Jan 302013
 

The vacant lot at 2101 Prytania (image via Google maps).

Firefighters battle the flames consuming the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church on Prytania Street in January 2011. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

A vacant lot on Prytania Street in the Lower Garden District where a century-old church burned down two years ago could become a small development of eight homes, based on plans discussed Tuesday afternoon by the city’s architectural review team. Continue reading »

Jan 302013
 

Jean-Paul Villere

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. Continue reading »

Jan 292013
 

Tulane sports-law professor Gabe Feldman introduces former Saints players Steve Gleason and Scott Fujita before a panel discussion on “The Future of Football,” as Tulane President Scott Cowen (sitting next to Gleason) smiles from the audience. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Public concern about the long-term risks of football on young children — including that expressed by President Obama this week — may ultimately represent the biggest threat to the future of the nation’s most popular pasttime, former Saints player Steve Gleason said during a panel discussion on the issue Tuesday night.

Until very recently, it would not have been uncommon for a 6-year-old boy to dream of growing up to be like San Diego Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau, Gleason said. But after Seau committed suicide last year — and was subsequently discovered to have signs of a depression-causing degenerative brain disease linked to repetitive head injuries — children may now be starting to decide they don’t want to be like NFL players, Gleason said. When the President of the United States speculates that if he had a son, he might not want him to play football, that’s one more major step in that direction, Gleason said.

“Now, that kid — and his parents — do not want to grow up to be like Junior. As a result, the talent pool is diminished, and the game slowly becomes less relevant,” said Gleason, who is also battling ALS. “Obama, with his hypothetical comment, in his own way diminished the hypothetical talent pool, which is the greatest asset the NFL has.” Continue reading »

Jan 282013
 

Freret resident Andy Brott, hydrologist W. Scott Lincoln and meteorologist Tim Erickson inspect a rain gauge on top of Brott’s house in mid January. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

For many New Orleanians, Hurricane Isaac will be remembered for the long week without power and the maddening uncertainty as to when it would return.

But for a group of National Weather Service researchers, Isaac has proven interesting for what did not happen — street flooding — despite their discovery of what appears to have been a band of abnormally heavy rainfall right across Uptown New Orleans.

“Our biggest question is, ‘Where did the water go?’” said emergency-response meteorologist Tim Erickson during a recent trip to Freret Street to investigate. Continue reading »

Jan 282013
 

Seven total gun cases were reported along the Uptown portion of the parade route this weekend, with five clustering near Erato Street, and the other two at Eighth and Sixth streets. (map via NOPD.com)

Four more gun cases were reported on the Uptown parade route Saturday and Sunday, bringing the total for the first weekend of Carnival to seven, according to police reports. Continue reading »

Jan 282013
 

(Cartoon by Owen Courreges)

Owen Courreges

The food truck debate in New Orleans is stirring once again.  City Councilwoman Stacy Head has floated legislation to loosen regulations of food trucks, which at present are largely unchanged from the 1950’s. These existing regulations make food truck operations a nearly impossible proposition, with draconian restrictions on permits, operating times and locations. Continue reading »

Jan 272013
 

The Knights of King Arthur’s Queen Guinevere, Pam Dean Goodard, smiles as she prepares throw a toy football into the Napoleon Avenue crowd. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of Carrollton and Knights of King Arthur rolled Sunday afternoon on the Uptown route.

A member of the Krewe of Carrollton on the “Day at the Jazzfest” float tosses beads into the St. Charles Avenue crowd. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

Jan 262013
 

A rider on the Knights of Sparta “Moonlight Serenade” float singles out a parade-goer to catch a throw. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Knights of Sparta rolled on the Uptown route with 17 floats themed “My Way,” after Sinatra songs, and the Krewe of Pygmalion rolled an 18-float parade entitled “Pygmalion Celebrates.”

The Pygmammoth float, which debuted in 2012, makes its second appearance in the Krewe of Pygmalion parade on St. Charles Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Jan 262013
 

Horseback riders lead the Krewe of Choctaw up St. Charles Avenue. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of Pontchartrain’s 15 floats riddled parade-goers with the theme of “What are you afraid of?” on Saturday afternoon, and the Krewe of Choctaw made its first appearance on the Uptown route with a 18-float parade with whimsical takes on “Avenues of America.”

The Krewe of Pontchartrain’s floats asked parade-goers, “What are you afraid of?” (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Jan 262013
 

A rendering of the Tulane Stadium released in September. (UptownMessenger.com file image)

Mayor Mitch Landrieu released the details of the agreement his office has reached with Tulane governing the use of the university’s proposed stadium on Friday, drawing swift reaction from neighborhood groups that it is still too lenient. Continue reading »

Jan 262013
 

Craig Giesecke

These days I’ve been helping some friends put together a new restaurant/bar operation in the Warehouse District. The principals involved are veterans of the local restaurant/bar scene, so there aren’t a whole lot of surprises being thrown at any of us. But, as with any new operation, there’s a lot of “one step forward, two steps back” thing when you’re waiting on construction crews to assemble the plumbing, electrical stuff and hand-mill a new bar on-site.

The most frustrating thing about putting together such a new business is all the hurry-up-and-wait stuff involved in licensing and permitting. Things are particularly messy this time of year, as health inspectors want to make sure they’re gotten around to as many places as possible before the big Carnival crowds arrive.  Throw the Super Bowl on top of it and you’ve got, well, a task more difficult than a left turn off Tulane Avenue. Continue reading »