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.
Deemed a “public nuisance” by city officials for its occasional loud music, litter and at least two shootings, the Young at Heart bar in west Carrollton lost its alcohol permit in a hearing Tuesday that its owners did not show up to contest.
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.
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.
“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?”
After years of planning, Bricolage Academy opened its doors Monday morning at Touro Synagogue on St. Charles Avenue for the first day of its first school year.
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.
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.
A Central City resident who renovated her home is using plywood nailed to the outside wall to prop up the blighted house next door in hopes of keeping it from collapsing, according to a report by Bill Capo of our partners at WWL-TV.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.