Mar 252012
 

Benjamin Morris

You’ve probably already seen him. He’s been spotted both in the Marigny and on Magazine Street, pushing his cart with its distinctive homemade sign. Earlier this week I had the privilege of meeting a man who has a remarkable story: a man who for over two years has been walking across America, from the west coast to the east, a man who has just arrived in New Orleans.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet George Stroop: advocate, motivator, and walker extraordinaire. He’s in town all this coming week. Let’s show him a good time while he’s here, shall we?

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Mar 242012
 

Craig Giesecke

My dad, who was a part-time/small-time cattle rancher, always said “the best way to earn a million bucks in the cattle business is to start with five million.” So it is with the restaurant biz as well.

This city is rife with excellent chefs who can’t run a viable business to save their souls and, honestly, I have to place myself in that category. I have more experience in marketing and general business practices than most, so I’m fine once there is enough cash flow to keep all the juggled balls in the air. But too many think it’s enough to just serve good food, and that’s not the case at all. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be so many places that make money and prosper for generations while serving little more than deep-fried catdookie. We all know which places these are. Continue reading »

Mar 222012
 

"Treme" actor Wendell Pierce marches with student's from his character's school in the Krewe of Carrollton last month. While his character is becoming more involved with the school as the show progresses, Pierce has long been heavily involved in public education in his hometown through a number of avenues. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

When Treme star Wendell Pierce is pouring drinks this weekend as celebrity bartender for the International School of Louisiana’s 8th Annual Refrigerator Art Auction patron party, it won’t be the first collaboration between the civic-minded actor and the quickly-growing school — nor is it likely to be the last.

Pierce, who is spearheading the redevelopment of the Pontchartrain Park neighborhood where he grew up, first became acquainted with ISL through neighboring families with children at the school, he said. As he began researching charter schools that might be a good fit for the neighborhood, ISL’s history of success since several years before Hurricane Katrina stood out.

“They have a record that’s pretty admirable,” Pierce said in a telephone interview this week. “I love the idea of foreign-language immersion. I wish that it was something I had done when I was a kid.” Continue reading »

Mar 222012
 

All that studying is hard work! To take the edge off your finals, Bee Sweet Cupcakes is offering Cupcake Happy Hour for all area students with a valid ID — buy two cupcakes, get one FREE on any flavors in the store! Both high school and college IDs are valid, so come on in and try all the latest flavors for your end-of-semester party.

Cupcakes are $3 each, tax included. All cupcakes are made fresh daily, and only a limited number of cupcakes are available each day, so come in early and get them while they’re hot. Bee Sweet Cupcakes is located at 5706 Magazine Street, and is open Monday-Saturday from 11-6. Or call ahead to reserve your cakes at 504.891.8333.

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Mar 212012
 

The proposed Upper Marleyville Security District would run along both sides of the street along Vendome Place, State Street Drive, Walmsley and Fontainbleau. (map via google.com)

Guest column by Nick Kindel

A few weeks ago, the Uptown Messenger reported on a proposed security district in the Fontainebleau area. The news came as a surprise to many residents and neighborhood organizations in the area who were not previously informed. Area residents are asked to weigh the pros and cons of the proposed Upper Marlyville Security District in the absence of an open, inclusive decision making process. Continue reading »

Mar 212012
 

The corner of Freret and Cadiz, showing the row of large commercial buildings owned by the Barreca family. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A proposed redevelopment of the shuttered Freret Street landmark Frank’s Steakhouse hit an unexpected snag Monday when a city committee rejected its bid to tear down two houses in the rear for parking.

In a separate project, an attorney seeking to develop several blighted lots on Tchoupitoulas into a bank or possibly a restaurant ran into the same problem: the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee denied his request to demolish a home in the project’s footprint. Continue reading »

Mar 212012
 

Will rising gas prices hurt President Obama’s re-election chances? Who will independents vote for in the upcoming presidential election? Can the Democrats win back Congress? These questions and many more are up for discussion as respected Washington political insider, Charlie Cook, visits the Loyola University New Orleans campus to take part in the Institute of Politics’ Ed Renwick Lecture Series on Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. The event will be held in Roussel Performance Hall in the Communications/Music Complex and is free and open to the public. Continue reading »

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Mar 212012
 

A flyer for an upcoming highlight on the local festival circuit. (Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Aaaahhhhh!  Spring time in New Orleans!  The birds are chirping, the fig leaves are in, and festival season boasts yet another bumper crop of competing weekend distraction.  The year’s offerings might mostly seem familiar with a few relative newcomers.  Bottom line is, the likelihood of you sitting around watching the grass grow is slim and none.  Music, food, art, cocktails, street closures, more music, beer, boxing (yeah!), sunscreen, and parking!?  Bleech!  Dust off the old two wheeler.  It’s time to saddle up! Continue reading »

Mar 202012
 

Mayas Restaurant on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District will have the support of its neighbors for a plan to add live music, dancing and to stay open later for “Salsa and Tapas” — if the changes can be accomplished without a zoning change, members of the Coliseum Square Association decided Monday evening. Continue reading »