Uptown homes bedecked for the season on view virtually for the Preservation Resource Center’s Holiday Home Tour

Who doesn’t want to peek inside some of New Orleans’ historic and glamorous homes? 

That’s where the Preservation Resource Center comes to the home-curiosity rescue with its annual Holiday Home Tour, now the 45th, on Dec. 12 and 13. 

But with the coronavirus pandemic this year, the PRC was in a bind: How to continue the tradition, but make it safe? 

By forgoing the walking tour and creating a virtual tour of six homes located throughout New Orleans – Uptown, Mid-City, French Quarter and Bywater — available to view with purchase of a ticket. “It was thrilling to get a sampling of styles and peek into the lives of homeowners,” said PRC Executive Director Danielle Del Sol in an email. In the past, the homes were centered mainly in the Lower Garden District and Garden District, making it easy for tour-goers to navigate. 

Half of the featured homes this year are in Uptown neighborhoods. The 2020 Holiday Home Tour includes the homes of Uptown residents James Carville and Mary Matalin, Penny and Todd Francis, and Bryan Batt and Tom Cianfichi. 

The other homes are in the French Quarter (Deb Shriver’s Greek Revival townhome), Mid-City (Alexa Pulitzer and Seth Levine’s Eastlake Center Hall) and Bywater (Pres Kabacoff and Sallie Ann Glassman’s camelback style home, newly built to be environmentally sensitive). 

“With a video tour, it is still a huge ‘ask’ for homeowners, but a different kind,” said Del Sol.  “This year, we asked them to decorate their homes early for the holidays, then star in a video.” Accompanying the homeowners on the tours, filmed and produced by Calm Dog Productions, are Del Sol and Susan Langenhennig, PRC’s director of communications and marketing and Preservation in Print editor.

New Orleans Thanksgiving 2020: Socially distanced Creole Oyster Dressing

Below is the Oyster Dressing recipe I’ve prepared since 2006. It was recorded at the elbow of my cousin Velma, then 93. At 4-foot-10, still whip-smart and eternally feisty, she bossily instructed me in “the right way” to prepare the family dressing for an “authentic Creole New Orleans Thanksgiving.” Her recipe cards and everything else she’d owned were stolen a year before “by that hussy Katrina,” her sobriquet for the hurricane. The recipe she passed down that day, first prepared by her family in the 1800s, had been committed to memory during Prohibition.

Bacchus announces plans for virtual parade via its own app

The Krewe of Bacchus had announced plans to hold its super-parade, before Mayor LaToya Cantrell called off the 2021 parade season. The superkrewe has not given up. It’s just, like many events this year, going virtual. Clark Brennan, captain of Bacchus, announced Monday that Bacchus will have a virtual parade in 2021 using the new “Throw Me Something Bacchus!” mobile app.

Teenager sought in carjacking, attempted murder; victim ‘faces a long road of recovery’

As friends of an injured carjacking victim set up an online fundraiser to help with her medical bills on Monday, the New Orleans Police Department identified a suspect in the crime that put her in the hospital. Diane Rogers, known for her work with the city’s feral cat population, was carjacked on Nov. 15 at 2:26 p.m in the 1700 block of Monroe Street. During the incident, the NOPD said, Rogers reportedly grabbed hold of her vehicle’s steering wheel and, while doing so, the carjacker began to drive off at a high rate of speed. During that time, she fell to the ground and was rolled over by one of the vehicle’s tires — causing her to be hospitalized with multiple serious injuries.

Police blotter: Shootings, armed robberies, stabbings, carjackings throughout Uptown neighborhoods

Uptown neighborhoods saw their share of violence during the past week. In addition to a homicide in the Lower Garden District, at least three shootings, four armed robberies, four carjackings and two stabbings were reported in the Second and Sixth districts of the New Orleans Police Department. Armed robbery: At about 1:45 a.m. on Monday (Nov. 23), two men entered Danny’s Food Store at 2000 Earhart Boulevard, displayed a gun and demanded money from the register. The clerk handed over cash from the register, and the gunmen fled.

Magazine Street welcomes new take on Thai from BRG restaurant group

 

Jimmy Cho, the chef and owner of the Cho Thai — a recent addition to Magazine Street in the Irish Channel — has operated the West Bank favorite Banana Blossom since 2009. One of the repeat customers at that Thai fusion restaurant happened to be a partner at BRG Hospitality, the rebranded John Besh group whose holdings include August, Pizza Domenica and Shaya. He liked the food at Banana Blossom so much he approached Cho joining the BRG’s restaurants. Cho signed a contract with BRG in November 2019, and the redesign of the interior space at 3218 Magazine St. was set to begin in the new year.

City plans safer bike paths in Central City and Lower Garden District

The Office of Neighborhood Engagement hosted a pre-construction meeting Thursday to inform Central City and Lower Garden District residents about bicycle infrastructure improvements coming to their neighborhoods. Construction on the project on the East Bank began in August 2020, and the Thursday meeting allowed residents to view the proposals for their area. The project will bring bike lanes and street redesigns to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from St. Charles Avenue to South Broad Street, Melpomene Street from St. Charles Avenue to Camp Street, Baronne Street from Calliope to Phillips Street, South Galvez Street from MLK to Erato Street, and South Broad Street from Fourth Street to Thalia Street.

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Sponsored: FNOPS congratulates new school board members, looks to runoff

Coalition Reminds Voters to Consider Scorecard in Runoff Election
Early voting is Nov. 20-28 (excluding Sundays and holidays)

Forward New Orleans for Public Schools (FNOPS) congratulates the two candidates who were elected to the Orleans Parish School Board in the Nov. 3 primary election as well as those vying for the remaining five district seats in the Dec. 5. runoff election.

Man stabbed to death in the Lower Garden District

The New Orleans Police Department is investigating a homicide that occurred Thursday (Nov. 19) in the Lower Garden District. At around 8:50 a.m., NOPD Sixth District officers responded to a call of aggravated battery by cutting in the 1800 block of Chippewa Street. Outside of a home in that block, they found a man and woman suffering from stab wounds, according to a police report issued Friday. The victims told the officers that another man was inside the house.

‘At some point, you lose the character of the street’: Magazine Street retailers on the future of Uptown’s historic corridor

As Nathan Lott, the Preservation Resource Center’s policy and research director and advocacy coordinator, put it: Magazine Street — with its architecture, its history and its flock of local business — is a microcosm of New Orleans, one that has acutely felt the city’s economic slowdown during the coronavirus pandemic. The time from Christmas to Mardi Gras is usually a boon for these businesses. The upcoming holiday season is seen as crucial to whether or not many of Magazine Street’s businesses survive. On Thursday, the PRC hosted an online panel of five Magazine Street merchants to discuss the future of the beloved corridor. The panel consisted of Dirty Coast owner Blake Haney, Perlis Clothing owner David Perlis, West London Boutique owner Mariah Walton Bencik, Guy Williams of Gulf Coast Bank, and Susan Brooks, the new owner of Club Ms. Mae’s.