Archive for November, 2007

Trash Talking

Garbage at the end of the Block (2)

Editor the same email that I did today regarding the trash contract dilemma. He is ahead of me at posting these actual letters from companies who opted out of the bidding process for the colossal trash contract which illustrate their sensible review of the contract based on the word ‘unlimited’.

These newly released documents shed logical light on the situation. If you must read only one of them, I would go with WM’s response. Among their particular points for witholding from the bid process, it includes this pointed bullet; “The breadth of collection services without designating the quantities of household garbage and related trash that is expected to be collected.” This line exemplifies the proper reservation any logical person would have upon review of the contract. To her credit, Stacy Head, along with others on the City Council raised this concern loudly last year when the contract was presented.

The usual hanky panky players of Civil Rights Activists who haven’t yet realized it is actually 2007, showed up to at City Hall budget hearing hearing this week in an attempt to intimidate the Council, an old game in New Orleans. The reality is that some waste managment companies have better legal counsel than others. Some of them can read. Others seemed to have opted to go after the ‘pots o’ money’ and worry about the logistics later.

The House That Drives Men Mad

Most of you know TBK and I are building a restaurant on Magazine St. – and we are blessedly nearing the end of construction. I’ll be calling the Health Dept by week’s end to set up an inspection and, hopefully, all will fall into place pretty quickly.

In an effort to get ahead of the regulatory curve, I took my architectural drawings to the Historic District Landmark Commission last July 30th. The HDLC is the city agency that must approve any proposed changes to building facades in a historic district (where we are). In a quick ten minutes, after a review of the drawings, I obtained a letter stating any proposed changes were not visible from the street and therefore the HDLC had no objection to our plans. Hooray!

Since we are planning to sell beer and wine, we have also had to approach the City Planning Commission with a request for a conditional use permit — an agreement that establishes the rules under which such alcohol sales can take place. Our first hearing before the Planning Commission Advisory Group was today at City Hall. We were among the first on the agenda and anticipated no problems.

Silly us.

Lost and Found

Lindsay and Precious

One month ago, while eating at Surrey’s, my wallet was mysteriously swiped from my table as I was reading the paper waiting for the waitress to collect the money for my bill. It was unbelievable because I never left the table. The wait staff helped me search the trash in case it had been accidentally bussed into the garbage. We looked everywhere.

On Monday, Blockbuster called me to say that a woman came in with my wallet and they gave me her phone number so I could call her. Indeed, this good samaritan, Lindsay, said her dog was in the far back end of her yard in the wooly wild area she forbids her to roam and Precious came out with my wallet! Over the phone, I imagined Lindsay’s dog to be a lab or something bigger but today when I met them, I was tickled to see this little doggie of good deeds.

I thanked Lindsay for following through to try to get my contact information and offered a reward but she’s just happy to have done this for me. While I already cancelled the credit cards, I was happy because my driver’s license, work ID and everything was still in the wallet except $20 in cash. I have had this wallet for at least ten years, it was a gift, and I am really happy to have it back along with some faith in knowing the good samaritan is alive and well. And there is a tiny little tooth hole in the wallet where Precious carried it in her mouth which will serve as a pleasant reminder.

The Hornets

I went to a Hornets game last night and the turnout was pretty meager. I’m not really a basketball fan, but I like to go to a couple of games a year because it is always really fun and it isn’t very much money, either. You can get tickets for as low as $10 a game. Here is their remaining schedule for the season – I encourage people to go – there is a lot of entertainment if basketball isn’t your thing!


Getting It

For those who didn’t read the Chris Rose column on Sunday, it’s well worth digesting. I went through a stage of not reading his work, since he went kinda off the deep end for a while. But, like so many, he found his legs again with the help of anti-depressants and now he’s back to being, well, just your normal New Orleans whackjob as opposed to being Dangerously or Chemically Bizarre (see a previous entry).

As the year winds to a close, the same questions persist about why we remain here, given the never-ending list of small problems that would have long ago driven your average Joe or Jane around the bend, out to I-10 and headed toward Anywhere But Here. It’s like being pecked to death by ducks — one blow is only slightly bothersome but repeated and incessant attacks can drive one bonkers. But, realistically, the only options are to 1) stay or 2) go.

Benefit for Bob

La Crepe Nanou's Bob Strong   La Crepe Nanou's Bob Strong

Update: I found out today that Bob was transferred to another facility where he will continue to get the care he needs for a few weeks when he will have another surgery. I thought it was unlikely that he could have gone home so soon.

Update: I was informed that the information I had about Bob’s condition has been changing. Today, when I tried to go see him in the hospital, I was informed he’s been discharged. Overall this is good news. I am trying to go see him at home this week. I am assuming this means he can eat something without a feeding tube, since they sent him home but I could be wrong. I am just happy that he got to get back home.

Robert Strong has been the bar manager at La Crepe Nanou for twenty-four years. He is very dear to all of us who frequent the restaurant. On Saturday, November 3, 2007 he was shot on St. Charles Ave. during an armed robbery. The incident left Bob initially in critical condition with major injury to his jaw.

How is Bob doing? He is still on a feeding tube and has had reconstructive surgery on his tongue. He cannot speak as his jaw is wired shut while it heals in stages for future surgery. He must communicate through a biting device and written notes. He requires five more surgeries to rebuild his jawbone and remains in inpatient care.

On Sunday, December 2nd, 2007, several area businesses will host a benefit to assist Bob with the cost of his surgeries and recovery at home in the year ahead and unite against the recent surge of violence in New Orleans.

Participating local restaurants include La Crepe Nanou, Galatoire’s, Cafe Degas, Dick & Jenny’s, Dante’s Kitchen, St. James Cheese Company, New Orleans Ice Cream Co., and many more. Area musicians Alex Chilton, Susan Cowsill, The Stringbeans, Herringbone Orchestra, and David Doucet and Al Tharp will perform throughout the evening. A silent auction will be held, with donations from artists, restaurants, and cultural institutions.

The benefit is from 3pm until 8pm at La Crepe Nanou, in the 1400 block of Robert Street. Tickets are $30.00 and include food, wine, and entertainment. Tickets may be purchased at La Crepe Nanou and The Wine Seller. All proceeds go directly to the Robert Strong Fund established at Capital One. Contact Aimee if you would like to send Bob a message of encouragement or would like to contribute :

Holiday reminder

For those of you hitting the road for the holiday, have safe travels and enjoy your time. But, once again, a reminder….

Forget traveling I-10 across the Atchafalaya between Baton Rouge and Lafayette. The gas blowout will take a while to cap. You’ll either have to go up to 190 between Baton Rouge and Opelousas or you’ll have to take Highway 90 between Morgan City and the Westbank.

Leave early and pack a sense of humor.

Realtor Boxes

Realtor Boxes at Washginton and Magazine St.   Realtor Box in Drain

I was at a meeting at Starbucks on Magazine St. at Washington Ave. this weekend. Sitting in front of the cafe, I looked up from my budget balance sheets to see this huge wall of realtor boxes outside on the sidewalk. I wondered how I had not noticed them before.

This isn’t a hard-core issue but out of curiosity I took a casual survey of a loop beginning at Washington Ave. along Magazine to Napoleon and up to St. Charles Ave. back to Louisiana Ave. I modestly counted 40 Realtor boxes in that area. Many were empty. All of them look like shit. None of them are secured, of course, so they are a potential liability during tropical weather season. Some cities in Florida are moving toward eliminating all of these boxes, newspapers included. Business owners got on board with a plan to only distribute this material from inside the business. It’s just one of those things you don’t really see . . . you know, until you do. And you sort of go, “wtf?”


I don’t care where they hold this stupid debate. I think they’re silly and only feed the idea of voting for a candidate based simply on a catchy soundbite. I figure Orlando might be a good place, since that city is already a well-known location for facades, dream worlds and all sorts of bogusness.

….but you’d think this bi-partisan commission could come up with a better excuse than New Orleans simply “isn’t ready” to handle all the goings-on. The story blinks its own eyes in disbelief in the second paragraph.

Gimme two Dixies and some parking meter change, mistuh

Good AP article about the status of the Dixie Brewery.

I’ve continued to buy Dixie in our post-K world, even though it’s not currently brewed here in town. I figure that even though some of the money wasn’t coming back to us, at least it’s helping support these folks until they CAN get back. We all gotta woik togeddah, and Dixie will be proudly served (as will Abita) once we get the restaurant licensed for beer/wine sales. I’m even planning to serve the Dixie in those little tiny glasses.

Oh yeah — and I’ve managed to find one of the very last cases of Falstaff brewed in this city. It’s a FULL case too. But it’s for display only.

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