Mar 252015
 
Riders in Iris toss beads from the "Strawberry Festival" float in 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Riders in Iris toss beads from the “Strawberry Festival” float in 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

If you give a New Orleanian a festival, they will probably want some music to go with it.  Without too much trouble, blues or brass ensembles will appear on a nearby stage and perform.  And the New Orleanian will shake a leg, strut, and possibly queue a second line.  This will surely take place outdoors, so, the New Orleanian will require loose fitting colorful clothing, hopefully some sunscreen, and ample regional fare found in fresh, seasonal food and craft beverages.  But most importantly they will require dollar bills.  Copious quantities of cold, hard cash.  After all, even the free-est of festivals aren’t really free, are they? Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Mar 232015
 
The former Le Roux banquet hall at 1700 Louisiana Avenue, photographed in January 2015. (photos courtesy of Nina English).

The former Le Roux banquet hall at 1700 Louisiana Avenue, photographed in January 2015. (photos courtesy of Nina English).

The former Le Roux banquet hall on Louisiana Avenue that was damaged by fire last year has been approved for demolition, and the owner is considering replacing it with a new condo development. Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Mar 232015
 
(map via roadwork.nola.gov)

(map via roadwork.nola.gov)

Owen Courreges

The city of New Orleans has never been very good at doing things, although it has consistently shown a remarkable ability to publicize those few things it actually does.

It’s like a child who draws crude stick figures and insists on displaying them prominently on the fridge. Were they older, the self-promotion would seem ridiculous, but because of lowered expectations afforded to children onlookers are expected to feign awe and admiration.

These thoughts came to mind when I heard about the city’s new website, RoadWork (http://roadwork.nola.gov), a joint project between the Department of Public Works and the Sewerage & Water Board designed “to inform citizens about past, current, and future road work projects that affect their daily lives.” Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Mar 222015
 
Members of the NOPD Sixth District task force search for an armed robbery suspect on Peniston Street in January 2012. The number of task force officers assigned to individual districts has dramatically decreased since then. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

Members of the NOPD Sixth District task force search for an armed robbery suspect on Peniston Street in January 2012. The number of task force officers assigned to individual districts has dramatically decreased since then. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

During every parade of Carnival season, thousands throng the sidewalks and neutral grounds of St. Charles Avenue, lured by the promise of thrown beads, the blaring bands or the spectacle of the floats. Within that chaotic revelry, however, also lurks the threat of deadly violence in the form of concealed handguns.

The elite New Orleans Police Department officers specifically tasked with finding those guns do not see much of the floats. Instead, they are hyper attentive to parade-goers’ hands, looking for anxious fingers unconsciously seeking reassurance from heavy metal held in a waistband. Or, the officers evaluate gazes – looking for the one young man walking just a little faster than his friends, his eyes straight forward, more intent than the others on reaching his destination because of the dangerous cargo he has in tow. Continue reading »

Mar 192015
 
People observe the elaborate altar at St. Stephen's church. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

People observe the elaborate altar at St. Stephen’s church. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

On Thursday, churches across the greater New Orleans area celebrated St. Joseph’s Day. A celebration originated in New Orleans’ Sicilian community, the day pays homage to St. Joseph who, according to legend, saved Sicily from famine during the Middle Ages. St. Stephen’s church on Napoleon avenue had an elaborate altar while also serving free food outside the church. Continue reading »

 Comments Off