Archive for November, 2006

Welcome Back to the Track !

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This was my first time to the track. Chris Martel put the idea in my head. I saw Harry Connick, Jr. So, uh thanks, Chris. I was quite aware of the soundscape, it was soothing. Unlike Jazz Fest, the track had a surprisingly relaxed atmosphere, for a large crowd. I thought how funny it is that it’s the ‘Track’ at Thanksgiving but the ‘Fairgrounds’ at Jazz Fest. They have plenty eating arrangements for Thanksgiving, from the oyster bar to buffets.

Here’s a link to the sounds of the track that local writer, Eve Troeh, did for NPR last year. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5026770

I saw a lot of familiar faces but was not completely engaged. I just was curious about the whole tradition but really wanted to get back home to relax, and read and write an article on Creole Cottages. But, uh, Harry Connick, Jr. was there. I wasn’t there to bet, only to take photographs and observe, which only lasted a couple runs. While I was talking to Willie White we got a call of a demolition-in-progress uptown that I had to go photograph. So, I been working on the photos ever since. There are more photos from the track on the FLCKR!

Thanksgiving in New Orleans

Today I cooked a turkey by basting it with my unborn child’s ear syringe (remind me to buy a new one of those). This was the first turkey I have ever cooked and my first Thanksgiving away from home. It was just Scott (husband) and me and it was wonderful. We walked to Verdi Mart this morning for sodas and Hubig’s pies, as I was not prepared to cook turkey and bake a pie at the same time. It was a beautiful day today, perfect for keeping the balcony doors open and enjoying the cool breeze. Even though throughout the day our across the street neighbors were playing the “Let’s all jump on the train to help New Orleans” CD, which was a tad depressing for Thanksgiving music but whatever.

Turkey Jerkey? No, Just Jerks

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to say thanks to all of you for reading the garbage I continue to write on this here site. Here are a few things that I am thankful for. Feel free to comment or write your own happy thanks to add to the list.
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The Birthplace of “Bra”

I went to a party last Saturday night, I didn’t get laid, I got in a fight UUUU huuuuuH. It ain’t no big thing. Thank you Lita Ford for such touching words from the metal days. Speaking of Metal days, has anyone been to Fat City lately? I was at a show Saturday. My friend’s band was playing to a raucous crowd of eleven people. How their manager still has a job I do not know. They played at The Bar, yes, that is the name of the place. I have to say not much has changed in this part of Metairie in at least 15 years. I walked into a time warp that night and I barely escaped.
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Thanksgiving notes

A few things as we head into the holiday…

1) Thanks to so many of you for your encouragement, support and outpouring of wonderful words for us and for TBK. She’s back to being TBK again — due to her own efforts, guts and all the support. We’ve been able to find some help locally, we believe, and Normal has returned. At least as much as it can in this city right now. Thank you more than you can imagine.

2) For those of you on your own and hankering for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, there is a free one being offered Uptown. I dropped into Alexander’s (Third and Magazine) this evening and owners Ron and Liz informed me of their plans to lay out The Full Meal starting at 2pm Thursday. Fo’ free. Drinks are on you, of course, but it’s a hell of a nice neighborly gesture. And there are several TVs is you’re into the Thanksgiving Football Thang. We’ll be doing our own feast just down the street, if you happen to walk by on the way to or from. But I’m sure we’ll be dropping into Alexander’s to say howdy and to taste.

3) We’re just back from a two-day trip to The Outside (a city where everything works and everything’s open). This has been only our third trip away since The Thing and I was secretly worried I’d find it more attractive.

Um, no.

Happy Thanksgiving. We are truly thankful to Just Be Here.

What can we do about this?

From my old stomping grounds in Memphis TN. A church in Memphis decided to really do the Christian thing after Katrina. They donated a house to a family that lost everything from New Orleans and had re-located to Memphis. Over 1000 families were up for this house but the church decided on a certain family. The church picked this family, gave them a house at no cost. No requirements didn’t need to join the church or anything like that. Just that the family wanted to begin their lives anew in Memphis. I’m sure many of us would have been thrilled to even be considered for such an unbelievable gift.

Well maybe not everyone. Or at least the family that was actually given the home. The family that received the donated home never actually moved in. They never even lived in the place. A 80,000 dollar home. Okay, this is America, you don’t want to live somewhere or in something that was given to you? No problem, thousands of other Katrina Evacuees who would love to live there.
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The Holidays Arrive On Canal St.

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I saw the streetcar decorations and my eyes sort of popped out of my head for a second. Thanksgiving has snuck up on me this week. So, did we have the streetcar for Christmas at all last year? I’m too tired to think about it. There are a few things that make me really smile during the holidays; the streetcar’s Christmas decorations, Black Santas, Eggnog daquiries and Hubigs sweet potato pies, which I was told is only sold seasonally. Which explains why I can never find them. Oh, and Christmas in the Oaks.

So this also means it’s been a year since I have been writing for Metroblogging, it seems longer. I have gotten to know some of our regular readers and I am thankful for y’all for sending me so much of your positive energy this past year. I am also thankful that Jack Ware gave me the opportunity to fumble around here like I do. I am also very thankful for my house and that I can hear the streetcar from the porch. I plan to stay in and enjoy being at home on Thanksgiving and read Richard Campanella’s Geographies of New Orleans. This man is my version of Elvis.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Turkey Day !

Apparently, the streetcar returned on December 18th last year. ABC News Story

Hunting me some turkeys

Reading the entry about the chicken/duck/turkey deal got me to thinking about a real Louisiana tradition. It’s the annual turkey hunt in Acadiana. Have you ever seen pictures or video of this deal? I’ve never been but usually it’s a tradition for local TV to have something on turkey day about the event.

Short version: It’s a bunch of rednecks/cajuns who have been drinking all morning getting ready for the hunt. Then you have about 20 of these characters falling all over each other trying to catch a gobbling bird. It’s always great for a chuckle after stuffing myself to the point of exploding like a tick.
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Re-Look-See

Lately, I’ve taken to seriously considering Citizen Revolution. By that, I don’t mean anything on the order of pitchforks, attack ladders, Mao Tse Tung or Castro, but a very studious and sane re-examination of our constitution and founding documents on the part of a well-educated and conscious citizenry. In her latest post entitled Representation, Becky Houtman fleshes out the loss of proper citizen representation in post-Katrina New Orleans; I may be optimistic and such a beast may never have lived here even before the storm.

… those living close to New Orleans are not adequate “representatives” of citizens in the uninhabitable or barely inhabitable portions of our city, however well-intentioned (or not). Public hearings, meetings, and comment periods are indispensable to democratic government, but they’re never a substitute for proportional representation.

Sometimes, especially times like ours, the representation allowed for by our constitutions and charters – the mayors, city councils, governors, senators, representatives and presidents – aren’t enough; legislation doesn’t conveniently exist for the level of public involvement required for a whole region’s reconstruction.

Becky speaks for the diaspora and their silence, self-imposed or not, in the rebuilding of New Orleans. Regardless of their desire to return to this city, there is no conduit for the input of the displaced. As for the people who are here: We see more people at Saints games than at the polls or planning meetings that readily impact the future of this city, even the continued stay of the Saints here. But, is that entirely the fault of the people or a direct result of a system designed not to engage their participation and answers they already have?

Despite its status as Broken capital of America, the lack of representation here is not a local epidemic, contained by Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi (or the Gulf of Mexico as a southern boundary, if you so choose). America as a whole worships complacence, and this is only encouraged by a system ostensibly set in stone by our Founding Fathers. Not so. Bill Maher, my favorite Libertarian, writes in A Re-Look-See At The Constitution:
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A Word of Advice to Those Who Are Bleeding Profusely:

The ER at University Hospital (a.k.a. Hotel Dieu) is now open. Over the next month or two this will become the primary Level 1 Trauma Center in the region, and the ERs at Elmwood and New Orleans Centre (a.k.a. the Lord & Taylor department store) will close. Keep this in the back of your head, it might come in handy the next time you get stabbed in a barfight. Here is the location:

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