Jan 272012

Line dancing aboard the Carnival Elation. Yes, people apparently still do that. (Photo by Christy Lorio for UptownMessenger.com)

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

Cruise ships are weird things, like a cross between a resort hotel and an airplane. It serves the purpose of being your method of transportation, lodging, dinner, and entertainment, all rolled into one. They are also vessels of pure gluttony and relaxation, yet it somehow maintains a sense of adventure.

I just got back from one, my first actually, last week. I was leery of going on a cruise, no doubt. About 8 years ago I found David Foster Wallace’s book  A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments in a used book shop. In it there’s a detailed account (in an essay of the same name as the book) that perfectly sums up the cruise experience, albeit in the most cynical of ways. It’s a hilarious, accurate, and a damn good read. Since I can’t top what Wallace wrote, I’ll leave you with my travel diary to peruse instead. Continue reading »

Jan 262012

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Political punditry has been turned into a hazardous occupation by the ups and downs of the Republican presidential primaries.

Just a month ago, it seemed pretty safe to speculate that Mitt Romney was on his way to locking up the Republican Presidential nomination and that Newt Gingrich was toast. Now, after the South Carolina primary, a victorious Gingrich is riding a wave of momentum while Romney is struggling to regain his credibility. Continue reading »

Jan 252012

The International School of Lousiana's Olivier Street campus in Algiers. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The International School of Louisiana is on track next year to add its first Chinese-immersion kindergarten class, second and third grade Spanish-immersion classes and a new modular building to help hold them at the new Westbank campus, and possibly a new site for its Eastbank lower grades as well, officials said Wednesday night.

But amid so much growth, the prospect of a second attempt to take over a failing New Orleans school in 2013 provoked rare dissension within the International School’s governing board. Continue reading »

Jan 252012

Someone staking a false claim to the neutral ground in the 2300 block of Napoleon on Mardi Gras Day 2011. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Each Carnival I approach parade routes with glee and caution.  As such please find the below pointers, tips, alerts, and otherwise whacks to the back of heads as the 2012 Mardi Gras season kicks off.  We all want to embrace the revelry, so let’s all do our best to help each other enjoy, shall we?  Let’s! Continue reading »

Jan 242012

Cecile Tebo

My last call for service before leaving my post with the NOPD Crisis Unit was a 24-year-old hanging from the rafters of his apartment, a clear and tragic sign that my advocacy work with the mentally ill was far from over. In my 10 years with the crisis unit, I was exposed to a large world of chronically mentally ill who live in our city, and their needs continue to be great, as witnessed in this last call. Continue reading »

Jan 232012

In its first public hearing on a plan to effectively double water and sewer rates over the next five years, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans faced an audience skeptical about the agency’s efficiency and worried about the impact of such a large increase on residents with fixed incomes. Continue reading »

Jan 232012

Owen Courreges

Things at Whole Foods are starting to get real.

Last week, on January 11th, a man met his wife for lunch at Whole Foods on Magazine Street. Apparently, he committed the grand, obscene offense of parking over the yellow line. As a result, when he returned he was confronted by a watchful Samaritan who proceeded to engage him in a calm, fruitful discussion on the subject of proper parking etiquette and its role in civil society. Continue reading »

Jan 232012

Police have made two recent gun arrests in the Lower Garden Distict, including one during a repast for the victim of a recent homicide at Jackson and Tchoupitoulas.

A man was found with a stolen gun last week at a repast for the victim of this month’s fatal shooting at Jackson and Tchoupitoulas, and he was arrested after a brief pursuit down Chippewa Street, police said. Continue reading »