This week, I will be attending a conference in New Orleans. There, the National Association of Bar Executives gathers to share best practices and find new ways to do recurring things. You can read more about the conference and its diverse sessions here.

And yes, I assume I’ll fit in the time to have a few oysters and listen to some Blues (after each day’s sessions, of course!).

I wrote before about The Big Easy, a city that provides unique experiences at every turn. And later in the week, I’ll write a few words about the legal and other topics covered at the NABE conference.

Today, though, you read this as I sail through the skies via Southwest, first to Houston and then to New Orleans. So to prepare both of us Blues Travelers, let me point you to a few NOLA stories that caught my eye. Each comes from the delightfully titled Times-Picayune, and is part of a series the newspaper did on the 175th birthday of the Crescent City.

The paper did a remarkable job of telling multiple tales. On Thursday, I’ll pass on some about judges and laws. But today? How about dunces?

That’s right. The paper wisely covered the topic of the phenomenal New Orleans novel A Confederacy of Dunces, written by John Kennedy Toole. Haven’t yet read the book that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981? Then start here with some well-written background.

Cafe du Monde

And let’s end with a sweet, sweet part of New Orleans: the beignet. This fried treat is perhaps most famously served at the city’s Café du Monde. As the Times-Picayune reporter noted humorously:

“[Café du Monde] now has a number of other locations in the New Orleans area, and in addition to Cafe du Monde and Morning Call, a few other places feature beignets on the menu. One is at Louis Armstrong International Airport. Twice during the mail-borne anthrax scare of 2001, the airport’s hazmat team was called out to inspect a powdery residue reported by travelers. Both times that white residue proved to be leftover powdered sugar from someone’s beignet.”

Read the whole story here. And I’ll see you tomorrow.

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On Friday, I will be winging my way across the country. And no, I’m pleased to report, my trip has nothing to do with work.

My two daughters and I will be on a Southwest flight (minus sunroof, we hope) to New Orleans. There, we will meet my wife, who flew out the day before.

Kathy is participating in her profession’s annual conference.

But the rest of us chickens? We will be enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of the Big Easy. I commit to overindulge on your behalf.

There is plenty to do in the city. But for this Change of Venue Friday, here is a link to the town’s madcap list of seemingly endless music festivals. While we are there this weekend, bopping alongside the Mississippi, the “French Quarter Festival” will be raging.

Coffee and beignets, anyone?

Have a magnifique weekend.