May 032011

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office Band of Excellence performs during Battle of the Bands at the "Instruments A-Comin" benefit concert, silent auction and community arts fair in front of Tipitina's Monday evening. The event, which benefits the JPSO Band Of Excellence and local school music programs, allocated part of its proceeds for music relief and recovery efforts in Japan. Japanese beneficiaries include Yoshio and Keiko Toyama's Wonderful World Jazz Foundation, and the Swing Dolphins youth big band. (Sabree Hill,

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May 022011

Eleanor McMain High School, the International School of Louisiana (at both campuses), James Weldon Johnson Elementary, KIPP Believe College Prep and Central City, Lafayette Academy and Sojourner Truth are all among 32 area schools to receive salad bars donated by the United Fresh Produce Association, according to Andrew Vanacore of The Times-Picayune.

May 022011

Musical luminaries including Galactic, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave, Ivan Neville and the Hot 8 Brass Band are converging on Tipitina’s on Monday night to return the generosity Japan bestowed on New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina back to the earthquake-stricken nation.

“People in Southeast Louisiana can genuinely understand the suffering and anguish caused by this tsunami, and naturally want to reach out and help” said Tipitina’s Foundation co-founder Mary von Kurnatowski in a news release. “We’re also mindful of the generosity and support we received, from Japan and elsewhere, after our own catastrophe. It’s time to pay that forward.”

The 10th annual “Instruments A-Comin'” benefit will include performances by the above-mentioned acts and others, a battle of local marching bands, a silent auction and a community arts fair. Part of the proceeds from this year’s event (originally conceived to buy instruments for local public schools) will be allocated for musical relief and recovery efforts in Japan.

Also of interest to Uptown residents, the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association will meet Tuesday to continue its discussion of requests by Whole Foods Arabella Station. For full details and links to these and other events around Uptown New Orleans in the coming days, see our calendar listings below. Continue reading »

May 022011

Owen Courrèges

They’re the scourge of New Orleans’ streets.  They strike with little warning and virtually no oversight, costing the citizens of New Orleans tens of millions of dollars each year.  As the years have passed they have continued to expand their reach into new neighborhoods – virgin territory for these merciless mechanical marvels.

I am speaking, of course, of speed cameras. Continue reading »

May 022011

“If we don’t have it you don’t need it.” “What’s said on the porch stays on the porch.” “Please don’t speak about yourself.” You’ve seen his work all around town — in bars, restaurants, homes, and shopfronts — but unless you look closely you might not see the signature in the bottom corner: Simon, short for Simon Hardeveld. One of New Orleans’ most iconic painters, Simon is a multi-talented artist whose studio is part museum, part music studio, and part menagerie — but all magical experience.

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Apr 302011

Going on to its 6th year of community engagement, the Latino Health Outreach Project of the Common Ground Health Clinic is still highly committed to connecting uninsured patients to basic health care services and beyond. Since its inception, the Latino Health Outreach Project (aka LHOP) has hosted a weekly clinic on the neutral ground between the streets of Martin Luther King Ave and Claiborne Ave. Our clinic doctor, Spanish interpreters, and established patient volunteers meet Friday mornings from 7:30 am to 9am to coordinate the clinic, weather permitting. See below for more details of this service.

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Apr 292011

Skip the calendar and check the thermometer: summertime is here, and with it, rising energy costs. Worried about how much it’s going to cost to cool your house this summer? GreenBean Insulation can help: with the right kind of treatment, you could save a bundle on your bills. See below for more details.

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Apr 292011

The Zoo-to-Do for Kids will feature face-painting, performances by Radio Disney and other entertainment for children. (Sabree Hill,

On a relatively quiet weekend in Uptown New Orleans, Audubon Zoo is stepping up with one of the major children’s events of the year: the Zoo-to-Do for Kids.

“Audubon Zoo is transformed into a magical play land filled with live entertainment, face painters, musical performances by Radio Disney, sports and cheerleading clinics, strolling performers, arcade games, inflatables, crafts and a video game center,” reads the event website. “Your ticket purchase also includes complimentary food and beverages to delight every palate.”

The gala, which also includes a Sponsor and Patron Party for adults, costs $25 for members and $35 for non-members. Proceeds will benefit the creation of the Twilight Zoo, extended-hours programming at the zoo for summertime evenings.

For those not attending Jazz Fest (or who merely need a break from it), Uptown has a handful of other cultural events on offer this weekend as well. See our calendar listings below for details and links. Continue reading »

Apr 292011

Otis T. Berthey (via

A trio of teens believed to be behind at least five armed robberies along St. Charles and Louisiana avenues were arrested this week, as was a man suspected in at least 10 home burglaries in Fontainebleau, likely bringing to end two separate crime sprees plaguing opposite ends of Uptown New Orleans. Continue reading »

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Apr 282011

Developer Jim MacPhaille stands next to his wife Catherine MacPhaille and places the winning bid on the former NOCCA school building on Perrier Street in Uptown New Orleans at the Orleans Parish School Board surplus property auction Thursday morning. The former NOCCA school building sold at auction for $2.45 million. (Sabree Hill,

The former NOCCA building, photographed in September 2010. (Sabree Hill,

The former NOCCA school building on Perrier Street in Uptown New Orleans sold at auction Thursday for $2.45 million to a couple who said they bought the century-old building in order to save it.

“It’s one of the best pieces of real estate in Uptown,” said developer Jim MacPhaille, the winning bidder. Continue reading »

Apr 282011

Heading out of town, or getting ready for Jazzfest, but not sure what to do with your pooch? Look no further than Freret Street, where Zeus’ Place will keep your four-legged friend as happy as can be. Featuring full boarding and grooming services at affordable rates, Zeus’ Place has everything you and Fido need. See below for more details.

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Apr 272011

The April board meeting for the International School of Louisiana has been rescheduled until next week because the school is off for spring break, said Pam Stewart, director of institutional advancement at ISL.

The board meeting will now be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 4.

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Apr 272011

Alba Xiomara and Rolando Zelaya work at at Super Mercado Las Acacias on March 11, 2011. On Thursday, the full city council will hold a meeting that includes Uptown-related agenda items such as a request by the Supermercado Las Acacias on Freret for a zoning change that would allow alcohol sales. (Sabree Hill,

A variety of governmental meetings are taking place over the next two days of interest to Uptown residents, including the city’s ruling on several Uptown land-use changes.

On Thursday, the full city council will hold a meeting that includes Uptown-related agenda items such as a request by the Supermercado Las Acacias on Freret for a zoning change that would allow alcohol sales***, a request for a large restaurant on the corner of Jackson and Magazine, and property owners seeking separate demolitions on Danneel and Fig streets. (On Wednesday, separate city council committees are also discussing ongoing improvements to city playgrounds and a proposal to create a registry of gun offenders in New Orleans.)

***Update: Kellie Grengs of the Freret Business and Property Owners Association emailed Wednesday afternoon to say the Supermercado Las Acacias item will deferred until the council’s May 5 meeting. An email to the council clerk to confirm this was not answered Wednesday.

Other meetings of interest include the April monthly meeting of the International School of Louisiana governing board on Wednesday evening, and the Orleans Parish School Board surplus property auction on Thursday morning, which could lead to the sale of the former NOCCA site on Perrier.

For full details and links, see our calendar listings below. Continue reading »

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Apr 272011

Jean-Paul Villere

Jazz. Fest. By themselves, these two words evoke generally positive elements within one’s frame of mind. But put them together and cataclysmic forces rip open a wormhole of decades of performances and experiences that run the gamut from the mundane to the sublime. Festival season crowns each April in Southeast Louisiana, and Jazz Fest reigns the highest of holidays in this vein. Continue reading »