Storyville ‘Guidebooks to Sin’ subject of upcoming events 

“Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans”

  • Author lecture: Pamela Arceneaux will discuss the book
  • Queen Anne Ballroom of the Hotel Monteleone: 214 Royal St.
  • When: Friday, Feb. 3, 5:30 p.m.
  • More information: The lecture will be followed by a reception and signing at the collection, 533 Royal St. The lecture is free, but reservations are required. They can be made by writing or calling 504.523.4662.

“What the blue books give you is the sizzle but not the steak,” Arceneaux said.


This promises to be a landmark book uncovering an often misunderstood era of New Orleans. Arceneaux is a very well-respected librarian and researcher and an expert on Storyville. The event on Friday will be fascinating but if you miss it you can grab a copy of the book at HNOC’s lovely gift shop in the 500 block of Royal.


Source: Storyville ‘Guidebooks to Sin’ subject of upcoming events |


 Dear Councilmembers,
I wanted to give you my input once last time on STRs and thank you for your interest in hearing from everyone.
• I am in favor of limited owner-occupied or one listing STRs by on-site renters (with written approval of the owner) capped at 4 per calendar year for owner-occupied listings and 2 per year for one listings for on-site renters.
• I believe that STRS can be linked to property tax records,  especially to homestead exemptions. I believe penalties for multiple listings should result in massive fines to discourage scofflaws.That money should be set aside for a off-site (not at CH!) STR center for managing inspections and regulation to be housed. Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative may be a good location for this; I have no relationship to them, but think they could manage this well. This should be a public office and have a system for managing complaints against STRS including using affidavit system similar to taxi complaints.
• I am not in favor of whole house STRs under any circumstance.
• I do not believe that any neighborhood- including the Quarter or the CBD- should have any version of different allowances for the number of STRs than any other. I live in the Quarter and have friends that live in the CBD and we all deserve protection. The population of my area has risen in the last 15 years and is a world-class example of “mixed-use” done right. Allowing any version of unlimited STRS is death to any neighborhood held dear. It ain’t all rich folks and second homes. Please do away with unlimited STRS in commercial “zones.”
•I believe that this city could influence STR sites like airbnb to pin abutting neighbor reviews to the main page of any  legal hosting listing to encourage good neighbor STRs.
• To paraphrase Abigail Adams, I’d like you to consider the small hotels. I live across from one of these in the Quarter and it is  a great neighbor. Not only do they maintain their property very well, they are generous to their neighbors and offer 24/7 “eyes on the street” They need to be encouraged to remain by limiting any STRS within some distance of their site. Their hotels should also be allowed to be listed on any NOLa-managed STR site without needing to be licensed as such. The skyscraper hotels are bad for neighborhoods and for crime levels, (and for jobs, having worked in a few!) Limit any more of those in favor of small hotels in neighborhoods on main streets.
• I believe that every neighborhood organization should map their area and find 1-2 areas for zoning of boarding houses for long-term visitors. These folks often become permanent residents.
• The city should incentivize these efforts with small business assistance, business prep and tax forgiveness.
•A new program to incentivize residential rental should begin to encourage long-term leases (3 years or more).
 • Areas long undervalued should be given tax incentives and construction loans to add more affordable residential units, directed to certain sectors like the upper floors on Canal street for service industry workers.
• The issue that has risen with STRs points to the issue with rentals and renter rights in all versions of contracts and needs to be undertaken by a regional task force designed and led by this Council.
Thank you for your efforts.

Second Line For Equal Justice by John Calhoun – GoFundMe

My name is John Calhoun, and I am working with over a dozen Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs and the Orleans Public Defenders Office to plan a Second Line For Equal Justice to raise awareness about the crisis our public defenders office is facing and to encourage our city and state governments to adequately fund indigent defense.

Source: GoFundMe

Experts ask if New Orleans’ ‘exceptionalism’ masks grimmer reality

Writer Katy Reckdahl covers New Orleans with her usual tact and fair approach in this article from the Advocate. I wish there was more of the story covered here, but at least the idea of examining New Orleans’ “exceptionalism” has been raised along with comparing that assertion to its massive challenges. Certainly, the larger idea of American exceptionalism and its etymology should be examined as well. In other words, only reminding ones citizens about “positive” indicators-what for us is tied up entirely in our culture-seems to blind or restrict a more in-depth conversation about the systemic inequalities that also characterize life in New Orleans. Or as one astute online commenter said : let’s not keep falling for bread and circuses.

Allison Plyer, of the Data Center, who has crunched the city’s demographic numbers for nearly two decades, said the city is exceptional “only in terms of culture.” For the few indicators the Data Center keeps about culture, New Orleans is “well above the national average,” she said.

“We’re also well above the national average in incarceration,” Plyer said. “But we’re not different than other places in other measures of hardship, and those are glaring and need to be addressed.”

For all of New Orleans’ numerical similarities to places such as Cleveland, when Plyer looks up from her spreadsheets and PowerPoints, she sees a city that is special, she said. “And because it is special, I am interested in working to address issues of hardship and well-being here,” she said.

Tony Recasner, who heads Agenda for Children, said that because of the city’s small size and tight geography, the problems of the poor are often in plain view, just like the brass bands and parades. That proximity among people of all income levels contributes to high levels of volunteerism here, he thinks.

Experts ask if New Orleans’ ‘exceptionalism’ masks grimmer reality | News | The New Orleans Advocate — New Orleans, Louisiana.

A Red Light Look at New Orleans History

Wednesday: THNOC librarian & curator Pamela Arceneaux, sheds light on the history of prostitution with library presentation in Gentilly
Wednesday, May 21 • 6 p.m.
Norman Mayer Library
3001 Gentilly Boulevard
Admission is free.

Pamela Arceneaux, THNOC senior librarian/rare books curator, will present a lively history of prostitution in New Orleans, including references to the “correctional” girls and the casket girls, quadroon balls and the system of plaçage, red light areas prior to Storyville, prominent personalities, the Blue Books, jazz, and the demise of Storyville.
She will discuss the popular topic again on Wednesday, May 28, at 6 p.m. at the Algiers Regional Library, 3014 Holiday Drive.