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.
The Irish Channel and Carrollton-Riverbend neighborhood associations are both pushing their regularly scheduled monthly meetings back a week to accommodate the Saints season opener.
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.
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.
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.”
As the Saints make their way through the postseason, we want to know the best places in Uptown New Orleans to cheer them on.
The school gym filled with cheering students during an assembly before school to watch a giant video screen as the Saints quarterback received his “Sportsman of the Year” award, reports Kari Dequine of The Times-Picayune.
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.