Aug 212013
 
A surveyor outside the Barreca building on Freret Street. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

A surveyor outside the Barreca building on Freret Street. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

PROLOGUE: In 2009 on Freret St at an open house I held, a septuagenarian realtor I can only imagine being more local than local sneered in my general direction as she exited, “Freret’s never coming back.”  Then being a believer myself, I felt at once insulted and repulsed, as if she’d purposely urinated on the floor and thought nothing of it.  After all, in many ways I came to feel it was her generation that had largely abandoned the city proper, swapping distinctive neighborhoods for blanched strip malls and multi-laned thoroughfares, leaving behind a devil-may-care swath of once vibrant stretches, the very core that the surrounding region’s commerce and population sprang from.  Now, in 2013, Freret crowns front pages, but without question there’s still much to be done. Continue reading »

Aug 202013
 
(photo by jewel bush for UptownMessenger.com)

(photo by jewel bush for UptownMessenger.com)

jewel bush

The Florida housing development has undergone a metamorphosis at the hands of Brandan “BMike” Odums, a 27-year-old art educator and literacy advocate.

When Hurricane Katrina hit, 127 shiny new apartments had recently been built in the Florida housing development, an 18.5-acre tract of land in the Upper Ninth Ward. The Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) had plans to build more. That didn’t happen, though. The units were damaged so badly during and after the storm that HANO closed down the Florida. The property has sat abandoned and rotting for eight years, yet another Katrina eyesore in the city.

Odums has taken the 17 or so crumbling townhouses that remain and turned them into mini art galleries called #ProjectBe — artistic alchemy, if you will, his way of transforming the ugliness of blight into an electrifying participatory art project. Continue reading »

Aug 192013
 
A first draft of site plans for the Kingsley House expansion presented at Monday's meeting. (A parking lot shown on Richard is expected to be moved, officials said.)

A first draft of site plans for the Kingsley House expansion presented at Monday’s meeting. (A parking lot shown on Richard is expected to be moved, officials said.)

Kingsley House, which has been providing family services and community programs for more than a century, plans to expand across the street from its Lower Garden District main campus with a new preschool and adult daycare on a long-vacant plot of land, officials told neighbors Monday evening. Continue reading »

Aug 192013
 

“To-go cups or not to-go cups, that is the question.
Whether ‘tis nobler in a bar to provide cups for patrons
to carry their alcoholic beverage out into the street,
Or to take arms against a sea of bureaucrats and busybodies,
and by opposing, end them?”

Owen Courreges

For those who have been living under a rock this past week, there has been a debate in local media over a perceived attack on a venerable New Orleans institution.  I am speaking, of course, of to-go cups offered by bars.  The fracas is over whether there is an actual crackdown on to-go cups, or whether this is just a tempest in a teapot (Spoiler alert: It’s not). Continue reading »

Aug 192013
 

(map via NOPD)

(map via NOPD)

Two women were stabbed at Uptown locations this weekend, one while walking through the Milan neighborhood Saturday morning, and the other by her grandmother during an argument at a Broadmoor home, according to New Orleans police. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Woman cut by grandmother in Broadmoor, police say; another stabbed walking through Milan neighborhood
Aug 192013
 

UC 20th FLYEROn Tuesday, August 20th, Dirty Coast will donate 20% of all in-store and online sales to the Urban Conservancy to support priority projects including Stay Local!,  the Lafitte Greenway, and creating a less flood-prone New Orleans. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Advertiser’s Message: Support Local Non-Profit by Shopping at Dirty Coast on Tuesday, August 20
Aug 182013
 

By Alfred Bostick

The recent Uptown Messenger article “Good neighbors: Freret’s revival has largely avoided the issues that often accompany gentrification” is an intelligent and well considered fine piece of writing on a complicated subject. It is much appreciated. I also would have liked to have seen some treatment of the larger economic change that has hit the traditional middle-class quite devastatingly, not only here, but nationally and world-wide. I know it sounds like an extraneous issue to raise and examine in such a tightly focused urban neighborhood discussion, but it seems to me to play a pivotal role. Continue reading »

Aug 182013
 

New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School enrolled 410 students for the 2013-14 school year, and had nearly 96-percent attendance after the first week of classes, according to a report by Erin Krall of The Lens. Sci High had 369 students in the 2012-13 school year, according to the most recent New Orleans Parents Guide to Public Education.

 Comments Off on Sci High records strong attendance, enrollment at start of school year
Aug 172013
 
Workers patch the roof of the old Carrollton courthouse building Saturday morning so Audubon Charter School can use it for a few more months. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Workers patch the roof of the old Carrollton courthouse building Saturday morning so Audubon Charter School can use it for a few more months. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The slow pace of repairs to the McDonogh 7 “swing space” campus on Milan Street suggests that families at Audubon Charter School’s Carrollton campus should not count on being able to leave their decrepit building by December, school official said Saturday morning. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on December move out of Carrollton campus no longer a certainty for Audubon Charter
Aug 162013
 
From top left, Jamal "Mall" Harris, (photos via NOPD)

Top row, from left: Jamal Harris, Tyrone Davenport, Dale Elmore, Darryl Bannister. Bottom row: Cornie Jones, Seyuntray Noel, Jerome Tolliver, Tyrone Brooks. (photos via NOPD)

The investigation into a west-Carrollton street gang known as the “Taliban” concluded Thursday with the indictments of eight alleged members, a case that should bring a measure of peace to what was once the most violent edge of Uptown, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »

Aug 162013
 

Sandra Hester, who was arrested during Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s community meeting about the budget at the Jewish Community Center last year, has filed a lawsuit against Landrieu, the city, the New Orleans Police Department and other officials alleging that excessive force was used in her arrest and that her constitutional and civil rights were violated, according to a report from our partners at WWL-TV. The city has called her claims “unfounded.”

 Comments Off on Activist sues city officials over arrest from Uptown budget meeting last year
Aug 162013
 

In addition to the two new schools KIPP New Orleans plans to add to its portfolio of seven in the city, the charter-school network has been cleared for an additional high school in New Orleans plus seven other schools here or in Baton Rouge — part of a trend of charters expanding from New Orleans around Louisiana, reports Jessica Williams of The Lens. Firstline Schools, which operates Samuel J. Green Charter and four other campuses, has also been cleared for a sixth school in New Orleans.

 Comments Off on KIPP New Orleans plans for Baton Rouge expansion  Tagged with: ,
Aug 162013
 
NOPD Second District Commander Paul Noel (right) presents the family of Officer Rodney Thomas with a silver pendant at a fundraiser at Tipitina's on Thursday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Second District Commander Paul Noel (right) presents the family of Officer Rodney Thomas with a silver pendant at a fundraiser at Tipitina’s on Thursday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The impact of the life and untimely death of New Orleans Police Officer Rodney Thomas was on full display yet again Thursday evening, as hundreds of police officers and community members touched by his memory gathered for a fundraiser in his honor at Tipitina’s. Continue reading »

Aug 152013
 

The Camellia Grill on South Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Camellia Grill on South Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans officials have agreed to study whether to designate the Camellia Grill a historic landmark, a minor victory for the beloved restaurant’s new owner in the ongoing legal battle over its name.

In a separate request, officials turned down a request from an Xavier Prep alumna to designate the school’s Magazine Street campus as a landmark, siding with the leaders of the new St. Katharine Drexel Prep who said they face more pressing educational priorities right now other than the landmark process. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on City to study landmark status for Camellia Grill, but not Xavier Prep campus
Aug 152013
 

More than half of the streetlights along St. Charles Avenue are broken, burned out or missing, members of the residents’ association discovered after a recent count, according to a report by Bill Capo and our partners at WWL-TV. City officials say they are installing temporary lights, and that the streetlights will get new wiring at the end of the streetcar track construction project, Capo reports.