Caroline Gerdes

Getting the Story: 125 Years of National Geographic Writing

For 125 years, National Geographic writers have travelled around the world and lived the adventure.  Their stories provide glimpses into exciting, stunning and sometimes dangerous places.  The world’s best-known magazine received the 2013 National Magazine Award for General Excellence in its ...

Step Right Up, for Emily Ainsworth’s “Worlds Apart”

After graduating from literature and anthropology programs at Oxford and Cambridge, Emily Ainsworth’s surprising next step was to run away to the Mexican circus. While performing as dancer “Princess Aurora,” Ainsworth photographed the expedition as a National Geographic Young ...

Step Right Up, for Emily Ainsworth’s “Worlds Apart”

After graduating from literature and anthropology programs at Oxford and Cambridge, Emily Ainsworth’s surprising next step was to run away to the Mexican circus. While performing as dancer “Princess Aurora,” Ainsworth photographed the expedition as a National Geographic Young ...

High Rise Threatens Integrity of Ninth Ward Community

  I spent the better part of my first year as a college graduate living in the past.  No, not missing college — well maybe a little — but recording living memory of the Ninth Ward through a National Geographic Young Explorers ...

High Rise Threatens Integrity of Ninth Ward Community

  I spent the better part of my first year as a college graduate living in the past.  No, not missing college — well maybe a little — but recording living memory of the Ninth Ward through a National Geographic Young Explorers ...

Spring Means Crawfish Boils in Louisiana

Why do Louisianans eat these weird looking things? It isn’t spring in Louisiana without an inaugural crawfish boil. Crawfish (not crayfish) season spans from March to June. Louisiana spring festivities are marked with Crawfish.  I can’t imagine Easter ...

New Orleans St. Joseph’s Day and its Magic Beans

  There was a package waiting for me on the doorstep last week. It hadn’t travelled a great distance, just from one end of New Orleans to the other. It was from one of my oral history subjects. Now, ...

True or False? 10 Mardi Gras Questions Answered

“Mardi Gras” is almost synonymous with “New Orleans.” From the parades and the food to the music and the costumes, its imagery is recognized around the world. While part of a wider cultural celebration of festivity before the beginning of ...

Mardi Gras Goes to the Dogs

  Some may picture Mardi Gras as a wild celebration — suited for tail chasing, party animals. They would be right. But only in the case of the Mystic Krewe Barkus, New Orleans most prestigious dog Mardi Gras celebration. Barkus will ...

The 12th Day of Christmas Marks the First Day of Mardi Gras

  In New Orleans, when the winter holiday season comes to a close, the party has only just begun. Louisiana actually observes three holiday seasons in a row.  The first spans from Thanksgiving to New Years. Then, the 12th  Day ...

Bonfires Light the Way for Papa Noel in Louisiana

Being on the naughty list and not having a chimney are typical childhood concerns on Christmas. The most common question, “How will Santa find my house?” has a solution in Cajun country. It is a Christmas Eve tradition in the ...

Seven Years After the Storm, Katrina Tours Cause Controversy

Sitting in Jane Sedgebeer’s renovated post-Katrina home, adorned with New Orleans memorabilia and photos of grandchildren, one can easily forget how the house looked in August 2005. But, the drive to this interview was quite literally rocky. The streets in ...