Article by Marta Jewson, for UptownMessenger.comThe owner of a building at the corner of Leonidas and Willow is proposing to change its zoning from residential to neighborhood business for a contractor-training office and community space, raising some questions among surrounding neighbors.
Some explanation is required. My day-to-day persona is that of Owen Courreges, Attorney at Law. However, on Thursday evenings I have been breaking out my 1923 Brunswick suitcase phonograph at the Bayou Bar in the Hotel Pontchartrain. There, I play 78 rpm records as my alter ego – D.J. Luddite (because D.J. Luddite eschews modern technology).
It’s kind of like Garth Brooks and his rock alter ego Chris Gaines, only far less lame and pretentious. Well, at least less pretentious.
However, for the past few weeks I’ve been absent. Music has been silenced at Bayou Bar. This is regrettable, because Bayou Bar has a storied history in the music community. Reportedly Cole Porter played here somewhat inconsistently on weekends for about twelve years. Frank Sinatra and Frankie Lane used Bayou Bar as their watering hole, and are even rumored to have performed on occasion.
A week after grabbing attention with the largest remaining fundraising war chest, Dana Kaplan bolstered her campaign for the open District B seat on the New Orleans City Council by announcing endorsements Wednesday from Mayor Mitch Landrieu, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond and five other prominent elected officials.
“I’m very excited by this broad base of support,” Kaplan said after the news conference. “I didn’t run for office knowing I would get it.”
The former power plant on Market Street emerged from three years of bankruptcy Tuesday with an additional year to redevelop the property — possibly as a movie production studio or retail hub — or to sell it, reports David Hammer of our partners at WWL-TV.
The candidates for the District B seat on the New Orleans City Council were invited to share their visions for Central City on Tuesday night, but all four stayed close to the message they have delivered all over Uptown.
A host of Central City community organizations are partnering to host a forum for the candidates for the open District B seat on the City Council and the Criminal District Court at the Mahalia Jackson Early Childhood Center on Jackson Avenue starting at 6 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, Oct. 16).
Just a block over from my house is Mr. John’s Steakhouse. In my humble opinion, it offers the best steaks in the city. They use only the finest cuts seared in butter and cooked to perfection. And of course, like all of the finest steakhouses, they are not cheap. Mr. John’s is synonymous with special occasions.
This is not, however, the case for the Board of Trustees for the New Orleans Firefighters’ Pension and Relief Fund. Apparently, they believe in spending thousands of dollars at a time at Mr. John’s and other expensive restaurants in the city.
As food truck vendors draw attention to their effort to loosen city restrictions on where and when they can park and cook, a festival held on O.C. Haley on Thursday evening drew crowds of supporters including City Councilwoman Stacy Head, according to a live report from the event by Tania Dall and our partners at WWL-TV:
The 2012 Republican Party platform is a voluminous document that is filled with wisdom and purported wisdom. But, sadly, one of the few possible subjects of Republican wisdom that is omitted is the fate and future of American cities. Now, to be fair, the platform does excoriate the City of Washington D.C. as an example of every urban failing that can be attributed to the incompetence of Big Government – i.e., the Democrats.
But, the fact of the matter is that American cities, including Washington D.C., Uptown New Orleans and Jefferson Parish, are filled with Republicans. And, in many cases, as often occurs in Uptown New Orleans, these registered urban-living Republicans reside right next door to conservative Democrats who regularly and predictably vote Republican in Presidential and other elections.
As food truck vendors seek reform to laws that restrict where they can set up and how long they can stay there, they will seek to bring some attention to their cause and to their offerings tonight at the Central City Food Truck Festival on O.C. Haley Boulevard.
Yet another rhetorical pop quiz from the Sewerage & Water Board this past Monday left Orleans Parish residents (read: me and likely you) wondering if our one and only water supply was safe for consumption. And the solitary answer everyone can agree on equals “Maybe.” Forget that it’s the 21st century, forget that Roman aquaducts remain a marvel to humanity and civilization on the whole, and forget too that over the next five years an Orleans Parish water bill will grow incrementally like a film of algae from a broken fire hydrant to the nearest street drain. But remember this: your vote still matters. And why this will always be important remains a let-me-speak-to-your-supervisor line of thought. The S & W B does not answer to much, or do they? So who’s in charge?
The murder of a prominent Freret Street bakery owner 25 years ago is still regarded as the seminal moment in the commercial corridor’s long period of neglect. Now, even amid the street’s current renaissance, some residents still feel that they are living just on the edge of the next violent crime.
Several Freret residents and business owners have recently begun discussing the possibility of hiring private security patrols similar to those in other neighborhoods around the city, and Tuesday night, began what they see as a long conversation with their neighbors about whether to move forward.
Amid questions about whether the streetlights were working on the block where an attorney was carjacked and shot Tuesday evening, city officials say they are unsure whether they can fulfill the promise to repair every streetlight in the city by the end of the year, following setbacks and damage caused by Hurricane Isaac, reports Monica Hernandez of our partners at WWL-TV. Council president Stacy Head, however, says that money originally budgeted to the streetlight effort should have put the project much farther along by now.
After a 14-year-old arrested on charges relating to Tuesday night’s carjacking spree across Uptown New Orleans was found to have a non-working ankle monitor, the sheriff’s office has pledged to look into what went wrong with the electronic monitoring program and a City Council committee is promising its own investigation.
A former cotton press on Tchoupitoulas dating back more than 100 years is slated to become a kitchen cooking fresh, healthy meals for local schools next year, with office space in front and 52 apartments next door as part of a riverfront development just blocks away from the former Entergy power plant.
After assistant city attorney Jason Cantrell was cited for possession of what police say was a marijuana joint that fell out of his pocket in court Monday, his wife, District B City Council candidate LaToya Cantrell, issued a statement about her dismay over his “lack of judgment.”
About a year ago I was in a United Cab with a friend headed for Banks Street Bar to see a band perform. Although I normally maintain a “no conversations” rule with cabbies due to my own social awkwardness, the driver was friendly and we started a conversation.
He was from Pakistan. I received my undergraduate degree in political science, and I was interested in a native’s take on the political turmoil there. The discussion was enlightening. After the ride, the driver continued to converse with me for a while as we parked – my friend had to come grab me to tell me I was going to miss the music if I lingered much longer.
A few months ago I read an article that a Pakistani cab driver had been murdered in Eastern New Orleans. I recognized the man I had spoken with from his photo. He had been robbed, shot and left for dead.
New trees at Washington and Broad, better landscaping around Benjamin Banneker Elementary School and a community garden at South Claiborne and Jefferson are among the latest round of neighborhood beautification projects that will each receive a boost from the city’s “Love Your Block” grant program.
Desperate to provide recreational opportunities for the children of their neighborhood over the last several years, Irish Channel residents have organized their own basketball leagues, running extension cords down the street to operate a scoreboard.
Those days may soon be over, as the city has finally begun work this week renovating the Lyons Center into a state of the art community space for sports, dance and computer education — with a promised completion date of this coming spring.