Sunday, June 21, 2009

R.I.P. Le Jardin?

A for sale sign appeared outside our community garden this week. As neighborhood assoc pres. I got many phone calls and emails about it. The way it works is, the garden is on private land and can stay there as long as the the owner allows; the gardeners maintain the land and pay the water bill. Unbeknownst to the gardeners and even Parkway Partners, the land had been adjudicated by the city and sold for $20k in November 2007. The currently asking price is $89K. If anyone pays that much for the property I'm sure they are not going to leave a community garden on it but rather build a house or apartments. Many people in the neighborhood love the garden. Non-gardeners come to enjoy the green and tranquility. I suggested a few options such as, create an LLC or some other legal intity and buy the land ourselves; convince someone to buy the land and let the garden remain (hello Brad Pitt?); start looking into some of the other empty lots in the neighborhood and see if we can move the garden. I remains to be seen how it plays out. But it will be a sad day when the garden is gone.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The NY Times has a column called "Happy Days"

About Happy Days

The severe economic downturn has forced many people to reassess their values and the ways they act on them in their daily lives. For some, the pursuit of happiness, sanity, or even survival, has been transformed.

Happy Days is a discussion about the search for contentment in its many forms — economic, emotional, physical, spiritual — and the stories of those striving to come to terms with the lives they lead.

What a refreshing perspective now days when it seems all the media focuses on if the negative. I don't understand why the local news has to cover stories about murders and and what not in towns on the other side of the country. Leave that to the national news.

Today's "Happy Days" is about New Orleans. link The author, Dan Baum, seems to have really picked up on what makes people here tick - "Their preference for having more time than money was at the heart of what made that city so much fun to visit and so hard to leave."

And his closing sentence: "New Orleans can teach us that the life we build with our neighbors deserves at least as much attention as our endless thrust towards newer and bigger."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why does the 2nd District Police Station need a crime camera out front?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

2009 Lafitte Corridor Hike

I posted my photos from the hike to my Flickr account. There's supposed to be a way in embed a slide show on your blog and even in a post, but I haven't found any clear instruction on how-to and don't have the patience right now to figure it out. So if you want to see then here's the link:

If you want to see even more photos, there's a Lafitte Corridor group on Flickr:

This year's hike number exceed everyone's expectations. There were guest speakers and more stops. Massey's provided lunch and amazingly I think there was just enough for everyone. Massey's also paid for a bus to shuttle everyone back to the start but we exceeded the number of seats. A small group headed over to the Bulldog at the end of the hike to cool off and enjoy some libations.

My company designed a new logo for the Friend of Lafitte Corridor, and has been very well received. Their newly redesigned website looks great. Check it out here and learn more about the Corridor and the project:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Quick car update: I got my car back, after a few sweaty days of riding the streetcar to work. Got a new ECM relay, battery terminals and a fuse. Everything seems to be working now *fingers crossed.*

When I worked downtown I used to ride the streetcar every day. Some people think it's just a tourist thing but it's not. I must say I'm impressed by their punctuality. I checked the times on the RTA web site and they were right on. The first day I just missed it. I was drenched in sweat by the time I got to the office. After the first day I got smart and took a change of clothes with me. Yesterday I had one of those drivers with the fun personalities. The machine didn't want to take my dollar and he was cracking jokes the whole time. "Did you print that dollar last night?" Most of them are pretty nice. I remember the one man (pre-K) who would talk to the cars. "Whooo, hold that buggy!" he'd say when a car looked like it was going to cross in front.

Last weekend we did the Lafitte Corrodor Hike (I need to post photos!) and we rode the Canal Street line back to our car downtown. A great way to ride.

Friday, June 05, 2009

When you have 13-year-old car, you can expect it to break down from time to time. About a week ago I had trouble starting it. Turn the key – nothing. I checked the battery, nothing loose, wiggled some things around. After turning the key a few more time it started up. Had to turn the key a number of times to get it started at the end of day. The next morning, no problems. Didn’t have any problems until Wednesday. Took a number of times to get started. I should have taken the car into the mechanic then. Live and learn. Yesterday I had no problems. I had decided to go ahead and take it in today, and idea confirmed when it took many time to get it started. Driving along I noticed my radio kept powering off and on. All of a sudden it just turned off completely. I managed to coast over to the side. Turn the key, nothing. Mess with the battery and wires, still nothing. After a while I call AAA for a tow. I was told 45 minutes, so I sat and waited. As I’m sitting there, a trickle of very nicely dressed people start parking around me and going to the church across the street (I was broken down next to the post office on Louisiana Ave.) More and more people arrive. I’m guessing it’s a funeral. I notice men in gold blazers with “Zulu” on them. The crowd grows; a cop starts to direct traffic. I’m worried about my tow truck getting to me. I hear a brass band in the distance but I can’t see them. Now I’m kind of hoping my tow truck doesn’t show up for a while. A procession comes down LA Ave. and goes into the church. There were about 100 men in gold blazers standing on LA Ave, swaying to the dirge the band was playing, like they were marching in place. It’s been 50 minutes I call AAA. The truck is 5 miles away will be there in 20 minutes. An elderly woman walked by me asked if I needed help. I told her thank you but no, I was waiting for a tow truck. She said she read about the man who had died in the paper yesterday. “Must have been someone important, that’s a lot of people.” I agreed with her. The music stopped and slowly the men swaying in the street file into the church as other people file out. At long last the tow truck arrives and he gives the battery a jump and the car starts. He says I need a new battery and I tell him the other things that happened and that I was worried it would died again, so he says he’ll follow me to the mechanics. We go 4 blocks and my car conks out. He jumps it again. While standing there, my friend Michael, who lived near by, walks up “I saw on your Facebook status you had broken down and was wondering if you were close by.” I had posted the photo you see here to Facebook. I get in my car and we drive another 2 blocks. The tow truck driver states, “I’ll need to tow it.” No shit Sherlock.

I had not heard from my mechanic and it was getting to be the end of the day so I gave them a call. "It started right up" I was told. I was pissed and went off on a rant of the problems it gave me. They can keep it until they figure out the problem. I walked home which was good for the nerves. Monday the saga will continue.