NOLA Gathering to Watch Their City’s Star Turn in "Treme"

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In the family center of the Charbonnet-Labat-Glapion Funeral Home on St. Philip Street, the local historic neighborhood association came together for a meeting on Sunday night. After a few mentions of “beautification issues,” they got down to the matter at hand: in a few minutes’ time, the city’s Tremé neighborhood, unknown to most and mispronounced by many, was about to become very, very famous.

The viewing party at the funeral home — red carpet attire requested — was one of countless all over town on Sunday night for the first episode of the HBO series “Treme,” a narrative of the city that starts in the months after Hurricane Katrina and one of the mostly widely anticipated shows here in years. (The show’s name, unlike the neighborhood’s, is unaccented; both are pronounced treh-MAY.)

People crowded in to watch at bars, like the Ernie K-Doe Mother-in-Law Lounge and Buffa’s. Others horse-traded with friends who have HBO: I’ll cook dinner if I can watch at your place.

When the premiere ended and the lights went up at the funeral home, the floor was open for reactions.

“The Mardi Gras Indian,” a woman said, hesitating, “didn’t quite cut it.”

David Simon, the creator of “Treme” and, previously, HBO’s “The Wire,” realizes he is playing for a tough crowd. The show is packed with references tailor-made for the locals, from Brocato’s lemon ices to the bread pudding at Lil Dizzy’s, from the difficulty of staffing a restaurant in the months after the hurricane to the abomination of imported crawfish....

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