Archive for September, 2006

Now That The Saints Have Marched In

T-P: What A Show!

Packed among the crowd of 30,000 black-and-gold-clad faithful on the apron of the Superdome, Charles Burnell and Toby Bergeron couldn’t wipe the smiles from their faces …

Wasn’t last night a great piece of history? While not at the game, I was surrounded by friends at a favorite local establishment cheering on the New Orleans Saints with the rest of the state and nation. Today is the day after, and it’s time to think ahead. Do you think >30,000 will show up with this much enthusiasm at the polls this Saturday, and vote on ballots that will strengthen our levee oversight?

You have four days to educate and convince yourselves on 13 proposed amendments to the state constitution. The third page of this article displays statistics of the abject voter apathy here. I love my football, but I love my responsibility to this state, too. So can you.

No state amends its constitution more often than Louisiana, Brandt said. In addition to Saturday’s proposals, the Nov. 7 statewide ballot will list eight proposed constitutional amendments. The total number of proposed amendments on state ballots nationwide this year is 106.

… Voters better do their homework on the 13 proposed amendments to the state Constitution that will appear on the ballot Saturday or they won’t have enough time to consider their decisions in the voting booth … State law allows voters three minutes in the booth. Poll commissioners will politely remind voters of the time constraint if the voter is occupying the booth for an excessive period.

Start a-learnin’ NOW and show your true Louisiana spirit!

What a night it was

I could write about how many homes could have been rebuilt with 200 million dollars but I won’t do that today. I’m sure I’ll get to those thoughts at some point but today is for glory.

My brother came up from Baton Rouge yesterday to participate in the big event. I can’t think of anyone I would have wanted to be there with than him. He has a wife and three kids plus a wacko brother. If I could be half the man he is than I’ll be good to go.

We walked from the northern part of the quarter to the Dome preparing ourselves for the game. With Saints fans roaming the quarter, the city felt alive to me for the first time since Mardi Gras. It might be different for you, but for me, it’s been a rough 6 months between positive signs.

The mass number of people outside the Dome was unreal. I’ve been to Super Bowls and Sugar Bowls in this city and none of those had the feel of this one. This was different. It was not about the actual game, it was about this city and it’s people.

Who Dat?! Who Dat?!

Saints owner Tom Benson and Head Coach Sean Payton celebrate victory – picture by Michael DeMocker of the Times Picayune

I don’t know what to say. That felt really good. Better than I would have imagined. Check out for a bazillion articles about how good life is right now. I particularly like the article that says that Bono and his big fancy rock band were second fiddle to everything else last night – yeah you right!

Then and Now

September 26 was the day I returned to New Orleans last year, to a strange, abandoned moonscape. I will forever remember those days as the most surreal I’ve ever experienced. No electricity anywhere, no businesses open besides two or three in the French Quarter. Complete silence and lifelessness in every direction. No birds, bugs, lizards, stray animals, nothing. A myriad of odors, strange, dank, and impossible to pinpoint. Yet, in this completely wrecked, forever altered environment, I remember it just felt so good to be back.

I looked at some pictures I snapped that day and decided to recreate them, one year later. Being that I couldn’t go all over town re-creating shots, they are all either of the inside of my house or the corner I live on, but you should get the idea. We’ve come a long way since then.

Here’s a link to the shots.

Also, is anyone else hoarse today? I imagine most of us are. I can barely speak.


I don’t know how it was in your neighborhood during the Saints/Falcons ballgame last night, but I saw something I’ve never, ever seen in this city before.

We stayed at the house to watch the game, since we didn’t want to drop the bucks for bar prices on anything. I don’t tolerate drunken crowds as well as I used to — or at least not for as long. Stu and I wandered down on Poydras for about 30 minutes yesterday afternoon just to stay we’d been there, but that was about all either of us could tolerate. Anyway, we elected to stay at the house for the game as opposed to yelling to be heard and paying $3 per beer at some neighborhood bar.

The streets are empty…

I haven’t seen my neighborhood this deserted since I got back from the storm in September. I think every person in my hood went to the game. It’s quiet, real quiet. I’ve propped my window open and plan on stripping down to my undies and running wild in the streets.

Well, maybe not.

Go Saints.

Mardi Gras in September

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Today’s weather is gorgeous — ideal for what’s turning out to be a day-long celebration of the reopening of the Superdome. It’s a bit like a mini-Mardi Gras, with city offices closing early and so much anticipation of tonight’s football game against division rival Atlanta. It seems as if half the folks I’ve seen out and about today are wearing some kind of Saints gear, and whole city is focused big-time on what’s happening inside the dome starting at 7:30pm. Win or lose, getting the dome back in operation is extremely symbolic. I think the only thing that will be equally symbolic of New Orleans’ rebirth will be when the streetcars start running on St. Charles once again. TBK and I plan to go down to the dome to enjoy some of the goings-on, since I have the day off today.


Planning Presentation Marathon

Today I spent the entire day in the City Council chambers listening to the Lambert planning presentations. Having spent that last 8 months attending a grueling number of hours of my ‘free’ time attending meetings in every neighborhood after having been in these same neighborhoods in January doing the population estimate, I realized how much I have learned about all the various neighborhoods in our city. I went with the idea that I would go for a couple of hours and see how much I could stand. I am as burned out on the process as most people. I have also attended a couple meetings with the new Unified Planning teams, starting the whole process over again. One reason I wanted to go was to determine if this whole other level of planning is necessary. Some neighborhoods would benefit from having more details added to their portion of the plan, like the 7th ward. They need help. The Tulane/Gravier plan, a critical area in District 4, is not quite complete. But residents here have done enough work to complete the formal presentation with Lambert in the next couple of weeks and have a plan consistent with the rest of District 4.

Superdome memories.

I have been going to the dome since I was 3 years old. My earliest memory is seeing the Jazz play on the floor. By see, I mean squinting at the tiny ants on the court while sitting in the terrace. I have gone to countless events at the dome over the years. The World of Wheels, the New Orleans Pelicans, and even the demolition derbies in the mid seventies were some of the more exotic events I saw there.

It’s all anyone can talk about

and I love it. I mean, even Al-Jazeera will be there. And have you read the Wikipedia entry for New Orleans Saints?

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