Viewpoint: The real action in Saturday’s election is on the Democratic committee ballots

Democratic and Republican voters in Louisiana will have a chance to cast their ballot for their choice for president in the Saturday (March 23) election. But the real contest will be for seats on the parties’ State Central Committees and Parish Executive Committees — especially among Democrats. These often-overlooked votes choose the people who steer the political parties as they work to elect candidates, raise funds and educate voters. 

Here in Orleans Parish and elsewhere around the state, dozens of young and first-time Democratic contenders — including those who support progressive and LGBTQ+ issues — are running competitive races for seats on both the parish and state government bodies. There is broad consensus that the once unbeatable Louisiana Democratic Party has lost its luster. Membership and fundraising are almost at a standstill.

Dew Drop Inn aims to present the past, present and future of New Orleans music

The Dew Drop Inn Hotel & Lounge, after a 54-year pause, is hosting live music once again. The legendary Central City nightclub reopened Friday (March 1) with performances that paid homage to its storied history. The Dew Drop on the LaSalle Street was the city’s leading Black music venue during rock ‘n’ roll’s formative years. It brought top national entertainers  — Ray Charles, James Brown, Little Richard, Ike and Tina Turner, to name a few — into town, and it had a house band that could outshine the stars. Those local musical pioneers created a distinctly New Orleans sound during all-night jam sessions at the Dew Drop.

French Film Festival opens Thursday at the Prytania

The 2024 French Film Festival opens at the Prytania Theatre Uptown on Thursday (Feb. 22) and continues through Feb. 28.  Virtual streaming begins Thursday and continues through March 3.

The festival lineup includes 24 narrative, documentary and short films produced in Belgium, Canada, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland and the U.S. as well as France. 

And close to home, the festival will spotlight special screenings of two newly restored films — entirely in Cajun French — from Louisiana filmmaker Glen Pitre. 

City’s recycling hubs on parade route lets revelers catch-and-release their throws

Recycle Dat is returning to the Uptown parade route during the two major weekends of Carnival 2024. Recycle Dat will operate both Recycling Hubs and Can Stations during the daytime parades for the next two Saturdays and Sundays. Six stationary Recycling Hubs for beer and soft drink cans, beads and glass can be found between Napoleon Avenue and Prytania Street and Harmony Circle and St. Charles Avenue. As the day parades roll during on Saturday, Feb.

Car wash owners seek demolition of Tchoupitoulas cottages

By R. Stephanie Bruno and Katherine Hart
The City Council is set to determine the fate of three 19th century cottages on Tchoupitoulas Street at its Thursday (Feb. 1) meeting. The owners took their demolition request to the council after the Historic District Landmarks Commission blocked it.
The doubles on the river side of the 5500 block of Tchoupitoulas are owned by Car Wash Blues, the company behind Uptown Car Wash, which surrounds the row of residential buildings. 
The owners want to raze the buildings so they can expand the car wash and add higher-margin detailing services, according to co-owner Andrew Stall. Detailing is the most lucrative element of the car wash business, he said.

‘They need their toilet paper’: Council OKs signature throw for Tucks only

The Krewe of Tucks got its toilet paper back on Thursday (Jan. 18), when the City Council amended its new Carnival regulations to allow the 55-year-old satirical parade its signature throw.

In a meeting days before the start of Carnival season, the City Council approved revisions to the city’s list of prohibited throws. Among the newly banned throws were rolls of toilet paper, prohibited because of cleanup and environmental concerns.

Find Carnival costumes galore on Magazine Street

Mardi Gras costumes of all sorts can be found in shops along Magazine Street. Options range from recycled vintage outfits to shiny new ones, or a mix of the two, plus some  custom-made options.

As Denise Lyons of Buffalo Exchange put it, “Carnival season is huge for Magazine Street.” Uptown residents can easily take advantage of many costume offerings within a 12-block stretch of Magazine.

Suspect arrested in two Central City shooting deaths

The NOPD’s Violent Offender Warrant Squad and the U.S. Marshals arrested a suspect Thursday (Jan. 18) in two recent homicides in Central City. Earl Simmons, 31, is accused of killing Cayla Kelley, 27, and Eddie Matthews, 64, in separate shootings on Jan. 6. Police found Kelley dead on the sidewalk in the 2700 block of Washington Avenue at about 6:15 p.m. on Twelfth Night.