Uptown’s bar and restaurant scene is always thriving. There’s just nothing quite like indulging some fine dining on a weeknight, treating yourself to a bottle of wine, taking in a sumptuous three-course meal, and – Wait… Is that – Oh my God, he has a gun!
The John P. Lyons Recreation Center will host the 1st Annual NOLA Family Fest, created to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of when New Orleans residents were allowed back into the city after Hurricane Katrina. The festival, organized by The Power Group and Central City Partnership, Inc., will feature a student event on Friday and live performances, food vendors, and kid’s activities for the public from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m on Saturday and Sunday.
Sybil Haydel Morial would have led a very privileged life growing up in New Orleans in the 1940’s and 1950’s had it not been for the South’s all-encompassing Jim Crow laws. Her father, Dr. Clarence C. Haydel, was a well-respected surgeon in the community; her mother, Eudora, was an accomplished housewife who loved to cook, garden and entertain in the family’s well-appointed home. Sybil was surrounded by many loving aunts, uncles and cousins as well as her older sister Jean who suffered an untimely death. She attended the best Catholic schools, spent the summers in the country, traveled to Europe and had a memorable debut. As a teenager, Sybil enjoyed the company of family friend Ambassador Andrew Young who wrote the foreword to the memoir before his death.
But the harsh realities of segregation and how it impacted her life every day defined Sybil. It also drove her to become a teacher, civil right activist, arts patron, husband to New Orleans’ first African-American mayor — Dutch Morial — and mother to our third, Marc Morial. Sybil’s new book, Witness To Change, is a compelling, easy-to-read story about Sybil and Dutch — told from Sybil’s perspective.
Axiom Artist Collective will debut their newest exhibit, Guerrilla Artfare, featuring artwork by local artist Courtney “Ceaux” Buckley. The art show will feature acrylic- and oil-based paintings inspired by New Orleans culture.
Tracey’s Original Irish Channel Bar and The Disposable Heroes Project will host an all-day benefit to honor American troops and their families this Saturday, Oct. 3, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event will take place at Tracey’s Bar, located at 2604 Magazine Street, and 100% of Saturday’s gross sales will be donated to the Disposable Heroes Project.
The Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) will host their third annual Freret 5K & Half Mile Fun Run, promoting family fun and fitness in Uptown New Orleans this October. Race day festivities include a 5K run/walk, a half-mile fun run, musical entertainment from the Tulane Jazz Band, post-race refreshments, awards and raffles.
There was a time that I got a mild chuckle out of reading the old bumper sticker – New Orleans: Third World and Proud of It. The idea, of course, is that New Orleans is a poor city with inefficient, corrupt government, hence more akin to a developing nation than a prominent American city. Self-deprecating humor and all that.
However, it’s started to hit a bit too close to home lately. Last week we endured yet another “boil water” advisory for the east bank of Orleans Parish in the wake of a brief, 20-minute failure of the plant’s power generation capacity. It was the tenth such advisory in just five years.
By Ben Myers for UptownMessenger.com
The Milton H. Latter branch library on St. Charles Avenue will close for about three months for the second half of a two-phase renovation project, officials said, possibly leaving New Orleanians short two libraries at the same time.
At recent political events, consultants have been talking about how the Fund for Louisiana’s Future, a Super PAC supporting David Vitter, has turned the governor’s race into a nasty mix of negative ads which constantly bash Vitter’s opponents. With millions remaining in the kitty of several PACs, these kinds of ads will surely continue until the election – now just 30 days away. That negativity has also brushed off on Vitter himself who will be fighting off more personal attacks.
According to a new poll released today by Public Policy Polling, Vitter has “a very good chance” of being defeated in a runoff election because of his high personal negatives among the voters, now pegged at 51%. His previously strong lead has eroded as opponents focus more on his shortcomings and Democratic support gels behind John Bel Edwards. Even former governor Edwin Edwards, a distant relative of John Bel’s, now says that PSC Commissioner Scott Angelle could slide past Vitter and face Edwards in the runoff. The PPP, a Democratic-leaning firm, shows Edwards clearly in the lead.
It’s so cute. Mayor Landrieu has a secret admirer!
This past week, Chief Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin wrote to the city council announcing that the city had estimated the cost of removing three monuments to Confederate leaders (Lee, Beauregard, and Davis) plus the notorious Liberty Place Monument, which Mayor Landrieu believes are divisive symbols that make black people feel bad. The total price tag? $144,000.
Ninety-three years ago this week in an historical event known as the “Catastrophe of Smyrna,” several hundred thousand Greek and Armenian refugees were driven from their historic homes. Smyrna, now Izmir, was an idyllic, multi-cultural gem city on the Turkish Aegean where Muslims and Christians had lived side by side for thousands of years. Mustafa Kemal’s loyalists deliberately set a massive fire in an effort to facilitate the Christians’ departure and create a Muslim stronghold which still exists today. Jewish and Muslim homes and businesses were left untouched.
I think, by this point, I’ve managed to establish myself as a critic of the current mayoral administration. If Mayor Landrieu has an official fan club, I am not a member. I find his usual gaggle of sycophants and hangers-on downright nauseating.
That being said, one would think that I am clapping my hands with glee with the recent announcement that Judge Kern Reese held Landrieu in contempt and sentenced him to house arrest in the decades-old lawsuit regarding firefighters’ longevity raises. However, I am not.
If the response at last week’s gubernatorial forum sponsored by GNO Inc. and its two sister organizations is any indication, Louisiana might not get anyone “better” than David Vitter as our next governor. The “Louisiana Can Do Better Than David Vitter” mantra from the new anti-Vitter PAC probably won’t resonate with enough voters to make a difference, since and other anti-Vitter groups haven’t uncovered any new sins or identify a candidate the majority of voters can better relate to.
Today is Labor Day. Of course, with it being Labor Day, I started out writing this column with a single question boring into the recesses of my mind.
“Do I really need to write a column for Labor Day?”
The answer, of course, is no. That would be work, and today celebrates the backbone of the American system, the American worker. As all of us toil away our lives, squandering our precious dreams on jobs we probably don’t enjoy, we need a moment to celebrate both our shared sacrifices and creeping miseries.
“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” ― Tennessee Williams
In my neighborhood a fast food chain restaurant, Izzo’s Illegal Burrito, rented a space without a liquor license. Within four months, they requested a permit to sell alcohol. A frequent reaction has been: “What’s the problem? I like a margarita or a beer with my Mexican food.”
For many New Orleanians life has never been the same since Hurricane Katrina destroyed their homes, their neighborhoods, their schools, and their sense of community. Katrina was an experience they do not want to relive on this or any other anniversary. For them, the grief process is ongoing. African Americans especially feel the rules were stacked against them, making their recovery even harder.
The big exhale of 10 years has arrived as New Orleanians near and far reflect on the 2005 storm season that changed us all. Personally, my experiences before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina pale in comparison to many others. My journey to now may best be summed up from the wisdom of my stepfather who told me simply to “ride the horse in the direction it’s going.” Not an easy thing to do when the unknown awaited, especially in the immediate aftermath of the devastatingly unexpected.
We’re coming up on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, in case you’ve been locked in a closet for the past few weeks and have thus been spared the maudlin, self-indulgent navel-gazing of every commentator that comes down the pike.
For some, Katrina was an opportunity seized. The guiding narrative is that of a city in decline that took advantage of adversity and emerged stronger. It’s a characterization of Katrina that’s equal parts appalling and inaccurate. We are not in a better position as entire swaths of neighborhoods lay in ruin and our population is greatly reduced.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs to do a better job of estimating the risks of flooding around the U.S. With the upcoming 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina – much of whose destruction was caused by poorly engineered and maintained levees – we naturally think about the heavy losses to our region, what it has taken to rebuild, and all the people who died or have not been able to return.