Lisa Pasold

Forwards into 2016!

"Whenever the devil harasses you thus, seek the company of men, or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing...” - Martin Luther, 1530. Now we are past the darkest days of winter and the light is growing--let's dance! The Martin Luther quote comes from this wonderful article about Little Richard in the Oxford American, written by David Ramsey. So, to spite the devil, here is Little Richard himself with 'Long Tall Sally'...

To make music more intensely...

What I did last night: I heard the news with horror & contacted friends to make sure they had reached safety.


What I did last night: I went to the theatre in New Orleans, to see a new play by Joseph Furnari and to hear Adelina Patti's repertoire gorgeously sung by Katherine McClain. 


Both performers reminded me that the creative life force of humanity is the only belief system I value. To put it more poetically, "This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than every before." --which is perhaps a quote from Leonard Bernstein. Whether he said exactly this or not, the words are a good torch to follow. 


I believe the only brave response to insanity is to say NO, I will not lock myself in my house & sandbag the doors...against the enemy, against the refugees, against the infidel. Because that will let them, and I do not care who they are, into my heart.

Art, defined

Everything you need for the Trans-Canada trip...

In the footsteps of...


I've always been fascinated by the tales of Marco Polo--part of the inspiration for my book Any Bright Horse! Recently I had the chance to walk along part of an old Silk Route in Armenia, near Yerevan. Eerie mountains on either side of a great valley... 

Dream trips

Who wouldn’t want to step back in time just for a week in order to hop the Orient Express? Certainly it's high on my list of time-travel choices (where's Doctor Who when you need him?)

The photos are from the beautifully-restored train cars at the Institut du Monde Arabe—a magical exhibit which has stayed in my head for months. Different rooms are dedicated to famous Orient Express travellers; my favourite was Josephine Baker’s sleeping compartment, below.

What I'm working on now...

Writing about the river gives me a great chance to take pictures of riverboats...

Wishing you a wonderful celebratory season!

Looking forward to 2015... Happy holidays from the festive aguave!

Paris vs Prague - cakes & coffee

I love cafes in both Paris & Prague, and while they do share some historical similarities, they're also different in one crucial factor: Prague has a heritage of Austro-Hungarian style coffeehouses, which for me really just means one thing: cake with whipped cream. Now, I have a great love for poppy-seed cake, but there are also good arguments to be made for chocolate Sacher torte (which is Viennese but turns up in most Prague cafes)...

Dames of New Orleans

Featuring my knighthood nominations for March 2014:


New Orleans has a generous historical list of sirens, suffragettes, and superheroines—women I’m going to generally refer to as dames, because a dame is a women with determination—and also the female equivalent of a knighthood. And these women are DAMES. I’m spending the month of March in New Orleans and in honour of Women’s History Month, I’m nominating 31 historical women for personal knighthoods. Each of these women from history spent time in New Orleans over the past few centuries.


Every day, I’ll add an inspiring woman that I’ve come across in my reading—some well-known, some lesser-known, but each one a crucial contributor to the New Orleans of today. I’ll include a quote when possible, a link to more information about each NOLA dame’s life, and an address in New Orleans to commemorate her. 

March 1: 1st LA pharmacist: Sister Francis Xavier Hebert, 1727, establishes medical herb garden at Royal Hospital (Ursuline Convent) Visit this site for more info about Sister Francis Xavier & for photos of today's herb garden. 


March 2: Former African slave Justine Fervin Couvent founds 1st school for orphans of Free People of Colour 1832. More about Mme Couvent here; The Last Will and Testament of La Veuve Couvent states: “I wish and ordain that my land at the corner of Grands Hommes (now Dauphine) and Union (now Touro) streets will be forever dedicated and employed for the establishment of a free school for the orphans of color of the Faubourg Marigny”.


March 3: Journalist & suffragette Elizabeth Lyle Saxon petitions the 1879 LA Constitutional Convention for women’s right to vote. 100 yrs ago today, women marched on Washington for the Right to Vote. More here 


March 4: 1876: journalist & SPCA advocate Eliza Jane Nicholson (pseud Pearl Rivers) named 1st woman daily news publisher in US. Nicholson inherits a nearly-bankrupt New Orleans Picayune and turns it into a successful dynamic newspaper with new features such as special Carnival/Mardi Gras coverage. In 1884, Nicholson becomes president of the Women’s National Press Association. More about Miss Eliza Jane here


March 5: “I will fight for my country but I will not lie for her.” – Zora Neale Hurston, Florida writer & NOLA Voodoo ethnographer  While researching Mules and Men (her fantastic book of folktales and Hoodoo investigation), ZNH lived for a little while at 2744 Amelia Street, New Orleans & later at 7 Bellevue Court in Algiers. 

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