Jul 022013

All reported robberies around Uptown New Orleans in 2013. (map via NOPD)

The procession of high-profile Uptown robberies may seem unabated lately: a Garden District couple held up on their front porch, masked men barging into Cooter Brown’s in search of the safe, or a trio of very young teens in skeleton masks demanding money at gunpoint on Broadway Street, all just in June alone.

But despite the perception these incidents create, and in spite of a generally shrinking New Orleans Police Department, Uptown has seen a dramatic decrease of 50 percent or more in the number of armed robberies reported in 2013 from the same period of time last year, according to statistics compiled from NOPD sources. Continue reading »

Jul 022013

jewel bush

Last week, Facebook blocked my account for 12 hours because it alleged that a picture I posted violated its terms of use.  The image in question was a black-and-white still from the early 20th century of a man hung from a lamp post with a sign affixed to his chest that read: “This Nigger Voted.”

Yes, this is graphic, uncomfortable and hard to view, but given last week’s news — the highest court in the land striking down key parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — the context made sense. It wasn’t gratuitous Rambo-esque or Tarantino bloody and gory for brutality’s sake. I shared this historic image of a lynched black person to spark a discussion and to remind the pop culture community that while folks waste brain cells deciphering the lyrics of Kanye West’s new album or who is Twitter beefing with whom, our rights are being stripped away in brazen swoops. Continue reading »

Jul 022013

Owen Courreges

Like Mardi Gras beads on a St. Charles crape myrtle, the debate over what to do with the New Orleans World Trade Center has lingered.  The problem is that the World Trade Center, built in 1967, is widely regarded as a landmark.  Nevertheless, its future is in peril.  The city seems determined to see it scrapped.  Others are raising their voices to have it preserved. Continue reading »

Jun 292013

Trent Mackey

Trent Mackey — who is awaiting trial on an armed robbery charge related to a home-invasion case on Broadway Street last summer — is suing the New Orleans Police Department over a second arrest, in which he was charged with burglary of a house in the same block of Broadway, according to a report by Ramon Antonio Vargas of The Times-Picayune. The burglary victim awoke to find a bald-headed man in his room and subsequently told police it might have been Mackey, but after prosecutors declined to take the case, Mackey’s attorneys argue that the arrest was wrongful and part of a scheme to discredit him, Vargas reports.

Jun 282013

Craig Giesecke

Our brief trip up to Illinois for a long weekend turned out to be every bit the culinary adventure we’d been seeking, not so much because the food was adventuresome but because it gave us a chance to hit some spots that simply don’t exist in this part of the world – at least not yet. Give it time. Continue reading »

Jun 272013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Can “Landslide” Landrieu be lucky and win again?

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu has won three elections for the Senate without ever surpassing 52 percent of the vote. Every one of her races has been tough and close but she faces an ultimate political test this year in a state that each year turns more Republican. Landrieu is one of the Deep South’s last two Democrats in the U.S. Senate. But many think that Southern Democratic elected officials closely resemble dinosaurs at the end of their era, except for State Senator Karen Carter Peterson who chairs Louisiana’s Democratic Party. Continue reading »