Jul 292013

(Cartoon by Owen Courreges for UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courreges

Detroit has gone bust, announcing that it will seek Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. The Rust Belt icon of corruption, waste, and decay finally made the difficult decision to cut its losses.

In light of our own sordid history of corruption, waste, and decay, New Orleanians are understandably touchy about this development.  First Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin recently penned an opinion piece for the Times-Picayune entitled “Detroit went bust, not New Orleans” which was ostensibly intended to reassure us that the Big Easy isn’t heading down the same road as the Motor City.

Personally, I did not find this very reassuring in concept alone.  It’s vaguely unsettling that the moment a major American city goes belly-up , a major New Orleans official feels compelled to come out and say: “Don’t worry! We aren’t next!”  It’s disconcerting because Kopplin senses that we have grounds to be worried. Continue reading »

Jul 292013

Map of upcoming repaving projects on Freret, Nashville and Fontainebleau. (via pavinglaroads.com)

The project to repave Freret Street, Nashville Avenue and Fontainebleau Drive — scheduled to begin in August — will be the subject of an informational meeting Tuesday evening in the student center at Tulane University, officials announced. Continue reading »

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Jul 292013

Tara Cox feeds chickens and roosters in her St. Roch backyard. (Marta Jewson, MidCityMessenger.com)

Roosters — such as the one that awakens Rob Schafer every morning on Carondelet Street — are now illegal to keep in the New Orleans city limits under a new law passed earlier this year, reports Marta Jewson of our sister site at MidCityMessenger.com.

Jul 272013

White Toyota Camry sought in connection with the death of Officer Rodney Thomas. (via NOPD)

Surveillance image of person of interest in the death of Officer Rodney Thomas (via NOPD)

Investigators are looking for a white Toyota Camry and its driver, who is believed to have information about the hit-and-run death of a beloved officer from the New Orleans Police Department’s Second District, authorities said. Continue reading »

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Jul 272013

Sophie B. Wright Charter School is looking for places for its sports teams to practice after the New Orleans Recreation Department Commission demanded $3,000 for the school to use Harrell Park. Meanwhile, construction has halted on the new gym at Eleanor McMain Secondary School amid a conflict over minority participation in the contract, and ENCORE Academy is enrolling more students than it originally expected, according to recent reports about Uptown schools. Continue reading »

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Jul 262013

Two storefronts in the 4700 block of Freret are under renovation for the Humble Bagel deli and Full Blossom Chic consignment shop. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A bagel shop and deli with house-made cheese and consignment boutique for plus-sized women plan to open side-by-side in two vacant storefronts in the center of the Freret corridor. Continue reading »

Jul 262013

Craig Giesecke

I’m writing this column while sitting in our front room, which looks like the love child of Chaos and Literacy. It is a complete mess of books, boxes, various packing materials, ladder, some no-longer-hanging artwork, disheveled furniture and other stuff. In other words, we have a sidewalk sale coming this Saturday as we continue clearing out the house ahead of the move.

This isn’t your normal, rent-a-trailer move. This is a begin-again, let it all go, roll with what you can fit in one minivan, complete disengagement. We arrived in New Orleans the same way nine years ago, and I’m amazed at how much we’ve collected. Anyone is, if they’re stayed in one spot more than a year or so. We have two cats, so we have to reserve space for them. There are a few electronic items and some valued personal possessions and we’ve done some severe reduction of our wardrobes. Only one small piece of furniture will make the trip. Add in a bin of paperwork and we’re pretty much full.

I thought the hardest part would be deciding which books to take, since we have many and I have a thing for real books over a Nook or similar device. But now, looking at the kitchen, it appears to toughest decisions are still to come. Continue reading »

Jul 252013

The Jimmy’s Music Club location at 8200 Willow. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

A hearing on the request to allow alcohol to be served at Jimmy’s Music Club — the key to reopening of the popular venue — was postponed by two weeks by the City Council, but neighbors and officials say an agreement over issues associated with the club is “very close,” perhaps just days away. Continue reading »

Jul 252013

Ten armed robberies between July 7 and July 18. Not shown: a home-invasion case on Magazine Street during that time. (map via NOPD)

With few new witnesses or leads coming forward in a rash of 11 robberies around the Garden District and Lower Garden District this month, investigators are hoping that DNA analysis of physical evidence they have collected in the scene will lead to arrests in some of the cases in the weeks to come. Continue reading »