A Place Called Desire


The story of the Desire Community “A Place Called Desire” is one that resonate with most people who are trying to find strength in a tough place. The story of trials and tribulations teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of pushing through when times get tough, learning to fight against all odds.

“Nobody can dim the light which shines from within” as penned by Maya Angelo, is the perfect metaphor for Desire.

Those outside of the community probably told the stories you may have heard. This film will be presented from a unique vantage point–that of insiders. The scores of individuals telling the stories of their lives in the Desire Community speak of a place that is not the same story that the press often portrayed. There were struggles, many struggles, but there were also strengths and positives in this tight-knit community of thousands.

Check out the trailer here.

Big Charity Hospital

I look forwarded to seeing this documentary on one of New Orleans’ important landmarks. What will become of “Big Charity?”


Five years in the making, this film was born from an insatiable curiosity about Charity Hospital an iconic and beautiful, yet somehow abandoned building in downtown New Orleans. Former Charity staff and community members served as a constant resource during the making of this film, opening their lives up to us, our questions and our cameras, to share what we’d never know in our own the real meaning of Charity Hospital. In addition to conducting dozens of interviews and shooting hundreds of hours of original footage, we collected a huge amount of rare, archival footage from numerous sources ranging from medical university libraries to The Discovery Channel.

Image courtesy of kickstarter.com

New Orleans During The Civil War

New Orleans during The Civil War was captured by the Union Army in 1862.  Whether you are a history buff or a sightseeing tourist, this fact will have great importance as you tour the state of Louisiana and make your way to New Orleans.  You will find memorials, museums and other reminders of the role Louisiana played in the outcome of the Civil War.  New Orleans was the largest and richest city in the South when Louisiana seceded from the Union.  It was the first major Southern city to be recaptured by Union troops.

Louisiana Civil War MuseumNew Orleans was occupied by the Union troops for three years, many of whom decided to make their homes there when the war ended.  New Orleans became an attractive, vital place for them to live and make their living with the ports, abundance of fresh seafood and the lively neighborhoods.

In New Orleans history, the city was a strong Confederate city.  In fact, New Orleans was the largest Confederate city in the Confederacy.  In the midst of the Civil War New Orleans was a stronghold, adding thousands of troops to the fight.  Its location along the Mississippi River made it an important city and a target for Union soldiers to capture.  Once captured, New Orleans became less vital to the South as its ports were no longer available to her.

While touring New Orleans, there is much for you to see in terms of Civil War, New Orleans artifacts and New Orleans history.  If you visit the New Orleans visitors web site or ask about tours of the area, you will get a feel for what artifacts and memorials you will be able to investigate.  For example, you can visit the Army of Tennessee Memorial at Metairie Cemetery. It is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.  A statue and tomb of General Pierre Gustave Toutant de Beauregard, an important Confederate officer, can be found there.

You can view the Confederate Memorial Hall at Louisiana’s oldest continually operating museum (under renovation since Katrina).  It contains the second-largest collection of Confederate memorabilia in the world..  It is a repository for records, reports, artifacts, and memorabilia of the Civil War.  The body of Jefferson Davis, the first Confederate President, lay in state at Memorial Hall on May 29, 1893, just two years after the Confederate Museum opened.  President Davis died in New Orleans in 1889. He lay in state at the Memorial Hall for a day and a half while over 600,000 people came to pay their respects and view the body.

Chalmette Battlefield
Battle of 1815 New Orleans

Also take a look at Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery which was the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans.

Must See Attractions in New Orleans

Many tourists come to Louisiana and don’t get to visit the must see attractions in New Orleans. Some of the attractions are fairly obvious ones that most people know about while others are more off the beaten track. There are so many things to do in New Orleans.

carriage ride in the french quarter
most see attractions in New Orleans

Take the New Orleans School of Cooking, for instance. This is one of the few places that a visitor can take classes in classic Creole cooking, making jambalaya, shrimp Creole, or gumbo dishes. If you love authentic New Orleans cooking and want to know how it’s made, you need to visit this attraction and view a demonstration class.

Another attraction is the National World War II Museum. The focus here is on the remembrance and celebration of the American Spirit, courage and the sacrifices of the men and women who served during World War II. There are many relics on display and audiovisual demonstrations. Plan on spending at least half a day touring this fantastic museum, noted as being the best of its kind in the country.

Attractions in New Orleans Not To Be Missed!

One attractions not to be missed is a tour through the Garden District. If you contact the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, you can get information on self-guided tours of this beautiful neighborhood. You will see antebellum mansions, gorgeous gardens and the way the “new rich” lived and built their homes in the 19th century.

Take a factory tour of the Old New Orleans Rum Distillery. The tour begins with a cocktail and ends with a tasting of four types of rum. See the process of distilling rum from beginning to end. This is a great way to spend some time on something novel to do outside of the quarter.

The Audubon Zoo is a favorite with adults and children alike. You will find an interesting swamp exhibit here, where, by the way, you can eat a meal of delicious jambalaya! You’ll also find a Cajun Village, and all of the exhibits, indoors and out, that can be expected at a top-notch zoo.

Jackson Square

The History of New Orleans
Jackson Square

For a fun outdoor walking experience, visit Jackson Square, a famous landmark facing the Mississippi River and is surrounded by the St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo and the Presbytere (Mardi Gras museum with the Katrina exhibit). Here is a great place to sit, relax and do some people watching. Jackson Square ties a lot of the different histories and sights of New Orleans together. In any direction you walk, you’ll see one of the New Orleans attractions you’ve heard about. You will come across Bourbon Street, St Louis Cathedral, Cafe du Monde, Marie Laveau’s, Pat O’Brien’s, The French Market, The Riverwalk and The Natchez Paddle-Wheeler. Take a horse drawn carriage ride and admire the picturesque area. There are so many things to do while in the Crescent City! Enjoy yourself and remember there are many things to do in New Orleans because NOLA never sleeps!

Jackson Square

Jackson Square is the place to be if you want to see a bit of history. This historic park (a National Historic Landmark) is also known as Place D’Armes. It is located in the French Quarter, hence the French title.

New Orleans Insider Guide
St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square

Jackson Square Was Once Named Place D’Armes

So if this beautiful park was once named Place D’Armes (also known in Spanish as Plaza de Armas), why did residents change its name to Jackson Square? Well, the answer goes back to the Battle of New Orleans, in 1815, the final battle of the War of 1812. The American Forces had General Andrew Jackson in charge there. Jackson was able to defeat the British and save New Orleans and other large Louisiana land areas gained in the Louisiana Purchase. When you take a stroll through the park, you will take note of the statue of Andrew Jackson on horseback erected in his honor at Jackson Square New Orleans.

Jackson Square New Orleans makes its love of the arts very apparent. For years it has been a gathering place for painters, musicians and a variety of street performers. Live music is a regular event in Jackson Square, from New Orleans jazz to big brass bands. Shopping for artwork? Make sure you check the iron gate surrounding the square for bargains. Feel Lucky? Grab a Lucky Dog for a quick bite to eat. It is a New Orleans’ tradition and quite filling.

Here, you will have a fantastic view of the St. Louis Cathedral, making it a fine spot to take photographs. Take in the ambiance of the street performers and everything else going on around you and snap some precious photos.

Cafe du Monde

Café du Monde
Cafe du Monde New Orleans

There are many restaurants to take care of any hunger pangs you might be having and, best of all, the Cafe du Monde is close by. Here you can sip a delicious cup of coffee spiced with clover and munch on New Orleans’ famous beignets coated with powdered sugar so thick, you may have to blow some off right into your partner’s face! Across the street from Cafe du Monde, in front of the Square, you can take a carriage ride for a slow-paced tour of the area. The tour guides are full of information regarding the history of the buildings and the French Quarter.

For architectural lovers, the 1850 House is a National Historic Landmark overseen by The Louisiana State Museum. It is royally furnished and a pleasure to tour. Also check out the Potalba apartments, erected by Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba, daughter of the benefactor of St. Louis Cathedral. While sightseeing, make sure during your tour, you take a moment to look up. The ironwork that adorns the balconies of these historic buildings is breathtaking.

Jackson Square  is on my “top 10 Sites” location to visit. If you are a tourist looking for a lively place to people watch and interact with others, Jackson Square is the place to be. Have your caricature drawn by a local artist; let a fortune teller predict your future; be an unintended guest at a wedding celebration at the park.

The History of New Orleans

The history of New Orleans is a fascinating topic for local residents, history buffs and tourists alike. It is the largest city in Louisiana, located at the mouth of the Mississippi River, with close to half a million people living there.

History of New Orleans
Andrew Jackson

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana) Newspaper Archive

Jean Baptiste LeMoyne founded New Orleans in 1718. He named the city for the regent of France, Philippe II, Nouvelle- Orleans. Up until 1763 New Orleans was a French Colony when it was transferred over to the Spanish. In 1800, New Orleans bounced back to France. Finally, in 1803, Napoleon I sold the land to the United States packaged up in the Louisiana Purchase. Due to its various international colonial holders, New Orleans had a more cosmopolitan culture and diverse population than other cities, especially in the South.

New Orleans was populated with French speaking refuges from the Haitian Revolution, the French and Indian War, including French and Spanish Creole peoples. Slaves were also smuggled into the area. The city’s position at the mouth of the Mississippi was a major transportation hub for both national and international trade at the time, before railroads and major road systems were built.

The History of New Orleans

No history of New Orleans would be complete without mention of the Battle of New Orleans. The Battle of New Orleans was fought in January of 1815 and was the first major battle in the War of 1812.

Major General Andrew Jackson was commander of that battle. The British Army was attempting to take over the city and the other land areas included in the Louisiana Purchase. In December of 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed, ending the war. However, the fighting did not end until February 1815, when news of the treaty finally reached the army. Had the Battle of New Orleans not been won by the United States, a considerable amount of American land would have been ceded to the British. In the history of New Orleans, this battle is recognized as a great land victory in the history of our country.

Louisiana seceded from the Union in 1861. During the Civil War New Orleans was taken over by the Union Army fairly soon in the war. Union ships under Admiral David Farragut seized the ports of New Orleans on April 25, 1862. The capture of New Orleans was easily won by the Union, blocking the South’s major source of income and supplies through the ports of New Orleans. This was the main reason for the lack of destruction of the city that many other Southern cities had to bear, such as Atlanta. With New Orleans being the largest Confederate city, its capture was a turning point in the war.

Andrew Jackson

The war brought the career of Andrew Jackson to light, who would later become who would later become the seventh President of the United States. A memorial equestrian statue of Jackson is located in Place d’ Armes (Spanish:Plaza de Armas) also know as Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It is a National Historic Landmark declared in 1960. An equestrian statue built in memory of Jackson is located at the Place d’ Armes , also known as Jackson Square, in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It is a National Historic Landmark, declared so in 1960.

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