Apr 042016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

New Orleans is not a kind place to renters. Last week, CNN/Money named our fair city one of the worst cities for renters in the U.S. Last year, the Atlantic opined about the “myth” of New Orleans’ affordability, highlighting our low wages, increasing rents, and lack of habitable housing units. In general, the press has been rather negative of late.

Worst of all, we can’t say it isn’t true. Continue reading »

Mar 312016
 
A row of new street lights and two lanes of traffic on Napoleon Avenue can be seen approaching Freret Street on the evening of March 31. Construction on this section will be finished in April, and on the entire avenue by the end of the year, officials said. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A row of new street lights and two lanes of traffic on Napoleon Avenue can be seen approaching Freret Street on the evening of March 31. Construction on this section will be finished in April, and on the entire avenue by the end of the year, officials said. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The long-awaited end of the Napoleon Avenue drainage-canal project is now expected to be the end of the year — all of it — and landscaping on the neutral ground should be done next year, officials with the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told neighbors Thursday night. Continue reading »

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Mar 282016
 
Neighbors rally around the sculpture at "The Fly" on Feb. 15. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Neighbors rally around the sculpture at “The Fly” on Feb. 15. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Carrollton Boosters are withdrawing their plan to create a new sports complex on the Audubon Riverview park known as The Fly, following two months of protests by activists who said the project claimed too much valuable open space along the Mississippi River. Continue reading »

Mar 282016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

New Orleans drivers, I’ve found, are not particularly fond of pedestrians. Venturing forth on New Orleans roads seems to have become an exercise in big game hunting, as some cars actually speed up to honk and shout obscenities at people whose only crime is walking. The closer they come to running them down, the greater their warm fuzzy.

New Orleans pedestrians, on the other hand, often seem to have little regard their own lives. They seem to be unaware of these strange strips of pavement adjoining streets called “sidewalks” and instead saunter about in the middle of the roadway, appearing inconvenienced when a car has the sheer audacity to attempt to use a traffic lane for its intended purpose.

Both sides need a lesson in the law and simple etiquette. Continue reading »

Mar 232016
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks before a neighborhood group in August 2014. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks before a neighborhood group in August 2014. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A temporary site for a centrally located “low barrier” shelter for the homeless in New Orleans that would provide protection from the elements and access to public services could be open as soon as October, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell said this week. Continue reading »

Mar 232016
 
A March 15 photo from the oyster bar area of the Dryades Public Market. (via Facebook)

A March 15 photo from the oyster bar area of the Dryades Public Market. (via Facebook)

Daniel Momont of Dryades Public Market speaks to the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, March 22. (via City of New Orleans)

Daniel Momont of Dryades Public Market speaks to the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, March 22. (via City of New Orleans)

The new Dryades Public Market received tentative approval from city officials to add retail alcohol sales to its other offerings, as it prepares for its official grand opening next month. Continue reading »

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Mar 212016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

“You’re an idiot.”

It wasn’t much of an argument. These were the words written to me by Taylor Huckaby, a social media spokesman for Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the regional transit agency serving the San Francisco Bay area. Clearly, he didn’t like to be challenged. Continue reading »

Mar 172016
 
People sleeping in the doorway of a Royal Street business this past weekend. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

People sleeping in the doorway of a Royal Street business this past weekend. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Sunday morning during an early walk through the CBD and French Quarter, I encountered more than two dozen homeless men and women sleeping in the doorways of some of our city’s most fashionable establishments. While I paused to shoot a photograph on Royal Street, a State Police cruiser passed right by, unfazed. Whether people are sleeping (or eating or anything even more personal) in a vestibule, outside the Cabildo, or along the Moonwalk, it’s an unsightly, unsanitary situation that negatively impacts tourism and everyone’s quality of life. Continue reading »

Mar 162016
 
Construction equipment chews through the old structure on the Amelia Street side on April 20, 2015. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Construction equipment chews through the old structure on the Amelia Street side on April 20, 2015. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The church pastor who owned an apartment building that dramatically collapsed on Amelia Street is seeking federal money to rebuild more affordable housing on the site, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell told neighbors on Tuesday evening. Continue reading »

Mar 142016
 
A view from the ballfield of the new concessions building planned for Cuccia-Byrnes plaground. (via City of New Orleans)

A view from the ballfield of the new concessions building planned for Cuccia-Byrnes plaground. (via City of New Orleans)

The existing concessions stand at Cuccia Byrnes (via City of New Orleans)

The existing concessions stand at Cuccia Byrnes (via City of New Orleans)

The city of New Orleans approved plans Monday morning for a new concessions building to replace the aging structure at the Cuccia-Byrnes playground, where the Carrollton Boosters operate baseball fields they recently described as vital to their programming. Continue reading »

Mar 102016
 
Syed "Sheriff" Kazmi (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Syed “Sheriff” Kazmi (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

As Uber thrives in New Orleans and Lyft prepares to begin operations here, the leadership at United Cab say they have lost half their business, and are now doubling down to reconnect with the New Orleans customers they have served for more than 75 years. Continue reading »

Mar 082016
 
The former Nam's Grocery at 3039 General Taylor (photo via City of New Orleans)

The former Nam’s Grocery at 3039 General Taylor (photo via City of New Orleans)

After a lengthy day of public hearings on topics ranging from Taco Bell to strippers to fire stations, the proposed Four Generations Grocery and Eatery in Broadmoor received initial approval from the City Planning Commission — though its owners were urged to continue working with their neighbors. Continue reading »

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Mar 042016
 
Neighbors rally around the sculpture at "The Fly" on Feb. 15. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Neighbors rally around the sculpture at “The Fly” on Feb. 15. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell is “considering” a request made Thursday by opponents of the proposed Carrollton Boosters sports complex for a committee meeting to discuss the possibility of an Interim Zoning District over the The Fly at Audubon Park. Continue reading »

Mar 022016
 
Neighbors rally around the sculpture at "The Fly" on Sunday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Neighbors rally around the sculpture at “The Fly” on Sunday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Although they appeared to be rebuffed by the New Orleans City Council last month, members of the “Save the Fly” movement are asking for the city to impose a new process that could slow down, alter or even stop the proposed Carrollton Boosters soccer complex on the Audubon Riverview. Continue reading »

Feb 292016
 
8405 Jeanette Street (via Google Maps)

8405 Jeanette Street (via Google Maps)

The committee overseeing demolition requests across most of Uptown New Orleans balked at a mortgage company’s recent request to tear down a single-story Carrollton home amid protests from the Preservation Resource Center and confusion over what the bank intends to do with the property. Continue reading »

Feb 292016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand made some interesting remarks at the Metropolitan Crime Commission’s annual awards luncheon this past week. Taken at face value, they were downright surreal.

“You want us out of the drug business? We’re out,” Normand sputtered. “But I guarantee you this: More policemen will live and more of you will die. Bank on it.” Continue reading »