Apres eux, le deluge?

miss kravitz, if you're nasty

Remember New Orleans in the early 1990s?

Remember the filming of JFK? The erstwhile glory of Trent Reznor? The Utne Reader‘s declaration that the Lower Garden District was the coolest place to live in the USofA?

Well, in case you missed it, it was…interesting. I’m still not sure what started the boom, but suddenly, celebs were flocking to the city–some, like the ill-omened Kevin Costner, even bought homes here. Spokespeople for the tourism industry were calling New Orleans the “Third Coast,” despite the fact that we’re at least an hour’s drive from the Gulf of Mexico. Locals, in their predictably provincial, genteel way, were terrified that New Orleans would become a playground for the nouveau riche–conveniently forgetting, of course, that their own “old money” had disappeared before World War II.

In the end, it was kind of a non-event. The glitz and glamour levels ticked steadily upward, and then just as we achieved superstar supersaturation, it was all over. One day, I glimpsed Courtney Love entering the tanning salon, and the next, nothing but Duck Girls and Bead Ladies for as far as the eye could see.

Now I’m wondering if we’re on the upswing again. Spokespeople for the tourism industry are calling New Orleans “Hollywood South” (and you thought “Third Coast” was as bad as it could get). TV dweebs like Frankie Muniz are sinking their claws into beloved local hipsters. And of course, Lenny’s making noise again. Can velveteen ropes at Acme be far behind?

9 Comments so far

  1. Tyler (unregistered) on July 21st, 2005 @ 11:06 am

    Richard–I spit up my cheerios this morning when I read the part when I read the following part of that article:

    In some circles, [LK’s] design fame has eclipsed his musical fame. “I’ll bump into women on the Upper East Side who might not know me for my music, but they know me for my style,” he said. Women like Dawn Mello, the fashion industry doyenne. “She said since Tom Ford, my eye is the best eye she’s ever seen,” he said. “She also kept asking me, ‘Are you sure you’re straight?’ ”

    Maybe she should have asked Lisa Bonet, Vanessa Paradis, Kylie Minogue, Natalie Imbruglia, Madonna, Naomi Campbell and Nicole Kidman.

    I donno about you, but I would cream my jeans to have my name along side that list of divas. It had never occurred to me that Lenny might prefer the light loafers to the straight-laced shoes, but hell child, now I’m thinking he’s a can-o-paint away from shacking up with a queer-eyed guy!

    Kylie? Naomi Campbell and Nicole Kidman? Madonna??!

    Cityoen(nne)s of NOLA unite! LK is gaying up the FQ and I like it.

  2. Jack Ware (unregistered) on July 21st, 2005 @ 11:52 am

    Maybe celebrities are like everyone else and think New Orleans is a nice place to visit but wouldn

  3. Mike Hoffman (unregistered) on July 21st, 2005 @ 12:44 pm

    I don’t know whether “Lenny Kravitz is “gaying up the FQ” but Jack brings up a good point: What does a celebrity in-flux do to a city? Will it actually change anything?

    We’ve had visitors and the occasional local over the past 10 years since the era Richard mentions. Will celebrities actually contribute to New Orleans?

  4. sacclay (unregistered) on July 21st, 2005 @ 1:30 pm

    Great link Mike, used to be a Nail Head myself. and yeah, New Orleans and Trent Reznor and Anne Rice was all too cool ten years ago, but that day has passed. Along with Trent’s originality. Get up off your knees Trent, wipe the mascara out of your eyes, and remember you’ve got a Porshe in the garage. Life cant possibly still be that bad, and everyone who liked you has a job now. No need to reinvent the wheel, but feel free to color outside the lines a little on your next album.

    As for Celebreality in New Orleans, I think it’s great, although unless you spend time at One Eyed Jack’s or go to Nacho Mama’s during the lunch hour, your not likely to see them much. Although, as Mike can attest, I did see Queen Latifah walking her dog in the FQ last fall. It gave me great pleasure….NOT! I’d love to run into Lindsey Lohan “sweatin to the oldies” on the pool table at F+M’s late one saturday nite…before she became anorexic and died her hair blond. Cocaine is a helluva drug!

  5. Mike Hoffman (unregistered) on July 21st, 2005 @ 4:36 pm
  6. Jeremy (unregistered) on July 23rd, 2005 @ 1:06 pm

    What the fuck… Will celebrities change New Orleans?!?!? No!

    Celebrities have as much a right to live here as you or me. What are YOU doing to make New Orleans better?

    Who gives a fuck if Trent Reznor saves the city from a Hurricane or sips coffee at PJs? He’s just a person living here probably for the same reasons as you are.

    And to think that a city with the history and centuries old reputation is going to be affected by someone like Lindsay Lohan living here for a few months is naive.

  7. sacclay (unregistered) on July 23rd, 2005 @ 3:05 pm

    i imagine you missed my point about Lohan. hot chick dancing on a pool table at 2am was my train of thought during that comment, nothing more, nothing less. i’m not sure why you are so upset, i didnt see anyone else saying that celebrities will change New Orleans, but i’ll tell you this….somebody should!

  8. Sinjin von hook Straaten (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 3:53 am

    “erstwhile” … “ill-omened” … whatever. Put your fancy writin’ books away and type like ya talk like a normal fucking person… unless you’d actually inject “erstwhile” and “ill-omened” into your regular conversation in which case, well, I’ll just feel sorry for you for trying to make yourself look intellectual.

    P.S. quit it with the links.

  9. richard (unregistered) on September 19th, 2005 @ 6:26 am

    Actually, Sinjin, as a world-class faggotini, I am entitled to pepper my daily speech with a variety of words unavailable to the likes of guttersniping, puerile pantywaists such as yourself. And as for the links, my dim-witted Dutchman, that’s what weblogs are for. As if I’d take requests from someone who eats mayonnaise on their *pommes frites*, anyway…

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