Archive for September, 2007


I walked up Magazine St. this evening to get something light to eat. Not “lite,” but light. I wasn’t very hungry, but figured I would be by tomorrow morning if something didn’t go in the stomach tonight. Then I’d be scarfing down biscuits and gravy at 5:30am at the St. Charles Tavern. Not a good idea, what with all the other bad-for-me food I’ve been eating lately. It’s R&D for the restaurant. Really.

Anyway — I was sitting out on the sidewalk with a little antipasti and some chianti. A lovely evening, with a three-quarter cornbread moon up there and just watching the ebb and flow of the local bistro society. It’s nice to see all the college students and the just-out-of-college folks enjoying themselves. The city needs mom and dad’s money these days — and we REALLY need it if you’re making it on your own. Good for you.

But, frankly, I gotta talk to the guys for a minute. Mostly, I mean. A couple of things for the women too. But mainly the guys. Dudes…

Building Collapse (ing)?

I ran into this mess on the way to the bank today. I can’t find it on any other website yet to get more info. There are firetrucks blocking parts of Royal around the 500 block. The story as far as tell is a construction crew hit a water pipe which sent a shock wave up the side of a nearby building and a crack right up the side. It definately looks like the building is leaning but I can not remember if it was like that before today or not. The word on the street is it’s collapsing but the officialls were busy and on top of that did not seem to want to say one way or the other. News crews were on the scene though so I’ll have to check the nightly news for more.

more on the Jena six

I really like this article in the Financial Times today about the Jena six – the author captures my personal opinion about the matter pretty well. Read the whole thing here or just read the last two paragraphs below:

“Civil rights groups have been demonstrating in solidarity, accusing the town, the state and the country as a whole of allowing a racist system of justice to persist. The issue arose in the first place, they say, because of white bigotry. As events unfolded and escalated, white offenders were treated mildly, they argue, while black offenders faced all the punitive savagery that America’s criminal justice system is capable of. Shamefully, the facts appear to bear this out.

The black youths appear to have committed a nasty assault. This was more than a schoolyard brawl, and could have ended in serious injury. It warranted police intervention. The young men need to be punished and should command no respect. Campaigners who hold up the “Jena Six” as something close to heroes, as some do, are not helping the cause of racial equality. Nor was Jesse Jackson, when he characterised Barack Obama’s measured and sensible comments on the issue as “talking like a white man” – a racist provocation of another kind. But none of this diminishes the scandal of the wider circumstances: first, the school’s apparent tolerance of bigotry, and then the authorities’ zeal to punish blacks, though not the white racists who provoked them, to the fullest extent of the law. The president’s “sadness” is a sadly inadequate response.”

More abstinence?

From an article in the Picayune about last night’s City Park board meeting, at which various groups spoke to the board about redeveloping the park:

Housing advocate Elizabeth Cook said she found it “appalling” and “obscene” to be discussing golf courses while thousands of New Orleanians remain displaced two years after Katrina.


I’m sorry, but two years down the road, I’m getting really sick of this argument. In fact, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and call it downright offensive.


My bunghole hurts after that one!

When I was a radio sports talk host, I had a co-host who would use that phrase on Monday’s after his college team (He went to San Diego State, not really a bastion of football prowess) got spanked yet again by some loser college football team.

I’d maybe write about the upcoming elections, or the nice phone calls I’ve gotten for bringing Mancow to the radio station or maybe about the new book I’m reading but those things hold no interest to me right now. Frankly, I’ve been waiting 9 months for the NFL season to start. I’ve been dreaming of the 2007-08 season since the day the Bears and the snow took this city out of the playoffs.

After watching last night’s game, all I can really say is my bunghole hurts from that ass-kicking.

The recovery has stalled out. There is no Golden Goose waiting around the corner for this city. The Road Home is 6 billion dollars short. We all know the problems around here; we live and breathe it almost daily. I think the one thing that the majority of us had around here to hold on too was that the Saints would be good, they would entertain us, they would take our minds off the problems if only for three hours.

That ain’t happening now. Maybe it’s the high expectations. Maybe the league figured out Sean Payton. Maybe Ray Nagin kidnapped Drew Brees and put Marc Morial in a Brees suit to fool us all. I’m not really sure anymore but damn this really stinks.

Yeah I know, lifelong fan, should be use to losing, blah blah blah. I’m not accepting that crap. Maybe you’ll accept the Feds telling you that Louisiana and Mississippi got an equal share of federal dollars but I don’t accept it. Just like I’m not gonna accept this team turning out to be America’s biggest Turkey.

Neat Toy

Found this site today that does a side by side comparison of Microsoft Virtual Earth and Google Maps. Why would anyone care about this? Well, because the Microsoft site is using local satellite imagery from approx. February 2007, and the Google site is using stuff from December 2005 or thereabouts. So if you look at them side by side, you can see the progress New Orleans made in one year. I have to say it’s pretty impressive. Blue roofs turn to new roofs, empty highways and parking lots have cars again, destruction is cleared away, etc. If anyone wants solid visual evidence of progress in this city, this is it.

True dedication

A three-alarm fire damaged popular nightspot Miss Mae’s at Napoleon Avenue and Magazine Street on Monday night….

Fire officials say they had some resistance from bar patrons who were reluctant to evacuate because they were watching the Saints game.

True dat

This is a subject I’ve written about before — nearly a year ago as I remember (I’d go back and look but, frankly, I’m just too lazy this Sunday morning). The Washington Post has a very good look at the city’s continuing battle with depression.

The story is, of course, nothing new to those of us who have chosen to return and stay and work to rebuild. This has always been a city of extreme personalities and it’s one of the reasons we had to come back. But, too often, the more mundane of us have become extreme and the usual extremes have rounded the bend and fallen off into the Just Plain Bizarre. Social drinkers have become alcoholics, Loud party folks have become bar-fightin’ nutjobs and the nearby eccentric (every block in this city has at least one) turns into a Confederate flag-waving recluse, shouting at passers-by from inside his still unrepaired house. Or something.


We’ve been hearing for over a week now about this tropical weather that’s supposed to “lash,” “inundate,” “swamp” or otherwise hit us this weekend. I love all the verbs newscasters and headline writers use to describe what tropical weather can do or is doing. Floyd Shaves Florida. Dora Explores Georgia. But, looking at the radar and reading the latest updates, it appears the worst threat from the current system will be that some paper plates might be upended by a breeze during the LSU tailgating in Baton Rouge. If that. Parts of the Gulf Coast are getting some rain this morning. Now there’s a shock. I was watching Jim Cantore do this thing from Pensacola Beach yesterday and, true to form, he was pretty much at Ground Zero.

At first, I thought yeah, yeah, yeah — aren’t we kinda overreacting here? But I found myself agreeing more quickly to a suggestion that we lay in a little extra water and buy gasoline for the generator while the buying was easy.

…so we’re moving through the height of hurricane season pretty easily so far — for the second year in a row. This is a very, very good thing, since we’re still a very jumpy lot and will be for quite a while. Justifiably so. It’s kinda like why the French are reluctant to fight — you’d be skittish too if your nation lost an entire freaking generation in one war, then got invaded again less than 25 years later. So forgive us if we tend to overreact and give a lot of buildup to the slightest hint of tropical weather in this region.

Cain’t hep it, dawlin’

War of words and pictures

It’s been interesting to watch the ongoing tussle between the various taggers and the city’s Gray Ghost over the past several months. As the number of gray blocks has been increasing, so have the efforts by some very inventive and artistic folks to mark back over the gray and/or find new places to erect some color, humor, whimsy and political commentary. Kudos to folks such as those allied with NOLA Rising.

Much of this back-and-forth has been taking place on public or quasi-public turf, such as on mailboxes, utility poles, abandoned buildings and the like. I’ve seen cases in which almost the entire face of Yield signs or other important traffic information has been painted over and rendered nearly invisible by an overzealously applied wash of gray — where the sign would stil be easily readable had the original tag been simply left alone. I don’t get it. Far as I can tell, all these gray blocks do is create a new and clearer canvas to be tagged again. Good.

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