Jul 302013
 

A rendering of the Isidore Newman School’s proposed new preschool building. (courtesy Isidore Newman School)

Isidore Newman School hosted parents and community members Tuesday night as the school moves forward with plans to more than double its early childhood facility.

Head of School Dale Smith and architect Mac Ball presented the 950-student school’s plans to expand enrollment offerings to its youngest attendees.

“I think it’s safe to say he’s a preservationist at heart,” Smith said of Ball — one of the reasons he was selected for the job. Continue reading »

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Jul 302013
 

The four driving lanes currently on Nashville Avenue will become two vehicle lanes and two bicycle lanes after an upcoming repaving project. (map via Google)

After a repaving project this fall, Nashville Avenue will trade the four driving lanes it currently has on the lake side of South Claiborne for two vehicle lanes and two dedicated bicycle lanes, officials said Tuesday. Continue reading »

Jul 302013
 

A broken, collapsing section of the 900 block of Webster has caused passing drivers to bottom out their cars or to take dangerous, last-minute moves to avoid it for a year or more, but it has finally been repaired after a project that required replacing underground pipes for most of the block, reports Bill Capo and our partners at WWL-TV.

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Jul 302013
 

William “Will” Rideau (1936-2013) is shown on his horse LeBeau. (family photo)

jewel bush

Over the weekend, I traveled to St. Landry Parish, the heart of Creole and Cajun culture and heritage in Louisiana, to attend my great-uncle’s funeral.

My great-uncle Will was a tall, agreeable man who lived a simple life wearing flannel shirts, loving baseball, family and above all horses – horse training, horse riding and horse betting. He never left home, literally. He spent his entire 77 years living in the same quaint cabin tucked deep into the woods of Rideau Settlement on our family’s original homestead, land purchased for $25 an acre by his father. Continue reading »

Jul 302013
 

Marina Schoen (via lusherschool.org)

Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans has filled another top leadership role for the coming year with the hiring a new academic director, a veteran foreign-language teacher with experience at Lusher and Audubon charter schools who previously interviewed for Lycee’s CEO position. Continue reading »

Jul 292013
 

Ahmad Sheppard, 33, was found bound, gagged and shot in the head inside his neighbor’s ransacked Prytania Street apartment in June, and his father and his friends described his generous nature in a celebration of the popular French Quarter DJ’s life this weekend, according to a report by Jaclyn Kelley and our partners at WWL-TV. A sketch of a man seen leaving the apartment that night has been released, and police are still looking for Sheppard’s neighbor’s white Jeep Cherokee that was stolen that night, Kelley reports.

Jul 292013
 

The Uptown housing market, including the Garden District and Carrollton, had 132 homes listed in June, which would take about two months to be sold at the current sales pace, a seven-year low creating an extremely strong seller’s market, according to a report by Katherine Sayre of The Times-Picayune. A market is considered balanced when its supply of homes should take six months to sell at the current pace, and during the housing crisis of 2008 and 2009 the supply was between 10 months and two years, Sayre explains.

“In 2012, the average price-per-square-foot for all of the New Orleans metro area was $106. In the Uptown area, the average was more than $200,” Sayre writes. “But last week, several listings in the area were priced between $240 and more than $300 per square foot.”

Two homes on the market driving up that price-per-square foot include the “wildly artistic,” “Frank Lloyd Wright meets tiki magic” two-bedroom, two-bath home on Chestnut listed at $599,999 and the three-bedroom, three-bath home of John Goodman and Melissa Leo’s characters on Treme at 223 Lowerline, now listed at $989,000 (after selling for $170,000 in 1998) — both recently featured by Sarah Chase on the real-estate blog Curbed NOLA.

Jul 292013
 

Amici Ristorante and McClure’s Barbecue have opened on Magazine Street, and Noodle & Pie is expected to join them this week, according to recent reports. Meanwhile, the legal battle over the Camellia Grill is now focused on the new owner’s application to become a historic landmark. Continue reading »

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Jul 292013
 

Gray segments are complete; yellow are in the construction phase, and red remain in design. (map via U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Illustration of new Jefferson Avenue drainage canal. (via U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $52 million, 50-month contract for installation of a new drainage canal on the upper section of Jefferson Avenue, from Dryades Street to South Claiborne Avenue, officials announced. Continue reading »

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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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