Aug 222013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Several weeks ago, we wrote a column listing a number of reasons why Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plan to move City Hall to the iconic but empty Charity Hospital was an excellent idea.

In the course of our interview with him, Pres Kabacoff said he hoped that the Civil District Court judges would reconsider their plans to build a new Civil District Court building in Duncan Plaza – adjacent to the current City Hall on Loyola Avenue – and instead decide to join Mayor Landrieu’s administration and the City Council in the move to Charity.

That all seemed reasonable enough to us, but then we received a visit from Civil District Court Judges Michael Bagneris and Kern Reese who told us the court is dead set on building their own structure and won’t be swayed by the mayor to move to Charity. Continue reading »

Aug 212013
 
Weeds grow in the fenced-off foundation laid three years ago for Martin Wine Cellar on Baronne Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Weeds grow in the fenced-off foundation laid three years ago for Martin Wine Cellar on Baronne Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

MartinWineCellarMartin Wine Cellar is back on track to rebuild next year its at its original New Orleans location, the massive lot on Baronne Street that has been empty for years, the store’s owner told the surrounding neighborhood association Tuesday evening. Continue reading »

Aug 212013
 
A surveyor outside the Barreca building on Freret Street. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

A surveyor outside the Barreca building on Freret Street. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

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. Continue reading »

Aug 202013
 
(photo by jewel bush for UptownMessenger.com)

(photo by jewel bush for UptownMessenger.com)

jewel bush

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. Continue reading »

Aug 192013
 
A first draft of site plans for the Kingsley House expansion presented at Monday's meeting. (A parking lot shown on Richard is expected to be moved, officials said.)

A first draft of site plans for the Kingsley House expansion presented at Monday’s meeting. (A parking lot shown on Richard is expected to be moved, officials said.)

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. Continue reading »

Aug 192013
 

“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?”

Owen Courreges

For those who have been living under a rock this past week, there has been a debate in local media over a perceived attack on a venerable New Orleans institution.  I am speaking, of course, of to-go cups offered by bars.  The fracas is over whether there is an actual crackdown on to-go cups, or whether this is just a tempest in a teapot (Spoiler alert: It’s not). Continue reading »

Aug 182013
 

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. Continue reading »

Aug 172013
 
Workers patch the roof of the old Carrollton courthouse building Saturday morning so Audubon Charter School can use it for a few more months. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Workers patch the roof of the old Carrollton courthouse building Saturday morning so Audubon Charter School can use it for a few more months. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Aug 162013
 
From top left, Jamal "Mall" Harris, (photos via NOPD)

Top row, from left: Jamal Harris, Tyrone Davenport, Dale Elmore, Darryl Bannister. Bottom row: Cornie Jones, Seyuntray Noel, Jerome Tolliver, Tyrone Brooks. (photos via NOPD)

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. Continue reading »