Mayor Mitch Landrieu was in Washington D.C. yesterday, meeting with Obama administration officials regarding the oil catastrophe, when the brouhaha over NOPD's renewed enforcement of noise ordinances turned into its own gusher. If he Blackberry-ed or iPhoned over to his own Facebook page while waiting at the airport, he would've gotten an earful from citizens and visitors alike, almost uniformly unhappy at the newly enforced curfew of 8 p.m. for street musicians ... and the possibility that any musician found playing on the streets after 8:01 could be arrested.
Tonight, the mayor issued this statement:
New Orleans is the Cultural Capitol of the World, and we have an obligation to protect and support the very things that make our culture so authentic. It is possible for musicians and residents and businesses to co-exist in the French Quarter and across our city. It requires having ordinances that make sense, that are clearly communicated to the public and that are properly enforced. My administration is going to work with the City Council and the New Orleans Police Department to review the quality of life ordinances to ensure that they best serve the needs of our community.
What does it mean? Not sure yet.
(By the way: the mayor's Facebook page has 4,932 fans. The Facebook page in support of the musicians, "Don't Stop the Music. Let New Orleans Street Musicians Play!," which didn't exist 48 hours ago, has 4,547 fans ... a good number of whom are perplexed and/or angry visitors.)