Frank’s Steakhouse — the landmark restaurant that reigned over Freret Street for decades — was unceremoniously knocked to the ground on Wednesday in a dramatic illustration of the changing times in New Orleans.
The Frank’s complex in the 4500 block of Freret was the last major undeveloped property on the corridor since a wave of new business openings began around five years ago. On July 2, Arnold Kirschman finalized his purchase of the buildings from the Barreca family who had owned them for the better part of a century, as part of a plan to demolish the steakhouse in the center of the block to rebuild a stretch of buildings matching the old cleaners on the corner of Cadiz.
What trait did actor/comedian Robin Williams and many of New Orleans homeless share? Mental illness. Like a majority of the homeless in New Orleans, Williams battled periodic bouts of substance abuse and depression until he finally “silenced the demons that relentlessly targeted him” earlier this week, as the Associate Press put it.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the rate of mental illness increases as boomers age. According to the Center for Disease Control, the suicide rate for adults – aged 45 to 64 – increased 40% from 1999 to 2011. An analysis by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention found that the suicide rate for middle- to late-middle-aged adults is higher than any other age group.
Residents and business owners who want bike racks in their neighborhoods have until Friday (Aug. 15) to request them from the city, New Orleans officials said.
Celebrated New Orleans restaurateur Adolfo Garcia — whose High Hat Cafe and Ancora Pizzeria helped jumpstart the commercial revitalization of Freret Street — has bought a building on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard for his next venture.
Demonstrating the degree to which the redevelopment of O.C. Haley Boulevard has taken off, city officials on Monday compared the Central City corridor to busy Magazine Street as they discussed the need for parking they expect in the very near future.
A ban on smoking in bars and casinos in the City of New Orleans is beginning to appear increasingly inevitable. Although a concerted campaign to enact a statewide ban has failed repeatedly in past years, the insidious anti-smoking forces are now focusing on smaller-scale efforts.
In New Orleans, these forces have found a political surrogate in District B City Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell, who plans to introduce a smoking ban this fall.
“This is not an attack, this is about healthier environments for all people: those who work in these environments, musicians, employees,” Cantrell said recently. ”But the majority of the people now within our city and even state, close to 80 percent are non-smokers.”
Cantrell attempts an artful dodge, but the truth is that this is an attack — an attack on a market choice.
While it’s very early in the competition to see who the Presidential nominees will be in 2016, we’ve been impressed by the energy and drive of U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky.
Senator Paul recently accepted an invitation to speak to an Urban League convention in Florida. Unfortunately, most of the delegates to the convention thought that inviting an arch-conservative like Senator Paul was a mistake and stayed away from the session where he spoke.
In literature, typically anything with the word “master” before it is going to be something both controlling and nefarious. For example, if a science fiction novel references a “master computer,” you can bet your last credit that it is either threatening the existence of humanity, or has already wiped us off the globe.
This is why the idea of a “Master Plan” for the City of New Orleans has always been viscerally unsettling to me. It’s as though there’s some cold, unfeeling entity out there that seeks to control every aspect of using property in the city.
Gut feelings can be off, of course, but this one is not.
With fewer than 100 days until the mid-term Congressional and local elections, it’s no surprise that more than a few candidates and elected officials turned out Sunday for brunch and hobnobbing with Congressman Cedric Richmond. While Richmond could face opposition again from Gary Landrieu, the mayor’s cousin who ran two years ago, Richmond is expected to be easily reelected.
In addition to Richmond, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and Congressman Steve Scalise (who represents only a small portion of Orleans Parish but it unstoppable as the new House Majority Whip), there are 41 additional races that candidates could qualify for. Because of difficulty raising money, most incumbents will not draw opponents. On top of those races, we should add various millage items and other local initiatives that will appear on the November ballot.
When the neighbors around Constance and Harmony see the same space, they see a beloved pocket park, a crucial buffer between the modest homes of the Irish Channel and the busy commercial activity on Magazine Street. If Kohlmaier replaces the open area with a large building, they say, it will mean the removal of one of the few remaining green spaces in a neighborhood already under heavy redevelopment pressure.
Those conflicting viewpoints — simmering for weeks since Kohlmaier closed off the property with a sturdy iron fence — came to a head Tuesday afternoon at an unusually contentious meeting of the city’s architectural review committee.
A request to demolish the landscaping business at 8616 Oak Street was approved by a city panel last week, clearing the way for the proposed Oak Lofts condominium development to begin construction.
We can now officially say that the New Orleans City Planning Commission is insane. This week, the Planning Commission asked members of the Deutsches Haus to revisit the plans for their new building in Mid-City — because it is too Germanic-looking.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Now, when you go car shopping, you don’t say to the salesman: “I like this car, but it looks too much like, you know, a car. Don’t you have anything that looks like a bicycle?”
Kara Lynn Morgan died of melanoma July 15, the day before her 41st birthday, but the tireless neighborhood leader is far from finished with her battle against skin cancer.
She is still fighting it — she and her many allies in New Orleans and beyond — on the fields in the park of her beloved Irish Channel.
This week, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell’s office is launching a series of events — call it a blitz, maybe a crusade — promoting her vision of smoke-free bars across New Orleans.
Wednesday’s event at Carrollton Station was intended to be a forum for bar owners to discuss the issue. Despite personal invitations from her staff to proprietors and public announcements in a variety of media outlets, however, the only person from the public to show up was a single, angry, ardent smoker.
Why the low turnout? Carrollton Station owner Michael Miller — who took the bar smoke-free when he bought it last year — said that many of his colleagues likely see the smoke-free trend as inevitable, and may even be privately looking forward to such a ban.
“The opposition we’ve gotten has not been from bar owners,” Anna Nguyen, a Cantrell staffer, agreed afterward. “It’s been from patrons.”
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued an official welcome this week to Operation Save America, an anti-abortion organization that interrupted an Uptown church’s prayer service with its protests on Sunday and had plans to parade the alleged remains of a fetus around Jackson Square in the French Quarter.
The New Orleans RTA plans to restore Carrollton Bus Line 90 this fall, which runs from the intersection of South Claiborne through Mid-City and City Park to reach Gentilly, as part of a series of service changes announced as transit advocates question the slow return of bus lines and the agency’s finances.
Keeping your eye on the road matters. Sometimes it just prevents you from being a jerk, other times it can save somebody’s life.
Case in point: Earlier this past week I was going down Oak Street looking for a parking space on the street. When I saw one, I immediately hand signaled (my car is 63 years old and lacks turn signals) and slowed next to the spot. A white SUV was approaching behind me from the intersection, so I held the hand-signal for a few seconds, believing that the SUV would see the signal and leave me sufficient space.