New Orleans Life

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The party and protest: Election Day and aftermath in New Orleans

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 12:45 AM

Hillary Clinton, mounted to a box of tissues, at Twelve Mile Limit on Election Day.
  • Hillary Clinton, mounted to a box of tissues, at Twelve Mile Limit on Election Day.

On Nov. 4, 2008, a crowd spilled out of One Eyed Jacks and onto Toulouse Street. Inside, a shoulder-to-shoulder audience of a few hundred people watched, through tears, as then-President-elect Barack Obama embraced his family and Vice President-elect Joe Biden while DJ Soul Sister blasted Parliament.

On Nov. 8, 2016, on the dance floor at One Eyed Jacks, a dozen people quietly sat behind a few small tables. A few others stood at the bar. A screen above the stage ticked a few more electoral votes to Donald Trump. There were no cheers.

At 8 p.m., a crowd — in solidarity pantsuits, homemade "Nasty Woman" T-shirts and patches and pins — packed into Twelve Mile Limit in Mid-City, turned to CNN as early voting returns started painting the map. Boos for red states. Cheers for blue ones. Cheers for Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth's election to the Senate. Boos for Marco Rubio's reelection to the Senate in Florida.

Crowds across town gathered for watch parties as the polls closed, high off the momentum from voting and in the company of friends, comparing TV results with updates on Twitter. Less than 24 hours later, a Trump effigy burned at Lee Circle.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

On the Clock: Rodney Thomas, Harrah's New Orleans Casino table games dealer

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 2:11 PM

Rodney Thomas deals table games at Harrah's New Orleans Casino.
  • Rodney Thomas deals table games at Harrah's New Orleans Casino.

At 12:45 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon, Rodney Thomas is dealing roulette. Three men  —  one with a Budweiser, one with a brown cocktail in a plastic cup  —  are saddled up in the chairs surrounding the felt-covered table, clearly having a far better time than anyone is generally entitled to on weekdays. Though Thomas just stepped up to the table a few minutes ago, relieving another dealer who was on duty, he’s already formed a bond with the guys. He says something that makes them break up in guffawing, backslapping laughter, before they turn their attention to the table's grid of worn-in numbers, ready to stack their chips in enigmatic patterns.

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Monday, November 7, 2016

Y@ Speak: it's not over yet

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 6:32 PM

As we wade through the traditional Election Day Eve flooding to celebrate our right to swim to a voting booth, let's look back at the week before we finally, finally reached the presidential election. (If you missed some Halloween-y stuff, check last week's bonus edition.)

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Protesters hit with pepper spray at Dillard as David Duke enters Senate debate

Posted By on Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 11:45 PM

Students and supporters protesting against David Duke at Dillard University Nov. 2.
  • Students and supporters protesting against David Duke at Dillard University Nov. 2.

With the admission of white supremacist, former Ku Klux Klansman and neo-Nazi David Duke into a final debate in Louisiana's crowded race for U.S. Senate, protesters at Dillard University demanded Duke be removed from campus and for the university to condemn his campaign.

But as protests continued outside the doors of the Georges Auditorium, police pepper sprayed into the crowd, sending protesters running for cover, and several people were detained as they tried to make their way inside.

Students were anxious, scared, and frustrated with other protestors and fellow students, but none was defeated. Passing a microphone to students and supporters throughout the night, each speaker celebrated the history of the university, the civil rights advocates who came before them, and their goals for social and racial justice long after Duke's appearance. But all criticized the university's administration for even allowing him to be there.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Y@ Speak: scary stories

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 6:30 PM


We bring you this (really) late edition to fit in some of your spooky Halloween tweets, plus terrifying tales from the Pelicans, and R.I.P. @BeingNOLA, who gave us a few final questionnaires before going to that big blue checkmark in the sky. May we all continue to follow and unfollow you into the next life.

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New Orleans Public Library main branch to close for two weeks

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 12:44 PM

The main branch of the New Orleans Public Library. - CREATIVE COMMONS/JASON PARIS
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/JASON PARIS
  • The main branch of the New Orleans Public Library.

The New Orleans Public Library's main branch will be closed for repairs Dec. 5 through Dec. 18, according to a memo from city librarian Charles Brown. The renovation will include a complete replacement of the building's main electrical circuit, which was installed when the library was built in 1958.

The Automotive Life Insurance Building on Canal Street, which will reopen as the Mid-City branch of the New Orleans Public Library this fall. - KEVIN ALLMAN
  • KEVIN ALLMAN
  • The Automotive Life Insurance Building on Canal Street, which will reopen as the Mid-City branch of the New Orleans Public Library this fall.
Two of the library's other 13 branches currently are closed: the Nix Library in Carrollton closed for its own renovations in mid-October, while the Mid-City Library closed Oct. 22 in preparation for moving to its new location in the former Automotive Life Insurance Building on Canal Street. That opening date currently is scheduled for sometime around Thanksgiving.

The closure of the main library also will include services housed downtown, including the African American Resource Center and the Louisiana Division/City Archives & Special Collections.

Readers with books on reserve at the main branch in December are encouraged to log into their library accounts to change their pickup location.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

On the Clock: Troy Delaney, steamboat Natchez pilot

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 8:41 AM

Steamboat pilot Troy Delaney in the pilot house (sometimes called the wheelhouse).
  • Steamboat pilot Troy Delaney in the pilot house (sometimes called the wheelhouse).


Like Prince once said, there’s joy in repetition. Think of a chef, working the line in his restaurant night after night; a chess master, reaching to select a pawn for her first move; a basketball player shooting free throw after free throw on an empty court. Repetition is the key to mastery, “flow,” the elusive art of moving without thinking. 

That’s what I think about, sitting with pilot Troy Delaney in the glass-windowed pilot house of the steamboat Natchez, little wavelets crumpling the river’s surface way below us. Delaney has been steering the Natchez for 12 years, working five days a week, making three voyages a day. Even considering the month or so the boat spends in “lay-up,” when it stops service for painting and other maintenance, that’s as many as 720 trips over the course of a year, making the run downriver toward Chalmette Battlefield, where the Natchez turns around, and back.

Delaney knows everything about the boat and almost as much about the glassy bends of the river. Together, they form a tranquil kingdom he takes pride in leading.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Y@ Speak: haunted

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 11:15 AM

In this week's Tales from the Cryptkeeper (hello): "The City Where Nobody Lives... Except The Visitors" and "The Team That Is Good (?) But Is Actually Very Bad."

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Short-term rentals in New Orleans get City Council approval

Posted By on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 9:15 PM

At an Oct. 20 New Orleans City Council meeting, opponents of whole-home rentals in New Orleans wore "shame" buttons, with the Airbnb logo replacing the "A."
  • At an Oct. 20 New Orleans City Council meeting, opponents of whole-home rentals in New Orleans wore "shame" buttons, with the Airbnb logo replacing the "A."

Airbnb now has a framework to operate, legally, in New Orleans. After months of debates and public meetings over short-term rentals (STRs), their proliferation, and the impacts they've had in the city over the last several years, the New Orleans City Council on Oct. 20 passed a measure — introduced by Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration this week — that sets up permits, fees, taxes and an infrastructure for short-term rentals advertised on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO.

The motion prohibits full-time whole-home short term rentals in residential areas — but it will allow whole-home "temporary rentals" up to 90 days a year.

The vote followed a week of compromises laid out by Landrieu's administration, which initially supported the practice of whole-home rentals in residential neighborhoods, but backed off in favor of "temporary rentals" up to 120 days a year, then, ultimately, 90 days. Housing advocacy groups and residents — disappointed with the compromise vote — have demanded the city prohibit all whole-home rentals. Opponents, in red, wearing "shame" buttons and holding up signs, called councilmembers "sellouts"; proponents cheered.

The motion serves as a starting point to amend the city's Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, the city's massive rulebook for land use through which all property manners adhere. It now will incorporate STRs.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"Uninhabitable" storytelling showcase sheds light on New Orleans housing issues

Posted By on Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 5:45 PM

thinkstockphotos-146884413.jpg
Everyone has a landlord story. Or a mold story. Or a termite story. Or worse. Or all of the above. On Oct. 20, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center partners with the live storytelling series Bring Your Own to open the floor to "stories of being pushed out and pushing back," from evictions and absentee landlords to the rising costs of housing and rents in New Orleans.

The city routinely ranks among the worst U.S. cities for renters, though more than half of the city rents. Nearly 40 percent of renters pay half their entire income on rent and utilities, according to GNOFHAC. Housing costs continue to rise, outpacing wage growth and quality housing; about 80 percent of the city's 62,000 rental units need major repairs and thousands other rental properties endure mold, rodents and leaks. Housing advocates say renters can't get the city's code enforcement to respond to quality of life issues via 311.

The event aims to "shine a light on the leaks, rats,and mold that are all too common in the lives of New Orleans renters" through eight storytellers' grim, funny and thought-provoking true stories.

The event begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Radical Arts & Healing Collective (1340 Montegut St.) with food by Goodman's BBQ, a cash bar and music from Lost in the Holler. Storytelling begins at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

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