InspireNOLA Charter Schools launches citywide youth initiative to combat gun violence Oct. 12 (sponsored)

A student-led initiative that focuses on decreasing gun violence across the city. The city we all know and love is now the “Murder Capital for the U.S.,” and it’s time that we, as leaders across the city, act quickly to change this narrative. Recent reports suggest that youth in New Orleans are at the forefront of the current violent crime wave that has inflicted our city. InspireNOLA, a local charter school network in New Orleans, is refuting the new title with its latest initiative — NOLALove. A youth-driven and community-wide call-to-action, NOLALove is our response to the increased crime and lives lost to senseless gun violence ravaging the city of New Orleans.

Knowledge for Change Celebration supports Nola Abortion Fund at Carrollton Station on Friday (sponsored)

Register to vote, learn what will be on the midterm elections and support the New Orleans Abortion Fund with raffle donations sponsored by local businesses such as Stein’s, Wild Lotus, St. James Cheese, Picnic Whiskey & Provisions and more! This Friday, Sept. 30, acclaimed artist Mikayla Braun and educator Jaclyn Tregle partner with Carrollton Station to host the What Is Going On?! Knowledge for Change Celebration, which will provide a space where people can register to vote, with help from the League of Women Voters of New Orleans.

Maple Leaf holding benefit concert and blood drive for shooting victim

The Maple Leaf Bar, 8316 Oak St., is holding a benefit concert and blood drive Saturday (May 28) in support of Joe Cooper, who was shot four times while protecting his wife and his home in Gentilly. The Emergency Medical Service gave him a blood transfusion on the way to University Medical Center, which helped to save his life. Cooper was shot twice in the lungs, and a bullet lacerated his liver. He is expected to have surgery today (May 26), his wife, WWOZ deejay Leslie Cooper, said in a Facebook post. The show will kick off at high noon and will feature Funk Monkey, 101 Runners, Russell Batiste and Friends, Papa Mali Trio, Erica Falls, CR Gruver, Jake Eckert, Leo Nocentelli, Brad Walker and Andre Bohren.

‘Out of time and options,’ Live Oak Cafe is latest casualty of pandemic losses

The Live Oak Cafe — the epitome of Oak Street’s laid-back, creative vibe — is closing its doors Sunday (May 8) after its Mother’s Day brunch. Announcing the closure on the cafe’s Facebook page, chef and owner Clare Leavy said that the uptick in business during Carnival season was not enough to overcome the losses experienced during the pandemic. “Simply put, we are out of time and options,” Leavy stated. The cafe is known for its fresh, down-home renditions of classic brunch fare with dishes such as Sweet Potato Benedict and its beloved Shrimp & Grits. And every meal at Live Oak has been served with a side of live music.

Where to find a Friday fish fry in Uptown neighborhoods

It’s Lent, the season of the Friday fish fry. Below are some fish fry opportunities in the Uptown area. See here for the archdiocese’s complete list of church fish fries in the metro area. In addition to the traditional church fish fries, some local restaurants are taking part in the United Way’s Fish Fry Fridays, a fundraising campaign for Hospitality Cares. 

If you know of a fish fry in the Uptown area that’s not on this list, we invite you to leave the information in the comments section. Holy Name of Jesus
6325 Cromwell Place (on the Loyola University campus)
March 11, 25; April 8
5 to 7:30 p.m.
Fried fish or shrimp with sides, $12 ($10 child); fish and shrimp combo with sides, $14
Pick up or dine in.

Yardi Gras stories: Audubon-Riverside neighborhood has a sense of déjà vu

In its second year, the Audubon-Riverside subkrewe of House Floats selected the theme “Déjà Vu in 2022.” It has a double meaning. First, it’s here we are again — still with the pandemic. The Krewe of House Floats’ overall theme for the 2022 Carnival season, “Vaccinate, Decorate, Celebrate,” is also a nod to the enduring pandemic. 

Audubon-Riverside’s theme has a second meaning, recognizing that many residents plan to re-use most or all of their house float decorations from last year. One such resident is Sarena Teng, whose house float on Laurel Street at Napoleon has its own Instagram account (@queenofbouncehouse). Her Queen of Bounce House uses the same Big Freedia figure from 2021, but added a twist, based on the KoHF theme “Vaccinate, Decorate, Celebrate.”

“It is still and always will be the Queen of Bounce House, but this year, it’s ‘Big Freedia Saves the World’ against viral invaders,” Teng said. 

Playing off the popular 1980s “Space Invaders” video game, she made coronavirus germs out of lime green paper lanterns with hot-glued red glittery pompoms to look like spike proteins. Her Big Freedia has a giant vaccine syringe with a light-up laser gun that shoots down the germs. Nighttime viewers can see the vaccine explode in a fireball of green flashing lights.

Bayou Relief Porch Concert with Amanda Shaw at CR Coffee Nov. 27th (sponsored)

Free Porch Concert and artisan coffee/teas is the perfect mix to bring a burst of energy to Uptown for Small Business Saturday. Music will fill the air on Magazine St. Nov. 27th, thanks to CR Coffee Shop and special guest Amanda Shaw. As we enter the season of gratitude and giving, this festive event will be an opportunity for the community to donate to The Amanda Shaw Foundation Fund while supporting their local cafe. While strolling Magazine, guests will get into the holiday spirit by enjoying the sweet sounds of Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys and sipping one of their favorite CR favorites.

Ursuline Academy announces Fall Festival with lawn concert on Nov. 14 (sponsored)

The concert on the lawn at Ursuline Academy in New Orleans will feature three performances: The Hundreds Brass Band — The Original Pinettes — Charmaine Neville. Here in New Orleans, festivals play an essential role in celebrating our unique culture. After a year of virtual concerts and drive-by events, fall 2021 is finally gearing up for the return of live gatherings. 

Ursuline Academy is joining in the revelry with a Fall Festival on State Street featuring music, food and fun. Ursuline will kick off its inaugural Fall Festival on Sunday, Nov. 14, from 1 to 5 p.m. with a musical celebration featuring live performances from three of New Orleans’ most beloved bands.

NOLA Vet Fest on Saturday features James Andrews and John Papa Gros

The New Orleans Veterans of Foreign Wars is hosting NOLA Vet Fest, a block party fundraiser, Saturday (Oct. 23) to support its services for veterans and their families. The event will take place on Lyons Street between Annunciation and Tchoupitoulas from 1 until 6 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and include beer from Urban South Brewery and music from celebrated artists John Papa Gros and New Orleans’ favorite trumpeter James Andrews. Food from Taco Loceaux, Hanson’s Sno-Bliz and Zee’s Pizzeria will be for sale, with restaurants donating their proceeds to the VFW. The VA’s Mobile Vet Center will be onsite with free Covid and flu vaccinations.

Local bars celebrate Old Fashioned Week to aid hospitality workers

From Friday (Oct. 15) through Oct. 24, local bars will be mixing up a classic cocktail for a good cause. It will be Old Fashioned Week, Elijah Craig Distillery’s annual 10-day celebration of the bourbon cocktail to raise money for the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, or RWCF. Elijah Craig Distillery launched Old Fashioned Week in 2020 to provide relief to its beloved hospitality industry.