Take a sneak peek at Carnival 2021’s house float project

 

The first of the “house floats” that will be dotting our urban landscape this Carnival season has already made an appearance Uptown. Sponsored by the Krewe of Red Beans and called “Hire a Mardi Gras Artist,” the idea is to put those out-of-work artists — usually frantically designing and painting floats this time of year — back to work. With parades canceled, many Mardi Gras float artists found themselves suddenly unemployed. One of those artists, Caroline Thomas, proposed the idea to the Krewe of Red Beans to create a crowd-funding site to finance house decorations that could look like floats. The initiative helps keep our Mardi Gras artists afloat while creating a Carnival atmosphere in our neighborhoods.

On life support, Tipitina’s reinvents itself again and again

Ride by the yellow corner building at Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas these days, and you see a line of people spread out on the sidewalk to order coffee at a to-go window. Yes, coffee. Since 1977, this has been the location of the iconic New Orleans’ music club, Tipitina’s. Originally intended to showcase the life’s work of Professor “Fess” Longhair, born Henry Roeland Byrd in 1918, at the end of his career, it quickly grew into one of the most beloved music venues in the city. It has survived changing ownership and changing musical climates, as well as hurricanes, over the years, even briefly closing in 1984.

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.

Paradigm Gardens offers bumper crop of activities on Sunday mornings

The Paradigm Gardens Plant Sale, held Sunday mornings in the shadow of the Pontchartrain Expressway in Central City, offers not just pots of herbs and tomatoes but a chance to enjoy an outdoor, socially distanced brunch and concert. The brunch on Sunday (Oct. 11) included food from Coquette restaurant and the vocal stylings of Robin Barnes. Plus, goats — all in a gorgeous garden. The sale of the plants and brunch items helps finance the Paradigm Gardens School — the only K-12 garden school in Louisiana.

Uptown homes featured in PRC’s virtual Shotgun House Tour

The COVID-19 shutdown this spring resulted in the cancellation of many popular events, including the Preservation Resource Center’s annual Shotgun House Tour, a major fundraiser for the nonprofit devoted to the historical preservation of New Orleans architecture and cultural identity. Now the PRC is bringing back the beloved tour in a safe and entertaining way — online. This virtual event will present Shotgun Sundays featuring a different house every Sunday at 4 p.m. in July and August. Participants can take a guided virtual tour through each home. From the comfort of their couch, they can learn about the history each home and the individual use of space to suit a modern lifestyle.

GiveNOLA Day 2020 is June 2!

The seventh annual GiveNOLA Day, an initiative of the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF), is on Tuesday, June 2 from 12:00 am to midnight. This is a 24-hour online giving event for the 13-parish Greater New Orleans region. “Now more than ever, our local nonprofits need your support,” said Greater New Orleans Foundation’s President and CEO Andy Kopplin. “COVID-19 has adversely impacted our region, let’s not let it impact our region’s giving spirit. “The challenges facing our families and neighbors during the COVID-19 crisis only magnifies the need for our nonprofit community to provide the critical resources our region depends on, and after this crisis ends, their work will be that much harder and even more important.”

GiveNOLA Day provides support for over 700 regional nonprofits in the 13-parish region (Orleans, Jefferson, St.

NOFS Home Theater streaming new independent film each week

With movie theaters out of commission, the New Orleans Film Society has created a way for enthusiasts to access select independent cinema from home while supporting the organization. The NOFS Home Theater is presenting a new title every week for a month, starting with “The Times of Bill Cunningham” on April 16 and ending with “Botero” on May 15. Each film will be available to stream for two weeks, and a portion of the proceeds from virtual tickets will help support NOFS. See all the featured titles and dates below:

The Times of Bill Cunningham
April 16-30
dir. Mark Bozek
Told in Bill Cunningham’s own words from a recently unearthed six-hour 1994 interview, the iconic street photographer and fashion historian chronicles his moonlighting as a milliner in France during the Korean War, his unique relationship with First Lady Jackie Kennedy, his four decades at The New York Times and his democratic view of fashion and society.

Krewe behind Feed the Front Line launches Feed the Second Line

From the Krewe of Red Beans

Krewe of Red Beans, Rouses Markets, the Preservation Hall Foundation, Market Umbrella and the New Orleans Musicians Clinic & Assistance Foundation are partnering for a new effort to ease the pain of the pandemic, the Feed the Second Line program

On March 17, the Krewe of Red Beans, a group that holds a Lundi Gras walking parade, began raising money to buy food from locally owned New Orleans restaurants. Quickly, the effort grew. A month later, the Krewe of Red Beans was operating the largest such effort in the United States. As of April 19, the Feed the Front Line NOLA had sent over 60,000 meals to doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers engaged directly with COVID-19 patients, spending $566,000 in the local economy so far. 49 restaurants and coffee shops are being supported by the initiative.

Business Alliance establishes relief fund for gig workers

From the New Orleans Business Alliance

As a result of the current and anticipated local economic impact of COVID-19, the New Orleans Business Alliance, or NOLABA, has set up a dedicated relief fund to meet the needs of gig economy workers who have been directly affected via loss of income. NOLABA is committing $100,000 to initiate the fund, with the goal of increasing its assets to a minimum of $500,000. The organization is also charging the New Orleans community to participate by encouraging business leaders, philanthropy and concerned residents to contribute here to increase the potential impact of this critical relief effort. As of 2017, gig economy workers represent more than 8% of the workforce in Orleans Parish, including rideshare drivers, musicians, arena workers and festival production staff. As contract employees of often large corporations, gig economy workers tend to lack access to minimum wage, paid sick leave, overtime pay, and standard employee benefits — making them particularly susceptible to changes within the economy.

Join Uptown Messenger for New Hampshire primary watch party

The Uptown Messenger crew is inviting our readers, neighbors and any political enthusiasts to come and watch the New Hampshire Democratic Primary this Tuesday, Feb. 11, from  6:30 to 9 p.m. at Twelve Mile Limit, 500 S. Telemachus St. Thanks to you all who came to watch last week’s fiasco in Iowa with us. We plan for this primary to be less of a debacle but still worth conversing over. Political junkies of any affiliation are welcome, and the venue is for ages 21 and up.