Katherine Hart

Mar 202019
 

Preliminary rendering of the Carrollton Courthouse redevelopment (courtesy of Waggoner & Ball)

The City Council rejected an appeal Thursday from a neighborhood group wanting to send the Carrollton Courthouse renovation plans back to the Historic District Landmarks Commission, but it could put the design for an assisted living facility in the historic building back on the drawing board anyway.

The Maple Area Residents Inc., or MARI, objected to the commission’s “conceptual approval” of the developer’s plans, citing concerns with the additions to the original building. Continue reading »

Mar 172019
 

An offering of fava beans in front of an image of St. Joseph at the altar in St. Stephen’s Church on Napoleon Avenue in 2015. Behind the beans is a pignolatti, pastry molded into the shape of a pine cone, representing the pine cones Jesus played with as a child. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

The St. Joseph’s altar is one of those Catholic traditions, in this case a Sicilian Catholic tradition, that, through some very creative adaption, south Louisiana has made its own. Among all the breads and cakes shaped into religious symbols — a monstrance, chalice, cross, heart, dove, Bible — it’s not unusual to find an alligator. A Lenten symbol, perhaps. Continue reading »

Mar 052019
 

The sun is expected to shine over Mardi Gras, but costumes will need to an extra layer to ward off a chill. The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures in the low 50s.

Zulu riders hand out coconuts on St. Charles Avenue. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

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Mar 042019
 

The rain has cleared out for Lundi Gras, though some clouds may linger, the National Weather Service reports. Temperatures are expected to drop to the lower 40s tonight, so winter gear will be required to watch last night parades of the season, Proteus and Orpheus.

The “Soma, the Moon” float in the Krewe of Proteus rolls on Napoleon Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Mar 032019
 

With severe thunderstorm threatening the New Orleans area, today’s daytime parades will roll one hour earlier than originally scheduled. So that they can move out ahead of the storms, only the floats will parade. No bands or dance troupes will perform in Okeanos, Mid-City or Thoth. Bacchus currently remains as scheduled.

Okeanos will now roll at 10 a.m. (originally scheduled for 11 a.m.). Mid-City will now roll at 11 a.m. or following Okeanos (originally scheduled for noon). Thoth will now roll at 11 a.m. or following Mid-City (originally scheduled for noon). Continue reading »

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Mar 022019
 

With a 20 percent chance of rain, there’s a chance the Krewe of Iris’ special relationship with the goddess of the skies will keep riders and revelers dry along the parade route today. The National Weather Service on Friday also predicted a high near 75 and a calm wind, meaning the throws will fly freely toward their intended targets.

The Krewe of Iris rolls on St. Charles Avenue in 2018. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Mar 012019
 

There’s a chance of showers and thunderstorms tonight, about 30 percent before 11 p.m., the National Weather Service predicts, with a low around 64 degrees. It’s looking a little better than other parade nights this week, so Hermes, d’Etat and Morpheus are expected to roll on time.

For updates, see the city’s parade tracker. You can also text MARDIGRAS to 888777 to get updates on your phone. Descriptions and route maps for tonight’s parades are below. Plus you can find need-to-know parade day information here and parking and transportation information here.

The Krewe of Hermes rolls on Magazine Street in 2018. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Feb 282019
 

The crowd on Magazine Street for the Krewe of Muses. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The city has announced changes to tonight’s parade schedule. The rain in the forecast has forced the city to delay the three evening parades. Babylon, Chaos and Muses will now roll later than originally scheduled: Babylon at 7, followed by Chaos and Muses.

The National Weather Service reports that an unsettled flow pattern from the west will bring rain and some storms in the New Orleans area throughout the next few days. Showers and thunderstorms are expected for the remainder of this evening.

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Feb 272019
 

The final week of the Carnival season opens with the Ancient Druids, a highly secretive all-male krewe that presents a parade with old-line elegance, and the Krewe of Nyx, an exuberant all-female krewe that has grown exponentially to become the newest superkrewe. The two krewes are known for taking jabs at each other with their floats.

The parades follow the same route, starting on Jefferson and Magazine and turning on Napoleon before rolling on St. Charles Avenue into the CBD. See the route map below.

The National Weather Service gives Wednesday evening a 30 percent chance of showers, with a low around 64 degrees. For updates on the parades, see the city’s parade tracker. For need-to-know parade day information, see here.  For parking and transportation information, see here.

The Druids roll on Magazine Street in 2018. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Feb 242019
 

The first Uptown parade weekend closes out today with a full slate of four crowd-pleasing parades. The National Weather Service predicts perfect parade conditions: sunny with a high near 66 degrees.

The Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale “Mistress of the Robes” float rolls on Napoleon Avenue, reflecting the crowd in the mirrored compact adorning the float. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Femme Fatale

Established in 2013, the Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale presents one of Uptown’s newest parades. This year’s grand marshals are Grammy-winning singer Irma Thomas and Essence Fest producer Gina Charbonnet. The 600-member all-female krewe’s colors are candy-apple red, white and black, and the signature throw is a mirrored compact. Look for Cherchez La Femme, a 40-member dance troupe comprised of krewe members. The 2019 theme is “MKFF Presents Story Time!”

START: 11 a.m. at Napoleon Avenue and Magazine Street
Proceeds on Napoleon to St. Charles Avenue. Then it takes St. Charles to Canal Street to Tchoupitloulas.
END: Tchoupitoulas and Poydras
See the route map below. Continue reading »

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Feb 222019
 

The current parks millage provides funding for the Audubon zoo and aquarium. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The City Council on Thursday passed the cooperative endeavor agreement that unites the four major entities that manage greenspace and recreation facilities for the city, although it would take effect without the passage of a millage reallocation that goes on the ballot in May.

The agreement unifies the oversight for the city’s park and recreation assets under the cooperative plan. It includes City Park, the Audubon Commission, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, and Parks and Parkways.

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Feb 152019
 

Michele Benjamin (courtesy of Loyola’s Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice)

After spending her entire adult life behind bars, Michele Benjamin learned Monday that she will be able to go free, the Loyola University Law Clinic has announced.

Benjamin, 41, was a teenager when she was sentenced to life without parole in 1996 for the murder of a German tourist in New Orleans.

The Loyola law clinic began filing appeals in her case not long after life sentences for juveniles were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012. That ruling, in Miller v. Alabama, was made retroactive by the Louisiana Supreme Court in 2016, paving the way for Benjamin’s release on parole.

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Feb 112019
 

The building at 7457 St. Charles Ave. has been vacant since 2017. (via City Planning Commission)

Plans for a nail salon on St. Charles Avenue near the universities were scuttled after the City Council failed to vote on a zoning-change request within 60 days of City Planning Commission’s recommendation.

The Planning Commission was unanimous in its support of La Vang Pearl, the company that purchased 7457 St. Charles Ave. to turn it into a nail salon. The building at Cherokee Street, originally a grocery store, was home to a number of short-lived restaurants in recent years.

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Jan 032019
 

(via auduboninstitute.org)

Voters in May will decide on milestone changes to how the city funds and operates its public recreational spaces. To give New Orleanians a clearer understanding of how these cherished city services could be overhauled, the Carrollton Area Network is holding a public forum Jan. 14.

Presenters from the Audubon Institute, the New Orleans Recreation Development
Commission, Parks and Parkways and New Orleans City Park will discuss at a forum moderated by Keith Twitchell of the Committee for Better New Orleans.

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Dec 112018
 

A rendering of the McDonald’s proposed for 3321 St. Charles Avenue. (via City of New Orleans)

The City Council gave McDonald’s approval to redevelop its St. Charles Avenue restaurant at its Dec. 6 meeting. The two-story structure in the Garden District will be torn down and replaced.

Planners and preservationists have been working with the fast-food chain for two years to determine an appropriate design for a purpose that the city has deemed inappropriate for the area. Fast-food restaurants are now essentially barred from the St. Charles overlay district, which has specific restrictions to make the area more pedestrian friendly and less auto-centric.

With the current building deemed a nonconforming use, the reconstruction project required a text amendment to the comprehensive zoning ordinance and a conditional-use permit. Both received City Council approval on Thursday.

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