Labors of Love

It’s a Hardware Life

Started by 16-year veteran policeman Mike LaFleur, Mike’s Hardware & Supply has faithfully served the Gentilly neighborhood and the many tradesmen, property managers and DIY’ers around the city and surrounding area since 1981. “My father enjoyed piddling around properties and…

A Passion For Wine

Leora Madden’s grandmother was first generation Sicilian, so from a very early age she was encouraged to taste wine at the dinner table. Her parents took her to her first winery when she was 13 years old. “As we entered…

Praying Twice

“He who sings prays twice,” so said St. Augustine of Hippo, the fifth century bishop of North Africa. Many theologians throughout the years have recognized the powerful emotional effect that music has on the heart and mind. Father Ron Clingenpeel,…

He’s Loving It!

I usually write about owners of very small business — people who do their work more as a labor of love than simply a way to earn a living. But I interviewed Henry L. Coaxum, Jr. years ago for one…

Thrift Store Treasure

Who knows what you might find at a Bridge House/Grace House (BH/GH) thrift store: a classic leather bomber jacket, the makings of a truly ghoulish costume, an awesome antique lamp or just a James Patterson bestseller. Here’s what is certain,…

Cosma and Rye

I’ve known Gisele Cosma, owner of Rye Clothing, for more than 20 years.  We met during my brief and colossally unsuccessful career as a salesperson at Gambit Weekly. I was in awe of her as week after week I saw…

Stormwater Tamer

What drinks 800 gallons of water a day, fights crime and obesity, protects wildlife, lowers electric bills and just might save New Orleans from rising stormwaters? The answer, according to Susannah Burley, is a tree: specifically a Live Oak or…

Mel’s Barber Shop

On the corner of Galvez and St. Bernard streets, Melvin Sampson is usually snipping, buzz cutting and shaving; yesterday he was mopping. On Saturday, waves sloshed almost a foot of water into his 700-square-foot old-school barbershop. “It was bad enough…

Ambassador of Romance

Rev. Tony Talavera is 61 years old. During his lifetime he’s been an antique dealer, an acclaimed chef and a dealer in Las Vegas. He also spent five arduous years dying from Hepatitis C and liver failure. On Halloween of 1989…

Statuesque New Orleans

Mention the word “statues” in a crowded room in New Orleans and be prepared for a variety of reactions from a growl of disdain to a cheer of joy. Most New Orleanians probably would be delighted to never ever hear…

Bullet’s Sports Bar

As a young man, Rollin Garcia, an innocent bystander, was shot during the robbery of a local grocery store. He fortunately survived and garnered a pretty cool nickname — Bullet. His eponymous business, Bullet’s Sports Bar, located in the heart…

A Mechanical Inclination

Sometimes you choose a career; sometimes a career chooses you. The latter is decidedly the case with Herl Young, aka The Lawnmower Man.  Back in the halcyon days of big oil, Young ran a successful residential construction business. He specialized…

Forever Young

On Aug. 26, our New Orleans Saints will host the Houston Texans in the first home game of a brand new season, and Bruce Hirstius and the Storyville Jazz Band will once again be in the number as they entertain the…

Sew Marvelous

As you enter Bernadette Korver’s home her energy envelopes you. She quickly shows me a brilliant embellished piece of material, which she is turning into a wall hanging.  A friend, who recently visited Thailand, brought it back for her. “I’m…

A Tasty Tradition

Years ago, on any given summer Sunday afternoon, eager children in the shade of an oak tree took turns on the crank of an old-fashioned ice cream churn. Farm-fresh ingredients, a tub of ice and a sack of rock salt…

Church of Yoga

Years ago, an unassuming brick building on the corner of N. Rocheblave and Columbus streets functioned as a chandelier shop. Then, for 28 years it was the neighborhood’s Baptist church — barely noticed except on Sundays. With an explosion of…

The “Moe Joe” Experience

Sexy, liberating, spiritual, high energy, inclusive, loving, and visceral, are just a few of the adjectives clients use to describe a workout with Marissa “Moe Joe” Joseph. Joseph is a dancer and choreographer who performed on the Acura Stage with…

Tales of Lemonade Day

This past Saturday there were lemonade stands all over town. Thirsty clients could find old-fashioned lemonade, raspberry lemonade, coconut lemonade, peach lemonade, mango lemonade and even sugar-free lemonade. It was Lemonade Day, a national idea that teaches children about entrepreneurship.…

The Plumber of City Park

Wayne Encalarde, owner of WJE, LLC, lives by a plumber’s maxim that he learned years ago at his father’s knee, “The shittier the job the more money it pays.” “My father did a bit of plumbing when I was young…