Viewpoint: Councilman Joe Giarrusso kicks off his campaign for a second term with talk of ‘smart growth’

District A Councilman Joseph Giarrusso told several hundred supporters at Ralph’s on the Park last week that he has spent his first years in office building relationships and working on major issues but that there is much more to accomplish. The fundraising event officially kicked off Giarrusso’s campaign for a second term. “When I ran last time as a first-time candidate, you bet on me not knowing what you were going to get,” he told his supporters. Giarrusso said he has worked hard on the three areas he knew were important to his constituents: economic development, crime and infrastructure in District A, which includes portions of Uptown, Mid-City, Bayou St. John and Lakeview.

YAYA Arts Center to host Back in Bloom on Friday

YAYA Arts Center in Central City is hosting Back in Bloom, a spring showcase with art demos, live music from Jack Sledge and the Hammers, and an art market by YAYA artists. The free celebration of spring will be held Friday (May 21) from 6 to 8 pm. at the YAYA Arts Center, 3322 LaSalle St. Participants can also watch glass art demos and take part in the Goblet Grab, which involves buying a handmade glass that can be filled, free of charge, throughout the evening. YAYA, for Young Aspirations Young Artists, was founded in 1988 as a creative partnership between New Orleans artist Jana Napoli and art students from International High School of New Orleans as an after-school enrichment program.

Bouligny, Carrollton areas featured in PRC Revival Gala-vant fundraiser

The Preservation Resource Center is offering a chance to learn more about historic New Orleans neighborhoods — including your own — while enjoying a spring day. The nonprofit has launched its interactive Revival Gala-vant, a self-guided run/walk/bike/paddle experience. Five routes, including two in Uptown neighborhoods, offer opportunities to explore the city, with local landmarks, historic sites and history lessons featured on each path. The routes vary in length, providing a way for everyone, regardless of fitness level, to enjoy the experience. Click here to preview the routes.

Really, Really Old Book Sale offers rare books to fund summer program for kids

On Saturday (March 27), the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library will host an outdoor “Really, Really Old Book Sale” at the Carriage House located behind Milton H. Latter Library at 5120 St Charles Ave. This outdoor sale will feature hundreds of out-of-print, signed, first editions, rare, antiquarian books and fond treasures from your childhood. Prices start at $1, and all proceeds will go toward the 2021 Summer Fun and Reading Program at the New Orleans Public Library. “The public library needs community support now more than ever before,” FNOPL Executive Director Dixon Stetler said. “Through fundraisers like this one, we can fund important library programs, and also provide access to high quality reading materials that are affordable to all.”

The Friends of the New Orleans Public Library raises money from the books sales year-round to underwrite critical library programming, including the annual Summer Reading Program, Black History Month Programming and the Every Child Ready to Read Program.

Two Lusher football coaches seriously injured in hit-and-run

Two football coaches at Lusher Charter School suffered serious injuries in a hit-and-run accident on Mardi Gras (Feb. 16) night, the school’s CEO and athletic director told the Lusher community in an email on Saturday. One coach lost both legs as a result of the hit-and run. The email from CEO Kathy Riedlinger and Athletic Director Louis Landrum sent Feb. 20 stated the accident caused “serious injury to Coach Pierre Warren and life-threatening injury to Coach Adam Sivia.”

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.