Feb 222014
 
The Krewe of Pygmalion's signature "Pygmammoth" float rolls up Napoleon Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of Pygmalion’s signature “Pygmammoth” float rolls up Napoleon Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of Sparta celebrated the world’s most famous couples in its “Isn’t it Romantic?” parade Saturday night on the Uptown New Orleans parade route, and the Krewe of Pygmalion shared “A Few of Our Favorite Songs.”

The Krewe of Sparta "Trojan Horse" float rolls up Napoleon Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of Sparta “Trojan Horse” float rolls up Napoleon Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Feb 222014
 
Rider throws beads on Napoleon Ave. Pontchartrain's 2014  theme was "What's Eating New Orleans." (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Rider on Pontchartrain’s oyster float throws beads on Napoleon Ave. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Pontchartrain was the first of three krewes to roll Saturday afternoon, followed by Krewe of Choctaw and Krewe of Freret.

Pontchartrain had floats with the theme “What’s Eating New Orleans,” a food-themed guessing game with obvious answers to any New Orleanian. Choctaw’s theme was “Choctaw’s Vacation Destinations,” and the Krewe of Freret paraded for the first time since the 1990s, with an inaugural theme of “There’s a First Time for Everything” and floats lampooning their own return from the grave.

Parade goers await beads from the "Ghouls Gone Wild" float in Krewe of Freret. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Parade goers await beads from the “Ghouls Gone Wild” float in Krewe of Freret. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

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Feb 212014
 
A young rider in the Krewe of Oshun's "Yemoja and Emperor" float. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A young rider in the Krewe of Oshun’s “Yemoja and Emperor” float. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of Oshun was the first parade to roll on the Uptown route of the New Orleans Mardi Gras season on Friday night, followed by the Krewe of Cleopatra.

Oshun’s theme was “Night Out in the Big Easy” and featured 19 floats, including Christopher Brown as King Shango and Laquina L. Brown as Queen Oshun. Cleopatra, parading for the second year in a row on the Uptown route after three decades on the Westbank, had 21 floats in the theme of “Strolling down the Avenue.”

Alexandra Kathryn Breland reigned as Queen Cleopatra XLI. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Alexandra Kathryn Breland reigned as Queen Cleopatra XLI. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Feb 212014
 
(via www.ashecac.org)

(via www.ashecac.org)

Ashé Cultural Arts Center  (via www.ashecac.org)

The Ashé Cultural Arts Center will host a free screening of “The Trials of Muhammed Ali” tonight (Friday, Feb. 21) and a number of other events now through the end of the month, including The New Orleans Jazz Marketplace celebration, The African Presence in Venezuela since President Hugo Chavez exhibit & film screening, and fun fitness sessions. Continue reading »

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Feb 212014
 
An Irish man looks over the Atlantic Ocean just south of Dublin  (via Jessica DeBold,   Uptown Messenger)

An Irish man looks over the Atlantic Ocean just south of Dublin (photo by Jessica DeBold, UptownMessenger.com)

University College of Dublin emblem (via www.ucd.ie)

University College of Dublin emblem (via www.ucd.ie)

High school juniors can take a virtually free trip to the emerald Isle this summer to study for two weeks at the University College of Dublin. The winners of the Irish Network-NOLA scholarship competition will receive free return flights, tuition, accommodation and food in the historic city, but the application is due Monday. Continue reading »

Feb 202014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Voting is one of the most treasured rights of every American. But it is amazing how many people either never register or find some excuse not to vote. Then of course there is the perceived voter fatigue caused by having too frequent elections, failure to educate oneself on the issues, or being too lazy to physically go to the polls.

With early voting set to begin March 1, political eyes will be watching to see what impact voter apathy – due in part to our love of all things Mardi Gras – will have on voter turnout for the March 15 runoff elections for Council At Large, Council C, Sheriff and Coroner. In the primary election held on February 1, approximately 12,000 voters cast their votes early and a much smaller number voted by mail. Continue reading »

Feb 202014
 
Walter Block (via loyno.edu)

Walter Block (via loyno.edu)

Comments in The New York Times by a Loyola University economics professor defending the right of businesses to refuse service to black customers — such as the segregated Woolworth’s lunch counters that became an icon of the fight against segregation in the 1960s — have sparked an academic controversy that drew a rebuttal from the university president. Weeks later, the topic continues to dominate the pages of the student-run newspaper, The Maroon. Continue reading »

Feb 202014
 

law summit

19th Annual Tulane Summit on Environmental Law & Policy panelist topics (via  the Tulane Environmental and Energy Legal Society)

19th Annual Tulane Summit on Environmental Law & Policy panelist topics (via the Tulane Environmental and Energy Legal Society)

The public is invited to listen to thought-provoking expert panelists discuss environmental hot topics such as the Orleans Parish Levee Board lawsuits, the Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” and the state’s “cancer alley” at the 19th Annual Tulane Summit on Environmental Law & Policy on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 21-22), in Tulane Law School’s Weinmann Hall. Continue reading »

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Feb 202014
 
Funny Bones Improv poster (via Funny Bones Improv)

Funny Bones Improv poster (via Funny Bones Improv)

Learn about the healing powers of comedy improv to help make sick children in hospitals smile and laugh with local non-profit, Funny Bones Improv. Participant applications for the Ha!Spital specialist training sessions that will teach you how to bring joy to kids and families during difficult times are due Friday (Feb. 21). Continue reading »

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Feb 192014
 
NOPD Sgt. Marc Amos watches the crowd during a pause in the Krewe of Proteus parade in 2012. A number of new laws govern parade-goers this year. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

NOPD Sgt. Marc Amos watches the crowd during a pause in the Krewe of Proteus parade in 2012. A number of new laws govern parade-goers this year. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

Bon to the jour, 2014 Carnival people!  You may or may not know that the powers that be — read, your New Orleans City Council — have seen it in their infinite wisdom to make this Mardi Gras season one of change.  “How so?” you may ask.  That is, if you missed all the fuss last month?  Before we roll through my standard top 20 we publish annually, in short here are the new rules and ordinances, with a few editorial embellishments: Continue reading »

Feb 182014
 
Members of the Coliseum Square Association meet Monday night in the Felicity Church, which is under renovation by a private owner. The association has been advocating for a similar future for the nearby Spanish-American Church building on Sophie Wright Place. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Members of the Coliseum Square Association meet Monday night in the Felicity Church, which is under renovation by a private owner. The association has been advocating for a similar future for the nearby Spanish-American Church building on Sophie Wright Place. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

As the Spanish-American Church heads back to the New Orleans City Council this week for another request to tear down their decaying building on Sophie Wright Place, neighbors and members of the Coliseum Square Association hope the stalemate over the building will lead to stronger enforcement of blight laws against neglectful nonprofits. Continue reading »

Feb 182014
 

jewel bush

As the celebrities and athletes who came to town to party during the NBA All-Star Weekend board planes heading back to their posh lives — after they Instagram images of themselves looking fabulous and doing fabulous things like eating beignets and shooting hoops with underprivileged youth — New Orleans remains as bloody as ever.
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