YatPundit’s Pub 23-May-2019 – Baseball and Railroads

YatPundit’s Pub 23-May-2019 – Baseball and Railroads

Baseball and Trains on YatPundit’s Pub 23-May-2019

yatpundit's pub 23-may-2019

Proposed engine terminal near Greenwod Cemetery, 1944

Yatpundit’s Pub 23-May-2019

Our first brew in the pub for this episode is New Orleans Baseball. We interviewed S. Derby Gisclair for the history pod, talking baseball. That had me thinking of how baseball fits into a number of potential writing ideas. When I jotted down the starter notes for the segment, three things came to mind:

  • Playground moms
  • Amateur leagues
  • Kickball!

Now, “Playground moms” is just a jumping-off point. Imagine all the things you could do at a public playground. They’re not all “mom” related, Although, the notion of a SAHM in #themetrys being a spy and doing an intel hand-off at t-ball practice is kind of a neat idea. Amateur leagues are a thing as well, particularly if you’re considering a period piece or story. The Commercial League came up in my research and photographs for both the Maison Blanche and Krauss books. These days, amateur baseball focuses more around individuals than company teams. Either way, though, the social interaction has a lot of potential.

So, when I say “baseball”, I don’t want that to be limited to just men on the field. While women play organized softball more than hardball, those games and leagues are just as interesting as writing prompts. At the kid-tween-teen level, taking a girl to softball practice plays out similar to boys teams.

Fictional Railroads in New Orleans

You’ll find me coming back to this as I work out thoughts and designs of my Pontchartrain Railroad model layout at home. While the layout has basic roots in New Orleans history, it’s more of an “alternate history” universe. The idea is, what if railroads maintained their influence¬† from the 1940s? What if both freight and passenger rail maintained their significance? So, it’s not “prototype” as in limited passenger service provided by Amtrak.

There’s also some variations to where railroad tracks are in New Orleans. Here are a couple of diagrams of Mid-City in 1944. The Bernadotte yard was real. The engine terminal and roundhouse were proposed for the location that is now the big Baptist church behind Greenwood Cemetery. What if that facility actually existed?

Pontchartrain Railroad – N Scale

YatPundit’s Pub 21-May-2019

YatPundit’s Pub 21-May-2019

YatPundit’s Pub 21-May-2019

yatpudit's pub

YatPundit’s Pub 21-May-2019

Ranting about Short Term Rentals and the French Market this week.

Programming note: Yesterday’s Red Beans and Rice Monday moves to YatCuisine next week! We’re tweaking the present pod lineup. I created a “YatCuisine” group on Facebook. The pod fits better that way.

Short Term Rentals

With respect to the “strict” short-term rental ordinance passed yesterday by the New Orleans City Council:

1. This was not a final-passage. The ordinance will come back before the Council in a couple of months.
2. in the interim, the forces supporting unlicensed hotels in the city will open their wallets and dilute the ordinance.
3. It’s likely that, by the time of final passage, the ordinance will no longer contain the “domicile” requirement, where you can only short-term-rent the house you claim a homestead exemption on (i.e., you can only AirBnB the house you live in).

How the City Council screws New Orleans

4. By the time the ordinance comes back for final passage, the Councilmembers figure you think they did the right thing back in May. The unlicensed hotels continue on as if the vote yesterday never happened.
5. Advocates for limiting short-term rentals to the renter’s domicile, banning unlicensed hotels must remain vigilant. Demand any changes and amendments proposed to yesterday’s ordinance in advance. Watch the Council’s calendar. Don’t be sandbagged on the day of final passage.
6. Do not trust the Councilmembers who you believe are on “your side” – they know how this works, voted how you wanted them to yesterday, with confidence you won’t be looking when they vote the other way in a couple of months.
7. Follow the money.

Think I’m overreacting? This is why you fail at fixing things in New Orleans. Enjoy your protests, podcasts, and blogs.

French Market

yatpundit's pub 21-may-2019

New Orleans French Market

Mayor Cantrell considered some research on Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Her staff looked into re-purposing public facilities in other cities. Da Paper published a good article on the status of the city’s research. Unfortunately, the headline was click-baity.

YatPundit’s Pub 20-May-2019 – Lunch in Metairie and Mid-City

YatPundit’s Pub 20-May-2019 – Lunch in Metairie and Mid-City

YatPundit’s Pub 20-May-2019

 

YatPundit’s Pub 20-May-2019

Talking lunch today, along with a big format announcement. So, beginning next week, our “Red Beans and Rice Monday” pods move over to YatCuisine.com. This pod drops on YatPundit. It crossosts to YatCuisine. Next week, we reverse that. Therefore, YatCuisine becomes the permanent home.

We’re moving the food segments to bring them in line with the YatCuisine group on Facebook. When The Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper announced their purchase of the Times-Picayune/NOLA.com, I feared for the future of “Where NOLA Eats,” the big NOLA.com-sponsored food group. I created the YatCuisine group as a fall-back position. If Georges and his people nuke the NOLA.com group, So, YatCuisine offers continuity.

While we don’t expect the 50,000 members of Where NOLA Eats, we have 600+. So, the food pod moves, too!

Lunch at Caffe! Caffe!

yatpundit's pub 20-May-2019

Grilled Ceasar Pita at Caffe! Caffe!

This incredibly popular place opened in 1992, on the corner of Clearview Parkway and W. Esplanade Avenue in Metairie. A few years back, the very-successful coffee house and lunch place opened a second location on N. Hullen Street, off Causeway Blvd., near Lakeside Mall. As a lunch place, I like the vibe of the N. Hullen location. While Metairie isn’t the CBD, office workers heading to a local place to grab a quick bite is similar.

We went to N. Hullen location on a Saturday. The vibe changes on a weekend. Instead of workers from nearby businesses, the crowd includes friends catching up, couples getting out (us!), and families.

Mrs. YatPundit had the Grilled Chicken Caesar Pita. It’s not a unique sandwich, but everything is fresh and tasty.

Yatpundt's pub 20-May-2019

Chipotle Chicken Wrap and Seafood Soup

I got the Chipotle Chicken Wrap and a cup of Seafood Soup. Caffe! Caffe! makes a spicy chipotle sauce. The wrap works. The soup was yummy.

Leisurely Lunch

YatPundit's Pub 20-May-2019

Black Eyed Pea Hummus from Brown Butter Southern Kitchen

While my lunch last week at Brown Butter Southern Kitchen and Bar wasn’t a three-hour affair at an old line restaurant, the pace was slower. Instead of a quick sandwich, we had the Black Eyed Pea Hummus (the place is indeed Southern). One of my friends had a salad, and the other had the “Seoul Bowl,” a Korean-influenced bowl of rice, kimchi, and your choice of beef, chicken, shrimp, or Brussels sprouts. I got the “Seoul Burger,” Brown Butter’s excellent burger, topped with Kimchi and Korean BBQ sauce.

Two lunch winners!

YatPundit’s Pub 29-April-2019 Mexican Food and Irish Whiskey

Talking Mexican food and Irish (Channel) whiskey in YatPundit’s Pub 29-April-2019.

yatpudit's pub

YatPundit’s Pub 29-April-2019

YatPundit's Pub 29-April-2019

El Fogon in Metairie

Two items today for Red Beans and Rice Monday. First, we discuss El Fogon, the Mexican restaurant in Metairie that took over the old Taco Location. Then, we talk local whiskey.

El Fogon

YatPundit's Pub 29-April-2019

Inside El Fogon

I must admit, I mourned the loss of the Taco Tico on Vets more than I should have. That wonderfully greasy fast food is part of my formative years! Iooked like the place would be demolished to make way for yet another nameless, faceless, chain place that could afford 2019 rent on Vets. I loved it when it became clear the building was merely undergoing a renovation. When El Fogon opened, Mexican food near Clearview in #themetrys went up more than a notch or two.

Chile Rellenos

YatPundit's Pub 29-April-2019

Chile Rellenos “Sierra” at El Fogon

On my first trip, I had the Chile Relleno, “Sierra” style, with chicken and cheese. Good plate!

YatPundit's Pub 29-April-2019

Tacos at El Fogon

El Fogon offered me “Taco Tuesday” for my next visit. So, four tacos for $5. Absolutely wonderful!

YatPundit's Pub 29-April-2019

Enchiladas El Fogon

I chose the enchiladas the next trip, and they rocked. While there are other places with Mexican and Tex-Mex in the city that are good, El Fogon is close, tasty, and, well, Tacos!

YatPundit's Pub 29-April-2019

El Fogon on Vets

Since El Fogon doesn’t appear to have a liquor license, I usually order a Coke. As much as to-go orders from a good restaurant give me mixed feelings, I need to order takeaway and have a beer at home.

McNulty’s take on El Fogon

73 Distillers

YatPundit's Pub 29-April-2019

Irish Channel Whiskey from 73 Distillers in the Treme

I saw “Irish Channel Whiskey” on a visit to 504 Craft Beer Reserve last Thanksgiving. I was DD for the boys, as LT Firstborn was home for Thanksgiving. As they picked out obscure beers to buy, I shopped. I came across “Irish Channel Whiskey” from 73 Distillers on the shelf. Made a mental note to try it. When we finished a bottle of (I think) Red Breast, we sought out the 73 Distillers Irish. Took a while to come across it again. It appeared at Martin Wine Cellar in Metairie a couple of weeks ago. So, we bought a bottle and were very pleased.

73 Distillers makes their whiskey in the Treme, at Bienville and N. Claiborne. They offer tours of the place. The owners fully leverage their location in one of New Orleans oldest neighborhoods. We’ll take the tour at some point this summer.

OffBeat’s take on 73 Distillers

Last Week’s Red Beans and Rice Monday Pod

YatPundit’s Pub 25-April-2019 Teen Expectations and Trains

YatPundit’s Pub 25-April-2019 Teen Expectations and Trains

Talking about teens, high school, expectations, and guitars in the first segment of YatPundit’s Pub 25-April-2019.

yatpudit's pub

YatPundit’s Pub 25-April-2019

I’m in-between books in a sense at the moment. I finished the Rebus novel, but not ready to do a full review of it. I started Mitch Landrieu’s book, but not into it enough to talk sensibly about it. So, there wasn’t much to go into with respect to my personal reading. I thought we’d talk about two writing themes.

Teen expectations

YatPundit's Pub 25-April-2019

Progressive Guitar Studio on Canal Blvd.

Tweens entering eighth grade, particularly here in New Orleans, have interesting expectations. As they approach their senior year, however, things change. Parents foster expectations. Therefore, a dad who was on the football team in high school wants his kid to play that sport. Maybe the young man wants to wrestle, or run cross country, or (heaven forbid!) join the Debate Team! Some kids will start out doing what the parents push, move on.

YatPundit's Pub 25-April-2019

Some expectations are more subtle. So, an eighth grader may start in marching band. By tenth grade, kids with a lot of talent “outgrow” the school band. They join after-school orchestras, bands, and other projects (like musical theater). Conflict arises when they do less for the school. Then there are the musicians who, while they enjoy their horn or wind instrument, want to play guitar or bass. They invest in lessons and practice, putting aside growth on the band instrument. It’s called growing up.

Trains!

YatPundit's Pub 25-April-2019

The old Louisville and Nashville passenger terminal on Canal Street

I’m a train nut. Y’all know that, I’m sure. As old passenger cars from the 1940s and 1950s die off, we lose a part of mid-century culture. I want to write about those railroad days. So, a story arc about a Pullman Porter in 1940-1941 interests me. Europe is already at war, but the US hasn’t made the move to actual combat. Spies and intrigue abound! I keep seeing an African-American man who wants to defend his country in a unique way.

Dragon’s Danger

The Pullman Porters of West Oakland

Last Thursday’s Pod

 

YatPundit’s Pub 22-April-2019 Hot Dogs and Dessert

Hot Dogs and dessert in YatPundit’s Pub 22-April-2019.

yatpudit's pub

YatPundit’s Pub 22-April-2019

Welcome into the pub! Thanks to everyone who came out to Art in the Bend on Saturday! It’s always fun to chat with folks browsing through the wonderful pieces, photos, and paintings at the art market. So many talented artisans sell their work there. Art in the Bend is a monthly market at Nuance, 728 Dublin Street, in Riverbend (hence the “bend”). I hang out with these wonderful folks, talking history and dragons. It’s flattering when people come in and buy my books!

Hot Dogs at Ben’s Burgers

YatPundi's Pub 22-April-2019

Traditional hot at Ben’s Burgers on Clearview

Pouring a story about Ben’s Burgers on Clearview in #themetrys today in the pub. Some background, first. Ben’s Burgers operated for years as part of the Bud’s Broiler franchise. I grew up with Bud’s Broiler. When I was a kid, daddy would take us to the Bud’s on Pelopidas Street in Gentilly. My grandmother lived off of Franklin. So, that Bud’s wasn’t far away. At Brother Martin in the 1970s, the Gentilly Bud’s was a go-to. Even later on, when Bud’s returned to Gentilly (at the old Luigi’s location), we stopped in regularly.

Of course, there are other Bud’s locations. At some point, the Clearview Bud’s left the franchise. Ben Collier struck out independently. He changed the name of the place to “Ben’s Burgers.” The burgers reamained the same.

Hot Dog on a Hamburger Bun

Bud’s Broiler departed from the classic hot dog. They served their dogs (grilled over charcoal, like the burgers) on a hamburger bun. I got my hot dogs with chili, cheese, and onions. Others get the smoke sauce instead of chili. I opened up the bag from Ben’s Burger’s I brought home Saturday afternoon and found a regular hot dog container inside, rather than the sleeve they wrap around the hamburgers. When I asked after this on the NOLA.com Facebook group, someone replied that it was a legal thing. Sure enough, Mr. Ben himself confirmed that, as part of the agreement to leave Bud’s, he doesn’t do hot-dogs-on-hamburger-buns.

Turns out it was no big thang. That hot dog was excellent. Not sure how often I’ll go back to Sonic now.

Dessert at New Orleans Restaurants

We went to Vincent’s in #themetrys on Saturday night with friends. Our friend Kara wondered if their spumoni ice cream was house-made. I said, doubtful, they probably get it from Angelo Brocato’s. I was right, and that got me thinking about dessert. Come listen to te second pour in the pub today.

Do you stay for dessert when you go out to eat?

Last Week’s Red Beans and Rice Monday