Sep 212016
 
A second line for Cindy McCurry will be held this weekend. (courtesy photo)

The late Cindy McCurry, photographed at the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. A second line for her will be held on Saturday through the French Quarter. (courtesy photo)

Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

My family and I might never have met our beloved neighbor Cindy because we never intended to live on S Liberty St; it just sort of happened.  One day in 2006 while slinging lattes down at my then day job I took a phone call from some one seeking to sell a piece of property.  After my shift ended I pedaled over to examine the wreck of a double that would become my future home.  Initially my wife and I decided to purchase the careworn home as an investment and rent it out.  But after starting the work and getting to know the neighbors, we paused and shifted our focus.  This was the house and these were the people we wanted to raise our kids around.  And when Cindy and her husband Bob arrived a year later moving in to the white single story across the street, they could not have been a better fit.  Earlier this month and quite unexpectedly, Cindy passed, and S Liberty St just won’t be the same.

Front porches.  In 2015 Matthew McConaughey composed and shared a beautiful perspective to this immutable facet to life in the Crescent City.  Our almost daily exchange with Cindy and Bob embodied their presence on their front porch.  The same front porch Cindy meticulously would curate for most any and every holiday.  A true spectacle each time, always with the utmost attention to detail and maximum effort.  After all, if it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing well, right?  Halloween epitomized these forays into the celebrated life she lived.  I mused on it once, and always found inspiration in her executions, not that she could ever be topped.  She was the queen bee here.  I would imagine even a little compulsive, like she had to do it, otherwise what’s the point?  So get out of the way or lend a hand; these decorations were going to happen, and be ready to be impressed.

Forget the holidays.  That front porch, that was their perch most days of the year.  Their gateway to connecting to the city and to us.  A growing family, we are always coming and going.  Over the last 9 years those few moments here and there however brief, catching up for a few minutes or more while dashing off to ballet or returning from the school day, these ordinary exchanges wove the fabric of our very being without even realizing it.  My two youngest daughters, now aged 5 and 7, have only known a world with Cindy in it.  How she always gave so selflessly of her time and attention.  My children, my wife and I grew to adore Cindy – and Bob too of course – their pairing and presence presumed to be a fixture.  But life happens, and things change.  When we learned of Cindy’s passing we all sort of stopped.  Myself I was traveling when I heard, and I broke down immediately.  Each day since – – – well, it varies.

No coincidences.  Raising four young women in our household and having the privilege to share our lives with Cindy’s illuminated sensibility, our paths were unquestionably meant to cross.  Our four little ladies looking up to Cindy’s unabashed approach in what it means to be a woman living your life on your terms as loud and as proud as you want, meeting life’s moments however ordinary as an opportunity to elevate them and make them something more.  I will never forget, last year in her infectious trademark giggle she called out to my wife and I, each of us adorned in not much more than luchador masks and booty shorts, “So long slut puppies!” as we departed to join our dance krewe.  So long, Cindy. Our hearts are heavy in losing you, but your light and energy will always be an inspiration. Thank you.

A second line will take place this Saturday celebrating Cindy’s life, details here.  If you knew Cindy, I hope to see you there.  And If you didn’t know Cindy, well, she certainly wouldn’t mind if you tag along and surely would enjoy the company.

Jean-Paul Villere is the owner of Villere Realty on Freret Street and a married father of four girls. In addition to his Wednesday column at UptownMessenger.com, he also shares his family’s adventures sometimes via pedicab or bicycle on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Sep 202016
 
A rendering of the riverfront after the proposed expansion of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. (via mccno.com)

A rendering of the riverfront after the proposed expansion of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. (via mccno.com)

The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has applied for a land-use change to allow a 300-foot hotel at their planned upriver expansion, drawing questions from neighbors in nearby Coliseum Square on Monday evening. Continue reading »

Sep 192016
 

The annual Cathy and Morris Bart Jewish Cultural Arts Series will open with Israeli author and filmmaker Etgar Keret as he presents his best-selling memoir, “The Seven Good Years”. The Jewish Community Center (JCC) event will take place Monday, September 19 (tonight) at their Uptown location, located at 5342 St. Charles Ave. Continue reading »

Sep 192016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

On Monday, Mayor Landrieu honored his vainglorious pledge made earlier this year to when he signed a new gun ordinance. The final draft of this absurd farce of legislative dreck was mercifully stripped of all provisions that completely merely mirrored existing state law. This left only three remaining restrictions. Continue reading »

Sep 182016
 
Tulane running back Dontrell Hilliard runs for a touchdown in the third quarter. Navy defeated Tulane 21-14 at Yulman Stadium. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Tulane running back Dontrell Hilliard runs for a touchdown in the third quarter. Navy defeated Tulane 21-14 at Yulman Stadium. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

On Saturday night it was the running game that dominated the offense for both teams. Tulane finished the night with 240 passing yards versus 21 passing yards. Navy finished the night with 287 rushing yards versus 59 passing yards. Dontrell Hilliard led the wave with 103 rushing yards. Quarterback Will Worth led Navy with 135 yards rushing. Navy beat Tulane 21-14, handing Tulane another American Athletic Conference loss.

Continue reading »

Sep 162016
 
U.S. Secretary of Education John King discusses an experiment on soil samples with students Shamon Gurley and Jordyn Smith in Ariee Smith's AP Environmental Science class. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

U.S. Secretary of Education John King discusses an experiment on soil samples with students Shamon Gurley and Jordyn Smith in Ariee Smith’s AP Environmental Science class. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

When U.S. Secretary of Education John King visited Walter Cohen College Prep High School on Friday afternoon in recognition of its dramatic increase in test scores, former board member Kenneth Polite asked him one of the most difficult questions facing the New Orleans education landscape: Why are the city’s public schools so segregated, and what can make them more diverse? Continue reading »

Sep 162016
 
Charcuterie Board of Duck Liver Mousse, Lamb Terrine, Bavarian Gelb, Roquefort Cheesecake, Salami, Thomasville Cheese, and Zucchini Pickles (Kristine Froeba)

Charcuterie Board of Duck Liver Mousse, Lamb Terrine, Bavarian Gelb, Roquefort Cheesecake, Salami, Thomasville Cheese, and Zucchini Pickles (Kristine Froeba)

What can one say about a restaurant so fastidious they bottle their own ketchup?

Not just any ketchup: a tomato sauce laced with coriander, cinnamon, thyme, and apple cider vinegar. A ketchup so tasty, I stole a baguette from a gourmet charcuterie board to dip – in ketchup. I’m using italics because this ketchup cannot compare to that bottled red stuff of the Heinz variety. Chef Brack May, formerly of Cobalt, wants people to know that Cowbell is more than just gourmet burgers. It is–a lot more than just burgers. However, no fear, the famous burgers are still on the menu. Continue reading »

Sep 162016
 
PrintThe Humane Society of Louisiana, a 501c(3) non-for-profit, has been working consistently to evacuate, rescue, care for, and aid animals and their guardians around the areas impacted by the Louisiana floods.
Petcetera NOLA will host their 9th Annual “Bad to the Bone: Rescued on the Runway” fundraiser on Saturday, September 17, which will benefit the HSL and other rescue and relief organizations.

Continue reading »

Sep 162016
 
The building at 4310 Magazine Street will become an expansion of Ecole Bilingue, as Peaches Records has now moved into the larger building next door. (image via Google)

The building at 4310 Magazine Street will become an expansion of Ecole Bilingue, as Peaches Records has now moved into the larger building next door. (image via Google)

The former Top Drawer annex building on Magazine Street will become an expansion site for Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle Orleans, and the school will hold a meeting tonight to share its plans with neighbors. Continue reading »

Sep 152016
 
Firefighters battle a blaze in the 4200 block of South Rocheblave. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Firefighters battle a blaze in the 4200 block of South Rocheblave. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans firefighters are battling a 3-alarm fire in the 4200 South Rocheblave Street in Broadmoor. The fire was first reported at 11 AM and has consumed two homes on the block.

 

 

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Sep 152016
 
A rendering of the play yard planned for Stuart Hall School for Boys on South Carrollton Avenue (via City of New Orleans)

A rendering of the play yard planned for Stuart Hall School for Boys on South Carrollton Avenue (via City of New Orleans)

The house at 2014-2018 South Carrollton will be demolished to make way for the play yard. (via City of New Orleans)

The house at 2014-2018 South Carrollton will be demolished to make way for the play yard. (via City of New Orleans)

Stuart Hall School for Boys easily won approval for its plan to replace a vacant home on South Carrollton Avenue with a new play yard, even though the request renewed neighbors’ complaints about traffic that have been festering for more than a decade. Continue reading »