Jan 232013
 

Jean-Paul Villere

Skipping for now over the Big Game hoo-ha that’s about to consume our nation’s attention (and glossing over the ample high dollar unlicensed daily rental scofflaws at the local level), I recently gave a glance to the proposed parade routes for this Carnival and raised my right eyebrow.  The traditional upper Napoleon route (read: where Rex rolls) is apparently still going to remain in effect this season despite the massive sandbox it has become a la a Michael Bay movie.  With all the chainlink, piledriving, construction equipment, and urban setting to me it looks like what I would imagine any given day shooting Transformers 4 would look like.  (I’m looking around for Mr. LeBouef but quickly remember Mr. Wahlberg will be assuming the lead in this next excursion into pseudo-future robotic mayhem, which in and of itself is funny because the theme song to the original cartoon film released in the theater in the 80s, which I saw in said theater BTW, was covered by Marky Mark when he starred in Boogie Nights.  Digressive nerdgasm accomplished.)

Anyway, Napoleon is a wreck, a nightmare, a veritable adult-sized Tonka truck meltdown.  And definitely not parade ready.  Specifically from maybe Dryades all the way up to South Claiborne where progressively the drain work / street construction gets worse and worse the closer you get to the hospital.  This has to be an oversight on somebody’s part, right?  Who are the krewes going to be throwing to on the neutral ground side!?  It’s in no way of use to the public, and I’m no lawyer or insurer but I’m going to go out on a limb and offer it’s likely a pretty good liability on the part of the city and their contractor.  Kids going to chase after shiny plastic whatzits falling into a cavernous pit.  The stuff that TV shows are made of.  Right in the heart of the Crescent City.  Right in the middle of the world’s largest free party.  Free flowing alcohol and over consumption paired with heavy equipment and active street repair.  This could get ugly.

Remember too Mardi Gras weekend when much like the mythical Kraken the meter maids will be released in droves to wreak havoc on all the well-meaning revelers that poorly chose to drive to the Uptown parades and park somewhere, anywhere, usually the median.  If ever there were a time to bike it, this is it.  In years past the Napoleon neutral ground gets parked up from St Charles all the way well past Freret.  And let’s add that to this year’s sandbox and voila, nastiness squared.  People might be parking as far back as Jefferson Ave this year.  And parking on its median!  It could happen.  Too many love their cars and too few will ride their bikes.  Plus, too many will trek in from outside Orleans Parish to reasonably travel without a car.  Lastly, there’s the traffic when the parades are over!  Napoleon already slows to a crawl on most any commuter’s evening drive out of the city.  Add in Carnival and sha-bam! instant gridlock.  

No thanks. Good luck locals; guard your driveways!

Jean-Paul Villere is the owner of Villere Realty and Du Mois Gallery on Freret Street and a married father of four girls. In addition to his Wednesday column at UptownMessenger.com, he also shares his family’s adventures sometimes via pedicab or bicycle on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.mcarthur.10 Jim McArthur

    Maybe they should instead take the route UP Napoleon Avenue this year, as most Uptown krewes do every year?