Oct 182019
 

The Leidenheimer Baking Co. has operated from the same Central City location since 1904. (UNO archive, City Planning Commission)

By Emily Carmichael, Uptown Messenger

Iconic baguette producer Leidenheimer Baking Co. wants to expand its factory, but some of its Central City neighbors are pushing back.

Leidenheimer, one of the city’s premier providers of po-boy loaves, wants to add 23,436 square feet to its factory at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Simon Bolivar Avenue, doubling its size. The renovations are designed to modernize its space and increase its production capacity.

Public feedback in response to these plans has revealed neighborhood complaints of disruptive after-hours deliveries, noise pollution, air pollution, litter, emission of black soot that stains neighboring buildings, and traffic and parking difficulties. Continue reading »

Sep 262019
 

The mayor’s affordable housing meeting for District B filled Ashe Powerhouse Theater in Central City on Wednesday. (Jesse Baum)

By Jesse Baum, Uptown Messenger

Mayor Latoya Cantrell told a meeting on affordable housing Wednesday that she wants to push New Orleans to 65 percent homeownership, well above the current percentage of around 46 percent.

Cantrell made an Uptown stop on her affordable housing tour at the Ashe Powerhouse Theater. The affordable housing tour has been a way for the Cantrell administration to go into different communities around the city and explain different affordability programs that are already in place. Continue reading »

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Sep 262019
 

Library services within the Mahalia Jackson Learning Center end today, Sept. 26, in preparation for a move to the a new larger location in the Allie Mae Williams Multi Service Center at 2020 Jackson Ave.

Until the new location opens this fall, there will be three-day-a-week library service outside of the new location beginning Monday, Oct. 7.

The pop-up library will be open Mondays and Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pop-up library services will include books and other materials for checkout, children’s crafts and toys, weekly storytimes every Saturday at 10:30 a.m., and free WiFi access. Continue reading »

Sep 172019
 

Happy Raptor co-founders Meagen Moreland-Taliancich, Mark Taliancich and Peter Rivera are converting a Central City storage facility into a micro-distillery and tasting room. (courtesy of Happy Raptor Distilling)

Happy Raptor Distilling plans to start producing its signature line of craft spirits, 504Rum, this fall in Central City.

Once the site of a graffiti-covered storage facility, the distillery’s location at 1512 Robert C. Blakes Sr. Drive (a two-block stretch of Carondelet Street) is nestled in a high-traffic but often overlooked area. The micro-distillery will feature a 2,000-square-foot production space and tasting room with an adjacent back patio. Continue reading »

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Sep 132019
 

A rendering of the Allie Mae Multi-Service Center by VergesRome.

Central City Library is moving to a new, larger location this fall: the Allie Mae Williams Multi-Service Center at 2020 Jackson Ave., the New Orleans Public Library announced. Continue reading »

Sep 032019
 

Dryades Market offered a a variety of fresh food options for Central City. (photo by Ashlin Washington)

By Emily Carmichael, Uptown Messenger

When Dryades Public Market closed its doors on Friday, Central City lost its major supplier of fresh produce.

An anchor of the Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard shopping district, Dryades Public Market opened in 2016 as a way to bring fresh, affordable food to a low-income neighborhood with few grocery options. Continue reading »

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Aug 302019
 

Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes

Ashé Cultural Arts Center’s board of directors, Efforts of Grace, has appointed Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes as the new executive director of Ashé. She will take her post Jan. 1, 2020, succeeding founding executive director Carol Bebelle, who will retire from the organization at the end of December.

Ecclesiastes was selected after a rigorous search, said board President Beverly Guillory Andry.  “Ms. Ecclesiastes comes to the organization with vast experience and knowledge in the field of culture and arts, as well as an understanding of its transformational power in the community,” Andry said. Continue reading »

Jun 132019
 

The former Brown’s Dairy complex has gone on the market. (Danae Columbus)

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Local and national real estate developers are excited by this week’s announcement that the former Brown’s Dairy complex — just uptown of the Pontchartrain Expressway and one block off St. Charles Avenue — is now for sale. According to listing agent Matthew Eaton of Re/Max, this 200,000-square-foot parcel presents the largest infill development opportunity to hit the New Orleans market in recent years. Continue reading »

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May 062019
 

Musical pioneer Buddy Bolden’s former home on First and Lasalle streets. (courtesy of Preservation Resource Center)

By Emily Carmichael, emilycarmichael19@gmail.com

Musician PJ Morton had not heard of Buddy Bolden until three years ago, when the Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church, where his parents are pastors, planned to turn Bolden’s former Central City home into a parking lot.

The architect for the project, a longtime friend of Morton’s, sent him an article about Bolden, the cornetist considered the founding father of jazz. “[He] was like ‘Hey man your mom, they just tried to knock down Buddy Bolden’s house,’” Morton said. “And I’m like, ‘Who’s Buddy Bolden?’”

Continue reading »

Mar 282019
 

The unassuming First Street shotgun that Buddy Bolden once called home draws jazz pilgrims from across the globe. (via Google Maps)

The fate of the Central City shotgun where early jazz pioneer Charles “Buddy” Bolden once lived has long concerned preservationists and jazz aficionados. Now some fresh hope for the dilapidated building has appeared in the form of PJ Morton, an acclaimed musician with close ties to the building’s owner.

At a blight hearing Tuesday, Morton laid out plans to renovate the building at 2309 First St. He wants to turn the shotgun double and its twin next door into a museum, recording studio and event space, according to a Facebook post by the Preservation Resource Center, which is advising Morton on the project.

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Mar 152019
 

Big Chief Victor Harris of the Fi Ya Ya and Mandingo Warriors beats his tambourine down LaSalle street during the 2018 Super Sunday. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Super Sunday is an annual gathering of Mardi Gras Indian tribes celebrating their heritage and culture in a magnificent display of hand-sewn suits, singing, dancing and chanting. The festival in A.L. Davis Park will include two stages and more than 50 food and craft vendors.

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Mar 142019
 

The Dew Drop Inn remains vacant at 2836 LaSalle St. in Central City, as it has since 2005. (Nicholas Reimann, Uptown Messenger file photo)

By Nicholas Reimann, Uptown Messenger

The future of the historic Dew Drop Inn on LaSalle Street in Central City is once again in doubt, after a deal to restore the dilapidated former music hall fell through.

Ryan Thomas, owner of real estate development company Peregrine Interests, said a difficulty getting investors for the planned two-story development with a hotel, museum and restaurant — along with a music venue — is what held up the deal that was set to close Dec. 30.

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Feb 272019
 

George Short, 43, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Central City shooting death.

George Short was sentenced to 20 years last week for the killing of a man in Central City in 2014.

Short, 43, averted his scheduled murder trial and potential life sentence on Feb. 20 by entering into a plea agreement as potential jurors lined up outside the courtroom of Criminal District Judge Arthur Hunter, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office reported.

Under the terms of the agreement, Short pleaded guilty to an amended charge of manslaughter, two counts of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, and one count of introducing contraband into a corrections facility.

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Feb 112019
 

Cafe Reconcile is open for lunch M-F from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Café Reconcile is recruiting new students for its 2019 classes. While Café Reconcile’s Class 1 is already underway, applications to participate in future classes, including Class 2 which begins March 18, are currently being accepted both online and in person. Young adults ages 16-24 years old can apply.

Café Reconcile is an eight-week hospitality training and job placement program that provides paid stipends, life skills classes, visits to industry partners, interview training and more. Continue reading »