Best of the Fest(s)| NOLA DEFENDER

ChazFest is my personal pick too.

Chaz Fest 

May 3, Truck Farm (3020 St. Claude Ave.) 

 

Threadhead’s event has some great music for sure. Their label includes some of our best but it looks like it is sold out. Maybe buy a ticket earlier next year if you are disappointed eh?

Threadhead 

May 2, Old Ironworks (612 Piety St.)

 

The Ace Hotel has been programming the shit out of their hotel since they opened:

Six of Saturns

April 27-May 7, Ace Hotel (600 Carondelet St.)

 

 

Best of the Fest | NOLA DEFENDER

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Full-Scale City-Assisted Evacuation Exercise in New Orleans: Wednesday, May 17th 2017

Evacuteer.org is a non-profit organization incorporated by the State of Louisiana on June 8, 2009, and approved as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt entity by the IRS on August 17th, 2009.

Mission: Evacuteer.org annually recruits, trains, and manages over 500 evacuation volunteers (Evacuteers) who assist with New Orleans’ public evacuation option called City Assisted Evacuation (CAE). We serve to prepare and register evacuees, ensuring their ability to evacuate safely and with dignity.

City Assisted Evacuation occurs when a mandatory evacuation is called in Orleans Parish. It will begin approximately 54 hours before a Category-3 hurricane or higher makes landfall, and will run for 24 hours straight. We expect approximately 35,000 New Orleanians without a safe or alternative option to evacuate will use this process.

Tentative agenda for practice run on May 17 (evacuee transitions may differ):
8am: Volunteers will arrive at New Orleans Morial Convention Center for orientation and break-down of roles;
Evacuteer-trained individuals may be tasked as an Evacuteer OR an evacuee
8:30am: Volunteer orientation
9am: Volunteers will be bused to the Evacuspots (either Central City, Sanchez Center in the Lower Ninth Ward) and begin the role-playing exercise
10:30am: RTA buses will pick-up volunteer evacuees at the Evacuspots and bus them back to the Convention Center for staging of processing center (this will be our simulated UPT)
11:30am: 2 buses of volunteer evacuees will be transported to the New Orleans International Airport for processing to simulate air evacuations
12:30pm: Lunch
1pm – 4:30pm: Various exercises will be run from the Convention Center.

 

There are two roles for volunteers to play- Evacuteers and evacuees.

 

May 17, 2017

INVISIBLE CHEFS: Where are New Orleans’ black chefs?

A panel conversation on why in New Orleans, where African-Americans are fundamental to the cuisine, there are relatively few prominent black chefs.

WHERE & WHEN:

New Orleans Jazz Market
(1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.) Wednesday, May 3, from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m.

Moderators:
Brett Anderson (NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) Zella Palmer (Dillard University)

Panelist and Organizer:
Tunde Wey (cook/writer)

Panelists:
Vance Vaucresson (owner Vaucresson Sausage Company) Jordan Ruiz (chef/owner The Munch Factory) Ericka Lassair (owner/operator Diva Dawg food truck)
Adolfo Garcia (restaurateur)

Todd A. Price
Dining Writer
The Times-Picayune

The People’s Grocer-Review

It is my opinion that New Orleanians are either fascinated by the Schwegmann Brothers Giant Super Markets saga, recounting their own connections to the stores at the drop of a hat, or if they have no shopping history there, are completely bored by the attachment that others have to it.

My family is in the later camp and so never has been heard wailing over its loss or spending any energy preserving any of Schwegmann’s famous printed shopping bags or any of the political buttons within my late grandmother’s massive collection of New Orleans menus, World’s Fair, Superdome souvenir items and Carnival clutter.

My own experience with the chain was also slight- In the 1980s, I did regularly go to the Schwegmann’s out on Airline, but more as a visitor to a strange land than as a shopper. I went with my pal Roger who sold fancy kitchenware to department stores and high-end shops, where I would help him set up displays and tag along as he talked to the buyers. Since he was constantly assessing retail and observing cultural connections in his beloved adopted city,  Schwegmann’s appealed to him as something uniquely New Orleans and yet with industry-leading ideas like the bank and the pharmacy within its massive footprint. He loved the food counter and the bar. I learned to love retail analysis in those days while at the Airline and the West Bank stores, listening to Roger explain why John was brilliant in his design and product choices. He would have loved meeting John. He would have loved this book too.

Yet, the list of who will enjoy this book is not just those with a personal fascination for the deep local culture that begat this chain, or those with Roger and my obsession for retail histories. Really, anyone who wants to learn more about 19th century German immigration to the area, or the layout of corner stores before supermarkets, or of pricing strategies in the pharmaceutical or dairy industries, or of how early 20th century “fair trade” laws stymied discount pricing, or of the history of the Bywater area of New Orleans, or of the political arena of the latter part of 20th century Louisiana, or of later generations of family businesses who can quickly and shockingly kill the goose that lays the golden egg, will also find this book a keeper.

It is important to note that this is a biography of John Schwegmann and not only a history of the supermarkets that he founded and made into a chain of 18 beloved stores. The family’s history is front and center especially in the beginning of the book and may delve more deeply than those without local connections care to know but I suggest readers stick with it even if the family history is not the reason for reading this book. That history offers important detail in the shaping of this supermarket innovator, likely responsible for making him into the type of businessman and later politician who relied on his own intuition, his deep allegiance to his city and a small group of loyalists for advice or support. His folksy marketing and personal touch were certainly similar to other successful New Orleanians and probably true of a great many corporate founders of that golden age of family businesses in America with names like Kellogg, Ford, and Woolworth amid hundreds of others. It also shows how deeply the grocery business runs in the Schwegmann family, and yet how often family turmoil existed among struggling immigrant families even back in those hazy and halcyon days which are often used as an unfair measuring stick for our uncertain times.

This bio also offers many anecdotes from those who were there to show how John was a force of mostly good in the high-stakes world of grocery and drug sales, fighting for principles that most corporate leaders would not spend time or money to fix, all shaped by the place and people of his city. His home life may  be viewed at times as calculating in terms of his handling of wives and mistresses but author Capello rightly doesn’t linger too long on modern interpretations of John’s morals and reminds us that the businessman maintained warm relationships with the mothers of his children even after the marriages ended.

The book spends more time on Schwegmann’s world travels and later political life, which was not as impressive as his business career. That career in Baton Rouge was derailed by his opposition to Hale Boggs and almost everyone else, leading to constant no votes and also not helped by some of his political stunts like having a goat milked while testifying against the milk commission. Those responsible for the building of the Superdome were also targets of his wrath, forecasting many other fights a generation later around the U.S. by communities questioning the logic of taxpayer-sponsored sports arenas.

The research behind the book is impressive, especially when so many other writers of New Orleans history use cliches and oft-told stories that may or may not be true rather than doing the work to find primary and accurate details. Capello’s background in writing technical papers lends itself to detailed analysis of the retail industry and of the trends in pricing, product development and store design that Schwegmann pioneered. The timeline of the collapse of the chain is shared in unsentimental fashion and should allow New Orleanians to finally understand exactly how son John F. allowed this shocking collapse to happen in such a short amount of time. The obvious approval of the free market system as defined by Schwegmann and others rings loud and clear throughout this book even if a few might quibble with some of the broader denunciations of the old public market system (which supported the port, small family businesses and farms by offering regulated food sales in every part of the city for 250 years) or, of John having an entirely altruistic nature in fighting for some of the price discounting that benefited his stores so clearly in a city that had no other supermarket chain to compete with his for decades. Still, there is no doubt those low prices and huge new stores meant that the mostly poor residents of this old city felt attended to if they were lucky enough to have a Schwegmann (Brothers) Giant Super Market within distance of home. And with an air-conditioned bar with the cheapest liquor in town to drown their sorrows at for good measure.

I expect that this book will be used in university courses on retail and marketing, as well as in any history course devoted to the people who made New Orleans great. John Schwegmann’s story, as written in The People’s Grocer, certainly deserves that.

The People’s Grocer can be ordered here.

Traffic Study for FQ users

The fact that questions 10 and 11  require you to answer as preferring one of the options and did not included a None of the Above choice means this is a poorly worded survey which will skew the results.

I added this to the last text question:

These 2 questions (10 and 11) REQUIRED an answer which is unfair and should have included a none of the above answer. My response should not be recorded as I do not prefer any of those options but the questions were required to be answered in order for my survey to be saved. Please count them as none of the above.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Please find below a link to the French Quarter Traffic Study Survey, which is being conducted as part of the City of New Orleans Citywide Public Safety Improvements plan.

Specifically, the French Quarter Traffic Study is focused on the transportation, traffic and delivery issues associated with the proposed changes to vehicular traffic flow on Bourbon Street.

There is one survey for French Quarter residents and one survey for French Quarter business owners.

 Why – We are administering this survey to ensure that residents and businesses across the French Quarter have an opportunity to participate and inform the Traffic Study.
 Time – The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
 Privacy – Your privacy will be protected; only the City and its contractor will have access to the raw survey data.
 Deadline – The survey should be completed by close of business on Friday, April 28, 2017.

Participate in the Survey for Residents: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FQ_Reside…
Participate in the Survey for Businesses: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FQ_Busine…

If you do not have access to a computer, please call 504.658.ROAD for assistance with participating in the survey.

We appreciate your willingness to engage in this process. Should you have any questions, you may direct them to 504.658.ROAD or send e-mail to roadwork@nola.gov.

Most Deserving Mom | The Roosevelt New Orleans

My pal Ume was chosen for this contest, and deservedly so. Go give her some friendly props when she is at her Royal Street shop Off The Beaten Way between St. Philip and Ursulines and while there you can check out her husband’s impressionist art and their Cuban art imports for sale.

Most Deserving Mom | The Roosevelt New Orleans

Bayou Maharajah

I saw Bayou Maharajah when it came out: I enjoyed it, was moved by it at moments and remain pleased to have been a Kickstarter backer of this project. Back when I was a teenager in the French Quarter, I had the great luck of making friends with smart and wise older people who said to me, “you gotta hear Booker” and “you gotta hear Lil Queenie” and “you gotta hear the Nevilles” and so on…and took me to places to hear it all, see it all, to explode my Midwestern head apart. Booker in particular personified and played the song of New Orleans to me, which was sophisticated and street at the same time, with every melody and rhythm ever played by man inserted and some nutty talk before and after for good measure. GO see this movie when it comes to your town, buy it online if possible and know why we say he was the “the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced”. Actually, you could just say the best piano genius New Orleans has ever produced, and that’s saying something. As our own Leigh Harris sings it beautifully on the tribute album on “Providence Provides”: “Ray Charles in his left hand, Beethoven in his right…”
https://itunes.apple.com/…/patchwork-tribute-to-…/id41748853