Dec 062019
 

Milton and Allyson Hernandez, with Benji, stand in front of a vintage cooler that will be used to store wine. (Sue Strachan, Uptown Messenger)

By Sue Strachan, Uptown Messenger 

For Allyson and Milton Hernandez, the dream of opening a wine shop just off Oak Street started fermenting back in June.

“We live in the neighborhood and didn’t see anything like it,” said Milton Hernandez, with Allyson Hernandez adding: “We thought ‘why not us.’” Continue reading »

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Nov 252019
 

A locked gate is at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1’s entrance on Washington Avenue. The historic cemetery has been closed since September. (Nicholas Reimann)

By Nicholas Reimann, Uptown Messenger

Tourists flocking to what’s become one of the Garden District’s most popular destinations are met with is just a padlock and a sign: “Lafayette Cemetery #1 will be temporarily closed for repairs.”

It’s been over two months since the city of New Orleans, which owns the cemetery, shut down the area for public access, as it performs the most extensive restoration effort in recent history on the site, which has graves dating back to the 1830s. Continue reading »

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Nov 092019
 

King Ester, directed by Dui Jarrod, is the story of a black trans woman in Uptown New Orleans on the week prior to Hurricane Katrina. (via kingester.com)

The New Orleans Film Festival turned 30 this year, and their diversity in films and filmmakers is a point that they stress. This year, they screened “232 visionary, thought-provoking films that represent a wealth of perspectives,” 26% of which were Louisiana-made and 56% directed by people of color. One series based in Uptown New Orleans made its debut on the NOFF big screen and online simultaneously.

“King Ester”—directed by Dui Jarrod and presented by Issa Rae’s ColorCreative production company—takes the viewer into the world of a black trans woman right before natural disaster.  Continue reading »

Nov 042019
 

By Emily Carmichael, Uptown Messenger

Elbows lined bannisters and pews Thursday night at Temple Sinai as a packed audience leaned in to hear two of our nation’s most celebrated narrative craftsmen, Jesmyn Ward and Ta-Nehisi Coates, discuss how to reconstruct the story of the United States.

The event hosted by Octavia Books was part of Coates’s nationwide tour promoting his new novel “The Water Dancer.”

The book is Coates’s first foray into fiction after gaining fame for his journalism at The Atlantic and his nonfiction book “Between the World and Me.” Continue reading »

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Nov 042019
 
Crescent City Creative Carnial 2018

C4 is an all-day event for creatives of all types to learn, network, and have fun. The second annual event takes place at the New Orleans Jazz Market on Saturday, Nov. 9. (courtesy of Crescent City Creative)

One’s social network can influence important decisions like who they ask for business advice, where they shop and how they listen to music. For professionals in the arts, that network could dictate their standard of living, job consistency or perceived professional value.

On Saturday, one couple will bring together creative business owners, branding strategists, entertainers and more to share industry insights and grow their networks together.

Crescent City Creative Carnival logo

via Crescent City Creative

Crescent City Creative is a nonprofit creative agency based in New Orleans and founded by husband and wife Willard Hill and Quan Lateef-Hill, who want the city’s talent to thrive more.

“We really see New Orleans as this cultural epicenter that is often overlooked as people focus in on New York, L.A., Atlanta and coastal cities,” said Lateef-Hill, a filmmaker and producer. Continue reading »

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Oct 302019
 

by Andres Fuentes

At the corner of Magazine and Second Streets, lit-up pumpkins, skulls, and spiderwebs provide a spooky spectacular for your evening stroll and, on Halloween, trick-or-treating. The Ghost Manor annual Halloween display has a bit more flare this year—21 more pumpkins were added to the front lawn, fitted with lights that flare to the sounds of haunting music.

“I think it just really puts you in the spirit of Halloween,” neighbor and spectator Lyndsey Edwards said. “It’s super fun to see all the pumpkins and all the lights.” Continue reading »

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Oct 182019
 
Spy Bow Dow by Carl Harrison, Jr.

Spy Boy Dow Edwards is the subject of director Carl Harrison Jr.’s latest film, premiering at New Orleans Film Festival tonight. (via NOFF)

Dow Michael Edwards — a lawyer from Uptown New Orleans who grew up loving the Black Masking Indian culture — is headed for a big screen debut in the short film “Spy Boy Dow.” The film directed by Carl Harrison Jr. follows Edwards’ suit-making process in preparation for Mardi Gras Day.

This is Harrison’s second project to be accepted into the New Orleans Film Festival in three years, and it premieres at The Broad Theater tonight (Oct. 18).

The birth of Spy Boy Dow

“The Spy Boy is first in the front… he is ahead looking for trouble. Only a chosen few can be Spy Boy. It’s his job to send a signal to First Flag when he sees other Indians. First Flag signals back down the line to Big Chief. Big Chief has a stick that controls the Indians. When he hits the ground with the stick, they better get down and bow to the Chief.” – the late Big Chief Larry Bannock of Gert Town’s Golden Star Hunters, (via mardigrasneworleans.com)

Edwards is a partner at the Irwin, Fritchie, Urquhart & Moore law firm, and spy boy for the Mohawk Hunters Mardi Gras Indian tribe. His interest was sparked as a child when watching Indians with his family on Mardi Gras Day. He admired the tradition and culture from afar until he found a way in. Continue reading »

Oct 182019
 

The Leidenheimer Baking Co. has operated from the same Central City location since 1904. (UNO archive, City Planning Commission)

By Emily Carmichael, Uptown Messenger

Iconic baguette producer Leidenheimer Baking Co. wants to expand its factory, but some of its Central City neighbors are pushing back.

Leidenheimer, one of the city’s premier providers of po-boy loaves, wants to add 23,436 square feet to its factory at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Simon Bolivar Avenue, doubling its size. The renovations are designed to modernize its space and increase its production capacity.

Public feedback in response to these plans has revealed neighborhood complaints of disruptive after-hours deliveries, noise pollution, air pollution, litter, emission of black soot that stains neighboring buildings, and traffic and parking difficulties. Continue reading »

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Sep 232019
 

In the third part of our ten-essay series by parents of students at public schools Uptown, Celeste Sparks writes about her children’s experience at Andrew H. Wilson Charter School. Uptown, like New Orleans as a whole, has many public school options for families—from college preparatory schools to three different language immersion programs, from a Montessori program to a technology career pathway school. In this series, we hear from parents themselves on why their child’s school is right for them.

Part of the Family: Why My Children and I Love Andrew H. Wilson Charter School

By Celeste Sparks, Parent

I have three children and I love them so much. Trinity, the oldest, is in fourth grade. She’s intelligent, aware, and doesn’t miss a beat. She’s so curious about what’s going on in the world and wants to know more. Travis is in third grade; he is also very smart. He is in the gifted program and is always so excited and eager to learn. He always has a book in his hand and is the first one ready for school each morning. Treydon, my youngest, is in Pre-K. He loves school, too. He’s already learned his letters, sounds and numbers. Now he is ready to learn to read! Continue reading »

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Sep 092019
 

In this second of our ten-essay series by parents of students at public schools Uptown, Anna Derby and Rodolfo Machirica write about their children’s experience at John W. Hoffman Early Learning Center. Uptown, like New Orleans as a whole, has many public school options for families—from college preparatory schools, to three different language immersion programs, to a Montessori program, to a technology career pathway school. In this series, we hear from parents themselves on why their child’s school is right for them.

Anna Derby & Rodolfo Machirica, parents

Diversity, Community, and Warmth at Hoffman

By Anna Derby & Rodolfo Machirica

We have two young children: Gabriel is three years old, and Elijah is four months. Both as educators and as parents, we care deeply about where we send our kids to school, and we know these early years matter. That’s why we send them both to John W. Hoffman Early Learning Center, which serves infants through pre-K4. Continue reading »

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Aug 262019
 

The Right School for CJ

By Christopher Dobney, Parent

In the first essay of this ten-part series by parents of students at public schools Uptown, Christopher Dobney writes about his son CJ’s time at Benjamin Franklin Elementary Mathematics & Science School. Uptown, like New Orleans as a whole, has a wealth of public school options for families – from college preparatory schools, to three different language immersion programs, to a Montessori program, to a technology career pathway school. In this series, we hear from parents themselves on why their child’s school is right for them.

Christopher Dobney and son CJ

Christopher and son CJ

 My son Christopher, or CJ, is eleven years old. He and I are close. We read together each evening, we play sports together, and it is wonderful to watch him learn and grow. CJ is bright, thoughtful, and athletic. He loves robotics, reading, technology, and playing soccer. I believe he deserves the best possible education, and we have been lucky enough that he’s received that through New Orleans public schools. This fall, he’s starting his sixth grade year at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, which he has attended since kindergarten. Continue reading »

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Jul 142019
 

People arrived Saturday to Rendezvous Tavern on Magazine for some drinks and camaraderie. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Tracy’s was one of many bars along Magazine street that remained open on Saturday. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

The car is on high ground, the porch furniture secured, the freezer emptied and the kitchen well stocked with water, whiskey, peanut butter and canned tuna. Then there was nothing to do but wait Saturday as Tropical Storm Barry came ashore as a Cat 1 but showed little interest in New Orleans.

Most of the businesses along Magazine Street heeded the warnings  and sandbagged their closed doors. But bar owners knew their businesses were among the essential services out in full force as the city remained under a tropical storm warning. So Uptown residents tired of sheltering-in-place found a place to gather.

Now the tropical storm and the storm surge warnings have been canceled for the New Orleans area. A flash flood watch remains in effect until 7 p.m. tonight as tropical bands with heavy rain could continue to affect the area. But don’t worry — bars will be open.

Continue reading »

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Jun 062019
 

Former City Council President Stacy Head, third from left, spoke to the Young Leadership Council last Friday about the importance of civic engagement. Also pictured are Karyn Kearney, left, Stephanie Powell and Andrew Koehler. (Danae Columbus)

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

In a recent speech to the Young Leadership Council, former City Council President Stacy Head told members that they had the ability to change the outcome of public issues by becoming engaged.

“The impact of civic engagement in government absolutely matters,” said Head. “You can’t sit back. Get out and do good.” Continue reading »

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Jun 032019
 

The Scandinavian Jazz Church closed at the end of 2018. (via Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office)

Plans for a wellness center in the former Norwegian Seamen’s Church on Prytania Street won the approval of the City Planning Commission last week, despite a recommendation from the staff planners to deny a required zoning change.

The center is the brainchild of Diana Fisher, Deborah Peters and Kendall Wininger, three sisters who live in the Lower Garden District. “The idea was born out of one sister’s need during a serious illness,” Peters told the City Planning Commission. “Her treatment required her to drive around town seeking help from different practitioners.” Continue reading »

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