Aug 242016
 
The corner lot at the beginning of the summer. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere)

The corner lot at the beginning of the summer. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere)

Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

As summer’s sizzle dissipates over the coming weeks, the back-to-school throngs may muse on their most recent season away from academia, and some may even have it as their premiere assignment upon recommencement.  While I don’t really recall in my younger years a time when this was asked of my fertile student mind, my 42-year-old memory ain’t what she used to be.  So color me pseudo-nostalgically amused when my oldest had this very task put to her and she wrote about our family train trip to Chicago.  Which I totally dug too.  Except, and in honest reflection, my real takeaway for summer 2016?  Pecking away, hours over days and largely singlehandedly, at an overwhelmingly under-maintained vacant corner lot in my neighborhood. Continue reading »

Aug 222016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Sometimes I find column topics, and sometimes they find me. Just last night I was driving to Walgreens, musing upon what latest New Orleans travesty to write about. As I started to turn down a street adjacent to the Walgreens, I noticed that the street was one-way and jerked back suddenly.

It wasn’t my fault. One of the requisite one-way signs was missing completely, while the other was partially-blocked by foliage and appeared faded. There were no “do not enter” signs either. Aside from the presence of parking cars uniformly parked in the opposite direction, it was virtually impossible to know that the street was one-way. Continue reading »

Aug 222016
 

By Sandra Stokes, president of the Louisiana Landmarks Society

It has become all too familiar in historic neighborhoods – perfectly proportioned historic homes demolished for totally out-of-scale McMansions; harmonious streetscapes marred by inappropriate new construction; or additions that look like cancerous growths on what was a perfectly fine home.

Louisiana Landmarks Society recognizes the advantages of local historic districts in maintaining scale and character in neighborhoods, while providing stability and predictability. At the same time, we also understand the concerns of residents that being subject to the jurisdiction of the Historic Landmarks District Commission (HDLC) might infringe upon their personal property rights. Continue reading »

Aug 182016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

The American Red Cross labeled it “the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy.”

With last week’s devastating floods which displaced more than 40,000 citizens and caused 11 deaths, along with Tuesday’s 47th anniversary of Hurricane Camille and the upcoming 11th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana’s citizens should focus on what climate change has already done to our state and their personal responsibility to create a more sustainable future. Continue reading »

Aug 122016
 
El Fuego Brisket and Flame Torched Jack and Catfish and Chipotle tacos (Kristine Froeba)

El Fuego Brisket and Flame Torched Jack and Catfish and Chipotle tacos (Kristine Froeba)

There’s a new Mexican joint in the historic Town of Carrollton. The Oak Street shopping district of yore continues its gentrification, with an influx of small businesses as the result. The street where we all bought our first pair of shoes at Haase’s has come a long way. What was once then, a main shopping corridor, fell onto hard times, then a few shabby decades, followed by a post-Katrina renaissance.

Not far from the railroad tracks, replacing Squeal BBQ, is a new hipster restaurant, surely to be popular with locals and students alike. Continue reading »

Aug 112016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released last week shows that only 1 percent of registered African-American voters overall support Donald Trump. Some strategists consider this trend problematic and could cost Trump the popular vote in many states like Louisiana with high African-American registration. In fact, Louisiana has the second highest percentage of African-American voters (32 percent) than any state in the nation except Mississippi (37 percent).

Trump of course is making up for his lack of African-American voters by his continued (though slightly eroding) support from the white working class who feel their way of life is being threatened. Trump simply tapped into their establishment-hating attitudes that have been simmering for years. Continue reading »

Aug 082016
 
The Pikachu statue stands guard over Terpsichore Street, in the same block as the "Birth of the Muse" statue on Prytania. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Pikachu statue stands guard over Terpsichore Street, in the same block as the “Birth of the Muse” statue on Prytania. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

The Pokemonument that mysteriously appeared earlier this week inside a defunct fountain in the neutral ground on Terpsichore Street in the Lower Garden District (my stomping grounds) has certainly captured the popular imagination. It seems everyone I know has visited at least once.

I certainly wasn’t immune, having made my own trek over to the fiberglass creation a couple of days after it appeared. I’m not ashamed to say that I snapped a selfie. Heck, although I was technically too old for it, I will confess to having watched a bit of the original Pokemon cartoon series back in the 90’s. The show was a bit of innocuous camp, and the statue, a heaping bowl of warm nostalgia. Continue reading »

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Aug 052016
 
University of Vermont freshman Stephen Tonra contemplates Pecan Pie (Kristine Froeba)

University of Vermont freshman Stephen Tonra contemplates Pecan Pie (Kristine Froeba)

Some things never change, and thankfully Camellia Grill on South Carrollton is (mostly) one of them.

Friend and legislator Neil Abramson’s first New Orleans post-Hurricane Isaac meal was at the diner’s famous Riverbend lunch counter. Neil’s usual, two cheeseburgers with onions. Both on one plate, same time, he doesn’t mess around. He and his son Parrish also insist on Vanilla Freezes. I prefer the Cherry Chocolate. The Orange Freeze is unique and worth a try if you miss Orange Julius. Continue reading »

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Aug 042016
 
Former Louisiana Govs. Buddy Roemer, Kathleen Blanco and Edwin Edwards share a laugh during one of the lighter moments during Wednesday night's panel discussion at Loyola University. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Former Louisiana Govs. Buddy Roemer, Kathleen Blanco and Edwin Edwards share a laugh during one of the lighter moments during a March 2014 panel discussion at Loyola University. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

More than a year ago while addressing the West St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, Louisiana’s colorful, powerful and legendary 50th governor Edwin Washington Edwards said that Donald J. Trump would ultimately “wear himself out.” And so he has.

Trump just can’t seem to help himself. No matter how hard he tries to convince voters that he has the judgment and discipline to lead the world’s greatest democracy, Trump continues to spew bombast rhetoric that is embarrassing Republican leaders and mainstream voters across the nation — many, like Newt Gingrich, who are now having second thoughts about his electability. Continue reading »

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Aug 012016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Oscar Wilde once called experience “the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” In this sense, it is very useful to discuss Austin’s “experience” in building commuter rail. You see, commuter rail was originally envisioned as a remedy for congestion and an environmental boon, a sound investment in transportation infrastructure.

Instead, it turned out to be a cautionary tale, one New Orleans would best heed. Continue reading »

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Jul 292016
 
Jamaican Scalllops in pineapple juice, jalapeños, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and piri piri sauce (Kristine Froeba)

Jamaican Scalllops in pineapple juice, jalapeños, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and piri piri sauce (Kristine Froeba)

Mayas Nuevo Latina will soon be celebrating its tenth year, offering Zagat-rated Central American Caribbean fusion in New Orleans. The restaurant is a frontrunner for those seeking a casual, but elegant, gourmand Latin American experience Uptown.

Chef Edgar Irias and co-owner, Trinity Cazzola, founded the restaurant in 2007 and are about to expand their reach with a second restaurant further upriver. The concept will be an authentic Mexican menu, with zero Tex-Mex influence. Expect goat meat and imported local cheeses.

For now, you can enjoy brunch, lunch, and dinner at their flagship restaurant in the LGD. Continue reading »

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Jul 282016
 
Hillary Clinton speaks to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday in a photo by Louisiana delegate Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. (photo courtesy of Danae Columbus)

Hillary Clinton speaks to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday in a photo by Louisiana delegate Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. (photo courtesy of Danae Columbus)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Hillary Clinton’s acceptance of the Democratic nomination for President tonight will be a huge milestone in the long drive by millions of women for electoral equality. Will Hillary’s support from women, black and Hispanic voters be strong enough to elect her in November? Continue reading »

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Jul 222016
 
The patio at Tasting Room (Kristine Froeba)

The patio at Tasting Room (Kristine Froeba)

If you follow Magazine right after it forks above Camp, there’s a tiny gem of a place you may have missed. The Tasting Room, hidden amongst several bars and shops in the LGD, is easy to miss but worth a visit. The décor is elegant, of the shabby chic variety, deep azure velvet sofas, candlelight, chandeliers, refurbished wood, and antique mirrors. The night I arrived, “Casablanca” was being shown on the historic brick wall above the patio. The perfect date place.

The wine, however, is serious. Continue reading »

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Jul 212016
 
Paul Bonin shares a chuckle after qualifying to run for Criminal District Court. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Paul Bonin shares a chuckle after qualifying to run for Criminal District Court. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Political insiders are shaking their heads this week as to why Paul Bonin, a widely-popular 4th Circuit Court of Appeals judge who has more than five years remaining on his current term, would decide to run for a lower-paying judgeship in the rough-and-tumble Criminal District Court. Continue reading »

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Jul 182016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

A few years ago, local NBC affiliate WDSU reported on an embarrassment familiar to all New Orleanians, namely the fact that street signs seem to be regarded as more of a luxury in this city than an obvious necessity. Particularly absent are those signs actually identifying the names of streets – you know, so you can actually find your way around.

“If you think about some of the basic things you expect a city to have, in terms of the impression of the city, if it doesn’t have a street sign it kind of lets you know they don’t have it all together,” local resident Francis James told reporters. His intersection had no signs at all. Continue reading »

Jul 142016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

The 75 Louisiana Republicans heading to next week’s national convention in Cleveland are gearing up for several exciting days of politics and parties as presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump moves quickly to solidify his base heading into the November election battle against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Continue reading »

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Jul 122016
 
A protester holds a sign during a rally demanding justice for Eric Harris on Friday, July 8. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

A protester holds a sign during a rally demanding justice for Eric Harris on Friday, July 8. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Louisiana became a flashpoint this week for the seemingly never-ending debate over police shootings. Alas, the general reaction has been to draw the wrong conclusions and debate the wrong issue. Continue reading »

Jul 082016
 
Summer Ramen (Kristine Froeba)

Summer Ramen (Kristine Froeba)

There are so many restaurants to frequent in our little hamlets of Uptown; we sometimes forget the one’s right around the corner. A walk to the neighborhood hardware store led me to stumble into Noodle and Pie. I’d been there before and enjoyed it, but now found a delightful Summer Menu with a few new additions. Continue reading »

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Jul 012016
 
First Banana Split for Miss Olivia Witte, Ice Cream Expert, aged five (Kristine Froeba)

First Banana Split for Miss Olivia Witte, ice cream expert, aged five (Kristine Froeba)

The main ice cream parlor of any small southern town is a summer staple. It’s usually on Main Street. Ours, in our little town of “Uptown”, is on Prytania. The Creole Creamery sits snugly in the middle of the block in the most nostalgic of locations, the old Mckenzie’s Bakery.

It is exactly as an ice cream parlor should be. There’s a long counter where you can pull up a stool and order a malted, bright red vinyl booths that invite sharing a banana split, and glass cases to peer in to oogle the flavors. Oddly enough, we seem to have only one ice cream parlor Uptown, but the quaint charm of this one is all we need. Continue reading »

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