Benjamin Morris

Jan 222012

Benjamin Morris

Empires rise and fall. Nations abide with the tides. Even glaciers and mountains shift their positions over time. In the grand scheme of things, there are certain forms of change about which we can do little, and which we must learn to accept. But then – sometimes – there are presences whose passage is worthy of our closest attention. After a brief break for the holidays, one of those has returned.

His name is Wheels.

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Jan 152012

Benjamin Morris

The making of a good hamburger requires a number of elements: quality, freshly-made ingredients. Premium ground beef, preferably made in-house. Creative, insightful presentation on the plate. A generous portion of sides. Good company, great service, a convivial setting in which to enjoy it, and of course, an ice-cold brew to wash it all down – when it comes to burgers, these are a few of my favorite things.

But there’s one more thing that a hamburger has to have, otherwise it’s all for naught.

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Jan 082012

Benjamin Morris

Technology has revolutionized the way we read and write. Never before has more information been more readily available at such speed, whether from the producing end — publishing, posting, blogging, or tweeting — or the consuming end. Undoubtedly, more access yields many benefits to our society: greater transparency and accountability in government, more routes to literacy, and sure, more options for entertainment. Caught up in this whirlwind transformation, however, are the civic institutions which are responsible for the basic care and stewardship of our reading experience: libraries.

Believe it or not, there’s a great way to support your local library amid all this change: buy more books.

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Dec 312011

Benjamin Morris

New Year’s resolutions are as entertaining as the parties in which we make them. There’s an art form to them, however, in that they can effectively be broken down into three main categories: those you make to keep, those you make for the sport of it, and my favorite of all, those you make with full awareness that your vow will last only until Mardi Gras, or if you’re having a particularly good time, the arrival of the Phunny Phorty Phellows. A few years ago, however, I finally found one that stuck.

I resolved to run for fifty percent fewer trains.

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Dec 242011

Benjamin Morris

It’s easy to drive right past it: the tiny sign on Pearl Street that says P2. Woe betide the traveler with lazy eyes, however, who would miss a hidden gem deep inside the Black Pearl. Located at 7576 Pearl Street, between Hillary and Cherokee, the artist Frahn Koerner has converted her home and studio to become one of the Prospect.2 satellite exhibitions. Exhibiting her works alongside those of Mary Jane Parker, Koerner’s show is well worth seeking out – in part because it teaches us how to see.

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Dec 132011

Benjamin Morris

A human-sized halo of bells. A fifteen-foot tall stairstep organ, whose pipes blow under the feet of men and women walking up and down. A bass-line driven by a stethoscope, held to the human heart. A house whose boards and windows and rafters serve as pure percussion, played by a musician whose sole purpose is to tap out a beat on every surface that it offers. A weathervane whose funnels play chords in major keys. Such are a few of the delights of the Dithyrambalina, otherwise known as the Music Box House, on Piety Street in the Bywater.

The closing night’s performance lasted just under an hour: too short. Too short by far.

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Dec 042011

Benjamin Morris

Oxymoronic as it may sound, pop-ups are now a fixture in our local landscape. Naturally for New Orleans, our chefs and restaurateurs first blazed the pop-up trail by finding new and creative ways to promote their creations, the vanguard formed by such establishments as MV Burger popping up at Slim Goodies Diner in Uptown, BooKoo Barbecue popping up at Finn McCool’s Irish Pub in Mid-City, and down on Frenchmen Street, the taco truck formerly on Washington Square Park now popping up in the kitchen of Cafe Negril. Economically, pop-ups are brilliant: little to no overhead, the buzz surrounding their appearance a burst of free advertising, and an opportunity to cater to a hungry public with a minimum of staff or long-term maintenance costs.

But chefs take note. There’s a new game in town: the art gallery pop-up.

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Nov 272011

Benjamin Morris


A chilly Thursday night. Tulane’s auditorium was full, the lights already dimmed, the audience alert, the staff restive and ready to start the show, but moments before the host began the evening’s introductions, a fire alarm suddenly sounded.

The crowd emptied onto the street, spilling out the doors to form a loose, nervous assemblage on the sidewalks, huddling together for warmth, unsure whether the show would go on. Staff members brandished their phones, receiving vague assurances from the authorities. Someone called out, to laughter, “Let’s just do it out here!” Precious minutes slipping away, the honored guest shrugged as if to say, sure, why not?

Yet when the host finally received the all-clear, and the crowd streamed back inside the auditorium, the room was – somehow – even more tightly packed than before.

And they say that poetry makes nothing happen.

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Nov 122011

Be careful what you wish for! This past August, at a conference to mark the 6-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Mitch Landrieu noted that there were plenty of foods available in other states that were unavailable in New Orleans. Recalling a recent trip to Iowa, he made his point clear: “You can’t get pork chop on a stick at, say, Dat Dog,” he suggested to the audience.

Dat Dog would simply like to say: some dreams do come true.

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Oct 282011

Moldaner’s Camera & Imaging is proud to announce the newest member of the family: its new state-of-the-art Epson 9890 printer. This beautiful machine prints up to 40×60, canvas, fine-art reproduction, poster prints, and giclée prints — printing everything but the kitchen sink. Call Moldaner’s today to see how it can be put to work for you, and for customers who mention the Uptown Messenger when they place an order from this machine, receive 25% off the entire order! This offer is good through Thanksgiving only.

Moldaner’s is ranked in the top three camera shops in the Gambit Weekly’s Best of New Orleans poll. Call 504-866-6757 or email for a free consultation to learn more about what Moldaner’s Camera & Imaging can do for you. Limited-time only specials are available on the Moldaner’s Facebook page, or visit the Moldaner’s website at for more information.

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Oct 272011

Running around for Halloween? Need somewhere to stash all that candy? Keep it all together in your brand new NOLA Til Ya Die backpack, featuring the iconic Hurricane Head with ‘the river in his grin.’ Keep your flask, water bottle, and koozies in one place, and make sure you have stickers for your friends! Enter discount code “BOO” for 10% off any order between now and Halloween, AND, because the holidays are almost here, with that same code receive a free t-shirt (our pick) with any order over $25 for the rest of the year!

For more information, visit Trick or Treat!

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Oct 182011

Saints fans! Fresco Cafe is continuing its football special from September: with the purchase of any large gourmet pizza, enjoy a pitcher of Miller Lite or Abita Amber for $1 only. Yes, you read that right – a full pitcher of ice-cold beer for just one dollar. No matter which team you support, now that’s something you can really root for! Throw in the new fall special – a cranberry and walnut chicken salad, served either as a wrap or over greens for just $8.75 – for a perfect way to cheer on the black and gold.

Whether you’re looking for a place to grab lunch between classes (Fresco Cafe accepts the Tulane SplashCard and NolaBucks), or need a spot to meet clients or colleagues, Fresco Cafe is the perfect choice. Fresco Cafe is located at 7625 Maple Street, and is open from 11-10 nightly. For more information visit the Fresco Cafe website at, visit their Facebook page, or call 504-862-6363 to place an order. Online ordering is available at

Oct 152011

Admiral Security Services provides customized security programs and services for a wide range of sectors, businesses, and events across the Gulf South. For over 15 years, Admiral Security Services has provided quality protection for conventions, exhibits, commercial and industrial sites, film sets, and private events such as weddings, receptions, and parties.

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to host an event this summer, a business owner looking to secure your investment, or a hotelier or convention organizer looking to safeguard your facility, Admiral Security Services provides you more than just protection: it provides you total peace of mind.

Keep reading for further details.

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Oct 112011

Fall is just around the corner, and to celebrate the change in seasons, the New Deal Hair Salon is pleased to offer a discount on all wetline hair products for the month of October. With the mention of this ad on the Uptown Messenger, all shampoos and conditioners from Framesi and Eufora will be 20% off all month long. Call Randy Spitler to set up your appointment today.

The New Deal Hair Salon is where you go when you want to experience talent and a true desire to make you happy with your hair. Free consultations are always available. The New Deal Hair Salon is located at 7321 Freret, just two blocks from Tulane, next to Café Freret. Sessions are by appointment only – for appointments call 504.861.7111.

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Oct 102011

Zatarain’s is proud to support Chefs Move!, a year-long scholarship program for minority students from New Orleans to attend culinary school at the French Culinary Institute in New York. This year, Chef John Besh will be the local-area mentor for the program. The scholarships, which include full tuition, room and board, equipment, and travel, are paired with job placement assistance while in New York and an intensive 8-week internship with a Besh Restaurant Group restaurant.

Keep reading for more details on the Chefs Move! program.

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