Friday, December 12, 2008

Festivus on Freret

This Saturday the Freret Market is having "Freretstivus" with double the vendors, double the free music and Festivus Festivities. So bundle up and come support local vendors and bands.

Saturday December 13th from Noon to 5 pm on Freret between Napoleon and Valence
Join us around the Festivus Pole, Airing (and reading) of Grievances, gift exchange, Flattery Booth, Insult Booth, and the Mighty Feats of Strength--See how many Big Easy Rollergirls can you pull on a rope?

Also featuring 130 Vendors with local art, food, produce, craft and junk, plus six bands for free on two stages.

Market Stage
The Space Heaters at Noon
String Beans at 1:45
Billy Iuso and Restless Natives at 3:30

Freret Stage
Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots at Noon
Viva! Los Americanos at 1:45
Los Poboycitos at 3:30

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Today's Big News Item

It's snowed this morning! Honest to goodness snow. G wasn't as impressed at first having grown up in New Jersey, however I was excited - I'm from Florida and can probably count on one hand the number of time I've been in snow. It was raining this morning and as I was making some breakfast I noticed the rain was different. It had started sleeting. After about 20 minutes of that it was full on snow. Then G was impressed. We drove to work together and the snow was amazing. I walked around by my office and took more pictures since the snow was starting to accumalate. Around 10:30am it turned back to sleet and now it's just melting. Boo hoo.

Our house, in the snow!

G throwing a snowball at me.

My friend's house. Such a pretty picture!

The cemetery by my office.

The last time it snowed was Christmas day 2004. We missed it because we were in Baton Rouge and they didn't get snow. Has hell freezed over? Is it because Dollar Bill Jefferson was finally defeated? Someone on said it means the Saints are going to the superbowl (riiiight). An other momentous, weather related even happened 8 months after the last snowfall... I hope history doen't repeat itself.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Here's the other side of the renovated house on our street. There's a gate so this is close as I can get. There's another set of French doors you can't see. Such a cute side gallery!
Today has been one of those days when I really love my neighborhood. G and I walked over to the elementary school to cast our votes in today’s election (Congressional seat). We ran into some neighbors from around the corner we hadn’t seen in a while and caught up with them. We then walked up to Magazine Street. We were right by Katy Beh Contemporary Jewelry so we popped in to say hi to Katy. G needed to go to Harry’s Ace Hardware so we walked by there. I continued on because I needed to stop at Breaux Mart to buy some veggies for the soup I wanted to make. Along the way I stopped in Buffalo Exchange and bought a sweater. Walking back from the grocery, I stopped in a relatively new store “Francesca’s.” I’m pleased to report that it is not your typical overpriced ladies boutique that only carries size 0 and 2. The sales clerks were friendly and I got some really cute gifts for some people and a new top pour moi. Much like San Fran and NYC, two of my fav cities, you can actually walk to places you want to go. We also have a drug store, Martin Wine Cellar, some great restaurants, bars, coffee houses and a bunch of other shops. Only thing missing is a great bakery and cheese shop. Technically I could walk to St. James and La Boulangerie‎, but it’s a bit more of a hike. The new Border’s opened up and that’s close by too, but I think I’ll make the trip to Octavia Books instead. Remember: buy local for your holiday gift giving and every day!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Eyesore update

The POS house on our street has been renovated! And there was much rejoicing. I first commented about the house last December. I forget when it sold but I noted back in June that renovation work had been started, so they worked on it for 4-5 months.




I'm always amazed at what can be done to house that looks like it's about to fall over. The paint color are a little on the bright side, but they should weather nicely. They are cleaning up the job site today so maybe someone will move in soon.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I’m been tagged.

Thanks to one camping adverse individual (at least he likes cats), I have been tagged by Adrastos. We're supposed to post the rules so here it goes.

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up

6 random things…. Uhhhhhhh… I think I’ll look through my emails and see if something inspires me.

1. I like my in-laws. Really I do. And my mother-in-law is a cook-ass cook so I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving there. Just got an email saying she’s making pumpkin pie. Yum!

2. I dislike Dr. Pepper. Reminds me of some medicine I had to take as a kid. Yuck. Shrimp Po-boy (tag!) sent me something about free Dr. Pepper because Guns n Roses released an album. Whatever.

3. I’m the president of my neighborhood association and it’s taught me that I do not want to be a public servent or be in politics.

4. I spend waaaaaay too much time on Facebook. Which is why I don’t blog as often. Too busy sending drinks, poking people, farming and playing word games. Tug Boat (tag!) and I have an on-going game of Scrabble. I’m currently kickin’ his ass. He he.

5. Two more? Ugh. OK I like to whine. And complain. I’m really a positive person but sometimes I like to rant. Salty Miss Jill is my hero. (tag!)

6. I hate to run. Worst exercise ever. Ugh.

So let’s see... Shrimp Po-boy, Tug Boat, Salty Jill. Lip Rap, Bigezbear and Dangerblond. Please don’t hate me.

See everyone at the Po-Boy fest Sunday! If I tagged you I’ll buy you a beer if I see you there. How’s that?

Friday, November 14, 2008

From my in-box- re: Letten

Hey all – I know I’ve been in touch with some of you concerning Jim Letten. We have started a letter writing campaign encouraging our leaders to keep Mr. Letten in New Orleans as he is about the only one who has been able to actually start cleaning up the political and criminal mess here. We’ve stressed to everyone that it doesn’t matter how you voted last week – the bottom line is the vital importance that Letten remain in office. Many of you have sent emails to both Senators Landrieu and Vitter and their response has been encouraging.

However, we got more information last night from another insider who has alerted us that even though we are voicing very loudly our desire to keep Letten, it’s not looking positive. Sadly, the political games may trump what is best for NOLA. Our inside contact has suggested we now bombard Rep. Karen Carter Peterson with letters in support of Letten – saying the more she hears from her constituents, the better.

I have enclosed her contact information and would encourage everyone to send an email -- then fax it. I’ve also included her legislative aide’s name and phone number and a call may not hurt as this will stress our desire to keep Letten in office so he can continue his work in NOLA. For those who have not written, I’ve enclosed all other contacts that we are approaching. If you feel as strongly about keeping Letten here, please send a message to all folks below and pass this email on to everyone you know. This fight is too important and we need our voices heard.

Rep. Karen Carter Peterson
email is
phone is (504)568-8346, fax is (504)568-8405
Her legislative aide is LeBraun Robinson

Mary Landrieu
724 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1803
Phone: 202-224-5824
Fax: 202-224-9735

David Vitter
516 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1804
Phone: 202-224-4623
Fax: 202-228-5061

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Public service announcement: remember to always keep your crocker spaniel on a leash at all time.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Redevelopment of Copeland's on St. Charles - About time!

Dear District B Constituent,

Recently, CM Head was approached regarding the re-development of the Old Copeland’s restaurant located at 4338 St. Charles (corner of St. Charles and Napoleon). The developers currently own Superior Grill on Saint Charles and are interested in opening an upscale/ family seafood restaurant. Attached are artist renderings that depict the proposed facade. Notably, the plans require the leasing of 3 ½ feet of city sidewalk space (the sidewalk measures approximately 12 ½ feet) for occasional outdoor seating. We are not aware of any necessary zoning variances or waivers.

We would appreciate community input regarding the redevelopment. Accordingly, next Wednesday the developers, Gabe Garza and Joe Friend, will be available to discuss their proposed plans and answer any questions. This meeting will take place:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
6:00 p.m.
Sacred Heart’s Mater Library

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone who may be interested and I hope to see you all next week.

Theresa R. Becher, J.D.
Legislative Aide
District "B"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And on the gastronomical side...

A new cafe has opened on Magazine Street - Gott Gourmet - 3100 Magazine Street (across from The Rendezvous). They have fantastic sandwiches and salads. Also a plus, all their take-out packaging is biodegradable and compostable. Try them out!
FEMA is a four letter word

The Lyon's Center on the corner of Tchoup and Louisiana is in my neighborhood and since Katrina, people have been paying more attention to it. The latest saga of the park: FEMA, after being pressured by the City Council, laid new sod at the park after removing the FEMA trailers. The sod was looking good, kids were playing on the fields ect. Then one day it was locked. Here's what we found out (this put together from two emails).

I just got off of the phone with Keith J. Wright, deputy director of NORD. He returned my call asking about why the Lyons Center baseball field was locked. He explained that FEMA has not released the property back to the city. Apparently the locks on the gates are a measure taken either by FEMA directly or the contractor who is handling the refurbishment of the park to protect the sod and allow it to take hold on the field as well as to protect the park from vandalism. (There was an instance where some kids were in the park and a pipe was broken and had to be repaired.)

I asked Mr. Wright when we could expect to have our park back and he said that it was supposed to happen in October, but with the storms we have had that date has been extended. Mr. Wright could not give me a firm date, but expects us to be able to use the park again in the next few months.
. . .

I just spoke with Keith Wright at NORD (658-3000). In substance, I am told that I cannot write to this mysterious person at FEMA who is holding our neighborhood's field hostage. Mr. Wright assured me he would call and voice my concerns, but politely refused to tell me who at FEMA had the authority to go to the field, see that the sod has taken root and open our field back to the public.
Apparently, the "official" turnover date from FEMA to NORD has not occurred (and no one seems to know what this date is), and when the water main was vandalized, the contractor (who had left the field unlocked after laying the sod) was required by FEMA to repair the damages. So, the contractor understandably has locked the field pending FEMA's decision to turn it over to NORD.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Amendments on Oct 4 ballot

From: Michael Cowan
Sent: Saturday, September 20, 2008 7:31 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients
Subject: A decisive vote

Dear Common Good leaders,

In just over one week, New Orleans voters will have the opportunity to cast what may be the most important vote in the history of local government. That vote will not be to elect a candidate but rather to change decisively the way two important institutions—City Hall and NOPD—function. On the October 4th ballot will be an amendment to the city charter that will protect the newly established Office of the Inspector General from political interference by future mayors and city councils, whose decisions the inspector general will be monitoring. The amendment will also establish an independent monitor for the NOPD, who will report to the inspector general.

We need an independent inspector general because most citizens and business owners, and many state and national elected officials, perceive New Orleans city government as wasteful and contaminated by patronage and corruption. Unless this perception is changed, local residents and business owners, as well as potential public and private outside investors, will continue to be reluctant to bet on the future of New Orleans. The future of the city hinges on those investments.

We need an independent police monitor now because trust between the police department and residents of some New Orleans’ neighborhoods is so low that many people will not report crime or testify against criminals because they feel that they have been treated disrespectfully or brutally by police officers, while others feel that the police are not doing enough to protect them. Our crime problem cannot be effectively addressed without trust between citizens and police. An independent monitor’s office is a nationally recognized way of rebuilding that trust.

Members of the city council are appearing with Inspector General Robert Cerasoli on the following dates to speak briefly with citizens about this important vote and answer your questions. Please invite your members and associates to attend one.

Council member Mr. Fielkow, 9/23, 6:00 p.m., Touro Synagogue, 4238 St. Charles Avenue
Council member Carter, 9/24, 6:30 p.m., St. Jude Community Center, 411 N. Rampart
Council member Head, 9/27, 10:00 a.m., 2020 Jackson Avenue
Council member Midura, 9/29, 6:30 p.m., Grace Episcopal Church, 3700 Canal Street

The Common Good network of institutions has worked with council member Shelley Midura and other elected officials for the establishment of an inspector general’s office for almost three years, and actively supported the efforts of council member James Carter to establish the independent police monitor for the past year. On October 4th, the citizens of New Orleans can provide these two critical offices with the maximum independence possible under city, state and federal law.

Please do all that you can to encourage local voters to seize this rare opportunity to make New Orleans a city that operates fairly and effectively for all her citizens.

For the common good,
Michael Cowan
Loyola University
Makes my head hurt.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Geaux 'Noles!

Shrimp Po-Boy
and I have been talking about getting FSU fans together to watch the games and we are finally making it happen.

What: FSU vs. Wake Forest
When: Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Big Al's Seafood (1377 Annunciation St., New Orleans, LA 70130)

The FSU game starts at 6:00 and the LSU game at 6:45. I'm not sure how crowded they get but let's get there at 5:30 to get a good spot and beat the rush.

If you want to join us, leave a comments and how many people so we can get a head count.

UPDATE: Original stated times were Eastern.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A glorious cold front came through. It’s like Mother Nature’s way of saying “sorry for all the really crappy weather the last few weeks.” I’m sure it’s a relief for the people who are still waiting for their electricity to come back on. My brother-in-law in Baton Rouge finally got power on the 11th and another friend as of Saturday still didn’t have power. It will get hot again I know. But not beastly hot like August.

The power and size of Ike really took people by surprise. And while I don’t want to wish harm or disaster on anyone, there was some smug satisfaction to all those who after Katrina said things like “why do people live down there where they get hurricanes?” Flooding in Indiana and Ohio from a tropical storm? Who would have thunk it. Weather happens. Everywhere. Talking with a friend of mine who I grew up with in Florida, I was surprised how little she knew about hurricanes. I later realized there weren’t many big storms then, not until Andrew, not like now. I’ve become an expert on them after living in New Orleans. People here still talk about hurricanes Betsy (1965) and Camille (1969). I couldn’t believe the people on the Texas barrier island who were staying for Ike. It’s not crazy to live somewhere hurricanes hit, it’s crazy to stay when a hurricane is coming right at you. People on the news in coastal Texas and Louisiana said things like “the water’s never gotten this high” or “I’ve never seen the water come up so fast.” Every storm is different and you just never know what’s going to happen. I slacked off this year on my hurricane food supply. Thankfully we haven’t needed it, but I’m not going to let it slide again. Here to hoping this is my last hurricane related post for a long time.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Just after I posted, I got this in my in-box:

Today - in broad daylight - two of our neighbors were held up at gunpoint and robbed. This took place in the 700 block of Constantinople.

Our two female neighbors were talking. It seems that there was a car that passed them. The car dropped off two of the African American teenagers who walked down the street and held them up at gunpoint. We think the car then circled the block and picked up the thieves.

Some neighbors got a partial license plate. Police are searching for them. We will let you know when we hear more.

Apparently here is their method of operation: Four young men in car (a black Maxima this time) drive around until they see a target of opportunity (in this case two women standing along the side of the street). They pass by the women and stop on the next block letting two out of the car to walk back to do the robbery. The get-away-car then drives around the block and picks up the robbers after the job is done and then they all flee.
It seems like the winds from Ike have FINALLY died down. It’s amazing how big the storm was. The tree that was leaning towards our house after Gustav is thankfully NOT leaning on our house after all the additional wind. And I’m glad to report our friends Simon and Suzanne in Houston made it through the storm with only minor damage and with power!

I ventured out this morning to the Farmer’s Market downtown. The streets were quiet but the market was bustling. It was moved next door, inside an old one-story building. I took my kitchen knives to be sharpened. I had to hang out and wait a little while after I finished my shopping, but there was good people watching. I did learn today if you see something you want buy it then, don’t wait or it maybe gone. I had my eye on some cut sunflowers but wanted to get them last but they were all gone when I got there. When I picked up my knives the guy apologized for taking so long. He said he had (former councilperson) Peggy Wilson’s to do first and that they were a lot duller than mine. When I told G this story he said “I always thought she wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.” (rim shot) After the market I hustled over to Parkway Partners. On the second Saturday they have talks and sell plants. Today was about fall gardening and free seeds were given out. Since I got there late I missed out on the plants for sale but did take home an aloe plant. They had a chicken coup in the garden there; when I was in Albuquerque, I visited one of Dorie’s friends who raises fancy chickens in her backyard. It’s got me thinking… fresh eggs from my own backyard. I asked G to think about it. I also stopped by Green Parrot to replace my herbs that died during Gustav. Many of the plants there were pretty battered. They are located at the end of Nashville St. next to the train tracks and it’s very exposed. I then visited the community garden to see how it fared. A few small trees got blown over and a big branch is dangling over part of my plot. It looks like it bounced on my okra plants. I think they are goners. It’s time to pull them out and get the soil ready for my fall garden but the wind was still gusting and it was so amazingly humid. It’s always humid here but this was like 120% humidity. I decided to spend the rest of the day inside. Laundry and my road trip travelogue were calling.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I’ve been lying low since returning home. Things were strange those first few days, but to expected. Not nearly as strange as coming home after Katrina. Local businesses, especially groceries, restaurants and bars, were quick to open. Monday was a nice, normal day. I got up, went to work, worked, came home from work, made dinner, and drank wine. It was good. We don’t see the National Guard in our area of town any more. The power has gone out for short periods of time, just enough to have to reset all the clocks, but nothing major. Some Katrina flashbacks: piles of debris on the side of the road; that horrible stench from everyone cleaning out their fridges before leaving and then the garbage sitting out in the heat for a week; random traffics lights being out.

We started feeling some effects of Ike as early as this morning… sporadic wind gusts and rain. Saw some pretty dark and nasty clouds on my way home from work and briefly caught some heavy rain. My father called me at work to see if we were leaving or what. No. We should get some strong winds and rain but nothing to leave for. The worst should be tonight through Friday night. I’ll be happy once is gets past us. Best of luck to my friends in Texas!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Hurricane Cocktails

Usually email forwards aren't worth posting, but I'll make an exception for this one.

1 1/2 oz. Absolute Ruby Red vodka
1/2 oz. vermouth
Prune juice
Combine vodka and vermouth in cocktail glass. Fill remainder of glass with
equal parts clamato and prune juice. Stir. Drink. Ask next-door neighbor
whose tree blew over and crashed onto your roof - even though you'd
warned him for months to uproot it - if you can use his bathroom. Repeat.


1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. tequila
1/2 oz. rum
1/2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. gin
Sweet-and-sour mix
Splash of fruit juice
Combine vodka, tequila, rum, bourbon and gin in a tall glass. Fill
remainder of glass with sweet-and-sour mix and splash of juice. Stir, then
garnish with an inverted drink umbrella. Drink during peak storm hours, and
vow not to believe anyone who tries to tell you the hurricane that flooded
your garage and destroyed your shed was just a Category 1.


1 oz. cinnamon schnapps
1 sugar cone
Pour the schnapps into the sugar cone. Every time you hear a TV weatherman
say, 'cone of probability,' bite off the end of the cone and down the shot.
If you hear Jim Cantore say it, drink two shots consecutively. (they should
change this to the 'Cantore Zone'... damn him.
Have you ever noticed that, despite all the cone of probability talk, if
Cantore is parked in front of your house your ass is toast?)


2 oz. Midori
2 oz. rum
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
After your home loses power, combine Midori and rum in a cocktail glass.
Add a scoop of the vanilla ice cream that is melting in your freezer. Stir,
and drink through a straw.


1 1/2 oz. Goldschläger
1 1/2 oz. apple brandy
1 pack Sugar in the Raw
Combine Goldschläger, apple brandy and sugar in cocktail glass. As you drink, seriously contemplate moving your Yankee butt back to New Jersey where it belongs.


1 1/2 oz. rum
5 oz. Jolt Cola
Combine ingredients in a cocktail glass.
Drink while trying to figure out how the heck you're supposed to go two
freakin' weeks without television and AC.


2 oz. Kahlúa
2 oz. Baileys Irish cream
4 oz. rum
Serve in a 6-ounce glass and laugh-cry deliriously as the mess spills
all over the countertop.


2 oz. Blue Aftershock
4 oz.. Sprite
Combine in a cocktail glass with crushed ice you received after
waiting in line for three hours at a mall parking lot. Take a deep
breath, sip and scream like a little girl when the cold beverage hits
your tongue.


1 oz. Jack Daniel's
Splash of sarsaparilla
Rock salt
Load both barrels of a shotgun with rock salt.
Climb to the roof of your house with gun, bottle of Jack Daniel's and
can of sarsaparilla. Fill shot glass with Jack and splash of
sarsaparilla. Watch for looters. When you spot one, blast him with
rock salt. Drink shot. Repeat.


1 oz. Goldschläger
1 oz. Rumplemintz
3 oz. Jim Beam
Splash of vermouth
Combine Goldschläger, Rumplemintz and Jim Beam in an empty soup can.
Add splash of vermouth. Drink. Remove chain saw from garage and attempt
to cut up fallen tree limbs in yard. Ask neighbor to drive you to
hospital when it all goes horribly wrong.


1 1/2 oz. vodka
1 1/2 oz. vodka and Midori
1 1/2 oz. vodka and Galliano
1 1/2 oz. vodka and grenadine
Pour each ingredient into a separate shot glass. Serve one to yourself
and three other people. The person with the clear shot of vodka drinks
first.. The person to his right drinks the Midori shot, and so on. If
somebody drinks out of order, develop a quick case of road rage and
beat the living crap out of him.


1 1/2 oz. Curacao
2 oz. pineapple juice
Splash of lime
Combine ingredients in a leaky paper cup and serve.
Wait six to eight months for someone to repair the cup.
If you're impatient, hire an unlicensed, out-of-state contractor to do
the job for an exorbitant sum and pray he doesn't hurt himself in the


1 1/2 oz. Southern Comfort
2 oz. sloe gin
Tonic water
One week after the storm has passed and your neighborhood is still in
ruins with no sign of help on the way, combine Southern Comfort and gin
in a cocktail glass. Fill remainder with tonic and add a dash of
Angostura bitters. Serve with a nut brownie.
Before drinking, raise the glass and say the toast, 'Doing a helluva
job Brownie

Saturday, September 06, 2008

G and went to our office since the power is back on. We needed to lug our computers and files back and set up to get back to work Monday. It’s very quite over here, strangely quiet. I don’t know what to do with myself this weekend since nothing is going on and I’ve had the last few days to unpack, clean the house, etc. I never did go on the bike ride yesterday. I may ride with a friend tomorrow. Thankfully there's football to watch as a distraction.

G called his folks and they said they were told they should have power by 6pm tonight. That’s impressive. G’s brother who lives in Baton Rouge still does not have power. I need to refill my prescription, which means a trek to the Target on the Westbank. Hopefully I’ll find an open gas station. One good thing about only going to the in-laws to evacuate is I still have half a tank of gas.

I’m trying not to get excited about Ike yet. It is too far away to call accurately. I’m not paying any attention to what comes out of C. Ray’s mouth ever again. I’m only listening to Bob Breck and watching Weather Underground. I really don’t look forward to evacuating again or trying to get Hana into her cat carrier. She drew blood from both me and G when we were putting her in to bring her home. I wonder if there’s a small dart gun we could pop a tranquilizer into her, like they do on the wild life shows. I tried luring her in with shrimp but she’s too smart. The shrimp did get her out of her hiding spot. Speaking of shrimp, Kyoto, our favorite sushi restaurant reopened last night and it was packed. No Who Dat ?! rolls though – no oysters. Oh the indignity!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Slowly the city gets repopulated. When we drove in Wednesday evening, it was quiet, hardly any traffic. Yesterday, we had breakfast at Slim Goodies (reduced menu and cash only). We walked over to the just opened Breaux Mart to pick up a few things. A woman told us the butchers were in their way in and they would have meat in a few hours. The only other thing they didn’t have was bread, but she said she was working on that as well. The rest of the day was spent unpacking, cleaning up, upboarding etc. Later that day, we drove by Martins Wine Cellar on Magazine (closed) and Rouses. There was a line to get into Rouses and they had little produce and no meat, but everything else. We took Magazine from Napoleon down to Washington. Almost every restaurant was open! Walgreens was open as was the Bulldog, Balcony Bar and Rendezvous. After unloading our groceries, G texted the Mad Irish Man “Rendezvous is open.” He replied “I’m on my way.” We decided to be social and headed over. It was good to see familiar faces, sit in the AC and drink a cold pint. We walked over to Reginelli’s for dinner. It felt like Mardi Gras! The street was clogged with traffic and people were walking all over the place. The restaurants were packed. This just 24 hours after we got back into a silent city. I think I’m going to hop on my bike and explore and see if the power is back on at my office.

Plug: my friend's bar in Mid-City is open with cold beer, food, AC and TV: Mid-City Yacht Club, 440 South St. Patrick Street.

Saw this bumper sticker on a car in the Rouse's parking lot: "If you have been reading this for the past 14 hours, you must be evacuating."

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It was so good to sleep in my own bed again. I’ve been on the move for the last 12 days having one adventure after another. Where to begin? I guess I will work my way backwards.

We arrived home yesterday around 5:00pm. We drove back home the way we came, on Hwy 61/Airline Hwy. It was smooth sailing except for traffic lights that were out; they became 4-way stops, which slowed things down. When we arrived home about 3 hours later (usually a 1.5 hr drive) G talked to one neighbor who was working in his yard and I talked to another over his fence. We unloaded the car and then looked around. A few sheets of corrugated metal got pulled off the shed roof but thankfully they didn’t go flying. A tree next to our house is now leaning towards the house. It didn’t fall on it and thankfully it didn’t take out the phone line. Fence neighbor said he didn’t notice any missing roof shingles on our house. I replied “there better not be, that’s a brand new roof.” The cats are elated to be back home. We have full power, water, phone and Internet. Today I will check out the grocery stores. We cleaned out the fridge before leaving so we need some perishables. It is very quiet. No traffic on the streets, no noise from the port. Just the occasional helicopter fly-over and a NOPD or a National Guard patrol drive-by.

It was miserable at Linwood. No power, no phone. The temperature was rising and the humidity was suffocating. The love bugs were swarming. Before we left, G helped his father put the window unit in so they could have AC. The cell signal was weak and many times in the middle of sending a text message I would lose the signal and have to try again later. It was a throw back to years past. My mother-in-law and I would sit on the back gallery fanning ourselves, trying to move as little as possible. Extension cords ran all over the place, plugging the TV and other things into the generator. You had to be careful not to trip over them.

Tuesday, the day after, would normally be clean up day but it was raining. Also, the debris was pretty big – whole trees were down, 7 total! It’s a miracle that none fell on the house. We did all go out to clear the mile-long gravel lane that leads to the street. No major trees fell, just large limbs, something we could handle.

Two large oaks that went over

G next to roots for scale

So sad.

We watched the local news and they did a good job covering the whole state, not just the Baton Rouge area. The press conferences by Gov. Bobby Jindal were a test of patience. He said so much and talked so fast you would zone out only to snap to when you heard something that was important to you. WWL 870 am was also a good source of information. Reading some of my fellow bloggers, there were many complaints about CNN.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Quick post - we are home and have power, phone and water. Not sure about internet. We are glad to be back! More details to come.

Monday, September 01, 2008

It is coming up on 8pm. I haven't been able to log in to make an update. The wind is still blowing but the worst is over. Several big trees blew over but none on Linwood (the house). The generator is going and we will be eating dinner soon.The poor kitties have been hiding under a bed all day. But we are all doing fine.

Uptown New Orleans seems to have suffered only minor damage which is encouraging.
We are coming up on 4pm. At 2:45 the eye wall passed near us at Zachary, LA. It has been pretty bad ever since. Strong winds plus huge gusts. Lots of limbs down - one whole pecan tree over and a front window got blown that G and his dad had to board up. But they got the generator going which is running the fridge and TV. This is worse here than it was for Katrina because the storm is west of us - Katrina was east. But all in we are fine.
12:44pm and we just lost power. The wind has picked up with some pretty strong gusts. The wind is coming from the east which means the eye is due south of us. A steady light rain and just some small branches down. Now is when things get boring but I will take boring right now.
It is just after 9am here at Linwood (name of my in-laws house) I was just going to write it has been quiet, just a steady breeze with a little bit of wind, but the first gust just blew. We feel fortunate we still have power - we are out in the country with plenty of trees. We know it is not IF the power goes out but when. We are prepared. I got a full night sleep and long hot shower, but feel drained from a week of travel and the last couple of stressful days. But I can relax for now. Maybe I will plug in my computer, download my trip photos and write up some notes from my trip. Or maybe I will go sit out on the gallery and watch the wind. Or maybe take a nap.

I did want to do my "national news is crap" rant. If you really want to know what is going on in New Orleans, log on to or Google "New Orleans news" and check out the local tv stations' web sites. Turn off CNN and Fox. Watching them after Katrina I can tell you they make stuff up or pass off speculation as fact.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

We are exhausted but safe and sound, relaxing at my in-laws house, enjoying a glass of wine. When we left, New Orleans was a ghost town, crawling with police and National Guard. I have been on the go since 4:30am - oofa! We are north of Baton Rouge in a house that survived the Civil War and many hurricanes. We rode Katrina out here. This time around we have a generator and a window unit - woohoo. Luck has been on my side. The airport was being locked down when I arrived. It was packed and the look on the people's faces when me and the other 25 people walked off the plane was "you guys are nuts." I think I got the last taxi cab too. I gave the driver a very generious tip. He said he was staying. A couple of our neighbors are staying. For our evacuation drive, we stayed off the interstate and made very good time. Most people had already left and traffic was light. Wish us luck and I will post more when there is something to report. Now it is wait and see.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My road trip has been quite a blast, and those of you on Facebook have had some idea of my travels. I was supposed to fly back to New Orleans Wednesday, but with Hurricane Gustav bearing down, Dorie and I left Amarillo, TX at 5am in hopes I could catch the 11:55am flight out of Albuquerque. We made it to the airport in time, around 10am, but there were no more flights. I'm not exactly sure why, something about no more connections from Dallas to NOLA. I am now booked on the 6am flight out which gets me into New Orleans around 11:30 am Sunday. If I don't get home before the storm, I'm afraid it will be another week before I can. So now I'm at Dorie's trying to sit tight.

G and I will probably evacuate to his parents' house north of Baton Rouge if the storm doesn't turn. So that's the news from here, I'll keep you posted.

I will say, the iPhone rocks! The maps saved our butts a couple of times and the internet access has kept me connected and in the loop (maybe too well).

The one weatherman I trust, Bob Breck, has a blog now, which I will be keeping a close eye on.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tonight I plan on going over to Tipatina’s to check out the “battle” of the high school marching band that’s part of the Instruments A Comin' initiative. I was in band in Jr. High (flute) and loved marching band. The bands are one of my favorite parts of Mardi Gras parades and college football games. I was very happy to read that one of my fav musicians, and fellow Floridian, Tom Petty, donated a sizable chunk of change to the effort.

I think this quote from John Summers sums it up well:
"When you put a horn in a student's hands, you've taken him off the street for four hours," Tiller said. "And when he's done (with rehearsal), he's so tired that he's going home and going to sleep. If every band has 100 kids, and you've got 15 high schools, that's 1,500 kids off the street.

"We're not just making music. We're saving kids."
One week until I leave for my road trip!

I’m bummed I’m going to miss Rising Tide III but I will go to the meet n greet at Buffa’s Friday night.

We have our route roughed out, but it isn’t hard and fast and no real time line, except we must be in Albuquerque by Sept 2. I’ve got my AAA Camp Books so we can find camp grounds and my AAA maps for GA, NC, TN, AK, OK and TX.

August 23 Dorie and I will meet in the Atlanta airport and fly into Augusta and spend the night with her sister and bro-in-law. Sunday we will drive up to visit her parents who are at their cabin in the Smokey Mountains. Because of this detour we won’t be going through Chattanooga, but heading to Nashville. From Nashville, we’ll hop onto the Natchez Trace and take that down to Tupelo and then over to Memphis. After Memphis it’s I-40 all the way, with detours of course. Hot Springs, AK is one, for a hike and a soak. We’re thinking we’ll just drive straight through Oklahoma unless someone can come up with something else besides the Cowboy Museum. The Amarillo area will be our destination, home of the Cadillac Ranch and the “Grand Canyon of Texas.” After that’s it’s the home stretch to Albuquerque. If time permits and we still want more hiking we’ll go to 3 Rivers Petroglyph Site south of Albqu. September 3 I fly back to NOLA, refreshed and relaxed (I hope). Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Prospect What?

Maybe I’m out of touch with the New Orleans art scene but I haven’t heard anything about Prospect.1, except from a couple of clients who are gearing up for it.

Prospect.1 New Orleans will be the largest international exhibition of contemporary art ever presented in the United States, showcasing the work of 80 artists from around the globe while establishing New Orleans as a major center for contemporary visual art exhibitions.

It seems to me this will be a very big deal for New Orleans. It puts it in the same league as New York, Paris, Venice and other “art” cities. Is it because it’s still 3 months away? Or because Saints/LSU/Tulane football season is around the corner?

With Prospect.1 New Orleans' policy of free admission, extended hours and daily guided tours, and through significant outreach efforts, it is projected that more than half the people visiting the exhibition will come from within the state of Louisiana. Within New Orleans, a full-time education coordinator will organize free bus transportation and age-appropriate docent guides to the exhibition for all public school children K-12. It is also anticipated that thousands of art lovers will visit New Orleans for the opening of Prospect.1 New Orleans, and thousands more to see the exhibition during its eleven-week run (Saturday, November 1st, 2008 until January 18, 2009).
So mark your calendars art lovers.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sometime earlier this week, Wall Arch at Arches National Park in Utah fell. An arch is a natural formation made by wind and Arches NP was full of them, hence the name. Some parks may have one or two arches, but Arches had them all over. It was like being in a Road Runner cartoon. The dessert really looked like the cartoons, which was a bit of a surprise for me, having grown up in Florida. I visited Arches in the summer of 2000. It was to be the first of future annual hiking trips with my friend D. We were a little over ambitious, this being our first trip and all, though we still had a blast.

I flew into Las Vegas and D and I packed up Big Red, her pick-up, and drove the 452 miles to Moab, UT. I don’t think we realized how long the drive was. I remember it being very late, like 11 pm when we rolled into town. It was too late to find a campground, but we did find a hotel, that looked like log cabin, to crash for the night. The next morning we drove the short trip to Arches. It’s a huge, sprawling park and you can see quite a bit from the comfort of your car. But not us, we wanted to hike! We picked the “Devils Garden” trail where we saw Wall Arch along with Navajo, Partition, Landscape, Double O and Private Arches. Devils Garden was a 7.2 mi hike and it was blistering hot so the name was appropriate. There were cool narrow ledges and fins to walk on and of course, lots of arches. The next day we took a rafting trip on the Colorado. It was perfect after a long hot day of hiking. We spent more time out side the raft, drifting along the gentle current (much calmer than down by the Grand Canyon). It was hot and because we had to wear life jackets, all you had to do was bob along. There were a few rapids, which made for some excitement. Next day we were back at Arches, visiting Delicate Arch. Not for the faint of heart or those afraid of heights. Our next destination was Horseshoe Canyon where the promise of spectacular petroglyphs awaited us. It’s in the next park over, Canyonlands NP, but in a remote part not accessible from the main park. It was a bit of drive, off the highway and across unmarked, unpaved washboard “roads.” We met with our first primitive campsite. There was a vault toilet and nothing else. Our previous two nights of camping was at a cozy private campground with a store, pool, showers, etc. so this was quite a change. We were the only people there in the middle of nowhere. Things were fantastic until after sunset. Then we got a little freaked. We didn’t sleep much so we were up bright and early for the hike. A ranger was supposed to be leading a hike that day but we got started before they arrived and only saw two other people the whole day. The next day we spent driving to Bryce National Park where we spent a day or two. (See what I mean about being over ambitious? We now spend each trip at one park.)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Weekly Photo Challenge: "Ephemera"

I got this packet o' crap for the City of New Orleans last month when I went to the "Mayor's Round Table for Neighborhood Association Leaders." The Mayor was a no-show, he had an "emergency" and couldn't attend. It's probably better he wasn't there, he'd be a distraction. There were representatives from every imaginable city department. Brenda Hatfield took the reins and made the opening remarks for Hizzoner. "The recovery's going great, blah blah blah" then opened up the floor for questions. Everyone was very patient, answering questions, except Veronica White. She needs to work on her people skills. She made it clear that this was a waste of her time. One person asked about garbage collection at a neighborhood park. Parkways picks it up and they are very underfunded and understaffed. The person asked "why can't Richard's pick up the trash when they come through the neighborhood?" All Ms. White would say "It's not in their contract." She refused to explain or even converse with the man. Someone else stepped in to explain it to us peons who do not understand the clusterf*ck that is city hall. Hmmm... that sounds bitter doesn't it? Overall I didn't think the meeting was a complete waste of time. I thought is was good the city was reaching out to us, so we could spread the word to the people we represent. And I want to thank you Mr/Ms tax payer for the finger sandwiches and cut veggies we snacked on. Lilette's would have been nicer but I guess after the credit card hoo-haw they thought better of it.

I have lost all confidence C. Ray and as I said before I'm glad he wasn't at the round table he called, like everything else he'd be a hindrance not a help. I think the Gambit put it perfectly in their Commentary "The Feckless Mayor":

No, Mr. Mayor, you need to stop. If anyone is hurting New Orleans' recovery, it is you.
Maybe throw in Blakeley too.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Like I need another distraction.

I now have a new G3 iphone. Humnahumnahumna

I’ll tell you what, it ain’t cheap and it ain’t easy. My business partner and I decided to get them and ditch the office landline. You’d think we were buying plutonium or something. We couldn’t pay for the two phones on the same credit card – only one phone per person. Then we have to wait almost 2 weeks for them to be ordered and arrive. My business partner’s out of town and even though I have the receipt from her phone I couldn’t pick it up for her because they have to see a picture ID. But wait, there’s more. You also have to pay a $300 deposit on each phone that gets returned after 12 months. But it sure is pretty and fun to play with. I’m not going to get any work done today. This may even cut into my Facebook time – oh no!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Road Trip!

One month from now I will be on the road with my friend D somewhere between Augusta, GA and Albuquerque, NM. D is buying a car from a family member in Augusta and she lives in Albuquerque (a.k.a. "Duke City" - betcha didn't know that?). I love me a road trip, it's been a while since I've taken one (jaunts to Houston do not count). D is my hiking/camping buddy so we are going to stop along the way to hike as well as see the sights. I turn to you, oh glorious readers, to solicit suggestions of places to go/hike/camp and stuff to see/do/eat/drink. We have the option of going through either Birmingham Al or Nashville, TN on the first leg. We then go through Memphis. D's never been to Graceland so that's a must-see. G and I went many years ago. I see now that there is a "Heartbreak Hotel" near by you can stay that looks pretty tacky (as it should. Any rug on the walls?). After Memphis, it's all I-40 through Little Rock and Oklahoma City. We are all for interesting detours. I think I'd like to hit Hot Springs AK. Oklahoma I know nothing about...

So come on people. Tell me what you know. Thanks!

UPDATE: Talked to D... we decided to take the northern route. After getting through Atlanta, we'll head up to Chattanooga and Nashville. Then we'll detour and take the Natchez Trace (we explored the southern end back in January) to Tupelo then head towards Memphis.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Two Freret bus line posts in a row?

Why not. As I left my office and drove down Freret, in hopes of seeing the Ferret bus again, I decided to stop and check out the new, funky bus shelter at the corner of Cadiz. I was curious about it and so went to Google. Turns out it was the summer project for Design Corps.

I think the orange and yellow colors were inspired by the colors of the signage for the Freret Market. The shelter has a place to post notices, a bike rack and those colored squares on the back side spin, which I'm guessing is for bored children to play with while waiting. It even has a potted plant. I love the metal roof that identifies Freret Street and the direction of uptown and downtown. It provides a shady place to sit and wait, though I don't it would do much to keep you dry in the rain.

My Google search also pulled up a blog by a young lady who spent 3 weeks in New Orleans and I think she did a lovely and insightful post.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A picture's worth a thousand words...

But I wasn't fast enough. I was driving down Freret Street today and passed one of the new, groovy bio-diesel city buses. I was admiring the bus when I noticed the route info said it was "FERRET" Cracked me up. Maybe I'll go track it down...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cellphone popcorn?

This is crazy! You can pop corn with the use of a couple of cell phone. I gotta try it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Weekly Photo Challenge "Music"

I had to go through the archives for this one... I came across some JazzFest shots but that's too easy. I looked further and came across some photos I took at the funeral for Ashley Morris. I wasn't sure about posting it but reconsidered. Jazz Funerals are such an unique part of New Orleans culture. And it makes a great lead in to plug the "FYYFF Black and Gold Forever" fund raiser for Ashley's family Saturday, July 26.

So I present to you the Hot 8 Brass Band taking five at St. Louis No. 3 Cemetery.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Oh Streetcar!

This month’s “Babes, Booze and Books” book club meeting will be one to go down in history for us. This month’s selections were Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and Music for Camelians by Truman Capote. Our fearless leader J had a smashing idea one night while out drinking with K, another Babe. She said we should discuss the books while riding the streetcar. She promised me we wouldn’t be “out all night” because she had a busy day the next day. We all gathered at J’s house. We started out with Brandy Cassis cocktails since Capote drank a lot of Brandy. J first proposed we eat after the streetcar ride, but a couple of us decided we need to eat before we drank so we helped ourselves to fried chicken, potato salad and the mirliton and shrimp casserole. We saved the red beans and peach cobbler for after the ride. (Our meetings are potluck and we are damn fine cooks if I do say so.) J then made a round of “Streetcars” – actually they were “Sidecars” but we rechristened them for the evening. Eventually, we made our way to Canal Blvd to catch the streetcar. We had to wait for a little bit, so J broke out a bottle of wine and plastic cups. There were nine of us and I’m sure the other people waiting there for the streetcar to ride to work were not amused. We encourage them to all board before us, since we had to finish our drinks before we could board. We sat in the back and started talking about “Streetcar.” We also took silly photos of ourselves, and I took the opportunity to shoot some video. I love the sounds of the streetcar.

We got off the streetcar and headed to the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleon. Supposedly Tennessee wrote in the bar. I had never been, though it’s been on my list of things to do in New Orleans. Well, it’s a bar, and it looks like a carousel. The people sitting around the bar rotate, while the bartender stays stationary. The staff was great – the bartender cheerfully made nine cocktails with much flair, and the bored waiters were dancing to the lame disco that was playing. It was hard for all of us to talk together, so we ended up chatting in groups of three.

J then ordered us to get to-go cups because it was time to move on. We walked back to Canal to catch the St. Charles streetcar. We had to wait again, so J broke out munchies. When the streetcar arrived, it was packed! The driver kept picking more people up and they just had to cram themselves in. We had to physically pull people through the aisle when we came to their stop. Finally enough people got off we were able to sit. We got off at Louisiana Ave and walked over to the Delachaise. It too was packed and they had only one bartender working. If you’ve even been there you know how trying it can be to get a drink. J got frustrated, and was also upset to be told that Chef Chris no longer worked there (I hope that’s not true). She remembered we still had wine with us, so some of us drank that while a few who didn’t want wine waited (and waited, and waited…) for their cocktail. One of the babes pointed out it was after 10 and she has to be at work at 7am. We walked back to wait for the streetcar. And wait. A man who had come out of the Rite Aid told us to be careful walking on the streetcar tracks then asked where we were from. He didn’t believe were we locals until he and J started talking about cooking. Once again, out comes the wine and we shared some with our new friend.

By the time we got back to Canal Street to transfer to the other line it was 11:30. J asked the people waiting if they knew what time the next car would arrive. After midnight? TAXI! We took cabs back to the start. When we got back to J’s a few babes left but the rest of us dug into the red beans and sausage and the homemade peach coddler with ice cream. I got home at 12:45. So much for not staying out late.
Weekly Photo Challenge "Mundane"

When in doubt... post a cat picture! Sleeping cats are pretty ordinary in our house.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day.

Independent from what I’m not sure any more. I for one plan on expressing my love of ‘Merica by stimulating the economy (‘cause it sure does need it), laying out to work on my tan (cancer schmanser), finally doing a blog post (incite the masses) eating and drinking to excess (the land of plenty) and lighting illegal fireworks (rebellion). Today I’ll drive over to Gretna and smuggle illegal fireworks into Orleans. Gee, I hope the cops don’t track me down from this post. Maybe they only troll MySpace pages. Actually, I’ll probably just get sparklers.

I’m glad to have a long weekend in which I am staying in town and have no big plans. Things have been busy around here with work, going out of town and neighborhood stuff. Along with the above I also plan on catching up reading blogs and answering email. It going to be too hot or rainy this weekend to be outdoors for long.

Speaking of neighborhood stuff…the POS house across the street is finally being renovated. And work is being done to Lyon’s park to take up the trailer park infrastructure up and return it to a field. I have to applaud city council for standing up to FEMA and getting them to get to work and lay sod at all the parks.

Looking up the weekend weather I noticed there's a TS out in the Atlantic. It's far off, but I was amused by the computer model that has it heading due east back to Africa. Add to the list this weekend: go through "disaster" kit...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lighthouse Vote

The lighthouse on Lake Pontchartrain is under consideration for restoration, but it needs our help. I'm hoping you will take a sec, (and it only takes a sec) to help out. Our lighthouse on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans was destroyed by Katrina. Built in the 1890s, the lighthouse has been a lakefront landmark for years, guiding boats in and out of the Orleans Marina and the Municipal Yacht Harbor. Some of the original materials were salvaged and they're trying to rebuild it but of course it takes money the city doesn't have right now.

There is a company that restores lighthouses and has a contest going on right now to donate new windows and doors for a lighthouse in need of restoration, and the Canal lighthouse is on the list! PLEASE help out and vote for New Orleans!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Radar indicated that 3 to 5 inches of rain fell this morning in an hour and a half over much of New Orleans. As much as 1 to 3 inches more is possible. About 3 to 6 inches of rain has fallen in Jefferson Parish, including Metairie, Harahan, Old Jefferson, Bridge City and Avondale.

A rain gauge at Audubon Park collected 4.42 inches from about 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., the weather service said.

I was afraid it wasn’t going to stop raining there for a while. We are on high ground here on Annunciation but for the first time in 9 years we had to move our cars and saw water covering our street. If it was bad here I know it was much worse in other parts of the city.

Of course, this is nothing compared to Iowa and Indiana. I was tooling around looking at photos of the flooding and noticed this side bar from the (hat tip Celcus)

Experts advise that storm victims do the following to help maintain their mental health:
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Exercise.
- Talk to friends and family members.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol.

It took me back to the first weeks after Katrina and the federal flood.
-Sleep? Who could sleep? We took sleeping pills and still could not sleep.
-I must have ate a healthy diet ‘cause I gained 10 pounds in a month and a half.
-Exercise… we walked every morning because we had no place to be.
-Avoid caffeine and alcohol. *snort* that one cracked me up the most. I remember when we moved out of our in-laws house into my brother-in-laws place my first words were “I want to get blotto” 5 minutes later I had a martini sitting in front of me and it wasn’t the last. You better believe caffeine and alcohol are in my "disaster kit."

Friday, June 13, 2008

Weekly Photo Challenge: Tawdry

It's too hot for me to go outside and look for something to shoot, though I'm sure it wouldn't take me long to find a suitable subject. These are from a holiday boat parade in south Florida, I think it was Pompano. These maybe more gaudy that tawdry but it's all I got handy in the archives.

The parade theme was "movies" and you can sort of see that in the first and last one. Got to love "Christmas somewhere over the rainbow"...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Weekly Photo Challenge

This week was a free-for-all. So I picked two of my fav pics from today's walk.

Click on 'em to see them bigger.
Lafitte Corridor - Blazing (hot) Trail

G and walked the Lafitte Corridor today. It was a lovely though hot day and there was a good turn out. We almost missed it; we were pulling up to Armstrong Park, the meeting place, at 10:01 and the group had already taken off! We drove up to the front of the group and found a parking spot and joined in. A couple of other bloggers were there: Dangerblond, Tugboat Captain, Celcus and Michael Homan. And of course Editor B was leading the show. He runs a tight ship and has a quick stride. I almost got left behind a few times because I stopped to take pictures. I finally set up a Flickr account and you can see more photos there. link

We passed the abandoned Winn-Dixie that prompted a discussion about the lack of grocery stores in this area of town. Past the Lafitte housing complex – half still standing, half gone. Inside some of the units there were still people’s possessions inside. There was that terrible post-federal flood stench of moldy, rotting stuff. We passed the traffic light graveyard, warehouses, the shuttered Mercy hospital, Bayou St. John. Stopped at the new Massey’s on S. Carrollton for blessed AC and free lunch!

After lunch, we pushed on along the still existing rails passing Delgado, Holt Cemetery (in bad need of a mow) and ending up at Canal Blvd. We made quick time and had 30 minutes to kill before the arrival of the bus Massey’s got to take us back to our cars. Some of us wandered over to the Bulldog for a pint. The last time I was there was after Ashley’s funeral.

The walk was gritty and urban, and not very pretty. It would be fantastic for it to be redeveloped as a greenway with a path and be a link from the Quarter to Mid-City. The hope is for next year’s walk, part of it will be a trail. The Friends of Lafitte Corridor’s web site says they need to only raise $3,422 more. The state will match every dollar with $4! If you support this effort, go and donate to help make this happen. And if you live in City Council Districts A, B or C, let your representative know you support it.

Friday, June 06, 2008

New Roof

I finally have photos of our new roof.

G has also been busy building shutters for the windows. Note the new shutters on the front of the house. G doesn't have to keep as much plywood on hand and should save some time when a storm threatens.

The new part in the back with new window and shutters.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Do it!

Please go to YouTube and watch our latest Public Service Announcement!

If enough people watch the video, it will earn a place on the homepage of YouTube where it may be viewed by millions!

The video shows why we all need the 8/29 Investigation - a truly independent and complete analysis of the Katrina levee failures on August 29, 2005.

Click here!

Best if done by NOON THURSDAY JUNE 5.

Help launch Levees.Org to the top of the YouTube charts!

Want to do more? You can also:
1. Register at YouTube and rate the video.
2. View and rate our other videos on YouTube.

Help spread the word. Help show why New Orleans and people nationwide deserve the 8/29 Investigation. We have shown that the levee study done by the government is flawed and controversial. We also know that the review done by the ASCE was shoddy and biased.

Thank you!
Sandy Rosenthal
Founder and Executive Director

Monday, June 02, 2008


Kenner police seize 16 pounds of marijuana
by The Times-Picayune
Monday June 02, 2008, 3:56 PM

Kenner police arrested a suspected drug dealer and seized more than 16 pounds of marijuana this morning at a house in the Lincoln Manor neighborhood.

Palma L. Jefferson, 29, was arrested without incident during the 6:40 a.m. raid on his house at 3128 Jasper St., Lt. Wayne McInnis said.

Police said they confiscated almost 16-1/2 pounds of marijuana, 81 Ecstasy tablets, a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol and $27,000. The marijuana was found in one-pound bags and has a street value of nearly $10,000, McInnis said.

“This stuff obviously wasn’t for personal consumption,” he said.

Jefferson was booked with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, second-offense marijuana possession, simple possession and possession with intent to distribute Ecstasy, possession of a gun in the presence of illegal drugs and being a convicted felon in possession of a gun.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Weekly Photo Challenge: May 30, 2008

I was looking to capture something that would only exist on this day. I decided to take some pics in my community garden.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I haven't shot my photo for the week's Challenge yet, but I did want to share this video. OK Go playing with Bonerama on David Letterman. I hear you, "But Christy, that was months ago?!" I don't stay up for Letterman any more. So I'm old. Eh.

MUCH better than this version - looks like a high school talent show. I think they forgot to tune up.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

We're back. Tired and broke but had a great time. I'm going to save the trip description until I can get photos up.

You may recall the "beer incident" with my former camera. I starting doing research because I wanted a camera for the Boston trip. I found the one I wanted at a good price on Ebay. It was over a week before the trip so I should have in in plenty of time. Wrong. I almost canceled the order - I told them if it was delivered by May 20 I wouldn't cancel. It arrive The 21st, the day G was traveling to meet me. #!!%*. I bought a disposable digital from CVS and hope the pics look OK. I fired up the new camera today and took a few pics of the kitties but the flash was too bright. I've very happy to have a camera again. I'm a gadget geek I'll admit it. Not sure what this week's Photo Challenge theme is...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

While most of you will be snoozing in your beds tomorrow morning, I will be boarding a 6am (!!!) flight to Boston. I love my husband, so I'm taking a cab to the airport. I'll be attending a graphic design conference and then G will join me on Wednesday. Thursday we celebrate 5 years of marriage. We wanted to go back to Scotland where we were married, but due to financial concerns, we are staying on this side of the pond. *sigh*

I was looking forward to escaping the heat, but what heat? It's gorgeous outside today! I don't want to stay indoors, doing laundry and packing... I do need to tend to my garden and plants though so some outdoor time is required. Maybe hit the Symphony book sale being held at my former place of employment, Delgado Community College. I was teaching full time until I started my design studio. I still taught a class a semester but they haven't needed me since Katrina. I miss teaching. I don't miss grades, grading and paperwork. I couldn't hang with the bureaucracy when I was full-time. Being an adjunct is nice - you show up, teach, leave. Working with the students is the best part (most of the time).

Gonzo woke me up at 6 this morning, crazy cat. We think the cool weather has turn her crazy dial up to 11. She's bouncing off the walls more than usual. Only good thing is it's only 9:18 and I've caught up on the blogs and even done a post. I'll be back next week y'all. I wonder what the Bahston equivalent to y'all is?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I have a new nickname: “Hammer.” My book club group, “Babes, Books & Booze”, bestowed it on me last night. One of the babes had emailed everyone Sunday asking if we could move the meeting back a week because she hadn’t finished reading the books. We usually meet every 5-6 weeks, but because of JazzFest we had a 2 month gap and picked two books to read.* Two other people wrote that it was OK with them, but it wasn’t with me because I had read the books and will be out of town next week so I put that out there and waited for others to reply. I called the hostess and she was in agreement with me, and she also could not meet later this month. I sent out an email stating this and that we were going to meet on the date we originally picked. When we met, the other “babes” cheered me and said I had dropped the hammer, hence the nickname.

It seems to fit since now as president of my neighborhood association, I have to maintain control. We have our first meeting where I will preside early next month. They can get pretty heated when certain topics are discussed. Monday, I called a small meeting about a problem property in our neighborhood. It’s a dump, not section 8 and the neighbors have witnessed drug dealing and other criminal activity. It’s been a problem for years. We’ve started a new campaign with the owner, a retired lawyer in a well-known law firm. We wrote a letter with a list of complains and followed up with a phone call. He was cordial, which he hasn’t always been in the past, but didn’t make any promises other than ask the tenants to be “tidier” and if there confirmed criminal activity, to let him know and he would evict. I invited the Quality of Life officer from the Second District Police to our meeting. I thought he’d only be able to address the crime, but he said can also help us with the trash and other issues, and if the owner refuses to cooperate, can have the property placed on a list of problem properties. Stacey Head has tried dealing with the owner on our behalf but didn’t get far. We are hoping a phone call from the police will strike some fear into the owner.

Being “the hammer” isn’t really in my nature and there are many time I kick myself, wishing I had spoken up or been more assertive, especially so after Katrina. That whole affair really took the wind out of me. I find myself being more fearful than I used to. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. The federal flood, lack of response from the government, the harsh words from the media and pundits, stupid and corrupt city and state politicians, increasing crime and the sluggish recovery can mess with anyone’s head. I was talking to someone about this yesterday and they asked if I worried about the upcoming hurricane season. I thought about it and realized that no, I wasn’t. I know what to do, more so now than ever. It is the things I have no clue about – ie. The recovery, will the city come back, better than before? Will the out of control crime get worse? Better? Will I be a victim? How long will it take? – that stress me out.

I like “hammer.” I think I could get used to it and embrace the title. My shield. I am really looking forward to “checking out” for a week and a half when we go to Boston next week. A break from the humidity, rebuilding, work, life… Dr. A sent me a link to a great article in the Washington Post about things to do in Boston – thanks! link

*The books were “Wine & War” and “Suite Francais” both set in WWII France and both fantastic.