more depth (in a climate-controlled environment), you have plenty of options.

Through architecture and exhibits, you can experience the history of the city and Louisiana in a few museums not far from the conference hotel. If you find yourself walking through Jackson Square, take a self-guided tour of the St. Louis Cathedral, one of the oldest continually operating cathedrals in the country. To the left of the Cathedral sits the Cabildo, the former seat of Spanish government and site of the signing of the Louisiana Purchase; to the right of the Cathedral you will find the Presbytere, a former courthouse. Both buildings date back to early Spanish colonial rule and today are a part of the Louisiana State Museum network, containing collections and exhibits related to the history and culture of Louisiana and New Orleans. Don’t miss the Presbytere’s interactive and colorful exhibit from the permanent collection about Mardi Gras and Carnival time in New Orleans. The Presbytere has two additional current exhibits open. One is titled “Don’t Call Me Baby Doll”, an exploration of African-American women and Mardi Gras, and the other called “Living With Hurricanes: Katrina & Beyond”. To find out more about the museums’ hours and location, visit the websites for the Cabildo  and the Presbytere.

Not far from Jackson Square you can find a couple of other great collections representing Louisiana history and culture. Walk with the river on your right from Jackson Square to find the Old US Mint. Another historic site and state museum, the Old Mint houses the New Orleans Jazz Club Collections, including a performance center. Look for the performance schedule and some highlights of their collection of instruments, sheet music, photographs, posters, film and paintings at their website. The Historic New Orleans Collection, museum, research center and publisher, is located on the opposite side of Jackson Square, a short walk with the river on your left. Located in a beautiful, historic French Quarter building with a quaint and quiet courtyard, the  documents, paintings, and other artifacts from the permanent collection takes the visitor through the colonial era to the 20th century. Newly renovated, the museum added iPads that accompany the permanent collection exhibit. Your visit can be enhanced by listening to a choir perform colonial period compositions from the Ursuline nuns or by paging through a photo album of the industrial and commercial life of the French Quarter from the early 20th century. THNOC also has a downloadable mobile app with which you can take an interactive, historic walking tour with geocoded photographs supported by HistoryPin.

For military history enthusiasts, there are two museums in very close proximity to each other on the edge of the CBD in the Warehouse District, not far from the conference hotel. The National World War II Museum is a complex of buildings dedicated to the US involvement in the war. Nearby is the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum. The museum is housed in a historic building dating to 1891, and contains flags, paintings and other military artifacts from Confederate soldiers.

Opened in 2003, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art (adjacent to Confederate Memorial Hall), houses a wonderful collection of art by regional artists spanning a range of styles and decades. The collection includes portraits, landscape, folk, abstract, sculpture and photography. Take your time to enjoy this newly built space dedicated to regional artists that, arguably, are not generally included in collections with a more national focus. The current exhibit about painter Will Henry Stevens is certainly worth the visit.

Miss Pussycat

Miss Pussycat

Across the street from the Ogden is the Contemporary Arts Center. A number of exhibitions are on display at any given time, including Anthropormorphize !!, a live puppet making installation by Panacea Theriac, aka Miss Pussycat of the duo Quintron and Miss Pussycat. Another show, called Chalmatia, takes the viewer through an imaginary suburb with photography and written pieces by the characters experiencing life on the forgotten outskirts of a post-storm world. Strike up a chat with Miss Pussycat while she makes puppets and read more about her upcoming performance at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The New Orleans Museum of Art is not located in the French Quarter or the CBD, but you can get to it on a very nice ride on the Canal Streetcar. Just hop on the red streetcars that say CITY PARK and take it to the end of the line. Many new and exciting things are happening at the museum, including a series of solo exhibits by contemporary, nationally known artist from the region. Enjoy City Park and the grounds of the museum, which include a sculpture garden located behind the main museum building.

The above is just a preview of some of the local history and art available to visitors in the city. Some local museums are closed due to renovation and relocation, such as the New Orleans African-American Museum and the Museum of the American Cocktail, but there’s plenty to keep you busy. For a much more expansive list of museums and other sites such as historic houses and natural parks, browse this website.

Editor’s note: We also suggest the Backstreet Cultural Museum in the Treme, which is dedicated to the culture and heritage of New Orleans’ African-American community of  Mardi Gras Indians. If you’ve ever wondered how giant Mardi Gras floats are created, check out the enormous warehouse of parade floats at Mardi Gras World. See one of the oldest buildings in the Quarter: the Old Ursulines Convent. Annie Peterson’s guest post on New Orleans Curiosities also highlights smaller museums off the beaten path.

For the bowling and zydeco fans among us

Do you like Bowling? Beer? Zydeco? You’re in luck! A little bird has tipped off your local host blogger that a great show will be taking place at the beloved Rock n’ Bowl (a bowling alley plus music venue) on Thursday, August 15. The tipster notes, “There are archivists who are planning to go to Rock & Bowl Thursday, August 15.  Rosie Ledet is playing and music begins at 8:30. There is a cover charge of $12.00.” More info is here, and we recommend grabbing a cab to get out there. It’s worth the trip!

Music Monday: High School Marching Bands

You might not see a High School marching band during your trip to New Orleans, but they are an essential part of the local music scene. During Carnival (the period leading up to Mardi Gras), high school marching bands appear in parades (put on by various krewes, the Carnival organizations) all over the city . The biggest parades may have at least a dozen major high school bands, and the same band will often appear over several consecutive days or nights.

New Orleans’ marching bands are easily the hardest-working high school bands in the world. As NPR noted, “High school marching bands in New Orleans march night after night during Carnival — the equivalent of running a 5K every night, rain or shine, with a sousaphone on your back — and still show up for school in the morning.” Not only do they face long routes and unpredictable weather, they also have to deal with overwhelming crowds and tons of stops and starts that can make a parade last well over 5 hours.

Our city is truly fortunate to have so many of these talented musicians, and they certainly make the Carnival experience something spectacular!

St Aug Marching 100 at Krewe of Mid-City
Known locally as “St Aug”, St Augustine High School’s Marching 100 is the first marching band to appear in a number of different parades during Carnival.

Edna Karr – Moves Like Jagger
During Mardi Gras, many high school bands perform versions of popular songs. Here’s Edna Karr performing Maroon 5’s “Moves like Jagger.” Most marching bands have a huge group of additional dancers, majorettes, flag carriers, drum majors, and band moms and dads asking people to move out of the way (a huge concern on some of the very narrow Mardi Gras parade routes). Check out the drum majors in this video at 0:39-0:44 – many drum majors are the best dancers in the city!

For more of Edna Karr’s great drum major dancing, check out their rendition of the Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There” during a Battle of the Bands:

O. Perry Walker at Krewe of Muses, Under the Bridge

This is a fantastic video of what it’s like at Mardi Gras for several reasons. The first is that one of the favorite spots for band fans to see a parade “under the bridge” – this is where Interstate 10 crosses over St Charles, which is the main Uptown parade route. Because of the acoustics, the marching bands really pull out all the stops when they go “under the bridge,” and often do some of their greatest numbers in this spot. Second, you get a really good feel for how BIG some of these bands are. Third, all of us in New Orleans inevitably have that horrible moment, depicted at 6:52, of having to cross the parade barricades with giant daiquiri cups before the band or a float rolls over you.

McDonogh 35 at Krewe of Muses, Under the Bridge

Another view from Under the Bridge.

Warren Easton vs. McMain before Krewe of Endymion

Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate the band sound when the videos are filmed along the route. Here’s a mini battle of the bands before Endymion, one of the biggest parades.

Announcing the CoSA-SAA 2013 dining guide!

We’re thrilled to announce the arrival of the CoSA-SAA joint annual meeting dining guide! This guide contains over 100 listings for coffee, bars, and restaurants, all located within 2 miles of the conference hotel (Hilton New Orleans Riverside, 2 Poydras Street). All listings were personally recommended by members of the local arrangements committee. Where possible, we listed vegetarian-friendly restaurants and dishes we particularly enjoy.

If you’re wondering about a particular restaurant or recommendation, please feel free to contact local host committee blogger, Eira Tansey

There are three ways to access the dining guide:

On the web

Download the PDF

Online map


Websites and apps to help you plan your trip

There are many local websites and apps to help you plan your trip to New Orleans. Almost all of these websites also have Twitter feeds, which you can subscribe to in order to get up to date information during the conference. Here are a few to help you get started – and stay tuned on Friday, when we roll out the Local Arrangements Committee-endorsed dining guide!


nola.com – The online presence for the Times-Picayune, nola.com lists many local events, news stories, weather forecasts, and restaurant and bar reviews. Apps also available.

Gambit – New Orleans’ alternative weekly has a great calendar of local events, music listings, restaurant and bar reviews, and local commentary. You can pick up paper copies anywhere in town, and also check out their website.

WWOZ – WWOZ, 90.7 FM, is our beloved local jazz and heritage station. In addition to streaming their music on the internet, you can check out the Live Wire, the massive listing of that day’s music performances. While it’s no substitute for listening to the Live Wire read on air (on some weekends, it can take the narrator about 10 minutes to get through all the listings), the Live Wire is the authoritative music listings guide, and as the good folks at WWOZ would say – “Now get out there, support, and make sure to check out some LIVE, LOCAL music!”

WWL Weather – National weather trackers can be somewhat inaccurate when it comes to tracking typical NOLA summer pop-up thunderstorms. Many locals rely on WWL Weather for a more accurate forecast.

Yelp – Yelp reviews for New Orleans’ restaurants and bars are very reliable, particularly if you pay attention to the reviews written by locals. There are also many excellent lists pertaining to New Orleans. Apps are also available.

Eater NOLA – Possibly the best dining and drinking website for the city. Eater is the first-stop for any news concerning restaurant and bar openings, closings, new staffing, and menu changes. Eater has three excellent guides that are frequently updated: the Eater 38 (featuring 38 restaurants that “provide a comprehensive picture of where you can get a great meal regardless of mood”) and the Eater Dining Heatmap and Cocktail Heatmap (guides to the most popular restaurants and bars of the moment).

Go NOLA – From the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, this app has dining, nightlife, and accommodation listings (which you can filter to show locations near you). This app features some excellent audio tours, narrated by famous New Orleanians. Wendell Pierce narrates the Treme tour, John Goodman – the Riverwalk tour, Patricia Clarkson – the Canal streetcar tour, Bryan Batt – Gay New Orleans history, and Soledad O’Brien – City Park. Android version. iPhone version.

The Historic New Orleans Collection – This app from The Historic New Orleans Collection features over 300 early 20th century photographs from the The Charles L. Franck Studio Collection. iPhone version.

New Orleans Historical – An incredible app dedicated to New Orleans’ history. Different historical pins show various historic sites on a map. Use the “show my location” to find pins near you, and learn more about the buildings and sites important to the Crescent City’s history. Also features many excellent historic photographs. Android version. iPhone version.