Back in the day downtown Shreveport was the place to be on a Saturday. It'll be that way again this weekend. West Edge Artists' Co-op is hosting an Artwalk April 28 in the 700 block of Milam from 10 AM - 6 PM.
It's open to all artists to do whatever they want -- demonstrations, art sales, performances, etc. It's free to the public (artists who aren't members have to pony up $25 to participate but for the browsing public it's free). For more information email or call WEACo. Noma Fowler-Sandlin will be there with her tasty jams. Read all about it at her jam blog.
It's too late to register your own Holiday in Dixie block party for Saturday so you might as well park in a central location in downtown so you can visit the HID Carnival, Artbreak and Artwalk. RRBJ is really hoping someone will spray paint themselves in metallic gold paint and be a human statue. We've got the dollars for the tip jar.
Art. Film. Music. We found it all this week in downtown Shreveport.
The Brown Bag Series kicked off Friday around lunchtime with the Four Seasons String Quartet. Three more Fridays are left: April 27 - Freddie Pierson; May 4 - Professor Porkchop and the All Stars; May 11 - Buddy Flett and Friends. The live music is sponsored by Downtown Shreveport Unlimited.
Thursday night films were shown on the other side of the Caddo Parish Courthouse, across the street in the Artisan's Court. The most well known being Bill Daniel's* black and white documentary "Who is Bozo Texino?" It was an event put together by Susan Garner (hard to imagine this chicka is only in high school).
As we walked to our car after viewing the movies, near Nanking's we ran into folks getting out of the Coast Guard concert that had been at the Strand Theatre. Animation in an urban downtown, there are plenty of cities around America who'd be tremendously jealous if they knew.
The plan was to watch the re-enactment of the Battle of Pleasant Hill but we got a late start and arrived just as everything ended last Sunday. Determined to salvage the day, we drove up Hwy 175 to Mansfield and along the way we discovered the Mansfield State Historic Site.
The lagniappe was the tip we overheard about where to eat on a Sunday afternoon in Mansfield. The Blueberry Cafe turned out to be a truck stop and casino but the food was great. The head foodie in our group had chicken fried steak and declared "I'll drive down from Shreveport just to have this again."
The gentleman pictured is Dan Buie from Martindale, Texas. The picture was taken inside the museum at the Mansfield Historic State Site. Buie's great-great grandfather perished as a result of wounds recieved during the Battle of Pleasant Hill in 1864.
There was a loud argument in the offices of RRBJ today. Half of us could swear Holiday in Dixie used to run the entire month of April, the other half said "no way! It was never that long!" What ever the case, HID starts tomorrow.
The festival was held in 1949 as a "Salute to the Southland." Today the ten day event celebrates the arrival of Spring and the Louisiana Purchase. Top picks for this weekend: the carnival at Festival Plaza, Barksdale Air Force Base Air Show, HID Classic Parade and the Miss HID Pageant.
For a daily sneak preview of the HID treasure hunt clues click here. This year's booty is $1,250.
(We know, we know chimps are not monkeys but it made for a better headline).
RRBJ made it to the April Discovery Day at Chimp Haven. The sanctuary is set in Eddie D. Jones Park in south Caddo Parish. We didn't spot baby Tracy or her momma. Saturday was a cold windy day.
Chimp Haven may be a case of where the websiteis even better than the actual location (the parking area at Chimp Haven freaked us out --- we expected zombies to come lumbering out of the piney woods). And had we read the notes at the Eddie D. Jones Park website "visitors are advised to come prepared for a wilderness type experience" we wouldn't have worn the metrosexual sandals we got on sale in the men's section of The Gap.
Next Discovery Day is Saturday May 12 from 9 AM until 12 PM (just wish those chimps got up a tad later).
Pictured above is Chimp Haven's Assistant Director, Elysse Orchard and Katee Fontane. Don't know the name of the chimps although Dr. Orchard could tell you.
Last week when we dined at Shane's on Youree Drive it was too cold to eat on the patio but we enjoyed pigging out inside under the mural on the wall. It gave us time to ponder the advertisements running on a TV. The menu was also covered in ads. We were amused by what seemed to be an interesting way for a restaurant to expand its revenue.
When the red beans and rice arrived we were a little concerned. Our group's Louisiana cuisine expert (born and raised in Bunkie, LA) declared them to be pinto beans and not red beans. Of course, this sparked a debate on where to find traditional Louisiana dishes in SB Land. Shane's newest location just opened in Bossier on Texas Street near Barnhill's Buffet and Southern Maid Donut.
It's a good thing that RRBJ is taking some vacation time next week. We'll need it to recuperate from all the happenings this weekend. Trudeau has the scoop (we'd link to The Times and their entertainment section but those links go dead in a couple of weeks, so what's the point?).
You can even wrap up your weekend with a casting call for Denzel Washington’s upcoming movie. RRBJ plans on going to Chimp Haven Saturday and then on Sunday heading down to the Battle of Pleasant Hill. Thank you Cybertoad for the use of your Pano's Diner shot. It's a reminder that if you dine out this weekend to try something locally owned. Pano's in downtown Shreveport is open Saturday morning from 6:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. They've been in business for 33 years.
Bossier City kicked off its centennial birthday over the weekend. It's a year long celebration that will wrap up with a time capsule being buried in April 2008.
Mayor Lo Walker says Bossier Parish is the fastest-growing parish in the state. According to the Bossier Chamber of Commercewebsite "The Bossier-Shreveport community serves as the trade and cultural center of the 200-mile radius extending into Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas (the “Ark-La-Tex”)."
The classically draped figure of a woman bearing a torch and balancing on a small globe on the front of the artspace building has a name. She's the "Spirit of Progress."
And while we'd like to think she's unique to Shreveport, she actually graced many Montgomery-Ward buildings across the country. Maysville, Kentucky turned their old building into a conference center. This one in Fort Worth appears to have three full stories. The pictured statue sits atop the Montgomery-Ward building in Chicago, which has been renamed One River Place and converted into condo units that are priced between $225,000 and $500,000.
Progress holds the torch of knowledge while using her key to open the door to the future. Can't think of a better symbol of all that is happening in the West Edge Arts District. Trudeau has the scoop on two upcoming events in that area, one's at the West Edge Artists' Co-op and the other's at Noble Savage.
To see what the Shreveport building looks like today go visit Alexandyr Kent's blog (otherwise known as movie boys blog).
Special thanks to Henry VIII for the use of the the photos of the two buildings. And to Corydalus for his photo of the statue on top of the Montgomery-Ward building in Chicago. flickr.com is a great place to find all kinds of nifty-cool photographs.
How'd you savor this last cold snap? RRBJ consumed pots of hot tea at the Glenwood Village Tearoom. The exterior of this drugstore-turned-antique shop and tearoom is unassuming, but the inside is charming. We drank a red tea of the day and consumed a sconewich, which is a large cheese scone with chicken chutney pecan salad.
Is The Glenwood a fluffy place just for girly girls? A glance at the menu says no. The top item listed under "Extras" is bacon. Next time we're ordering extra Glenwood Pickles.
On a completely unrelated note: Can't sip hot tea without thinking of cozy British murder mysteries and doesn't this guy look like he should be a character in one?
Despite the cold temps in SB Land there were sunrise services sprinkled about. The Times photographers even captured some of the faithful.
(P.S. Thanks Mom, for making a delicious ham and for not stabbing Dad with the carving knife when he got a little sassy mouthed because dinner was late and he missed the opening of the golf tournament. Why they gotta play sports on religious holidays anyway? We mean, WWJD?)
You're mid way through spring break in SB Land. Run out of ideas? There's the Skate Plaza on the banks of the Red River.
You'll find three sets of stair elements, concrete blocks and benches, low concrete walls, high and low rails and ramps. This Shreveport park is just a year old and when it was built it was the first time a city architect designed a skate park with the help of skateboarders.
It's open 24 hours a day with space for skateboarding, inline skating and BMX bike riding.
"I found bliss early. It was reading or thinking in the spread out trunk of a pink flowered mimosa tree in our front yard.
I made my freest art back then. When I was a little kid alone in my room, I danced to music from a tiny record player. I had a built up platform in the bottom of my closet, so I would push the clothes back on either side and dance away in funky costumes I found around the house. Now when I create art, I am seeking to go back to my bliss." Usher May 24, 2010