Waiting to cross 7th Avenue in the West Village of New York City last week, I found myself standing beside a white linen-clad Bernie Worrell, the former keyboardist for Parliament-Funkadelic. While that part of the story makes me sound hipper than I actually am (I knew it was him because he made a guest appearance at a superb Vinyl show I had been dragged to the night before), Worrell proved to be more well-rounded than his slight frame suggests. When he heard that I live in New Orleans, he lowered his sunglasses to ask, "You eat at Uggie's?" The moral of the story: even when chatting up a funk legend on a street corner in Manhattan, coolness is measured by your fidelity to Uglesich's (1238 Baronne St., 523-8571). The legendary restaurant is, by the way, open for one more season -- at least (there's always hope). My goal is to eat through the menu before Jazz Fest.
On Thursday between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Cafe Reconcile (1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 568-1157) is hosting a public gathering to unveil a mosaic entitled "What Makes Children Happy?" created by poverty-stricken children and parents in New Orleans. In 1992 the United Nations declared Oct. 17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty; each year the Fourth World Movement sponsors community gatherings and events like this one to recognize victims of "hunger, violence and exclusion." For more information call 899-9950.
A reminder: Martin Wine Cellar (3827 Baronne St., 896-7380; 714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7350) offers free cooking demonstrations and wine tastings every Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. This Saturday, meet Chef Tim Butterly of Belle Forche (1407 Decatur St., 940-0722) at the Metairie location and Chef Erik Veney of Muriel's Jackson Square (801 Chartres St., 568-1885) at the expanding Uptown store. David Martin, who founded the invaluable wine and gourmet food stores, died in September. He was 82. His son, Cedric Martin, has long followed in his father's footsteps and keeps the business in the family.
This weekend German Chef Willy Coln is hosting his 13th annual Oktoberfest bonanza at The Veranda (444 St. Charles Ave., 585-4383) in the Intercontinental Hotel. The festivities include Bavarian foods, German wines and beers and the music of Helmut Fricker and his Polka Band. Call for restaurant hours and more information. I also recommend checking into the Oktoberfest activities at the Deutsches Haus (200 S. Galvez St., 522-8014), which begin at 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday this weekend and next.