Raindrops filled a few puddles inside the shell of Circle Food Store, the iconic domed Treme grocery store and community space, which has stood empty since the 2005 floods when 5 feet of water filled the landmark. It first opened in 1939 as the first African-American-owned grocery store in New Orleans. Today, city officials and owner Dwayne Boudreaux held a ceremonial groundbreaking and announced the store's reopening in summer 2013.
"This was an iconic place for so many of us. It was the hub of the 7th Ward," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "There are very few symbols of what New Orleans was and what it could be than Circle Food Store."
Last summer, Landrieu's office announced a $1 million loan from the Fresh Food Financing Initiative, which launched in March 2011 to offer low-cost, flexible financing to retailers looking to expand affordable fresh food options in under-served neighborhoods. FFRI is financed by $7 million in Disaster Community Development Block Grant funds, matched by the Hope Enterprise Corporation (totaling $14 million in FFRI funds).
Boudreaux told Gambit construction will likely begin next week and he anticipates the store reopening in July. Landrieu's economic development advisor Aimee Quirk said the store will employ 75 full- and part-time jobs.
Hurricane Katrina "recovery czar" Ed Blakely has been appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to a commission to "examine the state's emergency response capabilities" in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, according to an interview Blakely has done with an Australian radio station.
In recent years, Blakely has been living in Australia, where he is Honorary Professor of Urban Policy at the US Studies Centre of the University of Sydney.
"My role in this is to make sure they're ready for what's likely to be another one soon," Blakely told the Australian radio station, adding that "A number of people have asked me if I would be around to discuss these things as they're moving forward."
The original announcement of the commission made no mention of Blakely.
Blakely has already weighed in on what New York needs to do in the wake of Sandy. That's under the jump, along with a link to the Library Chronicles' classic Blakely timeline, "Come Crane With Me":
Here's a nice story for Thanksgiving, courtesy of New York's WCBS-TV:
AMITYVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Hurricane survivors from hundreds of miles away have arrived on Long Island with a massive care package to help the Sandy relief effort.
Two truckloads of supplies and food arrived at Amityville High School from New Orleans, thanks to a couple of Katrina survivors who wanted to help out.
The tractor-trailers are filled with diapers, clothes, food and any other supplies New Orleans residents thought could be useful in the clean up and relief effort.
“It was amazing to see how many people responded to our cry for help down there to send up here,” Louisiana resident Trey Ledbetter told WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall.
Canada's Globe & Mail newspaper decided to ask Michael "Brownie" Brown's opinion on Hurricane Sandy, and the paper got it:
Federal agencies such as FEMA have a role. FEMA’s is to be that “honest broker” between the states and various localities.
Brownie does not know what "honest broker" means.
But at the end of the day, it is still each of us, as individuals, who are responsible for our own safety and well-being.
But not, apparently, our own Baton Rouge restaurant reservations.
On national television Tuesday, I told New Yorkers they needed to “chill.”
And you didn't get kicked in the nuts by a cameraman? New York, you disappoint me.
Below the fold: Canadians thank the Globe & Mail for providing Brownie insights.
Ever have a day where your mind is clouded with memories, one triggering another? That's the kind of day I was having when I was on my St. Claude bus adventure for the final Public Transit Tuesday, before I take my new position as a general assignment reporter for The Times-Picayune.
The only way I could transcribe the memories in my mind that day would be to use stream of consciousness, which would end up looking about as messy as the legal pad I took on my adventure, where I jotted down notes including "The Mack, Charles, PTSD about Mom," "New Kids on the Box lunchbox from Eckerd's" and "Te-Te's cocaine and Cuban sandwiches?"
Since the St. Claude bus was pretty full, as is usually the case, I was able to keep from reminiscing so much by paying closer attention to the people on the bus with me.
When I made it to the end of the line in Arabi, I was tempted to catch my favorite bus, the St. Bernard Parish bus, but was too busy trying to listen to the boys freestyling and beatboxing in the back — not that they were good.
My hearing isn't the best so here are what I think are some excerpts from their verses:
"I met her on crack, f*ck the n*gga head up
Driver off the bus, went and had a heart attack."
"Make a n*gga feel the way my Uncle Terry feel."
"Dat boy said, dat boy said, dat boy said, 'MAMACITA!'"
"I think Wayne garbage though — and THAT'S that sh*t I don't like."
"Dat boy said, 'I'ont want no HIV, yes Lawd!"
"She sent me nekkid pictures — I LIKEDED DAT!"
It was a pretty day so I decided to walk down St. Claude, but not before stopping at a restaurant that's — get this — actually run by native New Orleanians...
I met a woman today who was (rightfully) suspicious when she saw me in the 7th Ward, digging under a house, snapping pictures and writing in my legal pad. After chatting for a while, she asked, "What are you going to write about? This article, what is it?" I said, "Well. I don't know. A little bit of everything, really. I can delete the pictures of you if you want." She looked at me for a little while, trying to see if I was legit, before saying, "Alright, sista, Imma let you have this one...But if you see what's going on and don't write about it, you're a part of the problem."
I agree. I've mentioned the issues that we were venting about (gentrification, euphemistic neighborhood names and discrimination) and others that would have come up in the conversation eventually (hate groups, homelessness, accessibility, the stigma in the black community associated with seeking mental health care, blight and the lack of love for New Orleans East), but I'll admit that I haven't really gone into detail as much as I can and should. She correctly guessed that I try to keep my power-fighting to a minimum because I don't want to ruffle feathers.
When I started this column, I was used to writing for CUE, our monthly fashion, home and beauty magazine. I love writing for CUE because I love glossy magazines; like CUE intern Angela Hernandez, I have stacks of glossy mags all over the house. (I know a girl who slipped on a magazine and broke her arm, though, so be careful and keep those stacks off of the floor.)
@angieworldorder @megandoesnola We are all going to end up on hoarders burried under stacks and stacks of magazines.
— Angela Hernandez(@AngieHrndz) September 10, 2012
I'm not linking the actual Twitter conversation because I know this person doesn't like to mix Twitter with his actual blog. I know that because I ended up getting really angry about his accusation later that night. Not because of him, but because I was venting to someone about the accusation who said that someone else said that my writing "sounded too much like ad copy" and that set me off. (The person who told me this was trying to be helpful, not gossipy.)
I didn't think the person who originally said my writing sounded like ad copy liked me anyway (well, I thought the person did at first but then I thought the person didn't), so I tried to brush it off, but I kept hearing it play in my mind: Ad copy. Ad copy?! I wondered to myself if the person had ever read a magazine; my CUE writing and glossy magazine writing are pretty damn parallel, which is a good thing.
I searched all over the Internet and found out who was behind the cartoon avatar on Twitter and was pretty happy to see that I wasn't the only journalist — not even the only Gambit writer — that he openly critiqued.
(Update: He liked the next installment, we follow each other on Twitter and he likes my Facebook journalist page and all of that good stuff. And I'm pretty cool with the person who didn't like me back then. We're not best buddies or anything, but we like and respect each other.)
Riding the bus today with Apptitude founder Chris Boyd, we discussed the importance of doing things for your community, even when they are often literally more trouble than they're worth. He said, "It's a good motivation when you remember that you're doing something for New Orleans."
While Isaac was a lingering tropical storm this morning, all was relatively quiet Uptown. People were running along the streetcar route, walking their dogs, stopping into pharmacies and grocery stores, and eating breakfast at several still-open restaurants.
But the hurricane prep was underway — the hanging coffee cup sign outside Oak Street Cafe came down, shutters were pulled down at Superior Seafood and Jazmine Cafe, and boards were going up in shop windows, many with spray-painted messages, a now-standard "last word" before the storm ahead.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced a $1 million loan from the Fresh Food Retailer Initiative (FFRI) to the Circle Food Store, the historic property at the corner of North Claiborne and St. Bernard avenues.
According to a statement from Landrieu's office, the total renovation costs to re-open are $9.2 million — the $1 million loan has a forgivable amount of $500,000, and will allow the store to begin its re-opening process. The store will create an estimated 75 jobs.
While rain prevented anyone from physically breaking the ground at the site, several public officials praised the construction as a symbol of the improvement of the St. Roch neighborhood. District C Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer, in whose district the market stands, called the market a “sign of the revitalization of the neighborhood … to bring more economic development and investment to the area.” She also praised the Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association, which spearheaded the idea by conducting door-to-door surveys. Landrieu and Palmer added touches of nostalgia, reminiscing about buying po-boys and crawfish in their childhoods when the store was known Lama's St. Roch Market.
The film is set in a mythical place called the Bathtub, situated beyond the last levee protecting Louisiana's coastal wetlands. It centers on a 6-year-old girl named Hushpuppy, her ailing father Wink, an absent mother and a coming storm. Hushpuppy's world is full of wild animals, close-knit neighbors and fantastic creatures who may signal the end of all things.
That is not what Ben Kenigsberg, movie critic for Time Out Chicago, saw:
The surprise of this magical-realist tale, a sensation at Sundance this year, is that it allegorizes Katrina as George W. Bush might like to remember it. In the Bathtub (standing in for the Lower Ninth Ward), every day is a holiday, and the largely black residents are depicted as alcoholics, inattentive parents or fools who accidentally set fire to their homes. When authorities do intervene, they’re helpless anyway: Bathtubbers run from the hospital. Forget FEMA; in a message amplified by Hushpuppy’s valediction, the movie implies hurricane victims would rather take care of their own.
Fantastic! In my neighborhood! Yum.
is your penis an "innie"
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