Mar 202019
 

Preliminary rendering of the Carrollton Courthouse redevelopment (courtesy of Waggoner & Ball)

The City Council rejected an appeal Thursday from a neighborhood group wanting to send the Carrollton Courthouse renovation plans back to the Historic District Landmarks Commission, but it could put the design for an assisted living facility in the historic building back on the drawing board anyway.

The Maple Area Residents Inc., or MARI, objected to the commission’s “conceptual approval” of the developer’s plans, citing concerns with the additions to the original building. Continue reading »

Mar 152019
 

A sample of proposed redesigns of Zulu facepaint by artist Journey Allen. (courtesy of Take Em Down NOLA)

A group of New Orleans artists have imagined new face-makeup designs for riders in the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club’s parade to replace the group’s traditional blackface that hearkens back to racist minstrelsy displays, activists said Monday night at a panel discussion about the issue.

The Krewe of Zulu rolls on St. Charles Avenue on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Mar 142019
 

The Dew Drop Inn remains vacant at 2836 LaSalle St. in Central City, as it has since 2005. (Nicholas Reimann, Uptown Messenger file photo)

By Nicholas Reimann, Uptown Messenger

The future of the historic Dew Drop Inn on LaSalle Street in Central City is once again in doubt, after a deal to restore the dilapidated former music hall fell through.

Ryan Thomas, owner of real estate development company Peregrine Interests, said a difficulty getting investors for the planned two-story development with a hotel, museum and restaurant — along with a music venue — is what held up the deal that was set to close Dec. 30.

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Mar 122019
 

Plan for the lot at 1213 Magazine St., as provided in the NPP notice to neighbors.  (Verges Rome)

By Jesse Baum

Heirloom Properties, the owner of multiple short-term rental properties, is seeking to transform an empty Lower Garden District lot into a two-suite boutique hotel

The lot stands at 1213 Magazine St., between Thalia and Erato streets. Heirloom, its owner, runs 25-30 short-term rental properties, including one directly next door to the 1213 Magazine lot.

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Mar 112019
 

(courtesy of Footprints to Fitness)

Zeus’ Rescues is partnering with Footprints to Fitness and the Renaissance Art Hotel to offer an evening of poses and puppies — with a purpose. Participants have a chance to relax, tone their muscles and help stray dogs find a home, all at the same time.

“Pups & Poses: Yoga & Pilates & Puppies” benefits Zeus’ Rescues, a privately funded pet-rescue shelter on Napoleon Avenue that finds homes for animals that end up in local high-kill shelters. Its goal, according to its website, is to “eradicate pet homelessness and euthanasia within the New Orleans metro area.”

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Mar 062019
 

Rex arrives outside of the Morris-Downman mansion on Tuesday. Supporters add levity to the situation with a sign “We Are Ready for Ash Wednesday.” (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

The Rex parade stopped at the Morris-Downman House at 2525 St. Charles Ave. during the parade on Mardi Gras, as it has since 1907. This time the toast was more poignant. The mansion, historically significant to the Rex organization and to New Orleans Mardi Gras, was devastated by a seven-alarm fire in February. It has been home to many Rex members, including Billy Grace, a former king of Carnival, who shared a toast with Rex.

Billy Grace, with a firefighter’s coat over his tuxedo, and Rex share a toast on Tuesday. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

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Mar 042019
 

The “Interview with a Vampire” float, depicting the 1993 film adaptation of the Ann Rice novel, rolls down St. Charles Avenue on Sunday. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Bacchus rolled on Sunday with the theme “Starring Louisiana.” The themed floats depicted movies or TV shows that took place or were filmed in Louisiana. These included “NCIS,” “King Creole,” “JFK,” “Interview with a Vampire” and more. The rain had passed through the area by the times the bands started up, so the parade could showcase local marching bands in all their glory.

Jenna Fritscher lifts up Jeri Lynn, 3, to get a plush toy during her first Mardi Gras. (Zach Brien, UptownMesssenger.com)

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Mar 032019
 

Story & Photos by Camille Barnett

Due to the threat of rain and thunderstorms, Uptown’s Sunday morning parades began an hour early. Marching bands and most walking krewes did not parade for Okeanos, Mid-City, or Thoth. Fortunately, the rain held up and skies stayed clear on St. Charles and Napoleon for all three krewes. Continue reading »

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Feb 152019
 

Michele Benjamin (courtesy of Loyola’s Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice)

After spending her entire adult life behind bars, Michele Benjamin learned Monday that she will be able to go free, the Loyola University Law Clinic has announced.

Benjamin, 41, was a teenager when she was sentenced to life without parole in 1996 for the murder of a German tourist in New Orleans.

The Loyola law clinic began filing appeals in her case not long after life sentences for juveniles were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012. That ruling, in Miller v. Alabama, was made retroactive by the Louisiana Supreme Court in 2016, paving the way for Benjamin’s release on parole.

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Feb 102019
 

Zion performs at the Marley Gras Festival at Central City Barbecue on Saturday. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

The annual Marley Gras festival took place at Central City BBQ on Saturday, Feb. 9. The festival featured live music, Jamaican food,  handmade crafts, as well as a pepper-eating competition and a jerk-chicken cook-off. The celebration of the connections between New Orleans and Caribbean culture is held during Carnival in honor of reggae pioneer Bob Marley’s Feb. 6 birthday.

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Dec 202018
 

Preliminary rendering of the Carrollton Courthouse redevelopment (courtesy of Waggoner & Ball)

By Jesse Baum, jesse.blacktree@gmail.com

A neighborhood meeting in the evening on Monday, Dec. 17, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church introduced Uptown residents to the plans for the Carrollton Courthouse.

The property, bounded by Maple Street, Short Street, Hampson Street and Carrollton Avenue, is slated to become an assisted-living and memory-care residence, with 100 units total. The property was listed as one of  the nation’s 11 “most endangered places” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2015.

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Oct 262018
 

From left: Will Snowden, Mithun Kamath, Norris Henderson, and Aaron Ahlquist discuss Louisiana’s non-unanimous jury law and the amendment that would change it.

Twelve men, one room, and a murder charge.

“It has to be twelve to nothing, either way. That’s the law.”

Sidney Lumet’s “12 Angry Men” is one of the most respected films centered around the criminal justice system. But the overall plot, where members of a 12-man jury must agree on a verdict that could send a teenager to the electric chair, could never occur in the state of Louisiana under state law.

Louisiana does not require unanimous jury verdicts in felony trials, instead allowing 10-2 verdicts to send the accused to prison for life. The abnormal verdict law stems from nearly 130 years ago, when delegates at an overtly racist convention ratified the state constitution to allow for non-unanimous juries. Norris Henderson, state director of the Unanimous Jury Coalition, explained the laws’ history during an intimate panel hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans.

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Oct 192018
 
"The Candy Lady" by Ceaux

“The Candy Lady” is a 36″ x 36″ acrylic painting on canvas. Visual artist Courtney “Ceaux” Buckley presented his latest exhibit “Dear New Orleans,” to the public on Oct. 6, 2018. (Tyree C. Worthy, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans-born artist Courtney “Ceaux” Buckley presented his newest collection of paintings to the public on Saturday, October 6. The solo exhibition at Axiom Art Gallery on Freret Street was entitled “Dear New Orleans,” and featured colorful depictions of various scenes and images one can only find in the Crescent City. Continue reading »

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Jul 182018
 

As part of our program with LION Publishers, the Messenger is working on gaining more back-end resources and better utilizing what we already have. Among other things, this means more staff members.

We’re seeking a Business Communication Coordinator to assist growth on our sales and business development side. See the full job description here.

For editorial, we’d like to add more columnists and freelancers into our fold. Continue reading »

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Jul 092018
 

Mario Zervigon, left, touches on how maintaining relationships in the state legislature helped pass the unanimous jury bill during a New Orleans Coalition meeting. From left: Representative Royce Duplessis; Sarah Omojola, director of the Welcoming Project; and Senator J.P. Morrell.

Members of the New Orleans Coalition gathered Uptown Sunday afternoon to discuss the fate of – and the impact of – criminal justice reform legislation in Louisiana. Senator J.P. Morrell and Representative Royce Duplessis were on hand to recap the most recent legislative session and how each bill was successfully passed, as well as what issues will be front and center next year. Sarah Omojola, former Policy Counsel for Southern Poverty Law Center and current Director of the Welcoming Project, touched on the legislative process from an advocacy level. Mario Zervigon, of the Zervigon Consulting Group, moderated the panel.

Both Morrell and Duplessis touched on how term limits will affect the new representatives’ learning curves, since the number of experiences legislators dwindle every year. Duplessis said leaning on longtime senators helped him learn the ins and outs of the legislative process. Losing older Republicans to newly elected ones who lack “flexibility and are drunk on their election” is going to be one of the most devastating impacts from term limits, Morrlel said. Continue reading »

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