Prologue: Each Saturday at noon on WTUL 91.5 FM in New Orleans, Mark Tobler’s DJ set almost always opens with John Hartford’s song “Back in the Good Old Days.” The song is a projection of a future population residing at a city dump, and while there — though they may imbibe as a community — the topic of discussion and conversation will be remembering when things were better and wondering how things became what they are.
The 21st century has been a veritable roller coaster thus far for the Crescent City. Storms, diaspora, growth, crime, food highs, political lows, Hollywood South, hospital hubbub, even an entrepreneurial hotbed too. It’s downright dizzying at times. And then there’s our blight — and the quest to remedy that scourge, often via demolition. We as a city often decry the Big Easy brand as slipping away via noise ordinances, smoking bans, whatever legal challenges and changes that float through City Hall. But removing the landscape in the name of the greater good? To be sure, there’s no faster way to becoming Anywhere, USA.
The City Planning Commission gave its nod Tuesday to a developer’s plan to convert the former Rachel Sims Baptist Mission in the Irish Channel into condominiums, but required that he provide off-street parking behind the building.
A century-old Baptist mission center in the Irish Channel that closed in 2010 is slated to become 10 condominiums in a redevelopment that is drawing praise from historic preservationists and neighborhood leaders but less enthusiasm from city planners.
If there’s anything that probably deserves government attention, it’s preventing children from getting mowed down while they get to and from school. No politician has ever, to my knowledge, run on a platform of exposing children to the greater risk from Mr. Distracted McNeglient’s murder-mobile.
Thus, if you’ve been reading The Lens lately, you’ve been understandably disturbed by a series of articles regarding the operation (or rather, the lack thereof) of New Orleans’ school zone lights. The first article detailed the results of a Lens survey performed this January which revealed that “[s]ix out of 10 — 87 out of 147 in active school zones — were malfunctioning.”
Residents along Zimpel Street in the east Carrollton and university areas are expected to experience low water pressure and possible traffic delays on Saturday, according to the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans.
The two blocks of Magazine Street around Third where city workers recently repaired a sewer line will close again Thursday and Friday so that the street can be repaired, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans announced.
The tireless subject of back taxes and property auctions in the New Orleans metro area has once again garnered much buzz in the last week. True, it is an exciting topic for the Crescent City citizenry at large as we wade through the thankfully diminishing blight, too often witnessing the demise of structure too far gone not to be demolished. That’s the downside for sure. The upside? Seemingly countless blocks are given new looks from fresh eyes. That said, understanding the what and the how of these processes should demand the lion’s share of your attention if you fancy yourself the real-estate investor type, because well, this ain’t eBay.
City officials have given initial approval to a proposal to turn the shuttered Blockbuster Video and adjoining restaurants into a CVS pharmacy at the corner of the Garden District on Magazine street.
Transit for the poor? What a curious thought.
Although in theory a primary purpose of transit is to provide necessary transportation for those too poor to afford a reliable vehicle, the reality is that the poor are generally the ones who are shortchanged.
The restaurant proposed for the Magnolia Mansion at Prytania and Jackson that had proven controversial with neighbors won City Council approval in a split vote Thursday afternoon.
More than 100 donors forked over $2500 each last night for cocktails with Mayor Mitch Landrieu. On everyone’s lips was the same question: Is Mitch running? Those asking included Winston, Sheila and Ronnie Burns (he introduced Mitch), lots of WTC bidders including Darryl and Louella Berger with partners Joe Jaeger and Roger Ogden; Paul Woodward; Pres Kabacoff, former Mayor Sidney Barthelemy and Edward Boettner; and Al Thompson and Arnold Baker with their spouses.
Lined with tall black tarps billowing over chain link fences, what was once Prytania Street between Octavia and Nashville now looks like a discarded set from an old episode of the X-Files. Gray mud seeps from under the fence, and strange sounds emanate from behind the tarps, but it is anyone’s guess what could actually be taking place back there.
Two-story black tarps around the drainage-canal construction site on Prytania Street in Uptown New Orleans create dark tunnels that residents must walk through after parking blocks from their home, creating a scenario so unbearable that neighbors begged officials Tuesday night to drop the project altogether and simply leave.
While abandoning the Prytania Street leg of the SELA project is not an option, officials with the city and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers promised that the work is now speeding up, with relief for residents in store in the weeks and months ahead.
Car2Go — a car-sharing service that allows drivers to rent small cars for on a per-minute or hourly basis for short trips around the city — continued its tour of New Orleans neighborhoods Monday night in the Lower Garden District, explaining its services and the parking agreement it hopes to reach with the city.
Another week passes, and another vapid, unthinking ordinance begins snaking its way through the city council.
This round, it’s a “living wage” ordinance recently introduced by Councilman Jared Brossett. At a legislative breakfast held earlier this month, Brossett depicted the law as a palliative for New Orleans’ notorious and persistent epidemic of poverty.
“Income inequality — I don’t need to tell y’all this. It’s vast. I mean, we were compared to Zambia, as far as income inequality,” Brossett said. “That is ridiculous, as we are part of one of the richest and strongest nations on this planet.”
The majority of the repairs needed to an underground sewer line that was causing part of Magazine Street to sink should finished by Monday, but the street will remain closed to most drivers near Third Street through the weekend, officials said.
A number of lane shifts and detours around the intersection of South Carrollton and South Claiborne are planned for Saturday and Sunday to allow repairs to several nearby water lines, according to the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans.
Two busy blocks of Magazine Street — between Second and Fourth streets along the Garden District and Irish Channel — will close for excavation Friday “until further notice,” the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans announced.