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. 

“Now in its 27th year, the French Film Festival continues to grow and evolve, and this year’s program fully encapsulates the diversity of French-language cinema from around the globe, including films made right here in Louisiana,” said Clint Bowie, artistic director of the New Orleans Film Society, in a press release. “It includes work from industry veterans like Claire Simon and François Ozon while also introducing audiences to new voices from directors like Baraka Rahmani and Chasah and Charliese West.” 

The opening night film will be The Crime is Mine (Mon Crime) by director François Ozon.

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.

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.

Meet Mardi Gras Indian queens at St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church

St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church is welcoming the Carnival season with a free, open-to-all community event, “Meet The Mardi Gras Queens,” on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 20). Big Queen Gina Montana of the Yellow Pocahontas and Queen Cinnamon Black of the FiYiYi’s Mandingo Warriors will explore the history and cultural importance of the Mardi Gras Indian tradition and take questions. Queen Montana is a long-time masking Indian in New Orleans’ second oldest Mardi Gras Indian tribe.

City offers a slate of activities for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year falls on the slain civil rights leader’s actual birthday, Jan. 15. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other local nonprofits offer a variety of events to honor the transformative leader. A parade through Central City is the centerpiece of the New Orleans MLK Day. R.E.A.L. (Recreating the Environmental Ability to Live) has been hosting this event in New Orleans for 37 years.

Two people die in separate Central City shootings

Two deadly shootings were reported Saturday (Jan. 6)  in Central City, according to the New Orleans Police Department. A 27-year-old woman was killed Saturday evening in the 2700 block of Washington Avenue. Sixth District officers arrived at the scene at about 6:15 p.m. and found her on the sidewalk  with multiple gunshot wounds. She was declared dead at the scene.

Roadwork ahead: Lane closures on South Claiborne

Temporary lane closures are planned for South Claiborne Avenue from Louisiana Avenue to Third Street for the next six to eight months, as Sewerage & Water Board crews install a water main. The riverside traffic lanes next to the neutral ground will be closed beginning Tuesday (Jan. 2). Traffic will be reduced to two lanes, diverting some motorists to the parking lane. This traffic closure is expected to last until the summer of 2024.

When to put out your holiday trash, recycling and Christmas trees

Garbage truck hoppers and drivers get the day off on Christmas and New Year’s Day but will be working harder for the rest of the week. Not only do the celebrations generate more trash, but the pickup days are staggered and a Sunday pickup day is added to the schedule. For the next two weeks, residents with a Monday trash day need to bring their garbage bin to the curb on Tuesday. If your trash or recycling is normally picked up on Tuesday, it will be picked on Wednesday. And so on through the week, until the Saturday garbage is picked up on Sunday.

Holiday market at Poydras Home features local artisans

Poydras Home’s ‘Tis The Season Sale on Saturday (Dec. 16) offers a chance to support local artisans, benefit the retirement community and finish your Christmas shopping in one afternoon. The vendors at the indoor holiday sale include:
• Kaki Birtel’s 3-D multi-media cross boxes
• Delia Hardie and Dolores Hall’s adorned tabletop trees
• McClendon Designs jewelry
• Ilesa Hingle student artist
• Home Malone’s handmade items including gifts, local art and home decor
• New Orleans series books signed by author Peggy Scott Laborde
• Magic Box Toys
• Theone Perloff packaged cookies
• Poydras Home’s Artist-in-Residence Bobbie Stephens’ notecards based on her paintings of scenes at Poydras Home
• Linda Upchurch’s embroidered linens
• Wit & Whimsy jewelry

Founded in 1817, Poydras Home on Magazine Street at Jefferson Avenue provides  retirement living and innovative senior care that emphasizes meaningful relationships. Poydras Home’s ‘Tis The Season Sale
• Saturday (Dec. 16) from noon to 4 p.m.
• Poydras Home, 5354 Magazine St.

New hotel, restaurant planned for St. Charles Avenue in Lower Garden District

A five-story hotel with a ground-floor restaurant and rooftop bar is in the works for the former site of the Trolley Stop on St. Charles Avenue. The owner and developer is Verdad Real Estate & Construction, the firm behind the redevelopment of the Magazine Street building that once housed Harry’s Ace Hardware. Verdad has hired local cocktail virtuoso Neal Bodenheimer of Cure, Vals and Cane & Table to oversee the restaurant and bar operations. LightHouse, a hotel management firm based in New York, will operate the hotel.