There’s a new podcast in town, and service industry professionals are offering up their voices for it. The weekly podcast, titled We’ll Be Right Back: The Future of Hospitality, features interviews with professionals and organizations providing relief and resources as the industry manages amid COVID-19. As stated on its website, We’ll Be Right Back will “tell the stories of local business owners and employees in the service/hospitality sector and gig economy at-large in the Greater New Orleans Area impacted by the economic blowback of the coronavirus, as well as highlight the resources available to businesses and individuals alike.” Play the latest episode featuring Rachel Billow Angulo of La Cocinita.
“It’s important for New Orleans to have difficult, but hopeful and productive discussions as we chart a path forward in the wake of COVID-19,” said Greg Tilton, host and producer of We’ll Be Right Back.
Register here for a free webinar, beginning today at 11 a.m., on U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans in response to COVID-19. It is hosted by the Friends of Lafitte Greenway and the Greater Mid-City Business Association. Updates will also be shared on the congressional stimulus bill. https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KrqZgV75Qmq5dzexvGB9rg
With New Orleans a hotspot for the pandemic, officials have put in place a daunting array of restrictions and closures that have disrupted the life — if not the livelihood — of nearly every New Orleanian. Hundreds of New Orleans workers have been impacted by COVID-19 related closures. If you’ve experienced a loss of income because of the coronavirus pandemic, here are some resources to help you through, including unemployment compensation; relief funds for gig workers, musicians, bartenders and others; help for small businesses; counseling for stress and more. Gig-worker relief fund
The New Orleans Business Alliance announced on March 17 that it had set up a dedicated relief fund to meet the needs of the gig economy workers, many of who have been adversely affected by the loss of income. This includes ride-share drivers, musicians, arena workers and festival production staff.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and Mayor LaToya Cantrell are being too soft on New Orleans. With the number of confirmed cases and deaths skyrocketing, our elected officials don’t have the luxury of merely suggesting that people stay home as much as possible. Some form of sheltering in place must become the law of the land if we don’t want martial law and the additional restrictions it will bring. Though it might sound extreme, sheltering in place slowed the virus in China and is currently being implemented in Italy, Spain, Belgium and France. The Ukraine has shut down all transportation.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell today joined other officials and partners to break ground on the $4.2 million Freret Group A roadwork project. “This is the first Joint Infrastructure Project starting in Council District B; in total there will be nearly $60 million invested in this district over the next several years,” said Ramsey Green, deputy CAO for infrastructure. “At the conclusion of this project, residents on 50 blocks will have better streets and an overall improved quality of life. We have 16 projects under construction worth about $108 million.” The city’s Department of Public Works, in conjunction with the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, began road repairs in the Freret neighborhood on Feb.
The Freret roadwork project broke ground on Monday (Feb. 3), the Mayor’s Office announced. Work on the project, which is one of about 200 being funded across the city with more than $2.2 billion of FEMA money, will continue for another year. The boundaries for improvements are bounded by South Claiborne on the north, LaSalle Street on the south, Jefferson Avenue on the west and Napoleon Avenue on the east. This $4 million project was designed by Kyle Associates LLC and will be constructed by Hard Rock Construction LLC.
Tourists flocking to what’s become one of the Garden District’s most popular destinations are met with is just a padlock and a sign: “Lafayette Cemetery #1 will be temporarily closed for repairs.”
It’s been over two months since the city of New Orleans, which owns the cemetery, shut down the area for public access, as it performs the most extensive restoration effort in recent history on the site, which has graves dating back to the 1830s. The city says that work there is long overdue, with natural weathering and a massive spike in tourist interest taking a toll on the historic tombs. That work so far has been scarce, though, according to Martin Leblanc, who says the tour groups he leads there will regularly consider the site among the top three or four to visit in the city. “I think they’re going to finish this cemetery after they finish the streets in New Orleans,” he said. “We haven’t seen any work.”
Martha Griset, who’s overseeing the work with city Property Management, said the city has spent time evaluating how to move forward on the restoration, and has already done some work clearing plant debris.
“We’re on a mission to rebuild our programs and physical structure,” said Dr. Shelia J. Webb, president-elect of the Young Women’s Christian Association in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures decimated the YWCA building at 601 S. Jefferson Davis Parkway and forced a 14-year interruption of an agency that had been an integral part of New Orleans for almost a century. Under the leadership of current President Loyce Pierce Wright and a multi-generational group of volunteers, including judges Terri Love and Bernadette D’Sousa, the YWCA’s Legacy Circle will host a reunion of former Y Role Models on Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Holiday Inn New Orleans–Downtown Superdome, 330 Loyola Ave. Former New Orleans First Lady Sybil Morial and former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, both 1989 Role Models, are co-chairing the event, which will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Proceeds will be dedicated to the agency’s rebuilding campaign.
Fans assembled at Crescent City Comics in the Freret neighborhood on Saturday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the comic book store’s rebirth after Hurricane Katrina. It wasn’t always clear that the store would make it this far. It opened in Gentilly in 1994, but when the storm hit in 2005, the shop lost much of its stock to flooding. It stayed shuttered for the next four years. “It was definitely a possibility it could be the end,” said store manager Leo McGovern.
I hear it’s pouring rain today in New Orleans. How apt. Most of my friends say they will not watch television today. I haven’t seen my friend Kim Abramson in person for years, but today her Instagram post was one of grief. It reads, “We won’t turn on the TV today, because I can’t take the images.