Sunday, February 21, 2010

Viewers seek out Sookie's haunts

For a tiny pocket of a place, Bon Temps is a mighty interesting corner of Louisiana.

It's got a country bar, old farmhouses and at least one sweet telepathic barmaid with Southern manners and a sense of hospitality no matter how strange the company.

And it's got vampires.

At least it does in the mind of author Charlaine Harris and the producers of HBO's "True Blood."

But Bon Temps can't be located on any Louisiana map, despite how familiar the place seems to fans of the show and Harris' Southern Vampire Series and waitress Sookie Stackhouse.

That doesn't keep some folks from seeking it out.

In their quest, many have inquired in Shreveport and Monroe, two cities that have seen their share of action for our heroine and telepathic waitress.

Shreveport, for example, has the distinction of being home to the fictional Fangtasia, a vampire bar that has seen its share of danger in nine books and two television seasons.

"Everybody wants to know about the 'True Blood' bar," said Brandy Evans of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau.

"We don't have a vampire bar, but we do have lots of other bars."

Here are some places in Shreveport and Monroe that might offer a taste of the landscape that inspired Bon Temps. Shreveport

About 15 miles from the Texas border, Shreveport and Bossier City straddle the Red River.

Sookie fans know Shreveport as the home of Fangtasia, a bar run by handsome but not-to-be-trusted vampire Eric Northman. It is also the workplace of Alcide Herveaux, one of Sookie's werewolf friends.

The two cities and surround? ing areas have many attractions for human visitors.

Louisiana Boardwalk: A trolley runs through the collection of shops nestled by the Red River. The area also has multiple restaurants and a movie theater. You can board the Spirit of the Red River Cruise here.

Film Trail: Shreveport has been a stand-in for places as diverse as Paris, New York and Kodiak, Alaska. In addition to "True Blood," "The Guardian" and "Mr. Brooks" have filmed there. Check out www.shreve? for a guide to Shreveport in the movies.

Casinos: Five riverfront casinos and one casino/racetrack lure the betting kind. But the casinos also offer restaurants, entertainment, spas and pools.

R.W. Norton Art Gallery: The museum sits on 47 acres in a residential neighborhood near downtown. The museum's collection includes 19th-century American and European art, antique dolls dressed in the Louisiana fashions of 1720-1920 and antique firearms. The grounds feature more than 20,000 azaleas that bloom in late March or early April. Admission is free.

Dorcheat Bayou: Mark Norris fell in love with the bayou and its moss-draped cypress and tupelo trees when he took a canoe trip as a child. Now he runs Norris Canoe Outfitters, which offers guided half-day to weeklong tours of the waterway.

Depending on the day, paddlers may see any of up to 50 species of birds, "some native and some not so native," Norris said. And alligators. Plenty of alligators. His office is at 731 Main in Minden, about 30 miles east of Shreveport. (318) 588-0166.

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True Blood Music Video of the Day: Amazing Life by Jem

Thanks, saroufim93

Amazing Life by Jem