Thursday, January 29, 2009

Spike Lee, Wendell Pierce, and Chris Paul keep New Orleans in the spotlight

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 9:07 PM

click to enlarge Spike and Wendell

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Photo by Jonathan Bachman

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Despite all the success the Hornets had last year and carried into this season, and with all the TV shows and movies being filmed here at the moment, there has been a relative drought of celebrities at the Hive this season (not that they were all that famous to begin with, but still). So, yes, seeing Spike Lee and Wendell Pierce at the Hornets game last night was quite a treat.

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Lee was in town doing lectures at various local colleges while Pierce, a New Orleans native, is getting ready to start shooting the new HBO series "Treme" set in the neighborhood of the same name. Funny enough, though they're pictured above together and the two are friends and collaborated with Lee's "When the Levees Broke", Pierce said that he didn't know that the director was still in town (this was also after Lee was featured on the jumbotron. Though I didn't point that out).

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It seemed appropriate that the acclaimed director who's post-Katrina work and the native actor whose HBO series comes out next year would congregate in Chris Paul's house. All three have brought national attention to New Orleans and both Pierce and Lee said that Paul's mere presence in the city does wonders for its recovery.

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"It's great," Lee said. "He's the best point gaurd in the league!"

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Pierce, who is working the redevelop Ponchartrain Park, said that the most important thing about having the likes of Chris Paul, as well as movies and television series about the city, keeps the national attention on the city.

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"It's a long term, it's a long haul," he said of the city's recovery. "And to have a show like 'Treme' which is about the recovery, and to have Spike — Spike fell in love with the city, he comes here all the time — and to have Chris Paul, who could be anywhere, to choose to play here is a testament to the city."

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While Lee is an acclaimed director who's been churning out hits for more than 25 years, Pierce didn't get his big break until he starred in HBO's acclaimed series "The Wire." If you have any doubts about HBO's seriousness in making a successful series based in New Orleans, take heart in the fact that it will feature many of the same people from "The Wire" including the show's creator.

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This was not the first time this month Lee and Pierce ran into each other, too. Both attended President Barack Obama's inaguration earlier this month and Pierce said that he and Spike partied until around five in the morning. Now both are working to make sure the city makes a full recovery and have faith in the new adminsitration's claims that they will follow through on George Bush's broken promises.

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"I believe everything my president says," Lee said.

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Oh, and for all "The Wire" fans out there, here's a picture of Pierce being all "Detective Bunk":

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click to enlarge Pierce is Detective Bunk

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Photograph by Jonathan Bachman

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