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Festival season is here

 

Cha Wa Band

Cha Wa BandTank and the Bangas

festival season

 

Festival season is finally here in Southern Louisiana. Springtime hits that sweet spot of (relatively) low humidity, pleasantly warm days and breezy, balmy nights. It’s downright criminal to not take advantage of the weather, especially since summer is going to slap us in the face with a wet wool blanket faster than we can order another round of frozen daiquiris.

I like festivals but sometimes large crowds, long lines at the food booths and dirty port-a-potties just aren’t my jam. I live on Freret Street, so the Freret Street Festival is the one fest that comes to me.  All I have to do is walk out my door and I’m there. When the crowds get to be too much I can just head back home and sit on my own front porch.

 

Photos:

J’wan Boudreaux, vocalist for the Cha Wa Band and Spy Boy for the Golden Eagles, is accompanied by bassist Bill Richards.

Irving “Honey” Banister of the Cha Wa Band and Flag Boy of the Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians kept the crowds dancing at the Dat Dog Stage.

Tank of Tank and the Bangas entertained the crowds with her infectious energy at the Ochsner Baptist Stage.

Freret Street Festival took over its namesake thoroughfare between Napoleon Avenue and Soniat Street on April 4. Three stages hosted local bands and 150 vendors selling food as well as locally made arts and crafts lined the street from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

festival season festival season festival season

Slow Southern Style has a new look

cropped-BigSlow.jpg

 

Whoa now.

Do not adjust your computer screens; Slow Southern Style has a new look and a new logo. I’ve been meaning to freshen up around here for at least two years, but a redesign just kept getting pushed off and pushed off until I couldn’t take it anymore. I think the new look better reflects the content now that I’m not blogging about fashion anymore.

So, what have I been up to? Nothing noteworthy, really. My weekly routine revolves around class and putting out the school newspaper. My Lenten social media fast is going well. I’m not gonna lie, I peek a little bit every now and then, but overall I’ve been pleased with how much more free time I have when I’m not glued to my phone. It’s not a drastic change, but enough to where I realize that hey, it’s Saturday afternoon and I’m (sort of) caught up on homework enough to do some yard work and catch a comedy show later on. Maybe I’ll keep it up after Lent is over.

The levee and life

uses for tires

new orleans levee
chain link fence
rusty cables
Louisiana sunset
Sometimes you just need to put life on hold and go watch the sunset from the levee. My brain is a pile of midterm exams and research paper mush, beaten with a whisk until frothy and spooned out into a leftover Mardi Gras go cup. My last spring semester (I graduate in December) has reached the midway point and I’m pretty sure I’m starting to develop a case of senioritis. I just want to read books that aren’t served up on a syllabus, take my girls to the dog park, and relieve some of my stress load by trying to get downtime in any way I can.
One thing I told myself this semester is that my sanity is more important than my grades. I never like to get uncomfortably personal on my blog, but after having several panic attacks last semester, I promised myself that I won’t compromise my mental health for the sake of getting straight As. Running the campus newspaper, taking 16 hours, and working a part-time job on the weekends can be a crippling workload. So I didn’t feel too bad about catching the sunset on the levee on Friday instead of starting a paper that’s due on Monday (yea, some things never change, even as a grown ass woman) then so be it.

Call for some Slow Southern Submissions

A few years ago when I had my shit together I used to put out calls for submissions to Slow Southern Style. I stopped doing them for a few reasons, mostly because I primarily attracted businesses trying to build SEO – keep in mind I was also charging advertisers for sponsored posts and banner ads at the time. I didn’t mind giving a free platform to small local businesses or my friends, but I didn’t want Slow Southern Style to become a dumping ground for brands that didn’t have much interest to either myself or my readers. You know the type of sites; everything has a link to a product to buy, or the blogger  showcases nothing but “c/o” outfits.

I’d like to try opening the flood gates once again. I want to help writers and photographers get their work in front of an audience. What do I want? Personal stories. Travel stories. Book reviews. True stories. Critiques of the fashion industry. Your submission should fall somewhere between blog post and literary magazine essay. Need help? Take a gander at some recent posts. Feeling lazy? I’ve linked a few here:

Shoot me an email to slowsouthernstylellc@gmail.com. Let’s figure something out. Oh, and before someone asks:

1. I can not pay you. Labor of love, baby.
2. Photos should be no larger than 500 pixels wide and they definitely need to be your own. Ditto with the writing, minus the pixel part.
3. I’m a full time student running a college newspaper. Please be patient if I don’t respond to you right away.

Twitter: christylorio Facebook: Slow Southern Style

I’m giving up social media for Lent

Abita Mystery House
Photo taken at the Abita Mystery House
I’m giving up social media for Lent. I’m not religious but every few years I feel the need to give something up.  Last year it was alcohol, this year i’m giving Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The longest I’ve made it without jumping to check every ping and bleep my phone makes is a handful of days, so my 40 day digital detox will prove to be a challenge.

Anticipated trials:
  • battling boredom while waiting in lines (grocery store, bank, etc…)
  • feeling like I’m missing out on special moments that friends and family might be sharing
  • temptation to scroll through personal feeds when I need to log on for legitimate, work related reasons
  • potentially feel as though I’ve lost connections with colleagues
Anticipated rewards:
  • more free time
  • mental clarity- won’t feel fatigued since I won’t be constantly bombarded with information
  • less distractions- better grades in school
  • more productive downtime; reading a book for pleasure instead of mindlessly scrolling through feeds
  • hopefully break the cycle of mindless scrolling so when I do go back, browsing will feel more purposeful
I’ll let y’all know how this goes.
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

All on a Mardi Gras Day: Mardi Gras Costumes

It goes without saying that Mardi Gras is my favorite time of year. Some years are better than others (remember how cold and rainy it was last year?) but the 2015 carnival season was as an epic one; I marched in four parades with Gris Gris Strut‘s marching band and Fat Tuesday was downright magical. The costumes, the partying, and the energy all added up to a firm reminder why I love my hometown so much. Mardi Gras never gets old.
Oh yea, and our Mardi Gras costumes were rain clouds. I used car sunshades and foam board to create the base for the hat. It was so windy there were times our hats would blow right off our heads. Navigating crowds was also challenging. At one point I popped into Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop to grab two purple drinks (yes, that’s the actual name) but the crowd was so dense that I had to take my hat off and thrust it upwards to try to gain clearance over everyone’s heads. Fortunately I didn’t piss anyone off. In fact, it seemed that most of the bar patrons gave kudos to my decision to limit my own mobility for the sake of costuming. That’s the best part about Mardi Gras, especially in the French Quarter and Marigny. Most revelers respect everyone else’s costume game, even when cumbersome accessories get in the way and make the streets hard to navigate. It’s all part of the Mardi Gras magic and I’m so grateful that I get to partake in it year after year.
 Check out my Tumblr for more Mardi Gras photos.