Sep 162011
 

The Uptown high school’s tradition of roasting the Saints opponents on massive student-made banners usually ensures a grin for Claiborne Avenue drivers during football season, but apparently a thief had other plans for this week’s gag at Chicago’s expense, according to nola.com. Theories in an unusually worthwhile comment section range from disgruntled university students from the area to overzealous Saints fans planning to appropriate the image inside the Superdome.

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Jan 062011
 

Rebecca Snook shows a photo on her phone of her and her daughter Melissa Martinez, 17, on Christmas in their Irish Channel home. Martinez perished in a fire two days later. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

With nighttime lows well beneath freezing last February, not too many people thought camping overnight in the St. Charles Avenue neutral ground was a great idea.

Melissa Martinez, at right, camps out on St. Charles Avenue during Mardi Gras. (Submitted photo)

Kara Morgan, president of the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association, thought it was perfect. For Mardi Gras immediately after Saints’ triumphant first-ever Super Bowl victory, quarterback Drew Brees was riding in Bacchus, and Morgan needed to secure a conspicuous place on the route so he would see her life-size photo of him from his float.

But Morgan also needed fellow campers, and when most of her friends her age told her she was crazy, she turned to a dear friend and neighbor’s teenage daughter, Melissa Martinez, who “thought it was the coolest idea ever,” Morgan recalled. Along with Morgan’s niece and another neighbor, Martinez brought her boyfriend, and the five froze through the night together, huddling on top of tarps and around grills and space heaters in a makeshift camp near Seventh Street.

At 3 a.m., Martinez cooked burgers for everyone. At some point, a elderly Corgi wandered up lost, and the girls adopted him until his owner, a doctor who lived nearby, came and found him. By the time of the parade the next day, Martinez was so exhausted that she was home sleeping and missed it altogether.

This cardboard cutout of Drew Brees inspired a St. Charles Avenue campout for Melissa Martinez and Kara Morgan during Mardi Gras 2009. (Submitted photo)

The entire point of that night for Martinez had simply been the experience and the camaraderie, Morgan now recalls, trying to understand how the beloved 17-year-old Irish Channel resident ended up among eight young people killed in a tragic 9th Ward warehouse fire two days after Christmas and labeled an outsider by the city she loved.

“I really just think she was there because she loved the outdoors, loved roughing it, and I really think that would explain a lot of why she would be in the building that night,” Morgan said. “To her, that would be something fun to do.” Continue reading »

Nov 252010
 

Terry Sybrant and Theresa Zukowski, from Delaware, cheer for the Saints at Cooter Brown's late Thursday afternoon. They were visiting family for Thanksgiving. Both had eaten early in the day and came to Cooter Brown's to watch the game. " We were here for the Super Bowl too, so we feel like we are adopted fans," said Sybrant. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

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Nov 132010
 

The fate of the former site of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts remains uncertain after Lusher Charter School has decided not to purchase it.. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Renovating the old New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts school into a third campus has proven too expensive an idea for Lusher Charter School amid the present uncertainty about public school funding, so school officials are restarting their search for a new Uptown location. Continue reading »

Oct 242010
 

Rebecca Schattman sits next to Duncan Blake-Finley and throws her arm up in the air in disappointment as she watches the Saints vs. Cleveland Browns game at Madigan's Bar on S Carrollton Ave. Sunday afternoon. Cleveland Browns won 30-17.

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Oct 102010
 

Saints fans take a break from the Magazine Street Blues Festival to watch the beginning of the game against the Arizona Cardinals on TVs set up on Napoleon Street.

The bustle of food vendors, artists, blues musicians and their dancers Sunday at the Magazine Street Blues Festival all came to a sudden halt at 3 p.m. – kickoff time for the Saints – when flat-screen TVs in the middle of Napoleon Avenue took center stage.

Johnny Angel of Carrollton finds a curbside seat for the Saints game against the Cardinals.

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Sep 212010
 

Saints fans Daryn DeLuco (left), Ben Lee and Leon Touzet III scream out in excitement as the Saints are victorious over the 49ers 25-22 at the Saint Bar and Lounge on St. Mary St. Monday night. The Saint Bar and Lounge will have various live music and DJ's every night a Saints game is played for the entire season, presented by Defend New Orleans. "I really like music and football together. It really suits the Saints and New Orleans. We have a unique group of football fans here. Football is not just for football fans here. It doesn't matter who you are, everybody is a Saints fan here," said Jac Currie, owner of The Saint Bar and Lounge.

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