Construction on the massive new drainage canal under Napoleon Avenue will soon begin moving toward the river, and sections of the neutral ground will likely be inaccessible to parade-goers during Mardi Gras next year, New Orleans officials said Tuesday night.
Although the Freret Street Festival is now in its 17th year, its growth in recent years has mirrored the rapid redevelopment of the commercial corridor — and this year, the April 5 event will stretch all the way to Jefferson Avenue for the first time, adding a fifth music stage to its lineup, organizers said.
Headline performances by Ani DiFranco and Kermit Ruffins are pushing ticket sales for Sunday’s Fourth Annual Fete de la Musique fundraiser higher than they’ve ever been before, Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans officials said Monday night.
On Saturday (March 15), Orleans Parish voters will decide on more than just runoff races for City Council seats. A property tax worth up to $11.9 million a year is up for vote for the Audubon Nature Institute, the organization that supports the Uptown-located Audubon Zoo, as well as the Aquarium downtown and other sites around the city.
Supporters of the millage say it is a renewal of an already-existing tax. But dissenters say that it’s a new tax, because it could mark an increase in funds for the Institute for a period of 50 years.
Police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred Thursday afternoon in American Apparel, located at 3310 Magazine Street between Louisiana and Toledano streets, according to an incident report from New Orleans police and employees working in the area.
The suspect walked into the store around 2:40pm, and then spent nearly two hours asking the store’s employees their opinions on different articles of clothing, according to a police report by Officer Frank Robertson.
The man walked to the cash register as if he was about to check out, when he produced a semi-automatic pistol and pointed at the clerk and demanded she open the register, according to the report. The employee handed the over $800 in cash, police said.
An upcoming redevelopment slated for three buildings on the corner of Magazine and Nashville streets means that a handful of local shops are moving to make way for a New York City-based business, small business owners and the location’s development company said this week.
Butler Callahan Holdings development company bought the property on the 5700 block of Magazine, in an area that currently houses the three specialty shops Rare Cuts, Vom Fass and Parcels and Post. Ben Butler, a managing partner of the company, said Thursday that while he can’t yet announce the name of any new businesses slated to take over the spot, he can say that the company is “in lease negotiations with a very exciting tenant out of New York City.”
A new “lot maintenance program” passed by New Orleans City Council will allow the city to cut grass on blighted private property, recording the cost on that property owner’s tax bill.
The program, created as part of an amendment to an existing ordinance, allows the city to cut overgrowth, remove debris and perform routine maintenance on a private lot if the grass or growth is over 18 inches, there is trash or debris and/or if there is “noxious” growth, such as poison ivy, according to a presentation given by city administration in a Housing and Human Needs committee last month.
On Mardi Gras day, the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure club celebrated the late South African president Nelson Mandela.
The Krewe of Okeanos rolled on Sunday with a theme celebrating the holidays, the Krewe of Mid-City presented its distinctive floats in “Fifty Shades of Green,” and the Krewe of Thoth nodded toward Sunday’s Oscars with a movie-themed parade.
The Knights of Babylon rolled with a theme of “Thanks for the Memories,” the Knights of Chaos used “Chaos Goes to Hell” for their satiric parade and the Krewe of Muses presented a series of puns themed “Ready to Wear You Out” Thursday evening on the Uptown parade route.
A long-delayed plan to create a new community center on Monroe Street in west Carrollton — now slated to be a new home for Hollygrove’s Trinity Christian Community — received a thumbs-up from the New Orleans City Planning Commission on Tuesday, and organizers say they now have the funding in line for the project to move forward.
Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, best known for his no-nonsense leadership in New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina, returned to the city Monday night in his new role: condemning entire generations of Louisiana lawmakers for an acquiescence to major chemical companies that is now compromising the future of the state.
Speaking before the Louisiana Landmarks Society at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in the center of Uptown New Orleans, Honore may have been preaching to the choir, or, as he calls them, his “Green Army.” What they really wanted to know — like so many audiences the general has spoken to around the state — is whether Honore plans to run for governor.
A healthy dose of rain didn’t stop Saturday’s parades: The Krewe of Carrollton’s 24 floats themed “Carrollton Goes Two by Two,” the Knights of King Arthur’s 27 floats themed “King Arthur has the Blues,” and the 20 floats of the Krewe of Alla themed “Alla Goes to NOLA” all rolled on the Uptown route as scheduled.
The Krewe of Sparta celebrated the world’s most famous couples in its “Isn’t it Romantic?” parade Saturday night on the Uptown New Orleans parade route, and the Krewe of Pygmalion shared “A Few of Our Favorite Songs.”
Pontchartrain was the first of three krewes to roll Saturday afternoon, followed by Krewe of Choctaw and Krewe of Freret.
Pontchartrain had floats with the theme “What’s Eating New Orleans,” a food-themed guessing game with obvious answers to any New Orleanian. Choctaw’s theme was “Choctaw’s Vacation Destinations,” and the Krewe of Freret paraded for the first time since the 1990s, with an inaugural theme of “There’s a First Time for Everything” and floats lampooning their own return from the grave.
The Krewe of Oshun was the first parade to roll on the Uptown route of the New Orleans Mardi Gras season on Friday night, followed by the Krewe of Cleopatra.
Oshun’s theme was “Night Out in the Big Easy” and featured 19 floats, including Christopher Brown as King Shango and Laquina L. Brown as Queen Oshun. Cleopatra, parading for the second year in a row on the Uptown route after three decades on the Westbank, had 21 floats in the theme of “Strolling down the Avenue.”
Comments in The New York Times by a Loyola University economics professor defending the right of businesses to refuse service to black customers — such as the segregated Woolworth’s lunch counters that became an icon of the fight against segregation in the 1960s — have sparked an academic controversy that drew a rebuttal from the university president. Weeks later, the topic continues to dominate the pages of the student-run newspaper, The Maroon.
The public is invited to listen to thought-provoking expert panelists discuss environmental hot topics such as the Orleans Parish Levee Board lawsuits, the Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” and the state’s “cancer alley” at the 19th Annual Tulane Summit on Environmental Law & Policy on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 21-22), in Tulane Law School’s Weinmann Hall.
As the Spanish-American Church heads back to the New Orleans City Council this week for another request to tear down their decaying building on Sophie Wright Place, neighbors and members of the Coliseum Square Association hope the stalemate over the building will lead to stronger enforcement of blight laws against neglectful nonprofits.