Month: March 2013

Snoball Season

Snoballs are only in season in New Orleans when it’s over 60 degrees. A summer staple, snoball stands are packed starting in late spring until they close for winter around November.

Not to be confused with northern snow cones, snoballs aren’t shaved ice that’s been refrozen. It’s shaved, brought to a point with a funnel, and then covered in colorful, sugary, flavored syrup. There are standard flavors, but specific snoball stands have their own concoctions. And everyone has their staple snoball stand. Three of the most popular stands are Hansen’s Sn0-Bliz (just Hansen’s to most people), open since 1939,  Sal’s Sno-Balls, which opened in 1960 and Plum Street Snoballs, open since 1945.  The stands have their signatures, like Plum Street serving snoballs in traditional pails, which are Chinese take-out boxes, and Sal’s stuffed snoballs and $7 bucket. They take soft serve ice cream and stuff it in the middle. If they aren’t stuffed, most stands can put soft serve on top or condensed milk, another staple snoball topping.  Original flavors, like orchid vanilla, king cake, and strawberry shortcake, are constantly being added and keep things interesting.

More than the delicious dessert, snoballs and snoball stands have countless memories attached. Plum Street catered big school events like volleyball games and the senior’s last day of class. My friends and I would go to Plum Street on our breaks during rehearsal for the spring musical, and leave our plastic wrapped pails in the bleachers while we practiced. Sal’s is on the Metairie St. Patrick’s Day parade route, so my friend and I would always stop by sometime during the day. In the summer, I did community theatre at a church across the street, and we’d get snoballs after rehearsal and sit on the log benches for hours. One night, seven of us split the giant $7 snoball after an exhausting dance rehearsal. I’ve never seen a snoball eaten so fast.

Alone but not Lonely

There’s something magical about sitting in a dark theatre alone.

Last night, I went to the “We Always Swing” jazz series for the first time. I’ve never had anything against jazz before, but I’d never been to a formal concert before. I was going as a requirement for a class and ended up completely enjoying myself.

The performance was a combination of the MU Concert Jazz Band and the professional Joe Locke-Geoffrey Keezer Group. I’ve always been involved in music programs, and I think it’s so phenomenal that college students have the opportunity to perform with professional musicians. The program is benefitting more than just the Columbia community members who bought tickets. It’s fostering jazz education. And the Concert Band was great. I didn’t realize that they weren’t professional musicians until reading the program at intermission.

The second half was solely the Joe Locke-Geoffrey Keezer Group. They performed some of their older songs, but were promoting their newest CD Signing. The first thing Joe Locke did when he entered the stage was ask the Missouri Theatre to turn up the lights to see the audience’s faces. I’d never been to a performance where the musicians wanted so much audience interaction, unless it was a major concert tour. He talked about music being an interactive process. A conversation between the musicians on stage and the audience in the seats. It was something I’d never heard an artist say before, and absolutely refreshing. We’re involved in the experiences we have at the theatre and bring our experiences, opinions and feelings.

Getting all of that out of a mandatory concert on a Thursday was pretty sublime.

We’re Playing Basketball

This should get you in the mood to read this post.

I had never really been a basketball fan until I went to my first Mizzou basketball game. Everyone talked about how excited they were for basketball season, and that was just a foreign concept to me. In both professional and college sports, football is a much bigger deal than basketball. I’d gone to a few Hornets games to sing the national anthem in elementary school, but it was never an event like a Mizzou basketball game. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more excited and alert than I was at the Mizzou vs. kU game in 2012 (just skip ahead to 0:44).  The atmosphere was absolutely insane, and I didn’t have a voice for a week afterwards.

Tonight I watched the end of ESPN documentaryThe Fab Five.” I thought I’d heard of them before, but I thought it was about a football draft until talking to my roommate.  I was skeptical at first, but it was such an emotional story and so well told. I was completely invested in not only the teams wins and losses, but their personal experiences of being thrust into the spotlight at such a young age. That’s why I love journalism. We get the opportunity to share amazing stories with the public, and, hopefully, leave people  feeling as good as that left me.

NOLA Girl’s First Snow Days

When I heard we were getting 5-10 inches of snow, I think I looked something like this.

Living most of my life in a place where snow is a rarity, it’s always been magical to me. The two times it snowed in New Orleans (it was only a couple of inches, but we were still excited) everything shut down and everyone was excited. The most recent snow storm was my sophomore year of high school. We had a ten minute passing period, and the entire school ran outside to play, take pictures and enjoy the snow. Most of it was melted by lunch, but we still made snowballs, snowmen and snow angels. Even though no one knew how to handle the snow, schools and businesses remained open because, let’s get real, how many people actually thought it was going to snow?

My snow days last week were the first since pre-school when I lived in Connecticut, and they were fantastic. My first day was filled with walks through Greek Town, sledding in trash bags, and making snow angels on Sankowski Field. We played around for about an hour, and I was absolutely exhausted by the end of it. After a hot shower, the rest of the day was spent in sweatpants with hot chocolate while watching movies and doing homework. I think I could get used to snow days.