Archive for category: Treme

Treme sign-off in the New Orleans Times-Picayune

31 Dec
December 31, 2013

Offered up in response to an invitation from the editors, who wanted something to “bookend” the series, given that I had written a short primer when the drama premiered.  It’s never fair to declaim on what a story is or isn’t when folks are still absorbing it on their own terms and forming their own opinions, so I kept it to a couple elemental disclaimers and a thank-you to the cultural communities in New Orleans.  I should also mention that the offer of a first round on me is for New Orleanians only, as they have been gracious about the necessary trespass.  If you come up to me with concerns and critiques of the drama in Boston or Barcelona or Baltimore, the first one is definitely on you.

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Four and a half years and 36 hours of television later, I still don’t know what “tu es pocky way” actually means. Or more accurately, I don’t know which to credit among the seven or eight definitions offered us by five or six different Mardi Gras Indians. Our prime consultant on these matters, Big Chief Donald Harrison Jr., assures me that he knows the correct answer and can only provide it to me if I’ve been sewing for a year or so, or conversely, if I’m willing to accept a hatchet in my head for trafficking in sacred Indian secrets without proper authority.

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Pickles and Cream

18 Jul
July 18, 2012

The following is reprinted with permission from Lucky Peach #4, published by McSweeney’s.  It is on sale now.  And, yes, payment for this essay will require co-publisher David Chang slaving over a hot stove.

Bernard Simon

 

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I want to embrace the best of the kitchen.

But if DNA is destiny, and genetics holds any sway at all over the human palate, then I have much—probably too much—to overcome.

The Simons come from peasant stock, and by that I don’t mean the countryside of Alsace or Tuscany or any other place where cuisine makes the days true and beautiful, where gardens and orchards and farms and village butchers conspire for a cuisine both purposeful and ingeniously simple. We are not the progeny of any agrarian ideal worthy of Impressionist paintings.

No, my father’s people were kicked-to-the-ground-by-Cossacks peasants, wandering Pale of Settlement Yids who lived with one or two bags always packed and spent the early moments of the last century running ahead of whatever Jew-hating militia was on whichever side of the Polish-Russian border. Like fodder for an Isaac Babel story, we hauled ass from pogrom to pogrom, dragging our huddled mass west until a sign said NEW JERSEY.

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End of Treme 3 filming

23 May
May 23, 2012

Back home in Baltimore after a long, involved shoot.

How long, you ask?  How involved?

Well, if you must know, the following figures were compiled by fellow producer Joe Incaprera.  They were delivered to the crew after the last shot of season three, outside a warehouse in Algiers amid champagne and cake.

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Jazz Fest 2012, Final Day

08 May
May 8, 2012

Barbituates or amphetamines?   These unidentified gentlemen seem ready to argue the point.

HBO’s TREME vs. THE WIRE Battle of the Bands at Tipitina’s

26 Apr
April 26, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—In a coals-to-Newcastle spirit of brave provocation, an East Coast musical contingent associated with the HBO drama The Wire is coming to town – and challenging two of New Orleans’ sturdiest and funkiest ensembles to a Wire-versus-Treme battle of the bands.

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