Mar 062017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

There’s no way to sugar-coat this: We came in dead last. Economically, New Orleans is the municipal equivalent of the 2008 Detroit Lions.

According to a report released by the Brookings Institute, New Orleans ranked last among America’s 100 largest cities in terms of economic prosperity between the years of 2010 and 2015. Everything decreased – worker productivity, average standard-of-living, and average wages. Continue reading »

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Mar 032017
 

Twice-Baked French Toast with Berry Compote, Whipped Cream and Maple Syrup (Kristine Froeba)

Mid-City’s successful Gracious Bakery has opened a second full-service location, Gracious on the Avenue. Pastry Chef Megan Forman has brought her pastries, brunch, and luncheon selections Uptown—the Garden District to be exact.

Uptown is always ready for a new breakfast spot. Continue reading »

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Mar 022017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

As the nation celebrates National Women’s History Month, we in Louisiana must reflect on the thousands of bold, pioneering women who since the Ursuline nuns arrived in 1727 have always been ready to influence, innovate, and inspire. Through their leadership in education, the arts, medicine, sports, and government, Louisiana became the state she is today. Continue reading »

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Feb 232017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

As LaToya Cantrell and others step up their pace for the 2017 race for mayor of New Orleans, political insiders wonder if the best way for the Landrieu family to hold on to their power and the associated riches is to elect former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu as New Orleans’ next mayor. Continue reading »

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Feb 202017
 

Empty portable chairs block an intersection as a parade rolls on Sunday, which is against the law and also just rude. (Photo by Owen Courreges for UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Mardi Gras season has generally been considered a prime time for breaking the rules. Whatever terrible activities your nefarious mind has contemplated, Carnival can accommodate.

Drink to excess? Do it during Mardi Gras!

Dress up in a ridiculous, profane costume? If it’s Mardi Gras, I’m there! Continue reading »

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Feb 172017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Drew Ward is a non-traditional politician. He ran unsuccessfully for Council District A four years ago when he received a little more than 10% of the vote and has already announced his candidacy again. Continue reading »

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Feb 092017
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell (left) helps A.P. Marullo cut the ribbon on the new CC’s Coffeehouse in Mid-City. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

When supporters are asked why they think LaToya Cantrell might make a good mayor, they always talk about her commitment to the community, hard work after Katrina and willingness to take on issues others shy away from. In short, she is known as a fighter.

[Note: This is the first in a series of columns analyzing the potential candidates in the upcoming New Orleans mayoral race.] Continue reading »

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Feb 062017
 

Homemade cinnamon filled King Cake, before and after decoration, by Houston pastry chef Ligny Hunter (photos Ligny Hunter).

This is the year of the homemade King Cake.

Locals are trying their hand at baking the glittery tradition at home for Mardi Gras. Many of our best chefs are also sharing homemade King Cakes and their recipes with a lucky few. These are not restaurant recipes; this is what is served on their own tables. Recipes can be original, complicated, easy, or from known cookbooks. The doughs may be dissimilar, but the toppings are always a dusting of sparkling purple, green, and gold. Continue reading »

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Feb 062017
 

Transdev shows off the red EZ10 self-driving shuttle at the Ernest Morial Convention Center. (image via our partners at WWL-TV)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

New Orleans were given a glimpse of the future this past week, or at least one possible version of it. Alas, it appears that the future is a slow-moving red box.

The corporate operator of New Orleans public transit, Transdev, held an event with Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Monday to preview its self-driving vehicle, the EZ10 “Easy Rider” Autonomous Shuttle. The red, box-shaped EZ10, which is capable of holding 12 passengers, plodded along at roughly 8 miles per hour in front of the Morial Convention Center. Continue reading »

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Feb 022017
 

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro speaks. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

In remarks delivered at the Criminal Justice Conference on Sexual Assault yesterday, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro blasted New Orleans city leaders for “working from the Neville Chamberlain manual of war planning.“ Great Britain’s prime minister from 1937 to 1940, Chamberlain was often blamed for failing to prepare the county for World War II and associated today with a policy of appeasement that allowed Nazi Germany to grow strong. Continue reading »

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Jan 302017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Flanked by Gov. John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced a $40 million plan purportedly aimed at enhancing safety in New Orleans. The principal aim of the plan appeared to be twofold: 1) taming Bourbon Street; and, 2) beginning the process of turning New Orleans into some kind of Orwellian surveillance state. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Owen Courreges: Shutting Bourbon Street bar doors hides from New Orleans’ crime problem, instead of solving it
Jan 262017
 

The Women’s March gathers at Duncan Plaza on Saturday, Jan. 21. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

“The New Orleans Women’s March was amazing,” State Senator Karen Carter Peterson told the mostly female crowd at her fundraiser Monday night. “I had no idea what to expect.” Flanked by Governor John Bel Edwards and Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Carter Peterson said the march showed that women share “a belief in our democracy” and that “our voices are heard.”

Since last weekend’s march in Washington and “sister” marches around the country and the world, there has been much talk about how to build on the momentum going forward and if women from various economic and ethnic backgrounds can work together on common issues. Continue reading »

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Jan 232017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Last week, I chronicled the exploits of New Orleans’ newest weapon against the scourge of speeding – roving speed camera vehicles. You’ll recall that one of these vehicles was caught doing something rather naughty; namely, it was seen parked across the sidewalk on Lakeshore Drive.

I fully expected that the city would do what it normally does when it gets caught with its pants down: either ignore the incident entirely or (alternatively) issue a statement expressing regret and vowing corrective action to ensure that it wouldn’t happen again.

Instead, the city chose Option “C.” It dug in its heels and defended the indefensible. Continue reading »

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Jan 192017
 

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond delivers the keynote address at the NAACP New Orleans branch’s 2012 Freedom Fund Banquet at Xavier University. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Though recent polls (including one from the Wall Street Journal/NBC News) call President-Elect Donald Trump the most unpopular incoming President in decades, more than a thousand Louisiana residents including Fenn French, Louis Gurvich, Adrian Bruneau, Eric Skrmetta, Brian Trascher, Billy Nungesser, Jeff Landry, and State Republican Party Chair Roger Villere with granddaughter Madison are taking in all the Washington’s sights and sounds this week in preparation for the 45th Presidential Inauguration. Continue reading »

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Jan 162017
 
An automated traffic-enforcement vehicle with a ticket on the windshield. (photo by Charles Schully, reprinted with permission)

An automated traffic-enforcement vehicle with a ticket on the windshield. (photo by Charles Schully, reprinted with permission)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

If aliens ever came down to Earth, they would quickly determine that the government of the city of New Orleans is at odds with its own citizens, working ceaselessly to render their lives more grueling and costly.

The latest escalation of this ongoing fracas consists of the use of 55 new speed cameras throughout the parish to close this year’s budget gap. If these additions were simply fixed cameras, they would have garnered less attention. Instead, motorists this week were greeted with a cavalcade of unmarked vehicles equipped with speed cameras parked along major streets. Continue reading »

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