Category Archives: the people i know

The People I Know: Alfred Banks

Alfred BanksFreret Street Underdog Central

Whenever I go out for a jog I frequently have this local rapper’s music bumping in my ear buds. It’s time for me to introduce y’all to Alfred Banks.

HOW WE MET

I met Alfred Banks when I worked at Buffalo Exchange. I was a manager and he was a regular customer. Alfred is a sneaker head, so he always scoped out the shoe section first thing when he walked in the store, then would politely ask if we had any new shoes in his size (I remember it too!) that weren’t on the sales floor yet. Normally that drove me nuts (customers can be so pushy sometimes), but Alfred was so damn nice about it I gladly obliged. I haven’t worked for the company for three years, but we’ve kept in touch ever since.

WHAT HE DOES

Alfred is a rapper, and he hustles his ass off trying to make it as an artist. He’s determined to make a living with his music and has already racked up an impressive list of accolades. He was named one of the top 10 rappers in New Orleans by Complex Magazine, his video was featured on Mtv, he was Revolt TV’s 2015 “Local Love Tour” winner and he made DJ Booth’s “Top 5 Rappers in Louisiana” list. His next album is being released in the next few months, so be on the look out for that.

WHO HE IS TO ME

At only 24 years old, Alfred inspires me to keep working towards my goals. He’s had more success than most, yet he remains refreshingly grateful for any support he receives. Plus, he’s just a cool guy, no pretenses and despite what these photos may suggest, he’s usually all smiles. Any time I run into him he’s always bubbling with excitement from his own success. And hell, if we can’t get excited about our own achievements, who else will?

 

 

The People I Know: Christopher and Ruben

Christopher Lorio

 

I’m kicking off the first “People I Know” post of 2016 with the fam. Thomas and I started a new tradition of visiting my brother and his partner in Louisville for Thanksgiving every year. My brother is a professional cook, so this is one tradition we are highly motivated to keep alive. This year we brought the dogs with us to met their cousins for the first time. Four dogs and four humans in a two bedroom apartment could have been a disaster, but the long weekend was fun and everyone — humans and dogs alike– got along. We feasted on a six course T-Day meal, drank entirely too much wine, caught Ben De la Creme perform at Play the following night, and ate at some of the best restaurants and bars in town.

 

HOW WE MET:

Well, Chris is my brother. He’s two years younger than me. Ruben is Chris’s partner. He’s originally from Texas. We all met when we worked as waiters at a fine dining restaurant in the French Quarter circa 2000-2003. I got the job first, then Chris got hired shortly after I did. Thomas came next, then Ruben. Everyone hated working in that restaurant, yet any time we get together we can’t help but reminisce about how much fun we had.

 

WHAT THEY DO:

Chris and Ruben hold the positions of kitchen manager and dining room manager, respectively, at Decca, arguably the best restaurant in Louisville. Chris has wanted to cook professionally for years, so I’m really that he went after his dream. Prior to Decca he worked at an organic bakery in Louisville and prepared steak and stew dinners for weary hikers at Phantom Ranch. Ruben is the consummate industry professional; he’s worked as a manager at some of the best restaurants in New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, and now Louisville.

 

WHO THEY ARE TO ME:

I never fully understood the concept of “family is everything” until after Hurricane Katrina. Up until August 2005 my entire family lived in New Orleans, so I saw everyone on a fairly regular basis. After the storm Chris and Ruben moved to the Grand Canyon (Ruben worked for years at the Grand Canyon prior to moving to New Orleans) and Thomas and I decided to move to Phoenix, Arizona, a relatively short four hour drive away. The rest of my family stayed in New Orleans, so I only saw my “mom ‘n dem” once a year at the most. Currently my sister lives in Texas, so we don’t get a chance to be in the same room together more than once every two years or so. It wasn’t until we were scattered across the country that I realized how precious family time truly is.

 

 

Photo: That’s Chris on the left and Ruben on the right with Hambone and Spartacus, their beagles.

The People I Know: Rebecca

Rebecca Diaz

The third installment of this series is Rebecca Diaz, a friend of mine I met in California but didn’t really get to know until we became coworkers in New Orleans.

HOW WE MET:

I met Rebecca through Monika, a mutual friend, back when I lived in Phoenix and she lived in L.A. (2007-2008ish). We both worked as managers at Buffalo Exchange, albeit in different states. We met when I visited Monika out in L.A.,  and we reconnected when Rebecca moved to New Orleans a few years later and started working at the Magazine Street location. We’ve kept in touch ever since. Apparently she also knew who I was because we frequented the same fashion communities on Live Journal back in the day. And before you try to find it, I deleted my account a long time ago.

WHAT SHE DOES:

Rebecca is a co-organizer for Less Than 100, a pop up shop on Oretha Castle Haley that charges women 66% and men 100% of the retail price. Why the difference in price? Women make just 66% of what men make in Louisiana, and the shop operates on a pay-what-you-earn model. The shop will be in its Central City location until the end of this month.

Rebecca also runs Six Impossible Things, a pop up shop that stocks everything vintage, sequined, and fantastic. Having worked in retail for several years, she has a knack for finding both literal and figurative gems. Catch her at Little Flea NOLA on the regular.

WHO SHE IS TO ME:

Rebecca is one of those people that you can’t help but like the second you meet her. She’s quirky, hilarious, witty, and looks stylish 24/7. She also has a vintage clothing collection that will make you swoon with delight. But even more important than all of that she’s just a decent person trying to do decent things to better not only herself but the community as well. She’s a rising star and definitely one to watch out for.

 

The People I Know: Hannah

Hannah

Hannah engagement photo

Here is the second installment of my People I Know project. My friend Hannah Marcotte (aka my Cork wife) is a natural fit for this series.

 

HOW WE MET

I had two classes with Hannah (we’re both English majors) but we didn’t become friends until we went to Ireland this summer with UNO’s study abroad program. I think we officially met when we both went to the higher ed protest at the state capitol last semester, but we didn’t start conversing outside of social media until we both boarded planes for Ireland this past June. She was also the first UNO person that I ran into when I landed in Cork.

WHAT SHE DOES

Hannah is graduating in December from UNO and is applying to grad schools. She works in student housing and just got engaged to Steve, a UNO film major. I was thrilled when Hannah entrusted me to take their engagement photos last week.

WHO SHE IS TO ME

I heart Hannah.

I’ll admit, I was surprised when we became fast friends. She’s more than 10 years my junior, initially comes across as a bit of a goodie goodie, and she’s in a sorority. But our friendship is a classic example of that old adage to never judge a book by its cover. We have more in common than I ever thought and we were kind of inseparable in Cork. Hannah is hilarious, smart, and just a great friend when you need her. We frequented Monday night karaoke together, went grocery shopping together at “the big Tesco,” and once you’ve taken a creative nonfiction writing workshop with someone it’s hard not to feel a bond with that person. I started to call her my “Cork wife” fairly early into the program, and when I flirted with the idea of breaking into an old asylum Hannah jokingly asked me, “So when you get arrested are you going to call me or Thomas first?” I ended up not going, but I probably would have called her first.

Photos: Hannah at Jackie Lennox Chip Shop, the first official meal we had in Cork. | Engagement photoshoot with Steve.

 

 

The People I Know: Thomas Fewer

Thomas FewerThomas Fewer

 

Hello, friends. It’s been a while since I’ve updated. Truth is, I haven’t felt inspired to post much lately. I have a few good excuses for my blasé attitude towards blogging: I lost permanently misplaced my camera in July, which really sucked. I had dreams that it would magically turn up on my doorstep, but when that didn’t happen I just had to make peace with my idiotic mistake. I’m also smack dab in the middle of my last semester (!!!) so all of my efforts are going into school at the moment. Excuses, I know, but I finally broke down and got a new camera and lenses, the whole shebang, which has given me a reason to update.

One thing I enjoy is making portraits. I’m a decent photographer, but I want to be a good photographer, so I got this idea to start a portrait project for a little fun and practice. I hope you look forward to meeting some people I know on the blog in the upcoming weeks. To kick this thing off I’m featuring someone who might look a little familiar to you– my husband, Thomas.

 

HOW WE MET

I met Thomas two months before my 21st birthday. He had just moved down to New Orleans from Ohio with David, a good friend of his. We both worked as waiters at a high end, grand dame restaurant in the French Quarter. In fact, we all worked there: David, Thomas, myself, my brother Chris, and Ruben, my brother’s now partner of 13 years. I had a self-imposed rule that I should never date a coworker, but we started hanging out as friends and the relationship quickly escalated. William, Thomas’s best friend, told him “That’s the girl you’re going to marry,” and he was right. We’ve been together for 14 years and married for 11.

 

WHAT HE DOES

Thomas is a licensed counselor. He runs his own private practice, The New Orleans Counseling Center and is part of Magna Carta, an improv comedy troupe that performs every Saturday night at Playhouse NOLA. So go see him and tell him I sent you. (True story: I also told myself I would never date a psychologist in fear they would constantly analyze me. So the moral of the story is throw all of your dating rules out the window.)

 

WHO HE IS TO ME

I won’t get too gushy on y’all, but I don’t think there is a better partner out there for me. He’s funny, supportive, remembers to feed the cats (that’s a big one) and gives me the space I need when I’m not my best. When you’ve been with someone for 14 years, you’ll have lots of moments when one (or both) of you are not your best. A dose of patience, humor, and gratitude for one another helps you get through the tough times. Oh, and he also lets me have the last bite of ice cream and knows that I like to hike in front of him when we go backpacking. He tells me we should be buried together holding hands, I joke that I only signed up for “till death do us part.” Here’s to the next 14 years.