Turtle Parade

This Saturday (5.13) the turtles that live in the Brennan’s courtyard on Royal street will parade through the Vieux Carré to mark the start of spring.
The ten turtles that live at Brennan’s have become something of local celebrities (complete with their own Twitter account, @BrennansTurtles). They are named “The Muthas and the Othas.” The former references the five reptiles named after classic, French mother sauces like Béchamel, Espagnole, Hollandaise, Tomate, Velouté, while the “others” refer to the turtles named for NOLA’s own classics like Remoulade, Ravigote, Bordelaise, Mignonette, and Cocktail.

The parade begins at 10:30AM at 550 Bienville Street, continuing down Chartres Street to St. Peter Street, then onto Royal Street to bring the krewe to Brennan’s (417 Royal Street) for the reception, which starts at 11AM. The route map is below. f2ab04e6-1409-4b30-8721-56e4d0fb253c.png

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Oppose the 40 million boondoggle for Bourbon street and bars

We the undersigned are united in opposition to the proposed “Citywide Public Safety Improvements” plan as currently written. While crime is a real problem in New Orleans, the answer is not investing $40 million dollars in surveillance cameras, security barriers, street improvements, and cultural commodification. Instead, we should be investing in economic and cultural opportunities for all of our residents. As Louisiana already has the highest mass incarceration rate in the world, we have a heightened responsibility to avoid any initiatives that could lead to increased profiling or arrests. A true ‘Safety Plan’ for New Orleans should focus on proactive approaches to addressing crime developed in conjunction with the community and drawing from our culture….

To read more and to sign, go here.

Maintain Cabrini Park

(Sent to NORD and City Council)
To whom it may concern:
I am writing concerning the online debate by those in favor of single-use of the park only for Homer A. Plessy students when they take over the McDonogh 15 school on St. Philip.
I am very pleased that Homer A. Plessy School is coming to the Quarter as our next charter and cannot think of a better fit, due to the historic name attached to it, the goals of the school and the engaged parents, some of whom I know personally. I sincerely wish this to be a great success so that is also why I am against cordoning off Cabrini Park entirely, held only for the school’s use for a few hours per week. That will only create a barrier between the school and the neighborhood.
I live in the French Quarter and and have done so on and off for decades since high school, when I attended L.E. Rabouin and walked through the Quarter and CBD each morning. That daily trip gained me many protectors and friends who would look out for me and greet me as I made my way to Carondelet.
The opportunity to live in a gracious, social city like New Orleans is amazing enough; to be here during one’s formative years is another gift. Children should be able to feel comfortable on their city streets and in their public spaces, not to be cordoned off from them as if all other people (neighbors!) are something to be frightened by. One of the wonderful things about our French Quarter and the little Red Schoolhouse as realized by Lucianne Carmichael is that it allows the children to be members of the neighborhood, as we see in the regular, happy use – by their parents and kids – of the coffeehouse across the street, when they line up to walk down Bourbon to the park or going on field trips to the French Market among other outings. We shouldn’t want any it any different in our public park.
And as someone who uses and has used the few green spaces for decades in the Quarter for play and at one time for my little dog’s exercise, I know how much community happens at the park, sharing notes and meeting new neighbors. For all of these reasons, I ask that the off-leash dog site and public use of Cabrini park be maintained. Not only does the school have 2 play areas of their own, the new park layout allows for multiple uses at once. Every neighborly eye on our park helps to maintain it as a safe and neighborly place; locking the doors will bring the negative activity back; it indicates to those looking for hidden corners to engage in illegal activity that this is an ideal space for that.
 The dog park will also allow for a controlled area for our many 4-legged friends. That activity also likely reduces the crime in that area and adds happy playful sounds, sounds that we all sorely need in our stressful life.
Let’s work together to build a world-class park for everyone.

Mitch: Leave Bourbon Street alone. Leave our small businesses alone.

Mayor Landrieu: Rescind Your Cameras and Closed Doors Security Proposal

Petition is here

This is one of the nuttiest and most dangerous ideas that our mayor has come up yet. Making Bourbon a ped-only street will snarl the traffic that needs to serve a large neighborhood and will make Iberville, Conti and Toulouse (especially) virtual parking lots. (Iberville is already snarled between Bourbon and Royal when the parking lots are backed up.) That will undo the Quarter’s dynamic flow once and for all, and reduce the cross streets to 20 hour a day freight zones with the ensuing mess leaking onto the residential streets.

As for the 3 a.m. idea, I don’t even know where to begin. What about this idea will reduce random shootings, gang retaliations or even any other major crime issue? How does closing the doors of bars solve any of these? Instead we will have people leaving bars with no “eyes on the street” (meaning bartenders or bouncers or other workers) that are there now to watch out for them. Instead we will have bars and clubs going out of business.

Security cameras managed by the city have been tried and have failed. Better to incentivize businesses to install better cameras and for the city to actually USE those cameras rather than ignoring them as they do now. Spend money on building a force that investigates crimes, using available technology and witnesses and old fashioned analysis. Get OUT there and know community members, notice upticks as they happen,  build a knowledge base to actually solve crimes rather than just relying on Crimestopper rewards for the sensational crimes, ignoring the rest.

Community policing (more better paid cops, with more training, walking and biking on the streets and cops stationed inside partner businesses) will do more than any street-killing idea.

Honestly, Mitch Landrieu seems to be as out of touch as C Ray was in his last days as mayor. Maybe we need to do away with 2 term mayors…..

 

Some French Quarter Bars Owners Aren’t On Board With a New Citywide Safety Plan

French Quarter safety plan could include cameras that can spot guns through clothing 

This idea is so messed.

Potential constitutional problems as the FQ surveillance plan could include cameras that could detect guns and other objects under clothing.

“I think that this is a violation of people’s constitutional rights, and I cannot imagine that the public will accept that,” Esman said. “It really defies common sense because it presumes that everybody carrying a weapon is going to use it for an improper purpose, and that’s just not the case.”

There are significant questions about how police would use the information gleaned from the cameras and whether that information would be enough justification to search those believed to have weapons, Esman said. That’s particularly true if they would be set up on a public street, where standards are different than requiring people to go through metal detectors or body scanners at airports.”

Cameras that can spot guns through layers of clothing — using infrared or similar technologies — may be included in sweeping new security measures for Bourbon Street to be proposed.

French Quarter safety plan could include cameras that can spot guns through clothing | State Politics | theadvocate.com

Shopping 1825-1925

Our best French Quarter museum, The Historic New Orleans Collection, has another interesting exhibit that just opened and will run for 6 months over on Royal Street. Their exhibits are free and are conveniently located just off the gift shop. The exhibit is called Goods of Every Description: Shopping in New Orleans, 1825–1925.

So much of what we ate, wore and used in this colonial city was imported from other American cities and in the case of the furniture or finer household items, quite often from European makers. One of the luxuries of being a significant port city.

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Mule-drawn streetcar model; between 1865 and 1870; silver, gold; by Zimmerman’s (New Orleans); The Historic New Orleans Collection, acquisition made possible by the Laussat Society, 2015.0464.20

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