Sep 222015
 
A rendering of the proposed redevelopment of the Audubon Hotel on St. Charles Avenue. (image by Coleman Partners Archictects, via audubonstcharles.com)

A rendering of the proposed redevelopment of the Audubon Hotel on St. Charles Avenue. (image by Coleman Partners Archictects, via audubonstcharles.com)

The redevelopment wave across the Lower Garden District is continuing quickly, as residents heard plans Monday night for a new hotel on St. Charles Avenue, a new restaurant space on Constance Street and two new condo projects on Magazine Street and Jackson Avenue. Continue reading »

Sep 212015
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

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. Continue reading »

Sep 172015
 
(image via LouisianaAveAssoc70115 on Facebook)

(image via LouisianaAveAssoc70115 on Facebook)

With construction of a major new drainage canal on Louisiana Avenue slated to last at least until 2018, neighbors are rallying with a new online association dedicated to monitoring and reporting safety problems up and down the corridor. Continue reading »

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Sep 152015
 
NOPD Commander Paul Noel gestures toward City Councilwoman Susan Guidry and NOPD Chief Michael Harrison during an anti-crime meeting Tuesday night at Touro Infirmary. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Commander Paul Noel gestures toward City Councilwoman Susan Guidry and NOPD Chief Michael Harrison during an anti-crime meeting Tuesday night at Touro Infirmary. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

After an August that brought a number of armed robberies virtually unprecedented in recent years to the Uptown area, New Orleans police officials discussed a number of common-sense reforms they say will help prevent violent crime — but forcefully rejected recent calls for a return to a more aggressive “stop and frisk” style of policing. Continue reading »

Sep 152015
 

(map by UptownMessenger.com via Google Maps)

(map by UptownMessenger.com via Google Maps)

Several blocks of Jefferson Avenue and side streets are expected to have low water pressure on Thursday while contractors work on the installation of the new drainage canal, according to the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans.

B&K Construction will be tying in a new water main as part of the SELA Orleans Jefferson Avenue drainage canal construction, causing low water pressure from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, the SWB report states. The areas affected include Jefferson Avenue (from Loyola Avenue to South Claiborne), Willow Street (from Jefferson to State Street) and Magnolia and South Robertson streets (both from Jefferson to Octavia), the release states.

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Sep 142015
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

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. Continue reading »

Sep 082015
 
Matthew Brichetto and Stan Norwood (from left) count ballots while Alba Sanabria watches, and Glenis Scott speaks to Richard and Jane Dimitry at the end of the Freret Neighbors United meeting. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Matthew Brichetto and Stan Norwood (from left) count ballots while Alba Sanabria watches, and Glenis Scott speaks to Richard and Jane Dimitry at the end of the Freret Neighbors United meeting. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

An overflow crowd at the monthly meeting of the Freret Neighbors United group voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night in favor of letting the Supermercado Las Acacias sell single beers, potentially setting the stage to lift a restriction set in place four years ago at a dramatically different point in the corridor’s redevelopment. Continue reading »

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Sep 032015
 
The Rising Tide X transportation panel: Dan Favre of Bike Easy, Jeff Januszek of Fix My Streets, Rachel Heiligman of Ride New Orleans, and resident Amanda Soprano. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Rising Tide X transportation panel: Dan Favre of Bike Easy, Jeff Januszek of Fix My Streets, Rachel Heiligman of Ride New Orleans, and resident Amanda Soprano. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A map of the current Freret bus line (via norta.com)

A map of the current Freret bus line (via norta.com)

After the new Loyola Avenue streetcar opened in 2013 just before the Super Bowl, the Regional Transit Authority clipped the end of the popular “Freret jet” bus line — in what public-transit activists describe as a prime example of the city’s increasing post-Katrina emphasis on transportation for tourists rather than residents. Continue reading »

Sep 032015
 
Walt Leger speaks to a supporter at his recent fundraiser. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Walt Leger speaks to a supporter at his recent fundraiser. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

We like politicians who have a plan for New Orleans’s future. State Representative and House Speaker Pro Temp Walt Leger III definitely fits the bill. Though expected to easily win re-election for a third term at the Louisiana Legislature, Leger delivered thought-provoking remarks at his well-attended Audubon Tea Room fundraiser earlier this week that quickly set the tone for his political future, perhaps as a candidate for mayor in 2017. Continue reading »

Sep 012015
 

Emily Palit

Emily Palit

New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” ― Mark Twain

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.” Continue reading »

Aug 312015
 
(map via Entergy)

(map via Entergy)

The Entergy New Orleans project to replace transmission lines that bring electricity from a new plant on the West Bank into the Uptown area of New Orleans will move on to General Pershing Street this week, according to Entergy officials. Continue reading »

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Aug 312015
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Last week I was running to grab a take-out order from a nearby tavern, and the only parking nearby was metered. This meant confronting one of the city’s new solar-powered parking meters. After hiking more than a half block to reach the nearest meter (it was not positioned ideally), I fumbled in my pocket for money to feed the proverbial beast.

“Fortunately, I have change,” I thought to myself. “A couple of quarters should do the trick.”

First, I pressed the keypad to activate the meter. It took a few seconds for the thing to power up, because apparently these meters boot from floppy discs. Then the screen told me to swipe a card or insert bills. For some reason, there was no option for inserting coins. Continue reading »

Aug 292015
 
Former President Bill Clinton speaks during the Katrina 10 commemoration at the Smoothie King Center on Saturday. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Former President Bill Clinton speaks during the Katrina 10 commemoration at the Smoothie King Center on Saturday.. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Stephanie Jordan sings during the Katrina 10 commemoration at the Smoothie King Center on Saturday. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Stephanie Jordan sings during the Katrina 10 commemoration at the Smoothie King Center on Saturday. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Over the last week, the 10th anniversary of New Orleans has a tale of two narratives: the city’s official story of recovery and a newly heralded “resilience,” contrasted with media accounts describing the growing disparities from neighborhood to neighborhood.

In an attempt to bridge both those perspectives, former President Bill Clinton used his keynote address during Saturday’s commemorative ceremonies to call for a “new unity” in New Orleans, saying the city should both celebrate the progress made since the floods and rededicate itself to overcoming the deeply-rooted challenges that remain. Continue reading »

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Aug 272015
 
Former Mayor Marc Morial and Mayor Mitch Landrieu discussion the state of New Orleans together. (photo via Danae Columbus)

Former Mayor Marc Morial and Mayor Mitch Landrieu discussion the state of New Orleans together. (photo via Danae Columbus)

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

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. Continue reading »

Aug 252015
 
Attorney Rick Richter holds up a picture of the former McDonogh No. 8 building that was on the vacant land now at 3139 Constance Street, arguing that it represents the large-scale development that should be allowed there. (photo via nola.gov)

Attorney Rick Richter holds up a picture of the former McDonogh No. 8 building that was on the vacant land now at 3139 Constance Street, arguing that it represents the large-scale development that should be allowed there. (photo via nola.gov)

A small plot of land on Constance Street in the Irish Channel long mistaken for a pocket park should be developed into single-family or double houses, not the condo building that the owner wants there, said New Orleans city planners on Tuesday. Continue reading »

Aug 242015
 
Rosalind Peychaud, immediate past president of the Climana Neighborhood Association, holds a sign encouraging her neighbors to email photos of local quality of life problems to the association. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Rosalind Peychaud, immediate past president of the Climana Neighborhood Association, holds a sign encouraging her neighbors to email photos of local quality of life problems to the association. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

As she recently ended her term as president of the Climana Neighborhood Association in the Milan area, Rosalind Peychaud found herself grappling with the same issue that many neighborhood leaders do: New Orleans residents are the first ones to notice street-level problems with crime, blight, and other issues, but are often frustrated with how hard it is to get something done about it.

So, Peychaud whipped up her own solution: a grassroots campaign encouraging the use of the ubiquitous cell-phone camera for something more useful than selfies, positioning the neighborhood association as the advocate for reporting the problems captured in a photo and tracking their results. Continue reading »

Aug 242015
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

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. Continue reading »

Aug 182015
 
Ecole Bilingue is developing a formerly vacant lot at 820 General Pershing into a school garden. (submitted photo by Faye Lieder)

Ecole Bilingue is developing a formerly vacant lot at 820 General Pershing into a school garden. (submitted photo by Faye Lieder)

For years, neighbors and preservationists fought to save a century-old home at 820 General Pershing Street from the wrecking ball, and despaired when it was finally demolished late last year.

But instead of the commercial parking lot they once dreaded, the vacant lot is instead becoming a school garden for the nearby Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans, and neighbors say they are unexpectedly pleased by its appearance. Continue reading »