Parks Talk


5:30 – 7:00 pm

PROPELLER – 4035 Washington Avenue

National urban parks expert Tupper Thomas will speak about the critical role citizens can play to ensure the revitalization, protection, and well-being of their parks and open spaces. She will draw from her vast experience on the positive impact and benefits of alliances and public-private partnerships. Tupper Thomas is the Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks. She served as Administrator of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for 30 years, having been the founding president of The Prospect Park Alliance, which was formed in 1987 to revive, enrich, restore, and preserve the park, in partnership with the City of New York.
Tupper also was a founding board member and co-chair of the City Parks Alliance, the leading independent national organization that advocates for urban parks. The Committee has served as a model for other public-private park organizations across the country.


New Orleans Council moves to create “Cigar Bar” designation

What’s next-“Little Debbie corner stores” or “Jukebox Bars”? This City Council is a joke, but not as much as our new CZO which, without well-funded and embedded neighborhood organizations and longterm advocacy and education is basically Swiss Cheese. Or maybe better described as an alternate universe with jesters and trolls as kings. If each exception to the zoning is allowed to be seriously debated and expanded, this city will lose its gorgeous tout ensemble in a hurry.
Maybe a form-based code system would be more useful to our city with its layers of history and styles- surely any system would be better than this ad hoc b.s.

This story points out how this is playing out in the 2015 City Council:

La Habana lives another day, as New Orleans City Council moves to create 'cigar bar' designation |

We’re Still Here Ya Bastards

Roberta is an acclaimed urbanist who has published three previous books on the subject, including most recently The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. Her writing has also appeared in the Nation, New York Times Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. She previously served on the NYC Landmark Preservation Commission and currently sits on the Sustainability Advisory Board for NYC. She splits her time between New York City and New Orleans.

2015 Publication Date- Preorder at your local New Orleans bookstore

2015 Publication Date- Preorder at your local New Orleans bookstore

By the way, my friends were the ones that had the sign with these words up at their place in MidCity. I got back to town to first clean out my apartment on October 9, 2005, sickened and broken-hearted by what I was seeing on my way in from the airport. When I got to my place (across the street from theirs) I saw their sign and laughed out loud and thought to myself, “Oh we’re going to be okay.”


Rickie Lee Jones among us

One of the greatest and most consistently valiant musicians working today, Rickie Lee Jones, is in New Orleans recording a new album. She funded it on PledgeMusic and so we have the extra advantage of her online updates which are a marvel of insight and clarity about navigating the complicated and modern world of performance and collaboration. I hope she doesn’t mind me posting one of her updates, but I think it is so very gentle and brave and illuminated by the light of our city, that I thought many of you would also be warmed by it too:
Her words:

Now we enter the last week of John Porter being here in New Orleans. He is a hard working man, and his knowledge and experience are, well, awesome. He’s also a gentleman, and he hugs me a lot.
We changed rooms yesterday and now are bearing down on some details of tracks we’ve chosen. He is a old school guy, that is, he does Everything by Himself, and you would not know what he did, only that things sound better. That has been a bit of a challenge for me, for I am used to, for so long, not only being a part of it, monitoring it, but being in charge of it. I am NOT in charge. I have some veto power, but even then it’s… more of a negotiation than an absolute. That has been a challenge for me as well. I cannot tell if it’s a girl thing, a Rickie thing, or just a wise thing. Or misguided, that I do not say, “hey wait a minute, slow down, let me see what’s going on!”

We are on a rollercoaster of events here and I’d just like to process it with my aesthetic. Slanted, not capital. But that’s not what’s going on this time. And it’s beyond me, why no matter what record I make there is a hurry up aspect to it. I realize now how very ‘princess’ I was making Pirates. My producers going where I wanted, when I wanted, waiting hours for me, working on passages with me, small groups of moments I wanted to get right. And they made sure I did what I envisioned.

Well, in 1982 that record cost $250,000. I don’t have that kind of money as a company or as a person to do that anymore. But I suspect if I did that again, spent that kind of money and time, I would make a very unusual event. And yet, reading about the creation of the universe this morning, I realize that no one can control the creative event. The event, the verb, is a form of I AM, it is a HERE, ICI, now, the manifestation. It moves at the pace it moves at, from one perspective perhaps it takes two years, from another two weeks. Great records have been made in a couple weeks. Those are about catching the spirit of the singer. And budget. Great records have been tedious and long in the waiting. Those are about the expression of the artist, like a flood, upon every aspect of the manifestation. There are places in our lives where our ego cannot only withstand that, but demands it. Other times we are just too humble or worn out to extend our self onto everyone we meet. Or…too wise.

At this point in my life, I know a couple things. And the things are always changing, because you wake up every day, and sometimes the universe is a bit different than the one you went to sleep in. Ever notice that? I do. The couple things I know are that I DO know what I am doing. I have doubt when I am with men who treat me like they are tolerating me, or like they really wish I would be quiet. I work almost exclusively with men, and musicians, and that’s a group that can be extremely critical, dismissive, whatever. For the most part, I have their respect, but add on now my ‘age’ and I get a kind of ‘old darlin’ attitude that’s hard to bare. And then again, I may totally be projecting my own self image onto the face of someone. Okay, that’s doubt, all that is doubt.

The other thing I know is that others have something to offer me. What makes life worthwhile is being in the world full of others, and I know this now. I want to listen more than I want to be listened to. This is my moment to sing, and I will sing to you all that I have heard. Here are my feelings carved through the images and sounds of trains and rivers, how they speak to one another all night long when we who live near them can hear them clearly. The crow and the mockingbird, hard to tell that mockingbird sounds like the crow, the light through my old windows, my determination, my despair, my love of humans.

What I most want is for this music to make people happy, to lift their hearts, and to make me lots and lots of dough, in that order. I believe it is going to be a record I am proud of. I hope that my tiny infrastructure of the four or five of us who work on my career can make it fly. It’s going to take a lot of good will and effort from fans, I think. That’s the kind of thing kids do automatically for their fav group. But we get older, we don’t do that anymore. This is a word-of-mouth kind of business now, and more than ever, fans are going to have to take a second to make sure someone else hears it. If they do, I bet they will like it a lot. One thing for certain, the New Orleans aspect has washed out any affectation. It’s streaming through my own filters, I am not dressing it in the style of. There is no pretense here in the Crescent City. People really are wearing animal masks and dancing with umbrellas. Like Tahiti! We ARE our Music.

Angeline-1032 Chartres Street

Opening soon at the old Stella space at Hotel Provincial is Angeline, opened by well-regarded chef Alex Harrell, last found at Sylvain, which earned 3 Beans in the T-P review (and here is my “review” too). We certainly needed another mid-priced restaurant with a creative menu and an ambitious chef for locals and for savvy visitors. I’ll look forward to making a reservation and will report back here of course.

The Angeline menu will include butter bean tortellini with redeye gravy; sherry-glazed shrimp with fried Meyer lemons and shaved radishes; and fried quail over hoecakes with local honey and hot sauce. The average price of the entrees will be $20

“I don’t want to price out the neighborhood and local business,” he said. “I want it to be a place where people feel comfortable coming in multiple times a week, maybe grab a starter and a glass of wine after work.”

Angeline is the middle name of Harrell’s mother. He wants his restaurant to reflect her personality.

“When I thought what I want the restaurant to be,” he said, “I want it to have that Southern charm. I want it to be friendly and inviting. Those are things that I associate with my mother.”

Petition · Cancel plans for development of the “Championship” level golf course in Northern City Park

Especially for downtown residents and visitors, City Park is a necessary amenity and is conveniently located only a few easy miles down Esplanade by bicycle, leg or vehicle. As a FQ teenager, I rode my bike to City Park regularly, learned how to drive there and generally used it to escape from my fabulous but often trying daily life of the Quarter. Because of all of that and more, it remains one of my favorite places in the entire region.
This new golf course will take away what has been a much-loved and well-used space since the 2005 levee breaks. There is no doubt that City Park management has had to find ways to monetize/program much of the park, and has done so by offering many great amenities (i.e. 24 hour beignets, putt-putt, Botanical Garden/music, soccer fields, stables, Grow Dat Youthfarm) but they also need to balance that with open space that encourages a wide variety of beneficial insects, wildlife and plants that add diversity and won’t be attracted to a golf course. People need diversity of spaces too, and the space in question has served as a recuperative spot for thousands who rebuilt the city and were here in the gloomy days after 2005. I believe this need was clearly defined by that use and the management should attend to the felt desire to offer non-programmed or non-monetized space that benefits its residents, visitors and the rest of the natural world.
Please consider signing the petition and sharing it so we can show the support for balanced uses of our beloved City Park.
Petition · Cancel plans for development of the "Championship" level golf course in Northern City Park ·