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.
New Orleans City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and several state legislators will discuss the recent round of Road Home letters sent to homeowners at 5 p.m. today (Monday, Jan. 27) in the City Council chambers.
Although the site of the former Martin Wine Cellar on Baronne Street remains a quiet concrete foundation, neighbors have been cheered by the sounds of construction at the old New Orleans Bicycle Club building next door, and owner Cedric Martin says rebuilding his beloved grocery remains on track to begin in March and finish six months later.
Buildings along a 10-block stretch of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard are now eligible for grants of up to $50,000 to help with the costs of historic renovations, as part of a $1 million “Main Street”-style program across New Orleans announced by Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Tuesday.
The one-day “After Katrina: Transnational Perspectives on the Futures of the Gulf South” conference Friday at the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University will feature keynote presentations by Richard Campanella and Kalamu ya Salaam, as well as a range of other local cultural figures, neighborhood leaders, activists and academics.
As a child of the 80s reared on cable and the small screen, my first opportunity to see The Wizard of Oz on the big screen came in a mid 90s summer-revival series at the State Palace, and the experience remains with me today. First of all, the movie alone to be seen in this fashion should not be missed, I don’t care how many times you’ve seen it. Secondly, to see a film in a somewhat decrepit but likely once masterful venue layers the sensory. Creaky, spent springs and paint-chipped seating, flooring with decades of goo, and echoey cavern of yesterday celluloid dank and dark. And then Mr. Brunet spoke.
The Saenger Theater has finally reopened. The opening gala took went off without a hitch over the weekend, with the facility receiving rave reviews. Public and private dollars funded the whopping $52 million renovation that has been in the making for eight years, so expectations were running high. Thankfully, the Saenger seems to have delivered.
Even cantankerous Times-Picayune theater critic (and sometimes theologian) Ted Mahne, whose scathing review of “Avenue-Q” is the stuff of legend, gushed that the Saenger was “magical.” Oh, and the sense of civic pride? It was “palpable.”
The possibility that an upscale student-housing development may be planned for the large block of Freret Street where the former Frank’s Steakhouse still remains a shuttered landmark is being met with concern and questions by people in the neighborhood.
In our opinion, C. Ray Nagin was the worst mayor of our lifetimes. It is entirely possible that Nagin was the worst mayor in New Orleans’ 295-year history, going all the way back to the French and Spanish chief executives whom Danae has been studying recently.
However, being a terrible mayor is not of itself a crime. Later this month, a jury will be convened in federal court to consider whether accepting some $200,000 in cash and gifts, along with several truckloads of free granite, is indeed a federal crime. The jurors will presumably hear Nagin’s Chief Administrative Officer Greg Meffert and big-time vendor Mark St. Pierre, both of whom are currently doing time in the federal pen.
Given the explosion of commercial growth on Freret Street — from only a single restaurant four years ago to 14 blocks of highly-lauded cuisine, new entertainment venues and businesses ranging from a dog-groomer to a craft-cocktail lounge — concerns about gentrification should be expected. But after that heated meeting in March, the proponents and opponents literally walked away from the school building together down the sidewalk, relying on relationships and respect forged over decades to find a middle ground — suggesting that, perhaps, something is different about what’s happening on Freret.
Less than two months after Mayor Mitch Landrieu celebrated its reopening with a jubilant splash, the pool at the Lyons Center is now closed for the summer, along with all the other outdoor pools in the city.
Closing the pools at the end of July was budgetary decision based on the return to school in August, but residents and some officials say another week or two would have been appropriate.
Isidore Newman School hosted parents and community members Tuesday night as the school moves forward with plans to more than double its early childhood facility.
Head of School Dale Smith and architect Mac Ball presented the 950-student school’s plans to expand enrollment offerings to its youngest attendees.
“I think it’s safe to say he’s a preservationist at heart,” Smith said of Ball — one of the reasons he was selected for the job.
Newsflash: “Neighbors and nightclub clash over live music.” It sounds like a headline from any given day’s report from the City Council chambers, but it’s actually a story that’s nearly as old as New Orleans.
Whether New Orleans properly takes care of its musicians and other artists is another never-ending saga — but one that may finally be showing some improvement, according a panel discussion held at Tulane University on Thursday evening.
As recently as this past Monday evening as I walked home from work, I saw an older black couple gutting a house in my neighborhood, some seven-plus years after the events of 2005. No volunteers, no fancy apparatus, no wrecking ball. Just two people, a truck and flatbed, and work gloves, overalls and dust masks, the pungent mold wafting from across the street. Where this house is, it’s unclear if the water came up or the water fell in, as the raised-pier home may or may not have taken flood water, and the roof while appearing to be halfway past its useful 30 year life did not appear to be damaged or compromised. The how is almost moot. Water up, water down, it doesn’t matter (unless you’re dealing with some damned adjuster). Water damaged the home. Whereas the why is more than evident. So many years later some may ask Why now? Why not choose to sell or abandon it all together? This home means something to them, and now in 2013 they’re here, they’re able-bodied, and they’re doing it, seemingly unassisted.
One takeaway should be this: our journey in recovery is far from complete.
The Lyons Center recreational complex at Louisiana and Tchoupitoulas — where ground was broken on extensive renovations in September after years of neglect after Hurricane Katrina — is expected to open in May, city officials told Tania Dall of our partners at WWL-TV.
We will never get out of our minds the picture of then-U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert in the wake of Hurricane Katrina asking of New Orleans, “Why would anyone want to rebuild there?” He later apologized but we thought the question marked Hastert as forever an idiot.