UptownMessenger.com

Aug 252016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Yesterday evening, the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee heard from seven of the two dozen candidates running for the U.S. Senate to replace David Vitter. Although their endorsement won’t be announced until after tonight’s forum for candidates running for judgeships and Orleans Parish School Board, it was obvious from the vibe in the room that state Treasurer John Kennedy is the clear choice of many New Orleans Republican heavy hitters. Continue reading »

Aug 242016
 
The corner lot at the beginning of the summer. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere)

The corner lot at the beginning of the summer. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere)

Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

As summer’s sizzle dissipates over the coming weeks, the back-to-school throngs may muse on their most recent season away from academia, and some may even have it as their premiere assignment upon recommencement.  While I don’t really recall in my younger years a time when this was asked of my fertile student mind, my 42-year-old memory ain’t what she used to be.  So color me pseudo-nostalgically amused when my oldest had this very task put to her and she wrote about our family train trip to Chicago.  Which I totally dug too.  Except, and in honest reflection, my real takeaway for summer 2016?  Pecking away, hours over days and largely singlehandedly, at an overwhelmingly under-maintained vacant corner lot in my neighborhood. Continue reading »

Aug 122016
 
El Fuego Brisket and Flame Torched Jack and Catfish and Chipotle tacos (Kristine Froeba)

El Fuego Brisket and Flame Torched Jack and Catfish and Chipotle tacos (Kristine Froeba)

There’s a new Mexican joint in the historic Town of Carrollton. The Oak Street shopping district of yore continues its gentrification, with an influx of small businesses as the result. The street where we all bought our first pair of shoes at Haase’s has come a long way. What was once then, a main shopping corridor, fell onto hard times, then a few shabby decades, followed by a post-Katrina renaissance.

Not far from the railroad tracks, replacing Squeal BBQ, is a new hipster restaurant, surely to be popular with locals and students alike. Continue reading »

Aug 012016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Oscar Wilde once called experience “the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” In this sense, it is very useful to discuss Austin’s “experience” in building commuter rail. You see, commuter rail was originally envisioned as a remedy for congestion and an environmental boon, a sound investment in transportation infrastructure.

Instead, it turned out to be a cautionary tale, one New Orleans would best heed. Continue reading »

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Jul 262016
 
Shopkeeper Belinda Wharton and Cassie

Shopkeeper Belinda Wharton and her dog Cassie

The Shopkeeper Stories series shares the vision and personality of New Orleans business owners. Locally owned businesses infuse New Orleans neighborhoods with their unique character, and are a big part of why we want to live, work, eat and shop here.

While drainage system improvements and road construction make “shopping local” a bit more challenging in the short term, the critical improvements mean our city will be safer and stronger for generations to come. We hope you are inspired and continue to shop small and shop local—even if it takes a little extra time!

Shopkeeper: Belinda Wharton
Zen Pet Retail & Grooming
Since 2013

Continue reading »

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Jul 212016
 
Paul Bonin shares a chuckle after qualifying to run for Criminal District Court. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Paul Bonin shares a chuckle after qualifying to run for Criminal District Court. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Political insiders are shaking their heads this week as to why Paul Bonin, a widely-popular 4th Circuit Court of Appeals judge who has more than five years remaining on his current term, would decide to run for a lower-paying judgeship in the rough-and-tumble Criminal District Court. Continue reading »

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Jul 182016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

A few years ago, local NBC affiliate WDSU reported on an embarrassment familiar to all New Orleanians, namely the fact that street signs seem to be regarded as more of a luxury in this city than an obvious necessity. Particularly absent are those signs actually identifying the names of streets – you know, so you can actually find your way around.

“If you think about some of the basic things you expect a city to have, in terms of the impression of the city, if it doesn’t have a street sign it kind of lets you know they don’t have it all together,” local resident Francis James told reporters. His intersection had no signs at all. Continue reading »

Jul 082016
 
Summer Ramen (Kristine Froeba)

Summer Ramen (Kristine Froeba)

There are so many restaurants to frequent in our little hamlets of Uptown; we sometimes forget the one’s right around the corner. A walk to the neighborhood hardware store led me to stumble into Noodle and Pie. I’d been there before and enjoyed it, but now found a delightful Summer Menu with a few new additions. Continue reading »

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Jul 012016
 
First Banana Split for Miss Olivia Witte, Ice Cream Expert, aged five (Kristine Froeba)

First Banana Split for Miss Olivia Witte, ice cream expert, aged five (Kristine Froeba)

The main ice cream parlor of any small southern town is a summer staple. It’s usually on Main Street. Ours, in our little town of “Uptown”, is on Prytania. The Creole Creamery sits snugly in the middle of the block in the most nostalgic of locations, the old Mckenzie’s Bakery.

It is exactly as an ice cream parlor should be. There’s a long counter where you can pull up a stool and order a malted, bright red vinyl booths that invite sharing a banana split, and glass cases to peer in to oogle the flavors. Oddly enough, we seem to have only one ice cream parlor Uptown, but the quaint charm of this one is all we need. Continue reading »

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Jun 302016
 
U.S. Senate candidate Josh Pellerin speaks with voters in a video produced by his campaign. (via YouTube)

U.S. Senate candidate Josh Pellerin speaks with voters in a video produced by his campaign. (via YouTube)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Even today, many older Americans still may have a hard time admitting that an ancestor is bi-racial. But not 34-year-old U.S. Senate candidate Josh Pellerin, a Franklin, La., native and energy company owner based outside Lafayette who views his complex ancestry — and the way it mirrors the history of the state — as part of his appeal to Louisianans. Continue reading »

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Jun 282016
 
Sarah Celino of Bella & Harlow

Sarah Celino of Bella & Harlow

The Shopkeeper Stories series shares the vision and personality of New Orleans business owners. Locally owned businesses infuse New Orleans neighborhoods with their unique character, and are a big part of why we want to live, work, eat and shop here.

While drainage system improvements and road construction make “shopping local” a bit more challenging in the short term, the critical improvements mean our city will be safer and stronger for generations to come. We hope you are inspired and continue to shop small and shop local—even if it takes a little extra time! Continue reading »

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Jun 282016
 
Mojo Coffee Roasters’ Demian Estevez and Debra Dunn (left) of Ignatius Espresso Bar & Cafe celebrated Mojo’s 10 year anniversary in May. (Courtesy of Mojo Coffee Roasters)

Mojo Coffee Roasters’ Demian Estevez and Debra Dunn (left) of Ignatius Espresso Bar & Cafe celebrated Mojo’s 10 year anniversary in May. (Courtesy of Mojo Coffee Roasters)

Mojo Coffee Roasters has partnered with the owners of Ignatius Eatery to create Ignatius Espresso Bar & Cafe at 3121 Magazine Street. The transition will bring cappuccinos, manual, cortados, and more made with local small-batch roasted Mojo Coffee. Continue reading »

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Jun 272016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

I’ve only been to New York City once in my life, on a family vacation when I was in my early teens during the notorious reign of Mayor David Dinkins. We stayed in a hotel on Times Square rising high above the debauchery below.

After we arrived, I ventured off briefly on my own to see a smattering of strip clubs, peep shows, purveyors of adult materials and the like. There was virtually nothing I could legally enter. I finally caught sight of a video arcade, which seemed wholesome enough. It was wallpapered floor to ceiling in pornography. Continue reading »

Jun 242016
 
Isabel Mendez’s Tamales, Salsa, and Burritos (Kristine Froeba)

Isabel Mendez’s Tamales, Salsa, and Burritos (Kristine Froeba)

Every Tuesday, Uptowners clamor for Homemade Tamales, Artisan Cheeses, Fresh Diary, and Spices. They’re not at Whole Foods or St. James Cheese Company.

Instead, they crowd a tented open-air area of the old Uptown Square where Free Range Eggs, Watermelon Frescas, and Organic Honey are among other homemade, freshly harvested, and artisan produced items. You can start with an Iced Coffee and an Authentic Breakfast Burrito before filling carrier bags with fresh picked blueberries, okra, and butter beans. And there is usually live music playing.

Continue reading »

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Jun 232016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Now that Sheriff Marlin Gusman has acknowledged that he must cede day-to-day jail operations to a government-approved independent compliance director, how will the millions in reforms be paid for? The new expenses include the compliance director’s salary and benefits, other costs for new staff he or she will bring in as well as the new dollars needed to reach the federal government’s consent decree goals. It will be pricey for sure because the task is so large. Continue reading »

Jun 202016
 
Police investigate reports of gunfire in the 2200 block of Prytania Street. (photo by Owen Courreges)

Police investigate reports of gunfire in the 2200 block of Prytania Street. (photo by Owen Courreges)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

POP-POP-POP-POP-POP-POP-POP!

I awoke as the shots rang outside my bedroom window in the wee hours on Saturday. By the time I emerged from my house, wearing a garish, plaid Sears robe with my trusty shotgun in hand, there was nobody to be seen save a lone security guard. He crept forward from Eiffel Society, a venue down the street, his pistol drawn and at the ready.

The police arrived, shutting off the 2000 block of Prytania, but aside from collecting a few random shell casings there was ostensibly little investigation to be performed.

Naturally, I was unnerved by the experience. However, my fear was not turned against a mere instrumentality. Alas, the same cannot be said of the reaction of many Americans to the mass shooting that took place a week ago in Orlando. Continue reading »

Jun 172016
 
Shaksuka of Eggs Poached in Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce, with Tahini, Pita, and Salad. (Kristine Froeba)

Shaksuka of Eggs Poached in Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce, with Tahini, Pita, and Salad. (Kristine Froeba)

The bright, clean flavors of the Mediterranean have arrived Uptown just in time for Summer. While we have Shaya to accommodate our fine-dining yearnings for authentic Israeli foods, we didn’t have a casual counterpart – until now. Tal’s Hummus opened three weeks ago in the space formerly occupied by McClure’s BBQ. Already the small space is packed. This time, the neighbors aren’t complaining (to be fair, McClure’s is beyond excellent, but the neighbors didn’t like the smoker). Continue reading »

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Jun 142016
 
Gisele Cosma, Owner of Rye Clothing

Gisele Cosma, Owner of Rye Clothing

The Shopkeeper Stories series shares the vision and personality of New Orleans business owners. We hope you are inspired and continue to shop small and shop local—even if it takes a little extra time!

Greater New Orleans’ citizens are arguably the most flexible people in the country. We take turns with our fellow drivers on narrow cobblestone streets, we know the secret route to get to our house during parade season, and boil water advisories keep us on our toes. These are just a few quirks that make us curious to outsiders and unite us as New Orleanians.

Continue reading »

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Jun 132016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

“These modern verandahs . . . afford a perfect shelter from the sun and weather, to passers by the front of the houses to which they are attached. In sultry climates, the necessity of shade from the sun, to health, and comfort, has universally introduced the custom of balconies or verandahs; which in this respect, are equally beneficial to the inmates of the houses, and to wayfarers.”

Durant v. Riddell, 12 La. Ann. 746, 747 (La. 1857)

“It is a matter of public and judicial history that galleries, or ‘verandas,’ as they are also called, have been sanctioned by usage in New Orleans almost from time immemorial.”

Lambert v. American Box Co., 144 La. 604, 611 (La. 1919).

An iconic feature of New Orleans architecture, particularly in the French Quarter and present on most historic commercial strips, is the wrap-around, double-balcony – also called a “gallery” or “veranda” – that extends over the sidewalk. They serve not only as an attractive architectural element and to provide outdoor space for the owners of homes and commercial buildings, but they also shield passers-by on the sidewalk from the elements, thereby providing a public good. Continue reading »