Showing Archived Posts

The Big Easy: Back, Not Better Than Ever

Posted November 29th, 2011 at 5:03 pm (UTC-4)

As August slipped into September six years ago, Hurricane Katrina blasted ashore out of the Gulf of Mexico and into Louisiana and Mississippi, delivering widespread devastation and death. Evacuations in its wake outnumbered those of any other storm, earthquake, drought, or war on American soil. In particular, the ruination of romantic New Orleans, inundated when […]

Oh Happy Day

Posted May 12th, 2011 at 1:44 pm (UTC-4)

Money is often said to be capitalist America’s brass ring.  But judging by a recent spate of media stories, I believe that it’s happiness instead. There’s an old saying that “money doesn’t buy happiness,” but those who say it are usually quick to add that a few bucks in your pocket make the road there […]

Fat Tuesday

Posted March 1st, 2011 at 9:45 am (UTC-4)
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Next Tuesday, New Orleans, Louisiana, will officially shut down for the day.  It has nothing to do with a budget crisis or, let us hope, any sort of calamity.  The occasion is a street party, the biggest in America and one that happens every year. It’s Mardi Gras — “Fat Tuesday,” translated from the French […]

Red, Hot, and Phew!

Posted November 26th, 2010 at 1:38 pm (UTC-4)

You may have read my two recent postings about so-called “Cajun Country” in swampy southwest Louisiana. Well, it’s time to get your swamp boots and mosquito repellent on again, for right in the middle of the ancient oak trees draped in Spanish moss, and the black bayous — or slow-moving streams — full of alligators […]

Battle Row and Beyond

Posted November 12th, 2010 at 4:17 pm (UTC-4)
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There’s a lot more to Southwest Louisiana, about which I wrote last time, than Cajun honky-tonks, alligator-infested wetlands, and pepper-sauce factories. Tucked down in the corner, away from the spooky swamps, is Louisiana’s . . . pick your analogy . . . odd duck, loose cannon, eccentricity in an already-eccentric state, or wild and woolly […]

Bayou Country

Posted November 5th, 2010 at 1:11 pm (UTC-4)

You may have had a chance to visit one of those restaurants or clubs in which the owner proudly displays photos or cartoons on the wall, depicting the famous people who’ve preceded you there. Usually they’re autographed by the celeb, or sometimes just the signatures and a little message are scrawled there. Well, I’ll have […]


Posted October 17th, 2008 at 5:47 pm (UTC-4)
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It’s been 23 years since I left New Orleans, and still, to quote the Eddie De Lange and Louis Alter song of half a century ago, I know what it means to miss “New Orleens.” Oh yeah, I know. This old postcard view captures the Pontalba Apartments, built by Baroness Michaela Pontalba, who also convinced […]

Ted Landphair


This is a far-ranging exploration of American life by a veteran Voice of America “Americana” reporter and essayist.

Ted writes about the thousands of places he has visited and written about as a broadcaster and book author. Ted Landphair’s America often showcases the work of his wife and traveling companion, renowned American photographer Carol M. Highsmith.

Ted welcomes feedback, questions, and ideas. View Ted’s profile. Watch a video about Ted and Carol by VOA’s Nico Colombant.

Photos by Carol M. Highsmith


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