B&W Courtyards
Bed and Breakfast
This boutique Bed and Breakfast is located in the heart of New Orleans' historic Faubourg Marigny, adjacent to the French Quarter and four blocks from the French Market, three blocks from the Frenchman Street jazz clubs.
2425 Chartres Street 
New Orleans, LA 70117
(800) 585-5731; (504) 322-0474
An Opinionated Blog About
All Things New Orleans

“New Orleans is all kinds of unfathomable, a city of amorphous boundaries, where land is forever turning into water, water devours land, and a thousand degrees of marshy, muddy oozing in-between exist; where lines that elsewhere seem firmly drawn are blurry; where whatever you say requires more elaboration; where most rules are full of exceptions the way most land here is full of water.” – Rebecca Snedeker and Rebecca Solnit, Unfathomable City, 2013

Running of the Bulls New Orleans Style
Photograph by Infrogmation of New Orleans

San Fermin in Nueva Orleans is the annual Encierro (bull run) festival in New Orleans, which pays homage to the world famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain, or “The Running of the Bulls.” One small difference – the bulls are none other than the Big Easy Rollergirls and participants from other roller derby leagues across the country!

Friday, July 13

El Txupinazo

El Txupinazo, pronounced choo-pin-AHT-so, is the official kickoff party for San Fermin in Nueva Orleans. Held the night before the encierro, runners, revelers and friends come together for music, food, and drink.


Saturday, July 14

El Encierro: The Running of the Bulls

Join thousands of runners and more than 400 RollerBulls as they bring a version of Pamplona’s Fiesta to New Orleans!

Event Details

7:15 AM Procession of San Fermin

8:00 AM SHARP El Encierro (bull run) begins

8:15 AM (or thereabouts) Post Encierro party featuring live entertainment, spectacles, foods, drinks, and RollerBulls


Sunday, July 15

Pobre de Mi ( Poor Me )

11:00 AM

The singing of the Pobre de Mí  marks the end of Sanfermines. In Pamplona this happens at midnight on July 15, but in New Orleans it is sung the morning after. A hangover might make the song seem even more appropriate.


Organizers will offer a recovery brunch and entertainment at Barcadia. Burlesque performers will be on hand for entertainment. If you have a hirsute face, you might want to enter the Ernest Hemingway look-a-like contest. 



Some of you may have seen Mr. Okra, the last of New Orleans itinerant vegetable peddlers as he drove his brightly painted pickup truck through our neighborhood.  You might have heard his chant from a distance: ” I’ve got oranges and bananas. I’ve got eatin’ pears and apples.  I’ve got the mango!”

He passed away some months ago, but Dr Bob, another local character, and a folk artist, has immortalized him with this painted chair.  You can visit Dr. Bob’s studio a short way down Chartres St, on the other side of the railroad tracks.  As the sign says, “Tourists Tolerated”

Dana & Mister Okra - Jazz Fest 2013

There’s a lot going on in this photograph: a lot to explain.

Firstly, Leidenheimer Bakery is one of the legendary bakeries of New Orleans.  It was founded in 1896 by German immigrant George Leidenheimer.  New Orleans french bread, the basis for our legendary po’boy sandwiches, with it’s crispy crust and light and airy crumb comes from a German baking tradition.  If you’re munching on a po’boy, or enjoying bread and butter in a local restaurant, chances are good that you’re enjoying Leidenheimer bread.


Next are the two cartoon characters at opposite ends of that po’boy are Vic and Nat’ly.  Creations of local cartoonist Bunny Matthews, they are the owners of a mythical Nint’ (Ninth) Ward po’ boy shop where they sling sandwiches, local knowledge and Yat philosophy. Vic & Nat'ly first appeared in a supplement to the Times-Picayune in 1982.

And Bunny Matthews himself is a beloved local cultural icon. He's been a cartoonist, music journalist and musician. He was King of Krewe du Vieux for Mardi Gras 2017.  Vic & Nat'ly first appeared in a supplement to the Times-Picayune in 1982.

A sign visible from the Claiborne Avenue Bridge over the Industrial Canal, which separates the upper and lower Ninth Wards
I'm not saying that New Orleans has a drinking problem, but in what other city will the shopping carts have go cup holders?
Saturday afternoon before Easter Sunday

“Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins.” – Ignatius J. Reilly, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Dana & Tom at the Krewe of Endymeow party.  Endymeow is the all cat Mardi Gras Krewe.  Our cat Bosco is a Duke in the Krewe
A sampling of some of the Zulu half coconut shell beads Tom is decorating for Mardi Gras Day
The average daily high in January in New Orleans is 61 degrees, but occasionally we get some cold weather.  Last night, New Year's Eve, the temperature dropped into the high 20s - and we woke up to icicles on the urn fountain in the front courtyards
Puffed Apple Pancake, also known as a clafoutis, served with Canadian Bacon, whipped cream and raspberries

Photograph by MTPhotography.tk -Creative Commons License  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Grand River Road between Baton Rouge and New Orleans has one of the most fascinating displays of Christmas lighting.


It’s here on the levees holding back the Mississippi River that Christmas lights aren’t multi colored strands of twikling lights, but instead are a myriad of 30-feet-and-higher flaming stacks of burning logs.


The Christmas bonfires, as local residents call them, are mostly pyramid shaped, but some can take fanciful forms in homage to the river’s history—from tiny plantation homes to lilliputian replica stern wheel steam boats. The fires are built by friends, families and colleagues who visit, cook and mingle between the fires. It’s a true south Louisiana celebration with an atmosphere similar to tailgate parties at a football game, and the tradition has been carried down through the generations.


Bonfires on Christmas Eve? The story varies according to whom you ask. Some scholars hold that they are a holdover of ancient, pagan European traditions where the fires celebrated successful harvests and were later subsumed by Christianity (south Louisiana was originally a French colony, and residents remain predominantly Catholic).


But any bona fide south Louisianan will tell you that the fiery becaons light the way for Saint Nicholas’ (“Papa Noel”) as the Cajuns say) who treavels bayou country in a pirogue ( log canoe ) pulled by 8 alligators.

The fires are range north and south along the Mississippi, with the largest number in St. James Parish, around Gramercy, Lutcher and Paulina. The best viewing is found by driving along the east- and west-bank River Roads - LA Highway 44 for the east bank and LA Highway 13 for the west bank) or walking along the levees. The bonfire parties are not necessarily open to the public, but passers by will surely be offered kind words and holiday greetings as theywalk by on foot.


So come stay with us at B&W Courtyards - we’re open Christmas weekend -

Take a drive up River Road on Christmas Eve and enjoy Tom’s breakfast on Christmas morning - he’s serving Panettone French Toast - and a morning libation of Brandy Punch.


“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans.  Everywhere else is Cleveland.” 

-Tennessee Williams, Author
Spotted along Jackson Avenue in Central City, the home turf of the Wild MAgnolias Mardi Gras Indians.


Now is the time to book if you would like to come to New Orleans for any of the big spring music festivals - French Quarter Festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival ( Jazz Fest ). We have just a few rooms left for both of these events.

French Quarter Festival runs four days, from Thursday, April 12th through Sunday, April 15th. There are upwards of 20 stages and venues scattered throughout the French Quarter and the musicians are all New Orleans based, with styles ranging from traditional jazz to rock-a-billy.

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, known to most as Jazz Fest, spans two weekends: the last full weekend in April and the first weekend in May. The 2018 festival days are Friday, April 27th to Sunday April 29th, and then Thursday, May 3rd to Sunday, May 6th.

B&W Courtyards is perfectly located for French Quarter Festival and Jazz Fest - easy access to both festival sites and just 3 blocks from the music clubs on Frenchmen Street, which will be wailing until early morning with the after-festival shows.

In the baking supplies aisle at Rouse's Groceries on Baronne Street -

"Can I help you find something, my baby?"

* Making groceries is New Orleans speak for food shopping.  It comes from the Creole French phrase "faire l'épicerie" which is understood by speakers to mean "to do the grocery shopping."

Just about every Sunday afternoon from September through June there will be a second line parade somewhere in New Orleans. 

Sunday, September 24 at 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Young Men Olympians Annual Second Line Parade

Sunday, October 1 at 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Family Ties Second Line Parade

Sunday, October 8 at 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Prince of Wales Second Line Parade

Sunday, October 15 at 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Men of Class Second Line Parade

Sunday, October 22 at 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Black Men of Labor Second Line Parade

Sunday, October 29 at 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Women of Class Second Line Parade

Second line parades are held by Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs. Some have long histories; the oldest such organization still holding regular parades is the Young Men Olympian Junior Benevolent Association, founded in 1884. During the "second line season", lasting most of the year with breaks for holidays (including Mardi Gras) and the hottest part of summer, there are second line parades most Sundays. Longer parades often make stops, commonly at bars, where refreshments have been arranged for members and those following the parade for fun can purchase something. There are usually vendors selling soft drinks, beer, and street food, including barbecue and yaka mein.


The "main line" or "first line" is the main section of the parade, or the members of the actual club with the parading permit as well as the brass band. Those who follow the band just to enjoy the music are called the "second line." The second line's style of traditional dance, in which participants walk and sometimes twirl a parasol or handkerchief in the air, is called "second lining." It has been called "the quintessential New Orleans art form – a jazz funeral without a body.”


And these parades are not spectator sports - you follow along - as part of the second line. Think of it as a moving neighborhood block party.





In its second year, the festival has expanded to two days and moved to Woldenberg Waterfront Park in the French Quarter.


Restaurants participating include local favorites Dunbar’s Creole and Willie Mae’s Scotch House, and notable out of town chicken wizards like Gus’s from Memphis and Charleston’s Salt House.


Music includes Sean Ardoin & Zydecool, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Shamarr Allen & the Underdogs and Kristin Diable.




Also in its second year, the Beignet Festival is moving to a larger space in City Park.  The festival features the nearly ubiquitous dessert treat the beignet, in all its permutations both sweet and savory.  Our particular favorite is Miss Loretta's praline stuffed beignet


Musical acts include the One Love Brass Band, the Brass-a-holics and Eric Lindell





Held in  Armstrong Park, this new festival is devoted to that southern favorite, Macaroni & Cheese -  


Musical acts include: John Boutté, Susan Cowsill, Grayson Capp, John “Papa” Gros with Monk Boudreaux, and George Porter Jr. & the Runnin’ Pardners.






Po’boys & music - Uptown on and near Oak Street - You can take the streetcar





At St Augustine Catholic Church in the historic Treme neighborhood.  St Augustine is the oldest  African American Catholic church in the United States.  Local restaurants, caterers, artisans and artists will have booths set up along Henriette DeLille St and Governor Nicholls st.

Corey Henry & the Treme Funktet, Casa Samba, Mitchell Player’s Ella & Louis Tribute Band, Doreen Ketchen, Shaka Zulu, Baby Boyz Brass Band, Tremé All-Stars, and the Hot 8 Brass Band will perform on a stage in the side lawn of the church


We checked out a new bar & restaurant last night -  Revel.  After our Zulu Governor’s Krewe meeting we decided to head up to Carrollton Avenue and have a cocktail & a snack.

We’d heard good things about Revel, and we’d enjoyed cocktails by the owner, Chris McMillian, when he was head of the bar program at Kingfish in the French Quarter. MacMillian is one of the star New Orleans mixologists.  Imbibe Magazine named him one of the “25 most influential cocktail personalities of the last century.”  He is a co-founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail.  Just listening to him chat while he mixes drinks is to get an education in the history of cocktails, New Orleans bars and politics.


Tom had a Crawfish Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Dana enjoyed a Smoked Pork Sandwich.  Unfortunately the kitchen was out of Blackened Potato Salad. 

Tom’s new ambition is to work his way through all the classic New Orleans cocktails that Chris has on his menu.  Not in one sitting, however

To Bead or Not to Bead; That is the Question
Generally speaking, no, unless it's Mardi Gras season and you're on your way back from a parade.

Nothing says I'm a tourist, take advantage of me quite as much as strands of beads around your neck in September or June.

Some Seventh Ward Glam
Near the intersection of Touro & North Villere Streets

making groceries & terms of endearment -

"I'm sorry lovebug - I'm completely out of stock on that"

Mardi Gras Zone - 1/11/17

Satsumas are in Season!

Did we mention that satsumas are in season?

Until recently, satsumas were only grown in Japan & south Louisiana -

We use them in our cardamom lime citrus salad, and Satsuma Mimosas on special occasions, and they are delicious just eaten out of hand.

Bacchus Ready for the Holidays
Bacchus, who sits above our front gate, gets a seasonal update -  red & green Mardi Gras beads
Nobel Prize Winner Bob Dylan on the City of New Orleans

From Chronicles, Volume One:


“The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds – the cemeteries – and they’re a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay – ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who’ve died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn’t pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time.


The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don’t have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there’s a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There’s something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can’t see it, but you know it’s here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is.


There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There’s a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside.


Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn’t move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There’s only one day at a time here, then it’s tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you’re in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon’s generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you’ll get smart – to feed pigeons looking for handouts”