May 262011

The American Legion building on Magazine Street. (Sabree Hill,

Walgreens officials have decided to move forward with the purchase and renovation of the old American Legion hall on Magazine Street as a new location for their existing store on Tchoupitoulas to move into, neighborhood leaders said this week after a recent meeting with the developers. Via email:

Hurstville, together with Upper Hurstville and ARNA, met with Stirling Properties on Wednesday May 18. As reported earlier, Walgreens has decided to move from Tchop into the Magazine American Legion Hall. Stirling plans to close on the property by the end of June. They will start construction in 6-8 months. Continue reading »

May 252011

Nobert Estrella, the new principal of the Westbank campus of the International School of Louisiana opening next year, speaks to assistant principal Rosa Alvareda (left) and principal Melanie Tennyson of the ISL Eastbank campus. (Robert Morris,

With its new Westbank campus in hand and a principal for it hired, the International School of Louisiana is now preparing for the possibility of further expansion through acquiring low-performing schools around New Orleans. Continue reading »

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May 252011

A dozen robberies have been reported this month within a mile of the location where officers arrested a man with a handgun Tuesday night. (via

The additional officers brought into the Uptown-based NOPD Second District caught a man Tuesday night walking through the area of several recent robberies with a gun hidden in a bag, but investigators do not believe he is a suspect the wave of holdups. Continue reading »

May 252011

A house in the Hoffman Triangle is demolished in April. (Sabree Hill,

At both the city and the neighborhood level, New Orleans is struggling with the tension between ridding itself of blight through demolition and preserving its history and architecture.

On Wednesday, the Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative (which is redeveloping property in Central City) will hold a panel discussion featuring city officials and redevelopment leaders on the topic of demolition. Here’s their description of the event, via email:

Over the coming months and years, thousands of unoccupied properties throughout New Orleans face potential demolition through both public and private anti-blight initiatives.
Efforts to rid New Orleans of blighted properties, including the Landrieu Administration’s goal of addressing 10,000 blighted properties by 2013, raises important yet challenging concerns. In particular, how can we best eliminate blight while preserving neighborhood character and resiliency? While many blighted properties can be addressed by current owners or sold to new ones, hundreds of vacant structures lie in limbo – to either be protected for future redevelopment or demolished. In this choice, opinions vary widely on the use of demolition to eliminate blight and support neighborhood revitalization.
Please join us for a timely and important forum with leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Discussion will focus on existing demolition policies and programs as well as the opportunities and challenges in achieving effective blight elimination through demolition.

Also on Wednesday, the International School of Louisiana will hold its May monthly meeting, and the NOPD Second District will hold its weekly meeting, which is open to the public. For details and links to these and other events, see our calendar listings below. Continue reading »

May 252011

Estate planning can be a time-consuming process, and clients who are beginning the process are often unsure of what they need to bring to a consultation. The Law Office of Tom Hopkins is equipped to guide clients through that process, beginning with the right kind and amount of information required to ensure the proper distribution of assets according to their wishes. See below for more information about how the Law Office of Tom Hopkins can help streamline this process.

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May 252011

Kermit Ruffins in HBO's Treme

I don’t have cable, but if I did, I’d have HBO.  And if I had HBO I’d watch Treme.  No questions.  What I do have is 4 kids and a subscription to Netflix.  The former keep me pretty busy, and the latter keeps them pretty busy.  And until we get some streaming action from any Treme episode a la Netflix I’ll remain somewhat informed of what’s what on Treme per the awesome and some might say over-the-top Monday-morning analysis of the previous evening’s episode on  I mean, have you read this?  It’s like a molecular breakdown of every facet of those few minutes, from who recorded what song and why it was playing to why so-and-so said such-and-such.  It’s a little over the top for my taste but allows me to live vicariously through it so I may almost experience each episode.  And from everything I’ve read, not just on, my latest epiphany is this: because Kermit Ruffins is the only character to play himself, Treme is a nice reflection of post-Katrina New Orleans, but it’s moreso the writer’s version of events, not always wholly a true retelling of actual events.  Kind of like Tom Petty in The Postman.  Tom Petty actually played himself in Kevin Costner’s 1997 forgettable and so-so pseudo-futuristic tale.  And Kermit, well, he’s the only cast member to do likewise thereby bending the allowable laws of storytelling.  Wouldn’t you want everyone to play themselves?  Or not at all?  Having one “as himself” changes the whole dynamic.  Steve Zahn is Steve Zahn.  But he plays Davis Rogan.  I mean if Davis played himself – and he could – wouldn’t the dynamic of the show be closer to what’s really real? Continue reading »

May 242011

By Andrew Brott

Upon further review of the Freret streetscape plans, the longer they take the better.

As best as I and many others can tell, they plan to narrow Freret Street with 42-foot-long street “bump-outs” similar to those on Oak Street. This is a horrible idea that must be stopped. Continue reading »

May 242011

This image shows the lead concentration levels in the soil on the proposed playground area of the Audubon Charter temporary campus. (Click to see the full report.)

The site proposed for Audubon’s temporary campus has lead contamination in the soil of the playground area exceeding federal standards by 10 times or more, prompting some parents to insist the entire site have the lead removed before their children arrive next fall. Continue reading »

May 232011

This diagram shows a possible layout of the entry signage for the Freret corridor. (obtained from the city by the Freret Business and Property Owners Association)

Two long-awaited Uptown street-beautification projects are poised to begin this summer after issues with their contractor delayed them from an expected spring start, officials said Monday afternoon.

The $500,000 streetscape upgrades on the Freret commercial corridor are set to begin in June, and $2 million worth of similar work on South Claiborne is expected to start in August, Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant told City Councilwoman Stacy Head during a meeting of the city’s Public Works Committee. Continue reading »

May 232011

Consider yourself warned: step inside Antiques on Jackson and it’s like stepping into a time machine. Surrounded by artifacts, furniture, and furnishings from centuries past, many in their original condition, it’s easy to feel transported to Renaissance Europe. The experience is so magical, in fact, that you might just not want to leave. See below for details about everything that Antiques on Jackson has to offer.

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May 232011

Got an issue with the pace of pothole repairs, or the way that cars are parked in your neighborhood?

If so, you might have something to add to today’s meeting of the City Council Public Works Committee. Chaired by District B City Councilwoman Stacy Head, the meeting agenda includes a review of the city’s parking-enforcement and pothole-repair practices. Also slated for an update is the state of the streetscape projects around the city.

For details and links to this and other events in and of interest to Uptown New Orleans, see our full two-day calendar listings below. Continue reading »

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May 232011

Owen Courrèges

Recently, the New Orleans City Council has identified yet another public scourge demanding immediate action: the proliferation of “dollar” stores – medium-sized discount variety stores that sell diverse consumer goods at set prices.

Councilman Jon Johnson and Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell have led the charge. Hedge Morrell argues that the growth of dollar stores, particularly Family Dollar and Dollar General, “is defeating the purpose of us trying to get retail back into the East, back into the city.”

“The community,” says Hedge-Morrell, “is adamant that they do not want another Dollar General, another Family Dollar within a five-block radius.”

Of course, if the “community” really disfavored dollar stores, they wouldn’t patronize them and they would quickly fail. No smart business moves into a market where they are truly unwanted. Accordingly, what Hedge-Morrell really means is that certain like-minded community activists – primarily the well-to-do – oppose new dollar stores. Continue reading »

May 222011

Sunday morning's shooting victim was found on South Saratoga near Jena, very close to three robberies that took place on Wednesday evening.

Police found a man inside his truck on an Uptown street suffering from two gunshot wounds early Sunday morning, apparently the latest victim in a rash of robberies at gunpoint. Continue reading »

May 222011

Alba Sanabria, operator of Supermercado Las Acacias on Freret, holds the door for a customer in this file photo from March. (Sabree Hill,

A Freret corner store’s request for permission to sell alcohol and a proposal to allow conversion of a Lower Garden District warehouse into a film studio — two ideas that had drawn wary interest from their respective neighborhood groups — were both approved this week by the City Council. Continue reading »