In our final episode, we present four stories of important gathering places in New Orleans.
Left: Alexis T. Reed and her grandmother. Photograph courtesy of Alexis T. Reed. Middle: Alexis T. Reed and her cohort with the New Orleans Youth Alliance. Her mentor, Rashida Govan, is second from left in the top row. Photograph courtesy of the New Orleans Youth Alliance. HotoRight: The Spirit of Fi Yi Yi, Victor Harris, at the Backstreet Cultural Museum in Tremé for the All Saints Day program he produced with the museum, the Neighborhood Story Project, the Department of Anthropology & Sociology at the University of New Orleans, and the Land Memory Bank and Seed Exchange. Photograph by Rachel Breunlin
In Act 1, "Rediscovering What It Means to Be A Native New Orleanian," Alexis T. Reed shares the story of her family’s displacement from New Orleans after Katrina, and how she has been able to a sense of home back in the city through her work with the Neighborhood Story Project and the Spirit of Fi Yi Yi and the Mandingo Warriors. Woven throughout the story is an exploration of New Orleans bounce and traditional jazz that helps signify the importance of place and the passing of time.
FEATURED MUSIC: "If I Ruled the World (Featuring Lauryn Hill), by Nas from It Was Written (1996), released by Columbia Records; "New Orleans Bounce Party," by D.J. Jubilee and Partners-in-Crime from New Orleans Bounce Essentials, Vol. 1 (2010), released by Take Yo Shirt Off; "Just A Little While To Stay Here," by Rebirth Brass Band from Rollin'(1994), released by Rounder Records; "Come Get This," by Marvin Gaye from Let's Get It On (1973), released by Motown Records; "Fuck Katrina," a single by Fifth Ward Weebie; Excerpt of well-known speech by Malcolm X from May 22, 1962; "What's the Name of Your School?" by D.J. Jubilee, from Take It To the St. Thomas (1998), released by Positive Black Talk; "Independent (Featuring Lil Boosie and Lil Phat," by Weebie, from Savage Life 2 (2008), released by Trill Entertainment; "A Closer Walk With Thee (Live)," by the Olympia Brass Band from Dejan's Olympia Brass Band (1968), released by 504 Records in 2005; "Glory Land," by Dejan's Olympia Brass Band from New Orleans Street Parade (2017), released by Edel Germany; Field recording of Fi Yi Yi and the Mandingo Warriors in front of the Backstreet Cultural Museum with Big Queen Kim Boutte; "I'll Fly Away" by Treme Brass Band featuring Uncle Lionel Batiste, Sr. from Treme Brass Band (2008), released by Mardi Gras Records.
Photographs of Viktoria Alexander throughout growing up with books, and working at her home branch library in Mandeville, Louisiana. Photographs courtesy of Viktoria Alexander.
In Act 2, “Building a Home Beyond the Bookstacks,” Viktoria Alexander unwittingly finds her career path when her mother signs her up to volunteer at the public library to earn service hours for her local Catholic church in Mandeville, Louisiana. Through the story, she celebrates her mentors who have defied the stereotype of the quiet librarian, and her love of pop-punk music.
FEATURED MUSIC: "Welcome to the Black Parade," by My Chemical Romance from The Black Parade (2006), released by Reprise Records; "Twin Skeletons," by Fall Out Boy from American Beauty/American Psycho (2015) released by Island Records; "The Last of the Real Ones," by Fall Out Boy from MANIA (2017), released by Island Records.
Staff and clientele of Finn McCool's Irish Pub on Banks Street in New Orleans' Midcity neighborhood. Photograph courtesy of Both Hollman.
In Act 3, “Salud,” Beth Hollman takes us into the Irish and Spanish-speaking community of Finn McCool’s, a corner barroom in New Orleans’ Midcity neighborhood. which has become an important gathering place for the international community in love with fútbol.
FEATURED MUSIC: "Brown Eyed Girl," by Van Morrison from The Essential Van Morrison (20150, released by Exile Productions; "Suavamente," by Elvis Crespo from Suavemente (1998), released by Sony Discos; "Tipitina," by Professor Longhair from Rock 'n Roll Gumbo (1977), released by Sunnyside/Confluences.
Mary Lotz-Skrokov's great-grandfather, Luca Skrokov, circa 1920; Mabel and Luca Skrokov (holding Noonie) in front of their restaurant in New Orleans in the 1960s; Mabel and Luca after their wedding in 1933. Photographs courtesy of the Skrokov family.
And in our final act of our musical ethnography series, Mary Lotz-Skrokov explores how oyster shucking has been a metaphor for her family’s hard work. Working at Felix’s Oyster House on the lakefront, she retraces her great-grandfather’s journey from the Dalmatian islands off the coast of Croatia to restaurants in the downtown neighborhoods of New Orleans.
FEATURED MUSIC: "Don't Stop," by Fleetwood Mac from Rumors (1977), released by Warner Records; "Don't Give Up," by Tambuu from Dalmatia World Music-Dalmatian Dream (2021), released by Scardona; "Dalamatino Povišću Pritrujena," by Klapa Iskon from Dalmatia World Music-Dalmatian Dream (2021); "They All Asked for You," by the Meters from The Very Best of the Meters (1997), released byWarner Strategic Marketing; Field recording of the sea organ in Zadar, Croatia.