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

Relax and Rejuvenate: Walking and jogging edition

A busy conference schedule should be interspersed with moments to relax and rejuvenate. In this second part of our Rejuvenate! Guide we have a quick look at places to walk, stroll or even jog (if you can stand the heat!). If you’re more of a yoga person, check out this previous post.

City Park

Take the streetcar or bus to City Park and walk around the grounds of the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA).

The Lake path is three-quarters of a mile long and takes you around the calm scenic lake. The path features boardwalk areas where plants of the wetlands are on display.

For a longer walk, the newly created paved walking and biking path takes you past native trees and shrubs, (approximately 1 mile long). For an easier and shadier walk, stroll around the Sculpture Garden adjacent to the NOMA main building. Gently winding paths take you past a wide array of outdoor sculptures from around the world.

Don’t forget to visit the “Singing Oak”, a magnificent Live Oak Tree hung with dozens of wind chimes.

 Audubon Park

Circling between Magazine Street and St. Charles Avenue is a two-mile long paved path which takes you past moss covered oak trees and lagoons. There are plenty of benches and shelters along the route so you can admire the amazing architecture on nearby streets. Audubon Park is open from 5am to 10pm.

 Woldenberg Park on the Riverfront

Walk or jog along the grand Mississippi River, watching freighters, luxury cruise ships and riverboats drift by. Woldenberg Park takes you along the river to the Moonwalk opposite Jackson Square terminating at the French Market. You never know what impromptu musical experiences you might encounter along the way.


Hidden Treasures: Singing Oak

Singing Oak

Located at City Park near Big Lake, this ancient oak tree is hung with an array of wind chimes tuned to play in harmony. The largest of the chimes is 14-feet long, but they are all painted black to blend into the shadows of the tree, creating the illusion of a “Singing Oak.”

Relax under the shade and listen to the music!

Singing Oak at City Park

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.

Relax and Rejuvenate: Yoga edition

A busy conference schedule should be interspersed with moments to relax and rejuvenate. Here is a quick guide to some peaceful yoga and other exercise spots in New Orleans.


If you want to visit one of New Orleans’ many yoga studios; call to see when their walk-in sessions are held.

Swan River – 2940 Canal St. 70119 – (504) 301-3134

Balance – 120 South Cortez St. 70119 – (504) 309-9618

Wild Lotus – Two locations – (504) 899-0047

4842 Perrier St. 70115

2372 St. Claude Ave. 70117

NOMA at City Park

New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) has many fun things to see and do, including exercise classes.

Tai Chi at 6 pm on Mondays in the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). Relax and stretch at the all-inclusive beginner’s class surrounded by Art and Sculpture. No special clothes or mats required but a $5 donation would be appreciated.

Yoga or Pilates is held outside in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden at City Park from 8 to 9 am on Saturdays. Classes are $5.

To register for Yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi, call East Jefferson Healthfinders at (504) 456-5000.

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!