Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

WTF, Spongebob? Jazzland/Six Flags Needs Another Buyer

Two years ago — nearly two years ago to the day — a certain cueball-headed mayor of New Orleans announced that Jazzland/Six Flags was coming back. The theme park where so many of my friends had worked before the storm, performing to crowds of dozens (on a good day), has done nothing but gather mold since Hurricane Katrina swamped it. Which wasn’t hard to do, since the whole thing was built on a swamp anyway.

But I digress.

On August 19, 2009, Nagin stood for a photo op with Spongebob Squarepants and announced that Nickelodeon would be redeveloping Six Flags. But like a good souffle, the deal didn’t keep, and now the city is looking for a new partner to rescue the property.  If you’re the sort of person with a dream in your pocket and several million dollars in a Swiss bank account, you have until October 10 to submit your proposal.

My personal take? There are certain parts of New Orleans that are perfectly fine for habitation and others that should return to their natural state. There were some contentious discussions about which neighborhoods fit into those two categories after the storm, but I don’t think anyone would complain if Mitch Landrieu ripped Jazzland off the map and signed the deed over to Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge.

Sex Crimes And Other Offenses That Become Louisiana Law Today

At the moment, Louisiana is run by Republicans: we have a Republican governor (a terrible one, IMHO) and the party holds a majority in both the House and the Senate. As elsewhere, many of these GOP legislators are first-timers, and they’re pissing off the elders with their arrogance, their Tea Party-naivete, and their frequent ineptitude*.

And yet, there were some good things to come out of the 2011 legislative session that wrapped up in June. I’ll start with the bad, though:

  • As of today, there are more obstacles standing between women and safe, legal abortion: “Abortion clinics must give more information to women before they can terminate a pregnancy, including new signs telling pregnant women that they cannot be coerced into abortion, that fathers are liable for child support and that adoptive parents may pay for prenatal care and birth expenses.” [AP]
  • New Louisiana residents used to be required to wait six months before receiving a concealed handgun permit. Not anymore.
  • And of course, Representative Austin Badon’s anti-bullying bill was defeated on the House floorwhich tickled the backward-looking Louisiana Family Forum pink (a very butch pink, I assume).

And on the plus-side:

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Helping Pets Is As Easy As Eating Out At Tonight’s ‘Pause 4 Dinner’ Event

In case you haven’t heard, tonight is the Louisiana SPCA’s “Pause 4 Dinner” dine-around. If you’ve never taken part in an event like this, never fear: it’s simple and straightforward.

Just head to dinner at one of the many participating restaurants. There’s a range of spots on the list — from the very affordable to the slightly swanky — and a percentage of every sale will go toward the LASPCA’s noble efforts. Plus, it’s a nice break from the daily routine of coming home, playing partypoker cz, and heating up some Soup for One.

No time for a full meal? No problem: even Pinkberry is participating. Don’t tell me you don’t have time to pop in for some yogurt on a scorching hot day like this.

On the off-chance that you’re reading this from afar, though, you can always make a contribution to the LASPCA on the web. Not that we’re pushy or anything, but consider that a hint. Need more info? Visit the LASCPA website.

See you at 8. (Dinner’s always at 8, kids.)

The Pioneering Disney Animator Living In My Neighborhood: A Follow-Up

A year and a half ago, I had a handful of sidewalk conversations with one of the most interesting women the Marigny has to offer: Eva Schneider. In halting English — weirdly broken for someone who’s lived in the U.S. for most of her life — she told me about the years she spent working at Disney Studios. Shortly thereafter, I began receiving little missives in my mail slot: short letters offering more detail of her career as a professional animator. They were sometimes hard to follow, so I skimmed them and filed them away, hoping to transcribe them at some point.

Apparently, I’ve reached “some point”. I recently sat down with Eva’s letters and started to type, keeping her curious capitalizations, spellings, and punctuation intact.

In the end, I’m sorry to say, there’s not a lot of new information about her or about Disney & Co. In fact, sometimes, she repeats herself, occasionally on the same page. And her story follows a predictable path: an artist working in a medium that’s changed by emerging technology — technology that she finds cold and inferior. She dismisses the computer-animated Disney films of today, and it would be easy to write her off as yet another person who’d rather bash technology than adapt and use it.

Unfortunately, she talks very little about her experience as one of the few women working in a field dominated by men, or about her impressions of Walt Disney’s political/world views. But even though I didn’t get what I was hoping for, the act of writing seems to have been cathartic for her. And so, I kept transcribing. Because I know that when I’m her age (90, I’m guessing), I’d want the chance to be heard.

I haven’t seen Eva on the street in months — maybe a year. I don’t know if she’s still alive, but I can’t find an obit for her. Perhaps she was taken in by her relatives. Or maybe, knowing her, she’s taken them in. She’s kind of spunky.

If you’re interested in what she had to say, the transcriptions are after the jump.

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There Is A Problem With The Hubig’s King Cake

Yes, it’s true: there is a problem with Hubig’s mini king cake. It pains me to say it because (a) I love Hubig’s pies, and (b) I love the smell of the Hubig’s factory, which sits just around the corner from my house. But love and geographic proximity cannot mask the fact that something is deeply wrong with this thing.

As I see it, the problems, they are three:

1. The Hubig’s mini king cake has the texture of a bialy, or possibly a yeast roll: powdery and wheat-like. This is confusing to king cake consumers expecting hunks of dough glued to a carry-out box with pounds of sugary-sweet frosting.

2. The Hubig’s mini king cake looks kind of a like a bagel – granted, a bagel covered in goop and decorated with purple, green, and gold hamster pellets, but still: bagelish. It is a visual conundrum of sweet and savory. (Those of you who eat blueberry and fruity bagels may think this sounds delicious, but remember: blueberry and fruity bagels are a travesty not technically part of the bagel family. Well, not my bagel family.) It is the sort of thing that M. C. Escher might’ve created if he’d become a pastry chef and not an overachieving mathlete-cum-sketch artist.

3. The Hubig’s mini king cake is not as delicious as I want it to be. It doesn’t taste like a bialy or a bagel (thankfully), it is sweet, and yet…. Well, do you remember McKenzie’s king cakes? The “traditional” ones? To me, they tasted like three-day-old cinnamon buns thrown in a blender with some cardboard, then baked into a hard, rubbery loaf. The Hubig’s king cake is not that bad, but it is definitely not good.

Now, I admit, I may have been expecting too much. When I first heard about Hubig’s king cakes, I envisioned a pint-sized version of a Hubig’s pie, which, for the uninitiated, is kind of like a fruit pie, but magnified. It is like the Bugatti Veyron of fruit pies. It is the Balenciaga of convenience store pastry. It is like a tardis filled with passion fruit and served piping hot. It is THAT GOOD. The mini king cake, she is not. Not yet, anyway.

Back to the drawing board.

This Friday Night: Implausible Uses For Unpopular Spaces

Prospect New Orleans may grab more headlines, but its architectural equivalent, DesCours is just as important — not to mention breathtaking. If you haven’t taken a look at the map of activities and installations (on view through this Sunday), do yourself a favor and make plans to visit at least a handful of exhibitions over the weekend.

Of course, like Prospect, DesCours has spawned ancillary, “fringe” events. And of the many press releases I’ve seen, Hypothetical Development‘s event called “Implausible Uses For Unpopular Spaces” seems among the most entertaining. It’s Friday night at Beckham’s right across from House of Blues on Decatur Street. Some of us will be in performance, but for the rest of you…

* * * * *

Hypothetical Development Preview Party
Beckham’s Book Shop, 228 Decatur Street New Orleans Friday
December 10, 2010, 6-10 PM

For ONE NIGHT ONLY – The Hypothetical Development Organization will preview a selection of our renderings of IMPLAUSIBLE USES FOR UNPOPULAR PLACES. See selected works from this newly launched public art project, featuring signage advertising hypothetical uses for abandoned and derelict buildings. Get an up-close look at our contributing artists’ convincing renderings of The Museum of the Self, The New Orleans Loitering Centre, a Velvet Rope Artisan Workshop, and who knows what other absurdities?

H.D.O. is a group of people creating signage that advertises blatantly implausible future uses for neglected buildings. The inspiration was noticing the sorts of signs of that developers put up on buildings depicting what they will (supposedly) become in the future — condos or boutiques, for instance. Since the economy and real estate market crashed, it’s become clear many of these developments will never happen, so those signs seem to be little more than stories about hypothetical futures. We decided this is an interesting medium, and we would use it to tell stories, too. But instead of boring condos, we would tell more imaginative stories that are interesting, engaging, provocative, fun.

Sissybounce + Cracked-Out Drag Queens + Booty-Poppin Bears = ONE EPIC PARTY

I don’t go out much these days because I am often sleepy and easily disappointed. Between my work schedule (I get up at 5am) and my hard-to-shake-off, been-there/done-that jadedness, nightlife doesn’t usually keep me awake.

Usually.

But Saturday night’s party at the New Orleans Candle Factory — hosted by New Orleans Airlift — was EPIC. With a lineup that included MC Sweet Tea and sissybounce star Big Freedia and cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs drag queen (and closepersonalfriend) Christeene, it was bananas up in that place.

And best of all: the bouncing baby bear who did as Big Freedia commanded and put his ass in the air, ass in the air. Jonno has video. Awesome video. (FYI, if you get an error message after clicking that link, just refresh. Tumblr has been hemorrhaging fuckups for the last 24 hours.)

See if you can spot the contingent of Uptowners who bailed on the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Odyssey Ball and ventured downtown for fun.

I Suppose This Makes New Orleans And The Gulf Coast A Diaper?

And Katrina was a tornado, I guess.

Oh, Italy: you’re so adorable when you’re confused.

Advertising Agency: JWT/RMG Connect, Milan, Italy
Executive Creative Director: Daniela Radice
Associate Creative Director & Copywriter: Davide Boscacci
Copywriter: Jack Blanga
Art Director: Giulio Nadotti
Illustrator: Giulio Nadotti

[via Copyranter]

Dan Savage’s ‘It Gets Better’ Comes To New Orleans This Weekend

Dan Savage

By now, most of you have seen the video clips — the ones recorded as part of the “It Gets Better” campaign. On the off-chance that you haven’t: the campaign was begun by author Dan Savage in response to the recent spate of suicides by LGBT teens. Savage conceived it as a way of assuring those kids that, although life may seem rough now, things will get better.

So far, most of the clips in heavy rotation have come from celebs — and that’s to be expected. But there’s a local element to “It Gets Better”, too, which gives everyday people like you and me the chance to share advice, encouragement, and coming-out stories. And it’s coming to New Orleans this weekend.

This Saturday, October 16, cameras will be set up on the patio at Cure (4905 Freret Street) from 5pm – 7pm. There, you’ll be able to record a testimonial of your own to share with LGBT teens. The event is being organized by Megan Hargrode, who’s put together a Facebook page to publicize the local element of the campaign.

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of Cure (or any place with asinine dress codes). And holding an event like this at a hipster haute-cocktail lounge isn’t the best way to ensure diverse representation from the local LGBT community — nor is it the best place to generate sober, intelligible testimonials. However, Hargrode deserves tons of credit for pulling it together, and Cure earns a begrudging pat on the back for allowing her to do it.

If you have time this Saturday evening, drop by and say a few words — tomorrow’s LGBT leaders need to hear them. Just be sure to dress appropriately.

[via BlogOfNewOrleans]

The Burger King Drag Queen Bandit: A Postscript

Remember the Burger King bandit? The one who crept into a New Orleans-area BK restaurant by slithering through the drive-up window in booger drag? Well, on Friday, he was sentenced to 247 years in prison. Maybe by then they’ll have finished his special-order BK Big Fish, no pickles.

And for those who might’ve forgotten the initial incident, relive the video realness.

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