new orleans

41 Articles
Sam Jasper

Cross-posted at New Orleans Slate

Dear Mayor Landrieu,

I voted for you. Twice. I felt then and feel now that you really want to work with the community. I felt then and feel now that having grown up here in New Orleans, you have a deep connection to the City, its people and its culture in all the various forms that culture presents. That said, I am greatly concerned, as are many others, that some of the cultural heritage unique to this City will soon be obliterated by bad laws, pressure from monied property owners (both natives and newcomers), and the pursuit of money for the City coffers which admittedly could use some shoring up.

Unfortunately it often looks as though that shoring up is being done on the backs of the regular working folks via traffic cam tickets that are a hardship on just about everyone trying to make it month to month, crazy new taxicab regulations that are a hardship on many career cab drivers, unwieldy and seemingly serendipitous permitting requirements on club owners who are the small business owner/job creators we hear about every day, more permits on the smallest of entrepreneurial business owners–the vendors at Second Lines, and on the culture bearers themselves—the musicians and artists who create the culture that draws visitors to our City every year from all over the world. Lately we’ve heard words like noise, crackdown, permit, and ordinance used to intimidate bands off of street corners, to cause clubs to stop live music for fear of total shut downs, and as you know, those words have been a sometimes unspoken threat to parades and Indians for a long time.

Derek Bridges

Note: This post originally appeared August 29, 2010. I thought it might be relevant to run again in light of the encroaching demise of the Times-Picayune.

We were supposed to have a garage sale on Sunday, August 28, 2005.   We had recently moved into a house we bought in Central City and had cleaned out our old Broadmoor apartment and planned to sell the odds and ends that didn’t make it to our new home.  It was to be the final hurrah of our move.  Suffice to say we evacuated the night before and the garage sale never happened.  I didn’t get back into town for another three weeks, but there on the second floor of our old apartment’s stoop was our last Times-Picayune, still in the plastic and dry.  I tossed the paper in the car and drove back to Houston.  I finally pulled that newspaper out of its plastic bag this weekend.

John Hicks

The scene: A top-security research lab. Monday morning, 8 AM. The present.

Enter BOB, researcher extraordinaire. His lab partner, EDDIE, is already at his desk. They drink coffee out of space-age mugs.

BOB: Morning.


BOB: Holy cow. I really tied one on last night.

EDDIE: That Night Train is a mean wine.

BOB: You’re tellin’ me. What’s on the to-do list?

EDDIE: Nothing.

BOB: Nothing?

EDDIE: Zip. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

BOB: Sounds good to me. I need a nap.

EDDIE: You know, Bob, I’ve been thinking …

BOB: Yeah?

EDDIE: What say (sly grin) we weaponize some bird flu?

BOB: Highly lethal and contagious? A super-spreader?

EDDIE: You’re reading my mind.

BOB: I always got a hankerin’ for a powerful new pathogenic organism. Especially one with a little Armageddon flavor.

EDDIE: Or we could just play World of Warcraft until somebody catches us goofing off.

BOB: No, let’s stick with the bird-flu thing.

EDDIE: A few mutations and, well, you are your father’s brother.

BOB: Easy as falling off a log.

EDDIE: Whoa!

BOB: What?

EDDIE: It just hit me. Man, this is sweet.

BOB: C’mon, give.

EDDIE: We write up all the details and publish them in a major scientific journal.

BOB: Effin’ genius. That’s what that is.

EDDIE: I’m thinking Hollywood all the way. Six-figure option. Dustin Hoffman.

BOB: Anything I can do, personally, to get Dustin Hoffman back into a hazmat suit …

EDDIE: It’s not a win-win proposition. It’s more like a win-win-win proposition.

Derek Bridges

Joseph Crachiola is from a small town outside Detroit that got swallowed up by the suburbs (same story for me, except replace Detroit with Chicago). He worked 15 years for suburban Detroit newspapers and 22 years as a corporate photographer before he got bought out and decided to move to New Orleans about 2 years ago. He recently served as road manager for the Pinettes Brass Band in Turkey, and photographed the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy.