Although the Freret Street Festival is now in its 17th year, its growth in recent years has mirrored the rapid redevelopment of the commercial corridor — and this year, the April 5 event will stretch all the way to Jefferson Avenue for the first time, adding a fifth music stage to its lineup, organizers said.
Sure, New Orleans already has an “official” oyster festival. But Woody Ruiz of the ubiquitous festival fish tacos thought the middle of summer was kind of an odd time to eat oysters, and he wanted a chance to give the big names downtown a run for their money on oyster preparation.
On Sunday (Jan. 19), Ruiz will get his chance, when he partners with the founders of Freret Market to create the first (hopefully annual) Freret Oyster Jam in the parking lot of the Publiq House.
Freret Clay Center, a new nonprofit promoting ceramics art and education, will hold its grand opening at 2525 Jena Street with a group exhibition from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Six artists will participate in the exhibition. For more information, see the Freret Clay Center website.
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.
That project will join a series of others — a similar repaving of Broadway Street, the ongoing construction of a new drainage canal under Napoleon Avenue, the recent commencement of the same project on Jefferson Avenue, the upcoming start of another canal project on Louisiana Avenue, and the year-long repairs to the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line — that place most of the major thoroughfares through the interior of Uptown New Orleans under some sort of roadwork.
Just two weeks after the 2013 Freret Street Festival drew record-setting crowds, Dat Dog, The Other Bar and Gasa Gasa will be hosting another festival Saturday evening, “Uptown Sounds,” featuring acoustic sets, DJs and full bands. The festival runs from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and will also feature art and film, and is being organized by Loyola University’s Music Industries Studies program, according to a post at The New Freret website.
“I don’t want to further subsidize these businesses through an increase in property taxes,” said Soniat Street resident George Chaney.
The Freret Neighbors United will hold an extended meeting tonight (Tuesday, March 12) to discuss a proposed new security district in the neighborhood, and the Milan Focus Group will meet Wednesday to hear from city and police officials.
As progress moves forward on stabilizing both the Willow Street elementary campus and the Fortier campus for upper grades on Freret Street, Lusher Charter School officials are also deliberating on what, if any, changes will be made for the 100 students who remain at the satellite campus at the Jewish Community Center on St. Charles Avenue.
The Freret Market will bring its eclectic assortment of food stands and local art and clothing vendors to the corner of Napoleon Avenue from noon to 5 p.m. today (Saturday, March 2), along with free performances by Mardi Gras Indian blues band Chawa, Miss Claudia Baumgarten’s Singalong Americana and New Orleans rock band Coot.
A man armed with a gun forced his way into a Robert Street home in the Freret area on Wednesday evening in a robbery attempt, police records show.
Freret Street motorists will not be able to cross Napoleon Avenue on Wednesday amid ongoing construction of the new drainage canal there, officials said.
For many New Orleanians, Hurricane Isaac will be remembered for the long week without power and the maddening uncertainty as to when it would return.
But for a group of National Weather Service researchers, Isaac has proven interesting for what did not happen — street flooding — despite their discovery of what appears to have been a band of abnormally heavy rainfall right across Uptown New Orleans.
“Our biggest question is, ‘Where did the water go?’” said emergency-response meteorologist Tim Erickson during a recent trip to Freret Street to investigate.
Midway Pizza will donate a portion of proceeds all day Wednesday (Jan. 16) to help with medical costs for Becky Batchelor, an active member of the Faubourg Marengo Neighborhood Association and Lusher staff member, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
The Dat Dog manager who was shot during a robbery attempt at the Freret Street store last month calls the bullet’s path through his shoulder a “miracle,” as he returns to work and discusses his support for a new $300-per-year tax on each property in the neighborhood to hire 24-hour private security patrols, according to a report by our partners at WWL-TV.