Archive for March, 2007

Trouble avoided

…so we’ve been doing restaurant thing, right? Been going okay for about a month or so too. Decent location (Magazine St.), getting some good street vibe and building a clientele in this gorgeous old building just two blocks from the house. We’re only doing lunch, but the leaseholder wants us to take over the evenings as well. His price is outrageous and there are some other problems, but I figure we get along well enough that we can work through them.

Yesterday there’s finally a little time for me to hash all this out with him. So I pull him aside and start going over the things I think need to be done to make all this work. He’s pretty agreeable and even slashes the rent by nearly half (only further confirming some huge warning signs). But then I start working up to the idea of changing the name of the place — largely because it’s had such a lousy reputation over the past few years. But before I can get to that point, he goes all 13-years-old on me and cuts off the conversation and stalks off.

…so we plan a big final day today — since rent is paid through today. But I go into the place at 5am to start some duck for the gumbo and the guy’s asleep on the couch. He throws me out. Huh?

Whatever, dude. It was fun while it lasted.

We’ll get it going again in our own place soon enough. But for now, we’ll be taking a little time off — and this means more time to get back to this space and resume posting after a month or so of being way too busy. And that’s a good thing.

8th Ward Antics

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Remember how when you were a kid, you just wanted a pony? Some of our more ambitious endeavors of late really are like asking for a pony. Or maybe a Unicorn. Karen and I began our day today by listening to the tired poor minister/shyster story we have heard about 100 times. He’s got his pony idea too. ” We’re planning on getting a piece of the Providence Community Housing pie” . . . . he has no formal agreement lined up. They are just broke and not even creative enough to take out the wet carpet, nor get a roof on this house in 18 months. Jesus isn’t helping them out, they better get to prayin’ harder.
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Too much PC for my PC

So there it was in the Sunday paper: Ralph Lupin–doctor, philanthropist, and chairman of the Vieux Carre Commission–called New Orleans’ Sanitation Director Veronica White “a bitch”.

Was it kind? No. Did it demonstrate Dr. Lupin’s media savvy? No. Was it called for? Well, I wasn’t there, but based on every other interaction I’ve had with those people, yes, it was most definitely called for. If you’ve ever tunnelled through the warren of offices in America’s ugliest city hall and felt like Josef K, you know what I’m sayin’.

Of course, now Rainbow PUSH New Orleans–Jesse Jackson’s local PC militia–is complaining that the comment was sexist and that Dr. Lupin ought to be removed as chair of the VCC. And yeah, I guess I think an apology is in order, but come on. “Appalling?” I’ve gotten into arguments with meter maids that have ended in much, much worse.

I suppose that in the future Dr. Lupin should stick to gender-neutral insults like “asshole”, “fuckface”, and my preferred slur of the moment “fucktard” (though that last one does potentially insult the mentally handicapped, especially the ones who can’t fuck). And as long as Reverend JJ & Co. are around, Ralph might wanna hurl his four-letters at white folks, since Jesse doesn’t seem to care what happens to them.

Liars Liars and More Liars

Where should we start?

I wrote earlier this week about Mayor Nagin spouting off again in front of a group of black journalist. The next day, Ray denied all the accusations. I was mis-quoted. I was taken out of context. I didn’t say anything racist. And you know what? I’m stupid because I thought he was being honest.

Well I should know better. The Mayor is a liar. Period. End of Story. Don’t think so huh? Audio/Video of the speech. Transcript of the speech.
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More Census Crap…

Well, more census numbers came out again – I don’t even want to get into the numbers because it doesn’t matter. The fact that it doesn’t matter is what I want to talk about. The fact that every time some group releases findings on population, city and parish officials quickly dismiss them as not being high enough is more important. I kept wondering why this was the case and it turns out there are several good possibilities as to why officials want the numbers to be higher.

(might as well pack a lunch cause this is another long-ass post)
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The Ice Cream Business is Booming

Economics are strange down here post-Katrina. The tourism sector has all but dried up for now, and aside from construction/real-estate/recovery related business, it seems we have two thriving industries in New Orleans right now. I am talking, of course, about car washes and ice cream men.

Up and down the finer avenues of our city, such as Louisiana, Tulane, Washington, and St. Claude, you will see entrepreneurs engaged in the age-old trade of car-washery. The low start-up costs and availability of vacant real estate make this a particularly appealing option in today’s business market. The bumper crop of dirt and pollen that New Orleans supplies means an endless pool of customers. Car washes are definitely the cornerstone of our economy.

But with the onset of spring, a new industry has begun to thrive: ice cream.
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Word on the street is…

…Blanco’s going to have a big announcement later this afternoon. If all goes as planned, Democrats will be pleased and Jindal may be pissed. Cross your fingers and stay tuned!

To Do List

Elect a racist, asshole mayor…….check.
Pay twice as much in Home Owner’s Insurance and slowly spiral into bankruptcy…..check.
Understand that murder isn’t a crime you’ll be convicted of in New Orleans……check…..and….check

Ask some tough questions as to why you live here and if you’re sure you really want to…….

Yes there is a plan and Ray Ray’s the Leader

Much like Puxatony Phil, the groundhog who appears once a year to enlighten America about the weather, OUR Mayor C. Ray Nagin as emerged from his bunker high atop the Hyatt or deep below city hall, not sure which, to inform the masses that there is a conspiracy to keep the poor black folks from coming home.

THEY are the leaders of this conspiracy. I’ve always wondered who THEY are but THEY must be mighty powerful if THEY can create a Hurricane in the gulf. THEY must be all-knowing if THEY can blow up the levees. THEY must be in charge if THEY decided that the city’s recovery would be “market-driven”. THEY must have known that poor people in general do not participate in the “market”. How can poor folks participate in a market driven recovery when the markets aren’t built for poor people. THEY decided that we could clear New Orleans of poor folks, mainly black according to C Ray, if we could just get some natural disaster to kick our ass.
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Seasons of the City

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I hope y’all will forgive me for not writing for so long. Someone has taken notice of the work that Karen and I do here in the city and is realizing the value of citizen journalism in New Orleans right now. We might get paid to create some new information related projects. In case you aren’t aware, we do what we do here at MB for free. We learn a lot about what matters from you. Some of us in the blogosphere have taken it and run with it. Applying for funding is tedious work.

While recovery is continuing in fits and starts, or as in the Road Home, stalling out completely, we seem to be flying through the seasons. Spring is upon us, Daylight Saving time is already here, we’ve passed through fog season, the Saints as heroes, Mardi Gras, and now St. Patricks, Super Sunday, St. Josephs’ Altars . . . and, my favorite, gardening season.
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