Sep 032012

Crowds gather in front of The Company Burger on Freret St. as hamburgers are given out Thursday while most of Uptown waits for power to come back. (Sabree Hill,

Electricity was finally restored to the majority of the Freret corridor late Sunday evening, after nearly a week of most businesses there either giving away their goods or struggling to operate without power.

As the New Orleans City Council prepares to hold a hearing on the Entergy response at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Freret Business and Property Owners Association has sent a letter emphasizing the importance of local businesses in any recovery, and raising the possibility that the major upcoming underground drainage work on Jefferson, Napoleon and Louisiana avenues could include other utilities. Continue reading »

Sep 032012

Owen Courreges

Well, New Orleans has officially weathered its first direct hit from a hurricane post-Katrina. As with all disasters, we seem to be hoping that all our heroes and villains come straight from central casting. Most peoples’ immediate ire seems focused on Entergy New Orleans for failing to flip on the lights quickly enough. Corporate villains are always the easiest to write.

Of course, the truth is more complicated, and not being an expert in electrical grids, I’m hardly the person to turn to for education in whether Entergy is to blame in its power restoration efforts. On the other hand, Entergy has done much to destroy any goodwill with New Orleanians with excessive fuel surcharges and the like. Continue reading »

Aug 292012

View Uptown hazards in a larger map

As Isaac continues its slow approach toward New Orleans, a tree has landed on a house on St. Charles Avenue, wires and other trees are down in numerous Uptown neighborhoods, flooding has been reported in the Lower Garden District and other roads have been closed, according to reports from the mayor’s office early Wednesday. Continue reading »

Aug 282012

A Magazine Street business boards up its windows Monday afternoon. (Robert Morris,

Tropical Storm Isaac’s projected track, as of 1 a.m. Tuesday. (source: National Hurricane Center)

Tropical Storm Isaac continued slowly gathering strength Monday night on its way toward south Louisiana.

As of the 1 a.m. Tuesday update from the National Hurricane Center, Isaac’s winds were still at 70 mph, just shy of hurricane force, and its path continued to center on New Orleans. Forecasters expected the winds to accelerate to hurricane speeds overnight, and for New Orleans to begin feeling its effects in earnest Tuesday morning. Continue reading »

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Aug 272012

Owen Courreges

As I write this column, there’s a storm in the Gulf.  The Tropical Storm that has us in its sights is named Isaac, after the Biblical figure on whom God ordered a hit vis-à-vis his father, Abraham, but then reneged at the last possible second because it was merely a test of faith.

Isaac, presumably, wandered away confused and rubber-legged. Continue reading »

Aug 262012

(source: National Hurricane Center)

Hurricane conditions are expected within the New Orleans metropolitan area and “preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion,” forecasters warned as their computer models show Isaac’s path drawing gradually nearer to the city. Continue reading »

Aug 232012

The home at 4706 St. Charles Avenue. (photo via Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans)

The request by Jack Ryan to demolish a mansion on a lot he wants to buy at the corner of St. Charles and Valence for a new home drew the support of immediate neighbors, but not the St. Charles Avenue Association, and the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee was unable to successfully vote to either defer the project or allow the demolition, reports Karen Gadbois of The Lens.
Continue reading »

Aug 232012

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

From an economic development standpoint, among the most important buildings owned by the City of New Orleans is a campus nestled in the center of Kenner.

The campus, is, of course, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. It is the gateway through which most of the region’s eight million plus visitors annually arrive and it will be phenomenally busy during Super Bowl week in 2013. Continue reading »

Aug 222012

The former yoga studio now slated to become a Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant on Oak Street, photographed in June. (Robert Morris,

Three Uptown restaurants — Singha Song on Maple Street, and the proposed Mellow Mushroom on Oak and Mais Arepas at Carondelet and Clio — have requests for alcohol sales on the agenda for Thursday morning’s meeting of the New Orleans City Council. Continue reading »

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Aug 212012

Dos Jefes bar on Tchoupitoulas was one of many targets in New Orleans of a federally-funded tobacco-compliance sting, but city officials decided Tuesday not to fine the establishment. (Robert Morris,

Early in May, a 15-year-old boy walked into Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar on Tchoupitoulas, asked if they sold cigarettes and purchased a pack from the machine.

That boy was assisting agents with the state Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, however, and the purchase landed Dos Jefes in front of the city Alcohol Beverage Control board on Tuesday morning, along with several New Orleans other bars in the first wave of a three-year, federally-funded enforcement effort. Continue reading »

Aug 202012

Three more Uptown bars — Cooter Brown’s, Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge and Dos Jefes — and corner stores on Oak Street and in Central City have all been added to the docket before the city’s Alcohol Beverage Control board following sweeps by state agents, and will get their first public hearing at a meeting Tuesday. Continue reading »

Aug 202012

Over its 40-year history, the Coliseum Square Association has played a major role in the revitalization of the Lower Garden District, so its voice should be respected when it comes to development proposals that might affect it, City Council candidate Eric Strachan group told the group Monday night — in comments that drew a range of responses from other council hopefuls, from strong agreement to a dose of skepticism. Continue reading »

Aug 202012

In the first official week of the race for the District B seat on the City Council, Eric Strachan will be meeting tonight with a neighborhood association his parents helped found, LaToya Cantrell and Dana Kaplan are beginning to knock on doors in Uptown neighborhoods, and late entrants Buck Horton and Donald Vallee are both getting their campaigns organized. Continue reading »

Aug 202012

Owen Courreges

This past Wednesday, the New Orleans Police Department announced that it would be holding a sobriety checkpoint in — wait for it — “the Orleans Parish area.”

This was a change. Normally the NOPD at least provides a general area that narrows down the location of the checkpoint in advance. A checkpoint will be held in “Uptown” or “Algiers” the NOPD will say, and then if you don’t want to be interrogated by police you at least have the option of trying to avoid that area. Continue reading »