Robert Morris

Sep 222016
 
Jay Dardenne speaks to the Bureau of Governmental Research in New Orleans on Thursday morning. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Jay Dardenne speaks to the Bureau of Governmental Research in New Orleans on Thursday morning. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne told the Bureau of Governmental Research today that the state will have no choice but to make additional cuts to departments and agencies of state government starting in January 2017 to balance the budget for the remainder of the fiscal year that ends June 30. It’s simply a matter of cash flow, Dardenne explained. Continue reading »

Sep 212016
 
Author Ethan Brown answers questions after reading from his new book, "Murder in the Bayou," on Wednesday evening at Octavia Books. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Author Ethan Brown answers questions after reading from his new book, “Murder in the Bayou,” on Wednesday evening at Octavia Books. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

When journalist Ethan Brown began researching the interconnected, unsolved slayings of eight women in rural Louisiana for what would become his new book, “Murder in the Bayou,” he knew he had immersed himself in a chronicle of the abuse of police power and easily discarded lives.

What Brown didn’t know until much later, however, was that a central location in those women’s lives and deaths would lead him straight to a well-known employee of U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, in a connection that is now drawing more attention than the unsolved murders themselves.

“That was a really surprising moment, to say the least,” Brown said. “I never imagined it would be someone who works for a Congressman.” Continue reading »

Sep 212016
 
The #Pokemonument, photographed near Coliseum Square in early August, will be auctioned this Sunday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The #Pokemonument, photographed near Coliseum Square in early August, will be auctioned this Sunday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

By Claire Byun

The rogue artists behind the mysterious Pokemon statue erected in Coliseum Square Park earlier this summer hope to use the monument as a force for good, and the neighborhood and its fountains stand to benefit from their efforts after the statue is auctioned off this weekend. Continue reading »

Sep 212016
 
A second line for Cindy McCurry will be held this weekend. (courtesy photo)

The late Cindy McCurry, photographed at the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. A second line for her will be held on Saturday through the French Quarter. (courtesy photo)

Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

My family and I might never have met our beloved neighbor Cindy because we never intended to live on S Liberty St; it just sort of happened.  One day in 2006 while slinging lattes down at my then day job I took a phone call from some one seeking to sell a piece of property.  After my shift ended I pedaled over to examine the wreck of a double that would become my future home.  Initially my wife and I decided to purchase the careworn home as an investment and rent it out.  But after starting the work and getting to know the neighbors, we paused and shifted our focus.  This was the house and these were the people we wanted to raise our kids around.  And when Cindy and her husband Bob arrived a year later moving in to the white single story across the street, they could not have been a better fit.  Earlier this month and quite unexpectedly, Cindy passed, and S Liberty St just won’t be the same.

Front porches.  In 2015 Matthew McConaughey composed and shared a beautiful perspective to this immutable facet to life in the Crescent City.  Our almost daily exchange with Cindy and Bob embodied their presence on their front porch.  The same front porch Cindy meticulously would curate for most any and every holiday.  A true spectacle each time, always with the utmost attention to detail and maximum effort.  After all, if it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing well, right?  Halloween epitomized these forays into the celebrated life she lived.  I mused on it once, and always found inspiration in her executions, not that she could ever be topped.  She was the queen bee here.  I would imagine even a little compulsive, like she had to do it, otherwise what’s the point?  So get out of the way or lend a hand; these decorations were going to happen, and be ready to be impressed.

Forget the holidays.  That front porch, that was their perch most days of the year.  Their gateway to connecting to the city and to us.  A growing family, we are always coming and going.  Over the last 9 years those few moments here and there however brief, catching up for a few minutes or more while dashing off to ballet or returning from the school day, these ordinary exchanges wove the fabric of our very being without even realizing it.  My two youngest daughters, now aged 5 and 7, have only known a world with Cindy in it.  How she always gave so selflessly of her time and attention.  My children, my wife and I grew to adore Cindy – and Bob too of course – their pairing and presence presumed to be a fixture.  But life happens, and things change.  When we learned of Cindy’s passing we all sort of stopped.  Myself I was traveling when I heard, and I broke down immediately.  Each day since – – – well, it varies.

No coincidences.  Raising four young women in our household and having the privilege to share our lives with Cindy’s illuminated sensibility, our paths were unquestionably meant to cross.  Our four little ladies looking up to Cindy’s unabashed approach in what it means to be a woman living your life on your terms as loud and as proud as you want, meeting life’s moments however ordinary as an opportunity to elevate them and make them something more.  I will never forget, last year in her infectious trademark giggle she called out to my wife and I, each of us adorned in not much more than luchador masks and booty shorts, “So long slut puppies!” as we departed to join our dance krewe.  So long, Cindy. Our hearts are heavy in losing you, but your light and energy will always be an inspiration. Thank you.

A second line will take place this Saturday celebrating Cindy’s life, details here.  If you knew Cindy, I hope to see you there.  And If you didn’t know Cindy, well, she certainly wouldn’t mind if you tag along and surely would enjoy the company.

Jean-Paul Villere is the owner of Villere Realty 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.

Sep 202016
 
A rendering of the riverfront after the proposed expansion of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. (via mccno.com)

A rendering of the riverfront after the proposed expansion of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. (via mccno.com)

The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has applied for a land-use change to allow a 300-foot hotel at their planned upriver expansion, drawing questions from neighbors in nearby Coliseum Square on Monday evening. Continue reading »

Sep 162016
 
U.S. Secretary of Education John King discusses an experiment on soil samples with students Shamon Gurley and Jordyn Smith in Ariee Smith's AP Environmental Science class. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

U.S. Secretary of Education John King discusses an experiment on soil samples with students Shamon Gurley and Jordyn Smith in Ariee Smith’s AP Environmental Science class. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

When U.S. Secretary of Education John King visited Walter Cohen College Prep High School on Friday afternoon in recognition of its dramatic increase in test scores, former board member Kenneth Polite asked him one of the most difficult questions facing the New Orleans education landscape: Why are the city’s public schools so segregated, and what can make them more diverse? Continue reading »

Sep 162016
 
The building at 4310 Magazine Street will become an expansion of Ecole Bilingue, as Peaches Records has now moved into the larger building next door. (image via Google)

The building at 4310 Magazine Street will become an expansion of Ecole Bilingue, as Peaches Records has now moved into the larger building next door. (image via Google)

The former Top Drawer annex building on Magazine Street will become an expansion site for Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle Orleans, and the school will hold a meeting tonight to share its plans with neighbors. Continue reading »

Sep 152016
 
A rendering of the play yard planned for Stuart Hall School for Boys on South Carrollton Avenue (via City of New Orleans)

A rendering of the play yard planned for Stuart Hall School for Boys on South Carrollton Avenue (via City of New Orleans)

The house at 2014-2018 South Carrollton will be demolished to make way for the play yard. (via City of New Orleans)

The house at 2014-2018 South Carrollton will be demolished to make way for the play yard. (via City of New Orleans)

Stuart Hall School for Boys easily won approval for its plan to replace a vacant home on South Carrollton Avenue with a new play yard, even though the request renewed neighbors’ complaints about traffic that have been festering for more than a decade. Continue reading »

Sep 132016
 

(images via opcso.org)

(images via opcso.org)

A 15-year-old has been arrested, released and arrested again in the past week in connection with two robberies in the university area and is a strong suspect in a third, New Orleans police said, and three other men have been arrested in a separate armed robbery on Hampson Street amid a wave of several other unrelated robberies around the area. Continue reading »