A new bed-and-breakfast proposed for a large Laurel Street home in the Irish Channel received initial approval Tuesday afternoon from the New Orleans City Planning Commission.
By Marc H. Morial
Nowhere else in the world but in the American South do a small and diminishing minority of citizens still celebrate and revere the military leaders who waged war and committed treason against the nation they claim to love. Most have moved on to an enlightened viewpoint of the New South – multicultural, diverse, dynamic and forward-thinking.
As the City Council voted last week begin discussing the removal of four Confederate statues throughout the city, they also outlined the legal process by which it will take place, and many Council members shared their views on the issue.
Former New Orleans mayor and textbook narcissist Marc Morial has come out in favor of Mayor Landrieu’s plan to remove four Civil War memorials located throughout the city. The erstwhile mayor, now head of the Urban League, proceeded to immediately put his foot in his mouth.
“Those symbols represent division,” Morial explained. “I don’t think Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and P.G.T. Beauregard really had ties to the city.”
Apparently Morial’s grasp of Civil War history, even as it directly concerns the city he led for two terms as mayor, is just as lacking as his humility. While Lee had no major ties to New Orleans in particular, Jefferson Davis died in New Orleans and was originally buried here.
Nearly six years ago, James Carville famously told Anderson Cooper on Hurricane Katrina’s fourth anniversary that “A little bit of a sense I have is how Freret Street goes, how goes New Orleans.”
At the time, Carville was speaking to all the optimistic signs of the city’s recovery — the reopening of storefronts that had long been shuttered, the return of longtime residents and the arrival of new ones. His words, however, remain just as poignant today — when Freret Street has become such prized real estate that some neighborhood and startup business owners have closed their doors, while new, deeper-pocketed investors line up to take their places.
What are the two M’s (Mitch and Marlin) fighting about now? We hear it’s FEMA dollars originally designated for Templeman II. Sheriff Marlin Gusman technically has them. Mayor Mitch Landrieu wants them.
Both Landrieu and Gusman are smart, well-educated, strong-willed but obstinate elected officials, each used to getting his own way. By not endorsing former Sheriff Charles Foti two years ago, Landrieu paved the way for Gusman’s re-election and this current issue.
As we begin to age in place, we Baby Boomers are being bombarded with suggestions in support of our insistence that 60 will just be the new 40: structured exercise (walk 10,000 steps a day!), careful diet (eat a lot of blueberries!), and mental gymnastics (do crossword puzzles in ink, even the one in the Sunday New York Times!).
But those of us of any age who are lucky enough to live in New Orleans as the tenth anniversary of August 29, 2005 (which I call “the late unpleasantness”) slinks our way, don’t need to wear our Fitbits 24/7. Just dealing with the confluence of various deadlines for spending government money, an estimated 71 billion federal bucks to rebuild the most devastated city since Sodom and/or Gomorrah — which certain folk have compared us to, actually — has forced us to strengthen ourselves in at least 10 ways as we fight a uniquely local condition: New Orleans Infrastructure Fatigue.
A former rental home on Soniat Street that may have origins dating back nearly to the Civil War is likely to be torn down and replaced with new construction, but a request for a similar project on Annunciation Street split the city panel overseeing demolitions Monday.
They finally won. Live entertainment at Mimi’s in the Marginy is no more. After fighting for three years, first with the city and then with its neighbors, Mimi’s finally threw in the towel this past Wednesday.
A facility that served the children and families of the Milan neighborhood for decades on Peniston Street until Hurricane Katrina is now finally nearing its reopening, 10 years after the storm, officials said.
Starting Monday, drivers attempting to pass through Magazine Street’s intersection with Jefferson Avenue will be guided by a “phased” signal that alternates between Uptown and Downtown-bound traffic, the Sewerage & Water Board announced.
Few people today recognize just how devastating the Civil War was, especially for the South. The war resulted in over 750,000 deaths. The South lost roughly a quarter of its male population of military age — 4 percent of its total population. It constitutes the largest mortality event in American history.
Set against this backdrop, it comes as little surprise that memorials were built throughout the population centers of the South to commemorate the military and political leaders of the Confederacy and the soldiers who served under them. Though the war was lost, the memories remained.
Yet, according to Mayor Landrieu, the days of Civil War Memorials in New Orleans are numbered. In the wake of the recent mass shooting in Charleston, perpetrated by known Neo-Confederate and white supremacist Dylan Roof, virtually anything associated with the Confederacy is seen as a target.