December is such a fabulous month filled with lots of holiday cheer, parties and there is always something exciting going on here. Most of my last two weeks were spent out of town in Chicago and Scottsdale which you will read about in the other articles, but I did manage to have a little fun in NOLA so let’s get this party started. I normally hit up all the tree lightings at the major hotels but because of my work schedule the only one I was able to make it to was the Royal Sonesta on Wednesday. Literally I came off the plane and went to the party – now that is commitment. No teething the ridiculous construction in front of their property but a damper to the events, then party was thrown in their courtyard and surrounding ballrooms. This elegant evening was filled with good food, libations and holiday cheer. The switch illuminating the building was thrown by two adorable patients form Children’s Hospital. These two children were in great spirits and made the night so special. Remember this is definitely a season for celebration, but always stop and say a prayer for those suffering.
The following day I attended the New Orleans Magazine monthly Hobknobbers networking event at the new restaurant in the Warehouse District Briquette. Briquette is a contemporary coastal cuisine restaurant featuring local and global seafood are showcased as well as a well-curated wine list and craft cocktails. The place has a loft style atmosphere with wood and brick accents. I enjoyed the evening especially the crabmeat king cake superb!
Friday I attended two fun events in the Marigny, the first was the Crescent City Rougaroux Rugby team who threw a turnabout fundraiser at Mags 940. Talk about a crowded house. These men brought in lots of people to see them perform. Fun was had by all and I learned that our city has a rugby team full of hot guys. They definitely have a new fan now! Then I went across the street to The Phoenix for the NOLA Puppies and Handlers Beer Bust that had a Star Wars theme. The force was strong there.
I also tried another new hot spot in the Warehouse District called Flamingo A Go Go. Now this place screams fun. They have great drinks and delicious fare. They have a large outdoor (and indoor space) and the decor is funky and eclectic. You can even reserve a seat in their special truck used for dining. They even have show movies/sporting events on the brick wall in their courtyard. Definitely check out both of these places.
Even though I was out of town for most of the following week, I was able to attend Art Against Aids on Saturday. The event was once again held at Club 44 right next to the Louisiana Superdome. The event was wonderful. From the moment you entered the party, guests were greeted with champagne and could pose for pictures with the holiday model in the snow globe. The auction was filled with great works of art, but was also especially fierce this year. The food was donated by many local restaurants, but the entertainment this year was stellar. They had a jazz band start the night out with a sultry singer called Jazzbird belting out holiday standards and classics, followed up by an excellent cover band called Roux the Day. The star of the evening was the super sexy David Hernandez who was a finalist on American Idol. He is a great performer. The music was pretty rocking the entire night keeping the dance floor always full. Congrats to the team at Crescent Care who put on this memorable evening.
I ended my weekend by taking in a great show Not About Nightingales at the Zeitgeist Theater on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. This show was mounted by the Tennessee Williams Theatre Company and boasted an outstanding cast. Each one of the actors gave 110 percent to their role keeping the audiences mesmerized for three hours. Although I did kind of find the play predictable (this is one of Tennessee Williams early works), it was a great story and fun to watch. I especially like the scenes in Klondike (the boiler room). Nothing like a good prison movie to get your temperature rising.
Until next time, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Book of the Month
Whenever I go out of town, I always get an opportunity to catch up on my reading so over my last few excursions, I finished quite a few books I had beside my bed. Since James Patterson is one of my favorite authors, I will start with two stand alone novels of his that I literally finished in four days. Most of his thrillers are very formulaic, but his latest one entitled Murder Games I found quite refreshing mostly because the main character was gay.
This was the first time I believe in any of his books he has had a gay main character. Writing the novel with Howard Roughan, I believe this is a major milestone and has brought me new respect for the author. Like many of his male protagonists, Dr. Dylan Reinhart is cool, sexy and embroiled in an intense crime.
Dr. Dylan Reinhart is an Ivy League best-selling author who literally wrote the book on criminal behavior. When a copy of his book turns up at a gruesome murder scene–along with a threatening message from the killer-he becomes involved unwittingly.
Aided by Elizabeth Needham a headstrong and brilliant NYPD Detective in charge of the case who recruits Dylan to help investigate another souvenir left at the scene, a playing card. Another murder occurs with another card and now Dylan suspects that the cards aren’t a signature, but a deadly hint pointing directly toward the next victim. The tabloids dub the killer known as “The Dealer” and New York City descends into panic. It seems only Dylan’s expertise can hope to go inside the mind of a criminal and convince The Dealer to lay down his cards.
Relegating Dylan’s character as just being gay would have been easy, but while he hunts for the killer, you see him deal with unresolved issues with his father as well as his relationship with his partner as they try and adopt a baby.
Murder Games is a fast paced and thrilling mystery. Hopefully we will be seeing more of Dr. Dylan Reinhart in the future.
The second book I finished by Patterson is The Store who he co-wrote with Richard DiLallo. The Store takes the concept of Big Brother is watching you to the next and very dangerous level. Jacob and Megan Brandeis have gotten jobs with the mega-successful, ultra-secretive Store. At first everything seems perfect and safe. But their lives are about to become anything but as they find out about the sinister dealings of their new organization. What makes it evermore dangerous is Jacob and Megan have a dark secret of their own. They’re writing a book that will expose the Store–a forbidden book, a dangerous book. And when the Store finds out, there’s only one thing Jacob, Megan and their kids can do, run for their lives.
In our consumer driven world, The Store is a fun roller coaster ride with plenty of twists and turns. Think Stepford Wives meet Amazon Prime with a little of The Firm thrown in for good measure making it a interesting read.