Brett Will Taylor

NolaVie Commentator
Jason Kruppa

If New York City is a state of mind, then New Orleans is a way of life. On his final Love NOLA, Brett Will Taylor begins to pack up the parts of the way of life that will stay with him always.

Two weeks ago, I was standing in one of my favorite places in the world: New York’s Penn Station.  Like the other half-million people who churn through there every day, I was trying to get somewhere.

Boston’s Back Bay Station, to be precise.

Jason Kruppa

Ask a New Orleanian about her or his family and the answer can take half a day. That truth isn't always easy, but on today's Love NOLA, Brett Will Taylor suggests we give a listen anyway. In doing so, we just might hear the depth of love that lies beneath the number of words.

You know you’re in for a good flight when your seat mate is an 80-year-old, white haired, Louisiana native named Mary Rose.

Jason Kruppa

Virtually everyone who has lived in New Orleans for any length of time has at least one hurricane story. About staying or evacuating. About lights going out or rain coming down. This is a hurricane story of the formal kind — a story about how a proper British lady rode out Hurricane Isaac.

Jason Kruppa

You know, sometimes I think we're only here, in this crazy love affair we call "life," to find our way home.

Not just that place we go to bed each night. But that space where we belong. Where we can be ourselves. Where we can live our truth. 

It’s not always an easy journey. Just ask Miles.

He’s a man I met early one June morning at a corner store in Tremé. Both of us were hungry — he for pancakes, me for a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. As we waited for the cook to work his magic, we did what you do in New Orleans. We started talking.

“When did you become so nice?” 

That’s what a Boston friend asked me last week while in New Orleans for a visit. We were driving down North Robertson when the car in front of us came to a stop smack dab in the middle of the street. The man driving the car had stopped in order to have a conversation with a woman who was sitting on her stoop. It was quite clear this conversation was going to occur without the woman leaving her stoop. Or the man leaving his car. Which was now not stopped, but parked, in front of mine.

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA as it is commonly called, was both celebrated — and mourned — across America.

When it comes to summer in New Orleans, I feel a lot like Goldilocks.

Now calm down people.  I’m not talking about donning a blonde wig and sleeping in a row of bears’ beds. 

I haven’t done that in years.

What I AM talking about is air conditioning.  Specifically, finding the right temperature for your home during those looooooong summer months when New Orleans turns into one big oven.

The way I see it, you have three choices.

Jason Kruppa / NolaVie

Who:  Valerie West, 44, a New Orleans native who returned home after years of traveling the world as a military wife because her kids wanted to graduate from high school in the city in which they were born. A housekeeper at Ochsner who lets loose every Sunday as an active member of the New Orleans second-line culture (her club is the Original New Orleans Lady Buckjumpers). A teen mother who saw all three of her kids go to college. A woman whose life was forever changed by violence.

In her own words, here’s what Valerie has to say about:

Jason Kruppa / NolaVie

Who:  Marco Topete, 30, a Mexican immigrant who came to New Orleans in 2005 with other members of the Texas Volunteer Firefighters Association as part of the initial search and rescue efforts following Hurricane Katrina.  An engineer by training, who has fallen in love with the endless possibilities of New Orleans culture, Marco is a husband; the father of a 1-year-old son; the owner of a start-up construction and design company; and an active member in the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, a 3-year old Mardi Gras krewe that celebrat

A recent study found that the average American hears 100,000 words per day. That's a lot of Tweets! With so much information swirling around us, is it any wonder that Americans may have forgotten the fine art of actually listening to what we hear? Here is a case for listening — to the voices surrounding one of our city's most pressing issues.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the difference between hearing someone and listening to them.