All across our great city—from the beautiful Bywater to the oak trees adorning our Uptown streets—thousands of us are limiting our social activities, reminiscing about festivals gone by, and working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic. As we look positively towards the future with hopes of getting “back to normal,” many of our daily routines remain restricted, and social distancing, self-quarantining, and the closure of many gyms have made it harder to exercise. While it’s always important to stay active, regular physical exercise is emerging as one of the most vital parts of preserving our health and productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many, you may be missing the camaraderie of the gym, the relaxation of swimming laps at your local fitness facility, or the social connection of a spin class with a group of friends. The good news is, the beautiful parks that make our city so unique are the perfect playground to stay fit—and stay safe.
In a decision that critics say speaks directly to corporate greed, Churchill Downs is challenging the Louisiana State Racing Commission’s emergency ruling that requires Churchill to temporarily take in 500 horses displaced from Delta Downs by Hurricane Laura. The showdown will take place Friday, Sept. 11, in front of Judge Sidney Cates in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.
Churchill Downs, the owner of the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots since 2004, grew from a one race-track company to a publicly traded conglomerate with multiple tracks, casinos and the country’s leading online wagering operation. They offer 800 video poker games at 13 facilities in Louisiana.
Horsemen are puzzled because they know Churchill has the extra barn space needed for Delta’s horses and that it would be compensated for the additional operating expenses. But Churchill would not reap the same profit from horses as online wagering and video poker.
The Audubon Zoo reopened to the public on Wednesday, June 3. Zoo visits, however, are now a little different than in the past. All visitors will follow a one-way trail through almost all of the zoo to see many of their favorite animals and wildlife habitats. The interactive and indoor exhibits remain closed. Due to state and city reopening guidelines, all zoo admissions, including member admission, must be reserved online in advance for a specific date and entry time.
New Orleans is embarking on the first week of Phase 1 in reopening the city as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed nearly 500 lives in the city and more than 2,000 deaths statewide. If you use public transit, the city’s recreational facilities or the public library, here’s what you can expect from those agencies during this initial phase. Regional Transit Authority
Beginning Sunday (May 17), the RTA returned to Saturday service on all bus and streetcar routes. The RTA also will go back to collecting fares as part of the Phase 1 reopening of the city. For more information regarding fares, visit www.RTAforward.org/fares-passes.
Per state and city public health directives, Audubon has received approval to move forward with reopening its family of parks and museums following a phased approach that strictly limits attendance and programming. Audubon Riverview Park, or The Fly, will reopen on Saturday (May 16) to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Vehicular traffic will not be allowed. Audubon Tennis will reopen Wednesday (May 20) with a limited schedule and appropriate social distancing measures. Audubon Golf Course will remain closed at this time, and more information on plans for its reopening will be announced soon.
The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, which has moved its summer camp registration online, is now pre-registering for the NORD youth summer camps serving participants ages 4 through 12. Choose from camps focusing on sports, visual arts, theater arts, STEM, academic enrichment, outdoors, dance and more. Weekly field trips to places like the Skate Center, Aquarium, Zoo, and Insectarium, just to name a few. Participants also visit NORD pools to stay cool in the summer heat. See here for summer camp listings.
In 2016, it seemed like Pokémon Go was everywhere. And as quickly as the game jumped into the public’s imagination, it seemed to disappear. However, the game didn’t suddenly vanish, and it didn’t necessarily go underground, more like under-the-radar, much like the game’s mysterious Pokémon, Unown. One place to find the action in New Orleans was at a PVP (Player vs. Player) tournament at the home of a dedicated player, who asked not to be identified.
Kendric J. Perkins opens an online chess games on his phone. One of students at Strategic Thoughts has just made a move, and now it is Perkins’ turn. “This is Isiaih,” Perkins said. “He might get me this game.”
This is the kind of homework Perkins assigns his students at Strategic Thoughts, the challenge of playing their teacher in online game of chess. On Monday (March 2), Strategic Thoughts will start a chess course in seven New Orleans Recreation Department locations.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon runners will take to the streets — most of the streets, it seems — on Sunday (Feb. 9). Residents need to plan ahead for road closures and transportation delays. The Central City, Garden District, Touro, Milan, Uptown, Audubon and Lower Garden District neighborhoods will be affected by the event. Informational door hangers will be distributed to residents, businesses and organizations along the route, event organizers said.
By Christian Willbern, Loyola University New Orleans
As the LSU Tigers paraded down Victory Hill on Saturday, Uptown restaurant and stores still basked in the influx of cash from Monday night’s football game. LSU’s national championship win against Clemson gave a boost to the local economy, especially to businesses that kept the drinks coming. “Keep in mind that all the Baton Rouge kids are all driving down here. We got a 50% increase in sales just on Monday alone,” said Broadway Food Store manager Kal Ghalbatar. “It was crazy.”
“Probably 80% of our customers were not regular customers.