May 202013

Owen Courreges

Has the New Orleans Police Department been cooking the books on the city’s crime stats?  That’s the intimation made by a recent “special report” from the Times-Picayune.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Police Superintendant Ronal Serpas often argue that while New Orleans has a sky-high murder rate, its violent crime rate actually isn’t that bad, and in fact is better than a wide range of cities from New Haven, Connecticut to Orlando, Florida.  Hearing them speak, you might believe that the guy in the mouse suit at DisneyWorld is more likely to demand your wallet at gunpoint than the ribald denizens of Bourbon Street. Continue reading »

May 172013

Purple areas show those that a ladder truck can reach within the national standard of eight minutes under a New Orleans Fire Department redeployment plan set to take place this summer. (Robert Morris,

Despite official assurances that the removal of a ladder-equipped fire truck from the station on Arabella is part of the best possible future for the New Orleans Fire Department, Uptown residents who live nearby continue to worry that their level of fire protection is being reduced. Continue reading »

May 172013

Craig Giesecke

As the weather gets a bit warmer and steamier this week, I’ve been turning my attention more to foods that leave us feeling a bit lighter and healthier. Fortunately, we’re headed into that perfect time of the year when the Creole tomatoes and similar fare will be very affordable and readily available. Continue reading »

May 162013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

There was a time when New Orleans was considered a great place to shop. Dozens of stores, most of them located on Canal Street or nearby, filled specific niches in the marketplace and shoppers from across the city, the region and the state came downtown, especially women in white gloves and high heels like Allan’s mother Miriam Pailet Katz, to shop, eat and enjoy the ambiance of New Orleans.

Then came the suburban flight, the rise of Lakewood Shopping Center and the development of Jefferson Parish as the retail center for the metro area, the region and the state. Most of Canal Street went into the dumps and there were only a few first-class stores in all of Downtown.

Now, eight years after Hurricane Katrina, corporate retailers, for the first time in 50 years, are looking at Downtown New Orleans as a “hot” place to invest their money. Continue reading »

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May 152013

A Tulane student called police early Wednesday morning and reported that she’d been shot at by a man who first made a menacing comment toward her, and investigators are trying to piece together what actually took place during the incident, authorities said. Continue reading »

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May 152013

The former Louisiana Seafood at 2900 LaSalle. (Robert Morris,

Cowbell chef Brack May

The chef who launched the popular Cowbell burger joint on Oak Street now plans a family-oriented restaurant with an emphasis on takeout meals in a former Central City seafood market, he told city officials on Tuesday afternoon. Continue reading »

May 152013

The “Carnation” Grill. (Illustration by Jean-Paul Villere for

Jean-Paul Villere

So the iconic Camellia Grill may be getting a facelift, if you’ve kept up with recent current events?  Apparently its new owners are in breach of contract with the previous owner to the degree that the pink-and-green flower paired with the title of the namesake diner may become a memory.  While Camellia Grill has a longstanding line (pun intended) of devotees and tourists alike, I must say I am in that number.  And if legal motions require a makeover then so be it.  I mean what’s fair is fair, but there’s no use in crying over spilt chocolate freeze, is there?  The essence of the grill would remain unchanged (I’d hope!), so call it whatever.  Besides, who cares?  I can think of two recent local brouhahas regarding rebranding.  Starting with the Pelicans! Continue reading »

May 142013

Stan Norwood (center) speaks as Neighbors United president Andrew Amacker (standing) takes ideas for reducing crime in the Freret neighborhood Tuesday night. (Robert Morris,

Amid an ongoing discussion of ways to permanently reduce crime in the Freret neighborhood, residents are hoping for a $6,000 grant to create a network of 12 ProjectNOLA surveillance cameras near hotspots for drug dealing and gunplay. Continue reading »

May 142013

Wilbert Wilson (center) cuts hair in front of at Mr. Chill’s First Class Cuts on South Carrollton on Aug. 31, 2012, following Hurricane Isaac. His setup with a generator-powered fan and clippers is similar to what he used in a gas station parking lot after Hurricane Katrina. (Robert Morris,

The shop at the corner of General Pershing and South Derbigny streets where Mr. Chill’s Broadmoor Dogs and Sweet Pastries will open next month. (Robert Morris,

The opening of Mr. Chill’s First Class Cuts barber shop on South Carrollton Avenue following Hurricane Katrina was hailed as one of many signs of the New Orleans’ rebirth. Now, Mr. Chill is expanding back home to Broadmoor to open a hot dog and pastry shop in his old corner store in what should possibly be seen as evidence of the city’s further growth. Continue reading »

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May 142013

jewel bush

When I was driving on Carrollton Avenue yesterday, I was greeted by what I thought was a timely message: “NOLA NEEDS PEACE.” Days after a mass shooting left 19 people injured at a second line on Mother’s Day, no one can dispute the call for peace and an end to the violence that plagues — and numbs — the New Orleans community.

But, then I read the rest of the sign: “NOT MORE ABORTION.”

Huh!? Continue reading »

May 132013

Lycee Francais board members (from left) Ben Castoriano, Alysson Mills, Catherine MacPhaille, Erin Greenwald, Paige Saleun and Jean Montes at Monday night’s board meeting. Also present (but not pictured) were Jacqueline Simon, Tim Gray and Dan Henderson. (Robert Morris,

The Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans governing board accepted three new members Monday night — one of whom will be seated immediately — and voted to begin contract negotiations with a San Francisco educator to become the school’s new leader. Continue reading »

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