Nov 062015
 

By William Khan

Hiking the cost of parking meters would be economically counterproductive and regressive. It would take a greater bite of incomes from service workers, and it would be especially harmful to the hospitality workers and businesses that make the city’s economic engine—tourism—run. Continue reading »

Nov 032015
 
The Super Dome’s designated smoking and vaping area during halftime of the Saints-Falcons game on October 15, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Crescent City Vape.)

The Super Dome’s designated smoking and vaping area during halftime of the Saints-Falcons game on October 15, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Crescent City Vape.)

By Brendan Frost

Sean Partridge, the owner of Crescent City Vape on Magazine Street — and my boss at the store — was at the Thursday night Saints-Falcons game when halftime rolled around and he felt like having a vape. Since the New Orleans City Council passed the indoor smoking and vaping ban that took effect on April 22, Saints fans who want to vape must step outside into the designated smoking area that hugs the Super Dome.

“You’re not allowed to leave the stadium and come back,” Sean said. “So you have to go to this area closed off with police barricades. It’s a group of rowdy people packed in shoulder-to-shoulder, and almost every single person is smoking cigarettes.” Continue reading »

Nov 022015
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

“Citizens of New Orleans, as your mayor, I am mindful of the ever-increasing cost-of-living in our fair city. Wages are not keeping pace, and many of our most economically vulnerable workers feel that they can no longer afford to live here.”

“For too long, your elected leaders have not only ignored this problem, but abetted it. Today, I pledge to ensure that we do better by our citizens – that we make their lives easier, not more difficult.”

You can file the above under “Things Mayor Landrieu Will Never Say.” Under his watch, the cost of pretty much everything has skyrocketed. Taxes, water rates, fees – they’re all higher. If Landrieu has the slightest notion of how this has affected the lives of the people he serves, he hasn’t been inclined to show it. Continue reading »

Oct 292015
 
Children trick or treating at the corner of St. Charles and State St. Sunday evening.

Children trick-or-treating at the corner of St. Charles and State St.

 

The City Of New Orleans is recommending that residents move trick-or-treating and other Halloween activities to Friday, Oct. 30, due to the weather this weekend. The suggested activitiy time is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Continue reading »

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Oct 292015
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Dr. Jeffery Rouse, New Orleans’ recently elected Coroner, is one of the standouts among a new generation of leaders in the city.

He is bringing sunshine, energy and a new concept of community service to an office that had become a medical slum under former Coroner Dr. Frank Minyard. Dr. Rouse brings great academic credentials to the office – a 1992 Jesuit High School valedictorian and a Duke University Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Rouse is energetic, optimistic and visionary. He is completely reorganizing the office and has convinced fellow Jesuit alum Mayor Mitch Landrieu to grant a 23-percent budget increase to the perennially underfunded Coroner’s Office. In December, if all goes well, the Coroner’s Office will move to spiffy new quarters in the under-construction Forensics Center on Earhart Boulevard. Continue reading »

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Oct 272015
 
A rendering of the interior of the Parkway Apartments (image by Harry Baker Smith Architects via nola.gov)

A rendering of the interior of the Parkway Apartments (image by Harry Baker Smith Architects via nola.gov)

Two major residential development projects in the Irish Channel and Broadmoor received initial approval from the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, but both with fewer units than the developers had originally proposed. Continue reading »

Oct 262015
 
The Thomy Lafon School on Monday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Thomy Lafon School was demolished in August 2011. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Halloween is approaching, and thus our minds venture to the spooky and weird – to goblins, witches, ghouls, vampires … and ghosts. Especially ghosts.

As American cities go, New Orleans is an old one, and so ghosts have long been a component of local lore. Ghost tours pepper the French Quarter, with throngs of tourists being treated to tales such as the Ax Man of New Orleans and the horrors of the LaLaurie House. Continue reading »

Oct 232015
 
The Our Lady of Lourdes building, viewed from the Holy Rosary Academy parking lot. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Our Lady of Lourdes building, viewed from the Holy Rosary Academy parking lot. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A request to separate the lot that houses the closed Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church on Napoleon Avenue from the school on the same block was unanimously approved by the City Planning Commission last week. Continue reading »

Oct 232015
 

SWBSeveral blocks of the river-bound side of Broadway Street in the university area will close this weekend so that workers can begin repaving there, in anticipation of bad weather next week, the Sewerage & Water Board announced.

Pavement restoration will begin 7 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, and continue through 6 p.m. Sunday in the riverbound lanes of Broadway from Willow to Plum streets, as well was from Green to Birch, according to the S&WB announcement. The final roadway restoration is scheduled to take place Monday morning, the announcement states.

“Contractors working for the Sewerage and Water Board will perform surface restorations to last week’s water line repairs,” the announcement states. “Remaining work includes street surface removal and asphalt overlay. Full lane closures on the riverbound side of Broadway Street will expedite the restoration process in anticipation of inclement weather next week.”

Oct 232015
 
(graphic via New Orleans Redevelopment Authority)

(graphic via New Orleans Redevelopment Authority)

By Mary Beth Romig

In response to the recent opinion from Owen Courreges in the October 19, 2015 issue of Uptown Messenger, I would like the opportunity to share good news about what the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) has accomplished in terms of commercial revitalization and affordable housing, specifically in the two neighborhoods Courreges mentions. Continue reading »

Oct 222015
 

(map by Uptown Messenger via Google Maps)

(map by Uptown Messenger via Google Maps)

Low water pressure is expected on parts of Chestnut and Felicity streets in the Lower Garden District on Friday for work in the area, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans announced.

The streets that will have low water pressure are Chestnut (from St. Andrew to Felicity and Orange) and Felicity (from Chestnut to St. Charles Avenue). The work will last from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, so that fire service to the area can be improved.

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Oct 202015
 

SWBCamp Street near Jefferson Avenue will close this week through the end of the year as part of the ongoing installation of a drainage canal there, according to the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans. Continue reading »

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Oct 192015
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

A few weeks ago the animated TV show “South Park” premiered a new episode regarding an issue so close to our hearts here in New Orleans: gentrification.

The plot of the episode revolved around attempts by the fictitious Colorado town for which the series is named to attract a new Whole Foods Market. This, the city reasoned, would prove the backwoods hamlet to be progressive and forward-thinking. Continue reading »

Oct 182015
 
An image from the security videos at Patois. Detectives note that the infrared video changes the colors in the video, and that the turquoise clothing is actually shown as near-black in normal light. (image via NOPD)

An image from the security videos at Patois. Detectives note that the infrared video changes the colors in the video, and that the turquoise clothing is actually shown as near-black in normal light. (image via NOPD)

In the security video that shocked New Orleans, infrared distortion turns the skin of patrons at Patois a bluish-gray color, creating a visual sense of unreality that matches the confusion felt by those diners moments later when three men wearing masks and hoodies burst in, robbing the entire restaurant at gunpoint on Aug. 21. That citywide shock was only amplified in late September, when robberies took place in similar fashion at Cafe Atchafalaya in the Irish Channel and then the Monkey Hill bar, only a few blocks from Patois and Audubon Park.

The Mayor called a news conference to announce an arrest in an unrelated spree of robberies and tout the city’s crimefighting efforts, then another new conference a day later after Monkey Hill, joined by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite and pledging federal investigation and prosecution of the cases. Local news outlets “flooded the zone” with reaction and analysis pieces, while The New York Times and Washington Post brought national attention to the robbery spree. By the end of the month, the New Orleans City Council held its own hearing on “high-profile” robberies, pitching questions and suggestions to NOPD officials about how to battle the city’s feeling that control was being lost.

The entire discussion, however, provides ample opportunity for an airing of misconceptions about the city, its long battle with violent crime and its police force. While nearly every side of the discussion — frightened residents, embattled city leaders, besieged police officers, and skeptical critics — have made valid and useful points about the issue, the facts frequently get lost in the rhetoric. Continue reading »

Oct 162015
 
1013 Sixth Street (via City of New Orleans)

1013 Sixth Street (via City of New Orleans)

Questions about whether the owner of a bed-and-breakfast planned for the Irish Channel just off Magazine Street would actually live there led to a split vote before the City Planning Commission this week, leaving the decision in the hands of the City Council. Continue reading »

Oct 142015
 

The City of New Orleans has issued a traffic advisory to temporarily close portions of Drexel Drive and Washington Avenue near Xavier University in Gert Town. On Wednesday, Oct. 14, Washington Avenue between South Carrollton and Short streets will be closed to through traffic from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. Continue reading »

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Oct 092015
 
Riccobono's Panola Street Cafe (via Google Maps)

Riccobono’s Panola Street Cafe (via Google Maps)

Riccobono’s Panola Street Cafe, the corner brunch spot in Carrollton, is seeking the city’s permission to add mimosas and bloody marys to its menu — drawing concern from some neighbors who worry about what growth at the restaurant could mean in terms of parking, litter and noise. Continue reading »

Oct 072015
 
The Carrollton and Uptown historic districts (the two large areas on the left) may be subject to stricter scrutiny for new construction. (map via nola.gov)

The Carrollton and Uptown historic districts (the two large areas on the left) may be subject to stricter scrutiny for new construction. (map via nola.gov)

Which Uptown New Orleans neighborhoods’ historic architecture requires legal protection — and how much protection those neighborhoods should receive — received its first round of discussion Wednesday by the committee that could end up proposing changes that become the city’s new law. Continue reading »