Library Block Party features ‘epic set of blocks’ and early literacy

The New Orleans Public Library is holding Block Parties — featuring “the most epic set of blocks you have ever seen” — on Monday evenings for children age 5 and younger along with their parents or other caregivers. The playdates will be held at Nix Library, 1401 S. Carrollton Ave., and the Central City Library in the Allie Mae Williams Multi-Service Center, 2020 Jackson Ave., on Monday July 24 and July 31 from 5 to 6 p.m.

The event is designed to promote early literacy. While the children are playing, the adults will learn how to use open-ended questions and play techniques to support language development. The library’s early literacy program is designed to give pre-readers a strong foundation before they learn to read and write. It prepares children to be lifelong learners.

Children’s Hospital seeks input on changes to its Master Plan

Uptown residents living near Children’s Hospital can provide input tonight on potential changes to the hospital’s Institutional Master Plan. The Master Plan describes existing and future development on the hospital campus. Updates to this plan reflect the hospital’s recently completed campus transformation, completed renovations to our State Street campus buildings, updated traffic patterns throughout the hospital campus, and immediate future planning, which includes minimal new construction over the next several years. Neighbors can join the meeting anytime between 6 and 8 p.m. on Wednesday (July 19) at Worley Hall, 210 State St. The neighborhood meeting will be structured as a collaborative charette, with team members from Children’s Hospital, their architects, and consultants sharing components of our plans and seeking feedback.

Tulane invites neighbors to a community meeting

Tulane University will host a community meeting for University Area neighbors on Aug. 8, before students arrive for the 2023-24 academic year. Tulane officials will provide updates and information on key initiatives concerning the university and the surrounding community, according to Tulane Neighbor News, a monthly newsletter from the university’s Community Relations Department. A Q&A session will follow the updates, and neighbors are encouraged to submit questions in advance. Participants are invited to email questions to by end of the day on July 28.

On Magazine Street, Restaurant Week specials plus a Block Party

The Magazine Street Merchants Association offers some ideas for beating the summer doldrums. This week is Restaurant Week along the corridor. Then on Aug. 3,  a Block Party will take place. In honor of Restaurant Week — Monday (July 17) to Sunday (July 23) — restaurants, bars, coffee shops and sweet shops along Magazine have created special menus with tempting prices, ranging from $15 to $50. The Merchants Association is sweetening the deals by offering a Restaurant Week Passport.

Perfect Gentlemen host Father’s Day second-line

The Perfect Gentlemen Social Aid and Pleasure Club will host a Father’s Day Second-Line today (June 18) at 4 p.m. to honor New Orleans dads past and present. The second-line will be headed by New Orleans rapper T-Lyons, also known as the Southern Soul Kid. Joining him on the front line is Shilo, an R&B singing group from Shreveport. The two acts recently signed distribution deals with the company, Music Matters. Providing the music for the second-line is Da Truth Brass Band.

Latter Library to host spring edition of Really, Really Big Book Sale

The Friends of the New Orleans Public Library will hold its annual Really, Really Big Book Sale on Saturday (May 13). 

Held on the front porch of the iconic Latter Library on St. Charles Avenue on the Saturday before Mothers Day, the Really, Really Big Book Sale is a signature fundraiser of Friends of New Orleans Public Library. Sales of used books fund important New Orleans Public Library programs, such as the Summer Fun Reading program and adult literacy classes. 

The first hour of the sale will be reserved for members of Friends of New Orleans Public Library exclusively. From 10 to 11 a.m., members will have their first choice of local interest books, literature, biographies, children’s and young adult books, DVDs, comic books and everything in between. The sale is open to the general public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For a chance to make an early purchase, individuals can join as members of FNOPL.

Richard Campanella presents ‘Draining New Orleans’ at Octavia Books

Uptown author Richard Campanella will present and sign his newest book, “Draining New Orleans: The 300-Year Quest to Dewater the Crescent City” tonight (May 10) at Octavia Books. With many other books to his credit, Campanella, a geographer and associate dean for research at the Tulane School of Architecture, wrote “Draining New Orleans” as the first full-length book devoted to “the world’s toughest drainage problem.”

The book chronicles the herculean attempts to reclaim the city’s swamps and marshes and install subsurface drainage for massive urban expansion. It addresses geography, public health, engineering, architecture, politics, sociology, race relations and disaster response. Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St., will host the presentation and signing on Wednesday (May 10) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. See here for more information on “Draining New Orleans.”

Hoffman Triangle hosts Neighborhood Cares Day

Taylor Park in the Hoffman Triangle hosted a Neighborhood Cares Day on Saturday (April 22) that featured a job fair, tabling from public health workers and community organizations, neighborhood cleanup teams, and clothing and food giveaways. As a DJ played music, attendees browsed brand-new clothing that was donated to Thrive New Orleans, collected free rapid Covid tests from Resilience Force NOLA, and mingled. Free neighborhood events like Saturday’s offer services to residents and a chance to meet people working for the city as well as connect with neighbors and community services. The well-attended event was organized by the Mayor’s office of Neighborhood Engagement, in partnership with District B Councilwoman Lesli Harris, Rebuilding Together New Orleans, the Hoffman Triangle Neighborhood Association, Thrive New Orleans, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, Resilience Force NOLA, and local businesses. 

College students Milahni and Rylie (students at Xavier and Loyola, respectively) were volunteering and tabling for For Us By Us Market, a farmer’s market that features Black vendors. “I heard about it from my nutrition professor,” said Milahni, while Rylie heard about the event on Instagram.

Earth Day Celebration at ricRACK includes designer challenge, sidewalk sale

RicRACK is hosting its annual Earth Day Celebration and Textile Reuse Challenge on Saturday (April 22) at its Central City shop creative reuse shop and community sewing studio. Attendees will learn more about how to create sustainably, consume less and reuse or repurpose items throughout the year. Community partners the Green Project, Grounds Krewe and Compost NOW will be onsite giving out information about their programs.

There also will be a sidewalk sale — including racks of children’s clothing and shoes for all ages. 

What: Earth Day Celebration and Textile Reuse Challenge
Where: ricRACK, 1927 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 
When: Saturday, April 22, 2-6 p.m.“As an organization dedicated to environmental responsibility and creative development, Earth Day is ricRACK’s most important holiday of the year,” said ricRACK Executive Director Lizz Freeman. “We are dedicated to making positive change in the staggering statistic that in the United States: about 11 million tons of textile waste ends up in landfills every year – about 2,150 pieces per second.”

The annual talent showcase and competition, “The Designer Textile Reuse Challenge,” will be on display, and all designs will be for sale in a silent auction. The bidding ends at 6 p.m. on Saturday.