Archive for May, 2007

Circle Bar Closing?

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I speak for many when I say that The Circle Bar is one our collective favorite places. The rumor mill has been running rampant that the Circle Bar is closing for good. I just spoke to Dave Clements, one of the managers of the bar who also owns Snake and Jakes. He just got the required licenses renewed for the bar so they can continue to operate.

I also spoke to Lefty Parker, who is an independent music producer in New Orleans, and has been in charge of booking gigs at Circle Bar. He said he and the staff have just decided to go their various ways. He reflected saying, ” Kelly is the reason this is a bar.” Since Kellly’s death and the flood, he said employees have reevaluated their lives, like all residents.
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Blakely Bus Tour

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So Karen and I got the invitation to the Mayor’s State of the City address and the accompanying bus tour of Ed Blakely’s target sites. This was our reaction:

Karen: Did you just get that State of the City e mail?
me: yeah
Karen: wtf
me: junkmail
me: they called me the day I left
or the day after for my address
so some kind of crap is in my mailbox too
Karen: it is crap
just wondering if I am going to go
me: we could
just to give it a chance
I have to go to B.’s for dinner after that
Karen: Good times

So we went. It was pretty much crap. The best part was zooming around the city in the motorcade. We left the DDay Museum and drove in a couple circles in the CBD and then to the Carrollton Sphincter around Gert Town/I-10 and Karen got a call en route that the underpass on Carrollton was flooded and shut. Of course, the motorcade was then stuck and we stopped traffic in the area while we made a couple more circles and sat on a side street while the bus drivers figured out what to do next and Blakely sold the Sphincter to the bus full of low level developers ahead of us.

Then we headed across town to Gentilly where Broad meets the Paris Ave. jog, and stopped at the ‘target area’ shopping center there where it seems the cops stopped at Radio Shack to chat with employees there. Then we went on toTreme to the Circle Market on St. Bernard Ave. It was a long drawn out tour with poor narration. Karen and I could have done a much better job. But Blakely’s poor blokes tried their best to look organized but they told us they were pretty much winging it.

I thought about staying for the speech but I had a better invitation. Dinner at Editor B.’s house, where we watched the speech on tv and decided it was more about Nagin’s running for Governor than about the State of New Orleans.

Xy suggested we start doing shots everytime he said referred to the ‘patient’ metaphor. . . The highlight of the speech for Karen and I was that he used the word pajamas. That might best sum up the the state of the city – Pajama Town.

Freret Street Festival

Well, it’s that time of year again. Saturday is the 10th Annual Freret Street Festival and Homeownership Resource Fair. Awesome. Last year was a really good time in spite of the fact that it was rather small. Good food (especially since Mrs. Dunbar has a booth). And as the adorable Kate from Neighborhood Housing Authority of New Orleans was telling me the other day, the bands this year are numerous and great. I’ve been picking out what stages I need to be at and when so I can make up a little jazzfest-esc schedule for myself.

You can see the Complete List of Events here including information about the home ownership workshop, the art market, the food court, and the kid’s stage and the kid’s activity tent. I figure since I don’t have kids or walls and I already own a house, the only things I have to do that day are listen to music and eat. You may be thinking, ‘but you left out drinking, Jack!’. But you would be wrong since drinking was implied by the fact that the festival happens on a calendar day.

Last year’s festival was my first time and the offerings were very small compared to this year. (wow, that sounds all dirty). I think this is going to be a hell of a good time so stop by and say hello. Scout and I will probably be out there all day dragging a cooler of beer around and jamming BBQ ribs into my pie-hole. I’m going to rig Scout up to pull the cooler like Max from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

It starts at 11am and ends at 7pm so come early and drink up. I may put a Metroblog sign out in front of the Shanty if I remember, watch for it, but no promises. A free beer for anyone who can find me. (I think Craig’s the only one who’s seen me in the last 4 months so if you’re looking for the guy in my bio good luck.)

Hope to see you all there.

Wednesday morning

…so I’m up at about 6:30 or so, padding around the house while TBK sleeps on the couch, right? Not much going on and I’m about to go outside to get the paper when there’s a quiet but persistent knock at the door.

I open it and there’s one of my neighbors, also usually an early riser like myself, standing at the door shirtless and holding a bottle of creme de cassis that’s about 2/3 empty. He says, “I hate to disturb you so early, but I just found my girlfriend down the street smoking crack. Can I get some whiskey to calm me down?”

So he comes into the kitchen and I go get my (well-hidden) stash of bourbon and ask if he wants a glass or a go-cup. He says he wants the glass and he’ll bring it back. So I start to pour and he says, “fill it to the rim,” which I do. He thanks me and says now he needs to call his sister to get her to talk him down some more. I warn him to keep it between the lines. He promises to do so then he leaves, glass of whiskey and cassis bottle in hand, leaving me to ponder what’s going on in his mind.

Good luck dude.

Never a dull moment, I tell ya.

A Tragedy of the Commons

In an attempt to be a responsible citizen, I like to keep up on local current events, and seeing as I spend most of my time in front of a computer screen, nola.com is unfortunately one of the main sources of my news. I tried subscribing to the print T-P, but more often than not it would just sit there unopened, so it seemed like a big waste of money and paper. I watch the local news sometimes but I can’t make a habit of that either. I’m in that internet generation, and that’s where I get my news.

As if reading the news in New Orleans was not already a painful, depressing exercise, nola.com has decided to move all of their news stories to a “blog” format within the last few months. This means that registered users are now able to post comments at the bottom of most of the news stories. And this typically means that the most ignorant, illiterate, racist morons — people whose opinions were previously limited to call-ins on AM talk radio — are the people posting comments. It means that even the most innocuous stories, including articles about an NFL player’s accidental drowning, are turned into racially charged flame wars between the stupidest people in the city.
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Fish or Steak with your Whine?

” Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach a man to create an artificial shortage of fish and he will eat steak.” -Jay Leno

When I first read this story I thought, ‘That seems like an odd priority’. So my mind instantly started coming up with marketing suggestions like…

“New Orleans: We’re not as fucked as you might think”

“Come to New Orleans: We’re only averaging 1 homicide every other day”

“Visit New Orleans: Most of our poor black people probably live in your town”

“New Orleans: We ain’t done shit yet”
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Slow and steady

This man was working on the Uptown streetcar line today–all alone, mind you, but working nonetheless. And maybe because I was tired, or maybe because I was woozy from having blood drawn, or maybe because I’m a sappy pantywaisted cakeboy, but for some reason I got a little choked up. I rolled down the window and yelled "THANK YOU!" I don’t think he heard me, but it’s the thought, right?

It takes all kinds

This may come as a shock, but New Orleans has some problems. Chief among them: erratic crime, rising sea levels, and a thoroughly unhinged jackass of a mayor who was elected by wealthy Uptowners and bussed-in, destitute evacuees–neither of whom have to deal with his shit because the former can always jet off to Gstaad and the latter still live in Houston.

So, basically the last thing we need is more problems. Especially more loonies. Luckily, this one was stopped at the border:

NEW YORK — A fashion writer accused of sexually abusing a former co-worker while dressed as a firefighter hoped to go to New Orleans and lead a gang of angry Hurricane Katrina survivors, a psychologist testified.

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Inspector General

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Council President Fielkow just answered an inquiry for me . . . the City of New Orleans Ethics Review Board has narrowed their selected pool of candidates for the position of Inspector General down to six. We should have our new IG by summer, as planned.

Councilman Fielkow just took the positon of Council President this week, this position is rotated between the At-Large Council members on an annual basis. Now, if the IG actually lives here, we’re making progress.

Ordinance 26,276 – Oct. 19, 2006

http://www.nola.com

Municipal Code : City Charter. CHAPTER 4. OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL; ETHICS Section 9-401. Office of Inspector General

Getting out of the house again

Today baby and I went to the Old Ursuline Convent for the first time. Even though I live just around the corner and pass by it all the time it is the first time I have been inside. They have a wonderful exhibit there right now, the Vatican Mosaic Exhibit. The church itself is beautiful, I have never lived in a city with such beautiful churches. For me that alone was worth the stop but for admission of $10.00 we also saw thirty-seven great works of art. All are reproductions, some of works by the Great Masters and others of Vatican Staff Artists originals. The website says they are priceless but according to one of the lovely tour guides they are actually all for sale. That is why the Vatican Staff Artists are forever busy, their work is always being sold. Of course the price tag ($1 million) on some of the best pieces that I saw are a little out of most people budget but who knows, maybe one day. We were able to take pictures, since they are mosaics the flash will not damage the art, unfortunately I had left my camera at home. I did buy a couple post cards however and scanned one in for you. 05-22-2007%2007%3B50%3B36PM.JPGThe exhibit runs till June 1st ,they also have parking blocked off around the convent to make it easier to find a spot when you are there.

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