Archive for July, 2005

Free stuff….

Being newly self-employed as my only source of income, we’re always in search of free stuff to do. It’s not difficult to find in this city, fortunately, and we made a couple of cool stops today.

The Chalmette National Historical Park is where famed Indian-killer/later President Andrew Jackson came to national fame in the Battle of New Orleans. Whatever your feelings about Old Hickory himself, the park itself is highly cool. There a visitor center that shows a short (and badly done) movie about the battle, but the self-guided tour of the small park is well-marked and interesting. There’s also a small cemetery next door, dating largely to Civil War days. We were surprised at the small space the two-hour battle actually covered, given there were some 2,000 British casualties.

Then we cruised over to Metairie to the Saints’ training camp. Besides watching the workout, you can get some overpriced souvenirs. But beer is only $2 a throw. If you’re there early, there are some grandstands. Otherwise, you’re stuck standing on the edge of the field like some spectating parent. Neat to watch, but it might be closer to park in the Winn-Dixie lot across Airline Highway.

Mornings

Despite all the clubs, cars, restaurants and nightlife offered in this wonderful city, I was reminded again on Saturday that the best time to see its true nature is actually early in the morning. I had gone into the office early, made a delivery and was on the way home by about 8, turning off Prytania, down First St. A pair of tourists, guidebooks in hand, was walking slowly, pointing at the historic homes.

It wasn’t hot yet, the afternoon thunderstorms hadn’t yet popped up and the couple was undisturbed by the usual clumps of bedraggled visitors being yammered at by some guide. They had a chance to watch folks come out to pick up the morning paper, walk their dogs, leave for work or do the various other weekend-morning things. It was a wonderful way to watch the city wake up, since that’s when most of us reveal things we don’t normally show the rest of the world.

I hope they had a chance to stop into the St. Charles Tavern or The Trolley Stop or someplace to get some breakfast.

So many folks come to this city to stay out late, then get bent out of shape when they can’t find breakfast at freaking 1pm. It’s a shame they miss so much by not starting early and taking their time.

10 Random Things I’ll Miss About New Orleans


While my move out of the country to the Caymans was delayed, I had some extra time to think about all the things I’d miss about New Orleans.

Beyond the obvious friends, family, food, and general decadence, the following is a small snapshot in no specific order:

1. The ability to party literally 24 hours a day. There are few places in the world where no matter what time one is awake seven days a week, one can find a place to have a drink and socialize, creating almost any occasion into a celebration.

2. The open container law. To be able to walk from place to place with a go-cup and not feel the pressure to finish or consume more than one would like in a given time is divine.

3. The characters and stimulation of the French Quarter. More entertainment and lasting memories than any television could ever hope to provide.

                                                                            "Boo Hoo."

4. 80s night at One Eyed Jacks: The only club night I’ve experienced in the city where locals from every race, sexual orientation, and social status come together on a consistent basis to have a blast.

5. The dancer from One Eyed Jacks that I’ve always been intimidated by.

6. The architecture and culture. It’s hard to believe that we’re actually a part of the United States.

7. Trash pickup twice a day, 6 days a week.

8. The abundance of fantastic live music.

9. The year-round special festivals, events, and holidays. In particular: Jazzfest, Frenchman on Halloween, and French Quarter Fest. (See #1) If I was forced, I’d trade in Mardi Gras for those three any day of the week.

10. The “large town” feeling. While the city is large enough to provide a good amount of stimulation, it’s small enough so that one can easily bump into an infinite amount of people that one knows around the city. Sure, this “Cheers” quality is comforting in the same way that it’s suffocating at times. That’s why any good resident knows you have to leave to come back.

One thing I won’t end up missing is Metroblogging – Look for me in the near future on the launch of a Caribbean focused metroblog.
[See the extended entry for some of the favorite posts of my own since we launched exactly 11 months ago today. A big thanks goes out to everyone who took the time to read and comment on my posts, my fellow authors in New Orleans, and all the people behind the scenes at Metroblogging.com that make it what it is.]
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Just snippets here and there…

There’s something just lovely about keeping the windows open and hearing the conversations from folks as they stumble away from Parasol’s up the street.

There’s lots of giggling, some arguing, some loud-mouthed back-and-forth but, mostly, just some leftover fun that kinda oozes out the door along with the trail of air conditioning.

Thank you, Jeff, for running a good place.

Tulane’s Involvment in CIA Mind Control Experiments


Coming from a source like tulanelink.com, a website dedicated to revealing “How a powerful univerity promotes judicial and political corruption and prevails in the courts of law.”, I took everything I found with a grain of salt. So when I came across one of the most interesting links between Tulane and CIA Mind Control Experiments I dug a little deeper and found a transcript of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments testimony in 1995 within the National Security Archive of George Washington University.

A CKLN 88.1 FM Toronto interview of New Orleans clinical social worker Valerie B. Wolf and two of her clients, Claudia S. Mullen and Chris deNicola Ebner followed their Advisory Committee testimony.

Well, dang…

The shuttle is up there just fine, but there are still some locally-produced problems. One would have hoped this wasn’t going to happen.
I know the folks at Michoud have been working on this for a long time and they’re a group of highly intelligent folks, but…..

Do we need another technology? And are we willing to pay for it?

to the dogs

There

For Less Than Pure Purposes


“Damn, that could have been my five minutes of fame.”
—-New Orleans knockout who claims she was approached by Jude Law for less than pure purposes

Prediction: With every child that accuses Michael Jackson of confronting them for “less than pure purposes”, there will also be an accusation that a Hollywood celebrity who comes to New Orleans has done the same, if not to a child.

Political Brief

So, after the two State Senate elections this summer, almost 100,000 New Orleanians are now represented by legislators from Jefferson Parish.

That bodes well.

One of the newly elected Senators, Derrick Shepherd (D-Mawwewwoh), has wasted no time– and no pretense– in funneling state tax monies to his “associates” in Harvey.

In entertaining fashion, James Gill describes the pork opera, and Greg Peters depicts it.

25,000 to 100,000 People Would Be Killed

The University of New Orleans Survey Research Center and the Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Task Force found that a major hurricane, with 130 mph winds and an 18-foot-high storm surge, would not scare 60 percent of southeast Louisiana residents.

“In 2002, an American Red Cross estimate found 25,000 to 100,000 people would be killed if a major hurricane hit the New Orleans area.”

With an above-normal 2005 hurricane season predicted and over four months left, will you become an I-10-clogging evacuation monkey?

This begs the question that if 60% wouldn’t (and didn’t) evacuate in the past and we have this kind of congestion to evacuate in the future from only 40% of residents (remember the contraflow silliness from Ivan, forget the recent contraflow confusion from Dennis?) , can a new plan handle the tide if people change their minds? 100% of us will find out soon enough.

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