|514 Ursulines Avenue today|
Location: 514 Ursulines Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Not to be confused with Brady's, a later bar owned by Alice Brady located at 700 North Ramparts Street.
In Rebels, Rubyfruit, and Rhinestones, James Thomas Sears lists several "most notable institutions before Stonewall" within the City of New Orleans. One of these was the Original Brady's, a lesbian bar which actually had an all-women's band called A.B.'s Children. But the sweet musical offerings didn't necessarily make for a sweet establishment:
At the Original Brady's, no touching or same-sex dancing was allowed, and the short and tough Alice Brady "would put us out of the bar at 5:00 if we didn't have skirts on."
In Sears' account, Brady comes across as a petty martinet--sort of like a southern version of Kooky, who ruled supreme over her New York City cocktail lounge back in the 60s (also featured here at Lost Womyn's Space).
Well, maybe memories grow dimmer with the passage of time, because by 2000, Alice Brady was being praised as a lesbian pioneer:
A friend ran into her the other day, and like the game 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, here in New Orleans we could play 6 Degrees of Alice Brady and almost always connect; that is, if we're old enough to remember Alice Brady. I was surprised to learn that my favorite drag performer who is only slightly MY junior didn't know Alice. Did time change so quickly back then? Things had seemed so static and unchanging....
|North Rampart and Canal Streets (1964)|
Photo: "Looking uptown in the early morning from the neutral ground on N. Rampart Street as a Canal streetcar crosses Rampart heading toward the river. Don't overlook the worker changing the billboard at the far upper right. — R. Hill" (1964)