Introducing “New Orleans Most Entangled”
Hello Entangled Friends,
Warm weather is upon us and many have been vaccinated, which means we are slowly getting back into the norm of what spring would be here in New Orleans (sadly sans festivals again). I thought it would be the perfect time to launch my monthly “New Orleans Most Entangled” feature. Each month, I will talk about someone who embodies what it means to be a classic New Orleanian. Their stories, their careers, and their way of life. And most importantly, how they give back to this great community. I couldn’t think of a better person, or better yet, pair, to begin with than Robin and Scott Borne.
In the six podcasts I have recorded (only three released…) Robin was twice-mentioned as being the one of the most “New Orleans” people my guests know. My friend and podcast guest Caroline Rosen put it best after I asked the question. She said [paraphrased] “If you call Robin, at any given time, she’s always bedazzling some sort of costume or object.” In short – she always has something celebratory on the horizon that she’s planning for. Because that is what Robin does best – celebrating an occasion or a person dear to her. Her life’s mission is a constant thanks and praise to those around her and this magical city. Her resume is insane – from maître-d’ing at Commanders, to special events for Sue Zemanick’s restaurant Zasu, and her former shop on Carrolton, Söpö. The latter was filled with home and fashion finds, and carried many local artists and craftsmen (she broke my heart when she closed it, it was my go-to for gifts). She now has a clean eating bakery that rivals any of the best naughty treats you’ve ever had. Despite having to homeschool her children during quarrantine, Robin began a business that uniquely and celebratory-ily serves others. It is aptly titled ReBorne Bakery.
Scott may just win for most New Orleans when it comes to career. He is the former Music Director of WWOZ since Katrina – perhaps the most important and vital time in the station’s history, and still hosts “The Morning Set with Scott Borne” every Thursday from 6am to 9am, which highlights the best in contemporary jazz. He played a large part in building the treasured radio station’s digital database, among many other strong achievements there. He is also the co-owner of the record label perfectly named “Sinking City Records” and is a music app entrepreneur. He has one of the most welcoming and warm smiles in the world, and a subtle but perfect local accent that we all would expect from a WWOZ legend.
Robin serves on the boards of City Park and Friends of City Park, and she and Scott are also involved with the Music Box Village and New Orleans Airlift, and Ecole Bilingue, among many other community organizations. I do not think the duo has ever said no when asked to help an individual or establishment. They have the biggest hearts in the Big Easy.
Now we can’t talk about the Bornes without mentioning their home. And it’s not just a home, its an unofficial community center, constantly welcoming and hosting. And it has a name, the Borne Again Church. The main structure, the former Lutheran Mount Calvary church, along with its accompanied buildings, was built around a century ago. The original altar now serves as the bar in the party room or “Wrectory” as they call it, just underneath the property’s guest quarters. The main house, with interior design by my fabulous friends at Logan Killen, is a complete show-stopper (you may have caught a glimpse via Architectural Digest online or recently in print in New Orleans Homes magazine). The loft just under the bell tower features Scott’s vast record collection and was also where podcast guest Alexis Marceaux of Sweet Crude filmed a music video.
I have been to many parties at Robin and Scott’s house, from Robin “throwing” something spectacular together on the stove as our children play, to a New Years Eve throw down, to birthday parties and baby showers. But the absolute best Borne party to attend is their post-Jazz Fest concert. That’s right: living steps from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival is not enough for Robin and Scott. Hosting friends for an after party? Too small a gesture for them. The couple has The Lost Bayou Ramblers come and close down the second Friday of Jazz Fest, respectfully, right in their own backyard. Yep, they’re that damn cool.
I won’t even attempt to discuss their friend roster. But let’s just say the contacts section on their phones is…impressive. But that is my favorite thing about the Bornes. Everyone who steps into their home is treated with the same hospitality and enthusiasm. Robin and Scott have never met a stranger, and they love every type of human being. This is most clear in their young son and daughter. I have never seen two children more eager to share and play with everyone in their path. And of course, their children are learning fluent French. This family is truly keeping the Louisiana torch of love, hospitality, and tradition alive.
Ashley Zatarain Jeansonne