Apr 232014
 

The former Duke Morgan spa on Magazine Street, photographed in September 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The former Duke Morgan spa on Magazine Street, photographed in September 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The owners of the celebrated Sylvain and Ste. Marie restaurants downtown have completed their purchase of an Uptown building where they plan “The Manor on Magazine,” and they remain on track to open in the fall of this year, they said Tuesday evening. Continue reading »

Apr 232014
 

FANAThe Faubourg Avart Neighborhood Association — which formed last year to represent the area between Prytania and the river, from Upperline to Valmont — will host City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell for a discussion of quality-of-life issues at a meeting tonight (Wednesday, April 23) at St. Katharine Drexel Prep, 5116 Magazine. Continue reading »

Apr 222014
 
The Coliseum Square fountain flows in the background during a crawfish boil fundraiser in May 2012. (photo courtesy of Jim McAlister)

The Coliseum Square fountain flows in the background during a crawfish boil fundraiser in May 2012. (photo courtesy of Jim McAlister)

(image via neworleansfilmsociety.org)

(image via neworleansfilmsociety.org)

Two of the Crescent City’s best springtime offerings — the Coliseum Square Association’s annual crawfish boil fundraiser and a showing of “The Goonies” in the New Orleans Film Society’s Moonlight Movies series — will converge on the same evening in an unexpected but possibly perfect pairing next month. Continue reading »

Apr 162014
 
Newly delivered construction equipment sits at the site of the Martin Wine Cellar on Baronne Street on Tuesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Newly delivered construction equipment sits at the site of the Martin Wine Cellar on Baronne Street on Tuesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Cedric Martin has been a somewhat regular attendee of Delachaise Neighborhood Association meetings over the last year, but when he walked into the room Tuesday night — as the first signs of construction begin to show at the Baronne Street site where he is rebuilding the original Martin Wine Cellar — he was met with applause and cheering.

“Thank you,” Martin said quietly as he sat down, to which one member replied: “Thank you for starting construction.” Continue reading »

Apr 152014
 
At least two sections of the Newcomb Boulevard fence have been removed as of Tuesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

At least two sections of the Newcomb Boulevard fence have been removed as of Tuesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

At least two sections of the controversial Newcomb Boulevard fence were removed Tuesday morning, and city officials say the intersection will re-open to two-way traffic in about a week. Continue reading »

Apr 082014
 
More than 100 people turned out Tuesday for the City Planning Commission hearing on the proposed sale of Newcomb Boulevard. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

More than 100 people turned out Tuesday for the City Planning Commission hearing on the proposed sale of Newcomb Boulevard. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Pedestrians pass by the Newcomb Boulevard fence in early February. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Pedestrians pass by the Newcomb Boulevard fence in early February. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

By a 6-1 vote Tuesday, members of the City Planning Commission said they saw a clear public need for Newcomb Boulevard to be open to drivers and the public, rejecting an effort by the street’s residents to buy it and make it private.

What will become of the controversial iron gate blocking the boulevard at Freret Street remains unclear, however. Unlike most City Planning decisions, Tuesday’s vote will not automatically be forwarded to the City Council for review — though officials said it was unclear whether additional avenues remain open for the Newcomb residents. Continue reading »

Apr 022014
 
Pedestrians pass by the Newcomb Boulevard fence in early February. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Pedestrians pass by the Newcomb Boulevard fence in early February. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Opponents of the controversial Newcomb Boulevard fence have won a preliminary round in the fight over the street’s future, as city planners are recommending against its sale and closure to the public. Continue reading »

Mar 272014
 
A drawing of the proposed community center included in city documents.

A drawing of the proposed community center included in city documents.

A long-promised community center slated for west Carrollton received another extension from the New Orleans City Council Thursday afternoon, but the years-old controversy over its management flared again amid traded accusations of secret agendas. Continue reading »

Mar 262014
 
Pedestrians pass by the Newcomb Boulevard fence in early February. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Pedestrians pass by the Newcomb Boulevard fence in early February. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

After years of court battles, the proposed sale of Newcomb Boulevard between St. Charles Avenue and Freret Street is headed to the City Planning Commission in less than two weeks, and those who have fought to have the street reopened are hoping to rally public opinion to their side with a quickly organized campaign. Continue reading »

Mar 192014
 
(photo submitted by the Freret Neighborhood Center)

(photo submitted by the Freret Neighborhood Center)

By Liz Jurey, Freret Neighborhood Center

Have you ever wondered what happens in that yellow and red double shotgun house on Freret Street? You might be surprised to learn about the incredible work being done behind those blue doors! The Freret Neighborhood Center helps to offer resources to the Uptown / Central City area by providing access to a computer lab that is open to the public, conducting an afterschool program, organizing neighborhood clean-up efforts, and much more! We engage approximately 1,200 people, including residents, children, university students, as well as local and visiting volunteers.

This is a unique space where people from all walks of life are able to gather and work towards the betterment of this region. Show your support and celebrate our accomplishments by coming out this Thursday for an exciting event in our honor! Continue reading »

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Mar 172014
 

Owen Courreges

Should the powers of New Orleans Municipal Court be expanded?   It’s already happening.  You just probably didn’t realizing it was going on.

It began a couple of years ago, in late January 2012.  Mayor Mitch Landrieu dispatched letters to the judges of Criminal District Court and Municipal Court asking them to impose higher bonds for release in gun cases.  Landrieu specifically pointed to a program initiated by Judge John Garvey in St. Louis, who began automatically requiring a $30,000 cash-only bond for youths arrested for illegally possessing firearms. Continue reading »

Mar 112014
 
Volunteers plant a tree while children play behind them at Wisner Playground in November 2010.  (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

Volunteers plant a tree while children play behind them at Wisner Playground in November 2010. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

By Ramsey Green and Sam Winston, members of Friends of Wisner Park

On Saturday, New Orleanians will vote on whether to approve a new 50-year tax increase with all revenue exclusively designated for the Audubon Institute. You should vote “No” – especially if you value having more functional green spaces in the city like the beautiful Audubon Park. Continue reading »

Feb 282014
 

Three small Uptown streets — Rosa Park, Dunleith Court and Richmond Place — are all marked as “private” streets but no one pays taxes for them, a series of contradictions that dates back a century and that assessor Erroll Williams tells The Lens may have to end. Accounts conflict as to whether the city has maintained them, thus making them public, and it is also unclear who would be responsible for their taxes if they are kept private, The Lens reports. Continue reading »

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Feb 252014
 
A drawing of the proposed community center included in city documents.

A drawing of the proposed community center included in city documents.

Kevin Brown (via tccno.org)

Kevin Brown (via tccno.org)

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. Continue reading »

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Feb 212014
 
(via www.ashecac.org)

(via www.ashecac.org)

Ashé Cultural Arts Center  (via www.ashecac.org)

The Ashé Cultural Arts Center will host a free screening of “The Trials of Muhammed Ali” tonight (Friday, Feb. 21) and a number of other events now through the end of the month, including The New Orleans Jazz Marketplace celebration, The African Presence in Venezuela since President Hugo Chavez exhibit & film screening, and fun fitness sessions. Continue reading »

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Feb 182014
 
Members of the Coliseum Square Association meet Monday night in the Felicity Church, which is under renovation by a private owner. The association has been advocating for a similar future for the nearby Spanish-American Church building on Sophie Wright Place. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Members of the Coliseum Square Association meet Monday night in the Felicity Church, which is under renovation by a private owner. The association has been advocating for a similar future for the nearby Spanish-American Church building on Sophie Wright Place. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

Feb 172014
 
A map of "Dizneylandrieu" distributed by Krewe of Spank members during the Krewe du Vieux parade Saturday night. (image via @noladishu on Twitter; click for larger version)

A map of “Dizneylandrieu” distributed by Krewe of Spank members during the Krewe du Vieux parade Saturday night. (image via @noladishu on Twitter; click for larger version)

Owen Courreges

The past twenty years have seen the popularization of a relatively new word: Disneyfication. The Wikipedia article on Disneyfication defines it as “a term which describes the transformation of something, usually society at large, to resemble The Walt Disney Company’s theme parks.”

Many people, including me, have linked this concept to policies coming from New Orleans City Hall.

Those of you who went to see the Krewe du Vieux parade Saturday evening were greeted by a float emblazoned: “Dizneylandrieu.” Beneath a caricature of Mitch Landrieu as Mickey Mouse, Krewe members dubbed “Mitchkateers” distributed maps of “mayor-approved adventure[s] in the Gentrified Kingdom.” Continue reading »