A Closer Walk

See what happens when good people get together over music? They come up with something like this, a site dedicated to listing the musical history of our city, place by place.

Jazz, big band, gospel, soul, brass bands, funk, blues, second-lines, hip-hop, bounce, r&b, pop, zydeco, rock, classical all have substantial roots here in the Crescent City. This site will do more than just set tourists to a wandering around; as a visual map, it can help save some of these places and to connect the dots about the development of some of America’s greatest art forms.

The A Closer Walk (ACW) project and site is presented by WWOZ New Orleans and produced by five partners: Bent Media, e/Prime Media, the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation, Randy Fertel and WWOZ.



Welcome Homer A. Plessy Community School

Our new charter school at 721 St. Philip St. To assist this school, contact them for moving assistance, school volunteering opportunities or donate funds to build this community school at their new location.

On June 7, 1892, Homer Adolf Plessy Purchased A First Class Railroad Ticket, Boarded The Train, And Was Arrested Two Blocks Later At The Corner Of Press And Royal Streets. He Was Charged With Violating The Separate Car Act, Which Mandated Separate Accommodations For Black And White Railroad Passengers.

The result was the landmark Plessy v Ferguson Supreme Court case, which made “Separate but Equal” the law of the land until the ruling was overturned in Brown v Board of Education in 1954.

We draw inspiration every day from Homer Plessy and the Citizens’ Committee — for their bravery, their ingenuity, their sense of community, and their commitment to justice

This seemingly simple act w, in fact, t the result of meticulous planning by a group called the Citizens’ Committee. Their creative and highly sophisticated work was designed with a Supreme Court challenge in mind, intending to stem the tide of segregation that was taking over post-Reconstruction America.

History Of The School

Back in 2009, a community of educators, families, and advocates began to come together around a simple idea: we saw a need for an excellent elementary school in downtown New Orleans. Through door-to-door campaigns and hundreds of small-group meetings in homes and church halls, a vision came together of a school that placed that a high value of critical thinking, creativity, diversity and citizenship. Today that is the Homer A. Plessy Community School.

In 2012, the Plessy School’s Type 1 Charter Application was approved by the Orleans Parish School Board. Plessy opened its doors in the fall of 2013, serving children in grades Pre-K-2 with an arts-integrated, project-based curriculum. The school will grow by one grade level each year to serve children in grades Pre-K through 8.

The Plessy calls itself a community school but it could even more accurately be called a family school. Every member of the Plessy family is highly valued, and together we work to provide a top quality education for all of our young people.


Homer A. Plessy Community School

Love Letters: New Orleans

My post from Huffington Post. I did fix some stuff on this posting that needed it.


By Love Letters



Dar Wolnik is a blogger, activist and Girl Friday to her city of New Orleans. She lives downtown and is mostly seen on one of her three bikes or scooter, but also travels widely to work with community food systems across the U.S. as a consultant.
Dear New Orleans,

My confession starts this letter. As you know my lovely Crescent City, I found you only as a teenager. My first home and childlike love — the city of Cleveland in my heart — but not as you do.I often try to find similarities between the two cities, to understand why I love them both. Besides water, I cannot find any other shared qualities.
When I came to live here with my New Orleans mother thankfully, gratefully returning home after 20 years away, my own welcome was deep and magical. Old women on stoops and shopkeepers alike beckoned me over, asked for my teenaged story and warmly welcomed me home. It’s true. That happened again and again. How did you know that I needed you?

And for the first time in my young life, I connected to a place, to a set of smells, sounds, and sights that seemed overwhelmingly pleasing and joyful. I know now that city life appeals to me, but that it must be a place that is not too much of a bustling one, only busy with business or building new or bigger.

Your constantly decaying greenery, unique architecture and many hues and ages of people using public space freely gave me the specifications for a scale that remains how I compare all other cities.Aging is a delicate problem for all females and I know that you struggle with how to remain appealing and relevant. Those who love you attempt to shield you from some of the worst criticisms leveled at you because of your age. Well, to be completely truthful, some of that criticism comes because of your troubling past, which is linked to some of the most difficult days in our country’s history and your present status as a city of recovery, yet again. We shield you and protect you, even as we try to strengthen you.

Your cultural attributes are world renowned but to limit you to only the delights of the dance hall girl is to miss your deep work ethic and political savvy. That work ethic can be seen in your shipping port for one. A port that remains one of the busiest in the world and vitally important to the health of the people in this country. You can be found morning and night, toiling valiantly at the unsexy work in bringing and sending the food and goods needed to be traded in a hemisphere of our size. Dance-hall girl only indeed.

The river. The great Mississippi River, our American Nile. That river is of course, why we are here with you; the explorers Bienville and Iberville came to find the mouth of it to give France control of the commerce that would surely flow in this New World. Oh, it’s a beautiful thing and its work to keep flooding from those upriver and shipping flowing all along its course is remarkable. You have every right to be proud of it.

But sometimes, I think that you miss that what makes those attributes old-fashioned in the minds of Americans.  They seem anachronistic in a country with east-west tendencies and speeding highways and planes. The dance-hall girl is fun and so they search only for that, found through your jazz and brass bands and cuisine. That freewheeling attitude has and will bring you many short-term loves, but it is not enough of a reason for them to love you in bad times too. And bad times are part of the deal. From the yellow fever days, through slave commerce and the 20th-century fight over the integration of schools and up to and including the levee breaks of 2005 and the BP oil spill of 2010. Those are the times when we know who really loves you by those willing to pick you up and carry you for a little while you heal.

It would be wrong to say that you welcomed us at first- sickness and swamps were your opening salvo but lucky for us, enough Old World ne’er-do-wells, second sons, and brave little nuns stayed. I know that you grew to love the type of people sent to you and that also makes you special; your love of your people and acceptance of their quirks. That love is reciprocated in how many people believe that hurricanes will never make direct landfall on the city or in how we willingly leave places with much more efficient infrastructure behind to be with you. That willingness was mighty evident in the hundreds of thousands of your people that quickly returned in 2005/2006. The deep love that we have for you was so apparent in those days; I’m sure that you felt it, even as you lay in tatters and pieces, shocked and ignored by others. People living in cars and ten to a room rebuilt this place, finding joy in your slow recovery.

We respect your ideas about multiculturalism and how they were built by the wide diversity of people that you accepted here, even as we angrily fight with you over your wrong ideas too that bar many from realizing full citizenship. It’s true that we feel your warmth but also your brutality too.  We do our best to use joy and togetherness to reduce that side of you, hoping for the day it is no longer part of your personality.

So, I think of you not as my first love, full of overwrought and inaccurate ideas but as my mature love, aware of flaws and inconsistencies, but still appreciative.






“the smallest possible gesture”

This is what a friend wrote today, as Lee is removed from his place on our city streets, the last of the 4 main monuments defiling our public streets that were placed to strengthen the white supremacy movement in the decades after the Civil War. (There are, however, 3 more Confederate statues of much less prominence that still need removal. Still, as my pal says beautifully here: we are beginning to approach the truth.)

…Black children can expect and, by every measure, will receive, substantially worse treatment than their white peers within the educational system, the healthcare system, the policing and justice systems, the housing and financial markets, in terms of their prospective employment and earnings. Hell, they will have a harder time on Tinder and Grinder.
Parents of black children already get to explain why this is and try their best to prepare their children to navigate these evidence-based realities.
One less white supremacist being honored in the street is actually the smallest possible gesture available that we can bestow on these children.

One less statue doesn’t change these realities. But it begins to approach the truth. There has never been truth and reconciliation in this country, so we keep recycling white supremacy into different iterations, instead of dismantling it (Jim Crow! Mass Incarceration!).

We can’t begin to face white supremacy without truth telling. And most Americans (of all backgrounds) are not taught the fullness of the truth about the founding of this country or how it prospered. Most aren’t taught what slavery entailed, or how it persists in different forms today. Taking down Lee is simply acknowledging these truths.


Watched these guys move my neighbor very professionally and smoothly. What a great idea for our flat city but especially for the French Quarter !



We transport and move with bike and trailer up to 600 lbs. per load.  MOVE IT! by bike offers eco-friendly, inexpensive and city smart transport by bicycle and trailer in the New Orleans area.



Scandinavian Jazz Church and Cultural Center

Remember the old Norwegian Church on Prytania that almost closed? It was saved at the last moment and reborn as the Scandinavian Jazz Church and Cultural Center. Well here is a great upcoming event to go back and celebrate its new life:
May 21, All Day
Norwegian National Day

10:00 Raising of the flag and sing the Norwegian national anthem –Ja vi elskerdettelandet!
10:15 Parade around the block. Make sure to bring your flag and singing voice.
11:00 Celebration Service with Pastor Torhild Viste from The Seamen’s church in Houston. Lars Edegran will be joining us on the piano for the service.
12:00 Games for children and adults held outside if the weather permits. You can also bring your swimsuit and enjoy the pool. There will also be served hot-dogs and ice cream at this point.
2:00 Dinner will be served
6:00 Concert by Miriam’s Fleur De Lys orchestra

The cost for everything that happens before 2:00 is $ 5.
The dinner will be $ 30 per person, $ 10 for children under 6, and we are serving baked salmon with sides. The price also includes coffee and dessert.

Please RSVP for the dinner: 504 525 3602
Or email: astrid@jazzchurch.us


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