Yardi Gras Stories: House floats bring neighbors together in Central City

Mardi Gras parades may be cancelled, but that hasn’t stopped residents of Central City from turning their neighborhood into a festive Wonderland. Central City is one of the many neighborhoods participating in Yardi Gras, an alternative to Mardi Gras parades where homeowners decorate their own houses as floats. On the 3200 block of Dryades, for example, residents are working together to turn four homes into “Alice in Wonderland”-themed house floats. 

Friends and neighbors came together on Saturday to start putting up whimsical decorations. One house was the Cheshire Cat, and the others were the Queen of Hearts, the Caterpillar and the Mad Hatter. The neighbors shared pizza and art supplies as they decorated, and music kept everyone bouncing. 

“We have all embraced it, and we have had a lovely time,” said Shirley Madison, the Queen of Hearts.

City to take on parking problems in the Uptown university area

New Orleans residents know something about parking scarcity. Off-street parking is rare in the rows of century-old doubles and singles that make up the city’s historic neighborhoods. In most areas, this is a problem occasionally, during special events or when a neighbor has a party. In the university area near Tulane and Loyola — where rental units are in especially high demand — it is constant, residents say, and it’s been getting worse. To create more rental units, doubles have been converted to fourplexes and triplexes with six bedrooms are expanded to create 12, according to city records compiled by neighborhood activists.

Delachaise Security District expected to begin patrols in February

By Sue Strachan, Uptown Messenger

The Delachaise neighborhood is getting closer to becoming a security district. Organizers are pushing for active patrols by the second weekend of Carnival parades. At the Delachaise Neighborhood Association meeting Tuesday (Jan. 21), board member Remy Richard said the association was awaiting the release of funds from the city before he sent out a prospectus to security companies to patrol the neighborhood bounded by Carondelet and South Saratoga streets, and Louisiana Avenue and Marengo Street. It will also include Palm Terrace, between St.

Volunteers needed for Hoffman Triangle Community Clean Up on Saturday

Volunteers are needed to join Hoffman Triangle residents and representatives from the city, businesses and churches for a Community Clean Up on Saturday, Jan. 18. Volunteers will be helping Hoffman Triangle neighbors from 9 a.m. to noon. Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. at Taylor Playground, 2600 S. Roman St., and from there neighborhood leaders will guide volunteers along the streets to clean. The event includes a resource fair where residents will have the opportunity to interact with several city departments.

Building on Sophie Wright Place applies for short-term rental approval

By Sue Strachan, Uptown Messenger

The wners of 1901-07 Sophie Wright Place met with neighbors in the Lower Garden District on Tuesday, Non. 16, about their plans to turn a second-floor unit into a short-term rental. 

Ash Salem, Raouf Mousa and Ralph Mousa (as 1901 Sophie Wright LLC)  purchased the property in April 2019. They also own apartment-rental units in Lakeview, Chalmette and Mid-City. Most people know the building as the location of the Munch Factory restaurant, located on the first floor, and its proximity to Half Moon Restaurant, Hi-Volt coffee shop and Il Mercato, an event rental space. There is a commercial permit for the property and the owners have already applied for STR permits for three second-floor units, two of which are already allowed by city ordinance, with the owners applying for a conditional use for one short-term rental in a HU-B1 zoning district (Historic Urban Neighborhood Business District).

Irish Channel neighbors planning cleanup in Burke Park on Saturday

The Irish Channel Neighborhood Association is conducting a makeover of a favorite neighborhood green space: Burke Park. Neighbors are getting together Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to clean up and repaint the structures in Burke Park, Annunciation and Second streets. Volunteers will repaint the concrete bleachers and the concessions and restroom buildings. They also plan to trim the bushes and do a general cleanup in the park — in advance of Movie-in-the-Park Night on Oct.