Nostalgia

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Public Transit Tuesdays: Lake Forest

Posted By on Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 11:59 PM

The East is coming back and it's pretty close to what I remember. Ah, the East. Aside from having to live with my Mom's emotionally abusive first cousin and his even more emotionally abusive wife from October 2002-May 2003, after my Mom died and my Paw Paw took ill (He died in February 2003.), I have nothing but fond memories there: shopping at the Plaza as a kid and boy-watching there as a teenager, visiting family and friends of the family since practically every 7th Ward household engaged in the New Orleans East exodus and doing suburban family things like going to Denny's and Wal-Mart without having to go to Metairie, Kenner or the Westbank.

From what I gathered on this bus adventure, the majority of the East is back and there's not much blight — except for businesses. There were so many abandoned businesses and overgrown lots where businesses once stood. And it wasn't Mom and Pop places — these were strip malls, schools and other businesses that, if I had to assume, have the means to rebuild.

The fact that the Lake Forest bus was "oh-my-God-is-someone-else's-sweat-dripping-down-back," "please-mister-bus-driver-don't-make-a-sharp-turn-because-I-don't-want-to-fall-out-of-the-back-door" packed not only illustrates the rebounding population of the East but provides quite a few quotable moments...

Read near Morrison
  • Read near Morrison

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Public Transit Tuesdays: Leonidas

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 11:59 PM

The second accompanied installment of Public Transit Tuesdays brings us from City Park to Audubon Zoo on the Leonidas bus, passing through Hollygrove, Pigeon Town and Gert Town, proving to be a fine continuation of my Uptown education which began years ago when I was a student at Lusher Extension. This bus adventure opens with difficult questions: How do you pronounce "Leonidas" anyway? What are the boundaries of these neighborhoods? Good thing my bus buddy and best friend Jenny who was raised in all three neighborhoods was there to help answer them...

CIMG0684.JPG

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, July 27, 2012

We love you, Hubig's

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Hubigs owners Lamar Bowman and Otto Ramsey.

And you will rebuild.

In the meantime, why not re-read our Hubig's cover story, "The Value of Pie: Simon Survives"?

Tags: ,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dump the Pump NOLA Triple-Bus Adventure Recap

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 7:38 PM

To celebrate National Dump the Pump Day on June 21, I bought a $3 RTA day pass and rode around the city on the Broad...

Broad.jpg

Morrison Express...
Morrison.jpg

and Franklin buses.
Franklin.jpg

Unlike my typical bus adventures, I didn't stop at any places along the route and instead just enjoyed being chauffeured around the city.

Those who are hesitant about using public transportation should first try exploring like this, riding without getting off, just to get accustomed to bus travel without fear. Riding like this is like dipping your toes in the pool before getting in.

Of course, as with taking any other trip, there are things you should know before you go...

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Public Transit Tuesdays: Tchoupitoulas

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Since the Tchoupitoulas bus comes only once an hour—with the exception of coming once every half hour in the early morning, late afternoon and early evening—this bus adventure was more of a walking tour. A very exhausting walking tour. Still, I explored different socioeconomic areas, stopped at some fun places and met some nice people who were eager to talk with me...

CIMG9300.JPG

tchoup.jpg

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Public Transit Tuesdays: Canal Streetcar

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Canal Street is the hub of public transportation in New Orleans. In fact, most of my Public Transit Tuesdays and non-Gambit bus excursions have me crossing Canal Street at some point. Also, if you're ever lost on a bus adventure, you'll be halfway home if you can find your way back to Canal Street. Sadly, this doesn't work for the RTA's demon seed, the Kenner Loop. The Canal streetcar demographic can't be explained, as it's full of tourists, locals, students, working people and the unemployed. That inexplicable demographic is one of the best parts of riding the Canal streetcar, as you never know who you'll meet. The only depressing thing about riding the Canal Streetcar is that it makes you long for the New Orleans that was...

CIMG9113.JPG

CanalMap.jpg

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The artist's mother

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2012 at 10:34 AM

“Aren’t you happy?” asked my uncle of Marie Rodrigue on the night of my engagement to her son. “You’re going to have a daughter-in-law!”

“I had one,” she replied, her face deadpan. “It didn’t work out.”

Marie Courrege Rodrigue at her sons exhibition, Louisiana State Archives, Baton Rouge, 2001
  • Marie Courrege Rodrigue at her son's exhibition, Louisiana State Archives, Baton Rouge, 2001

When she died in 2008 at age one hundred and three, George Rodrigue’s mother still wanted to “go home” to New Iberia. She wanted her car back, to remove her grandsons’ hats and cut their hair, to lengthen my skirts and overcook my Thanksgiving turkey, to visit long-dead friends and family, and, most important, to see her son get a real job, “with the telephone company,” she said, as she worried about his pension:

“When will you realize that nobody’s gonna buy those pictures?”

She was tough, ‘solid,’ as George used to say, with legs like tree stumps (her description, not mine, although…)…

Marie Rodrigue watches the Atchafalaya River behind her sons then-studio in Butte La Rose, Louisiana, 1997
  • Marie Rodrigue watches the Atchafalaya River behind her son's then-studio in Butte La Rose, Louisiana, 1997

Continue reading »

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A 1960 newsreel proves that Louisiana oysters thrive on oil

Posted By on Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 12:03 PM

The Political Desk has unearthed a real gem — a 1960 "public information service" newsreel by the American Petroleum Institute, which debunks the crazy theory that the oil industry might have some deleterious effect on the Louisiana oyster population ... as proven with a "two-million-dollar oyster research program!".

Back then, something was retarding the growth of oysters in the Gulf, so oil company scientists put some oysters in a tank and fed them a diet of crude oil and other gunk.

Surprise: "The test oysters were so happy they brought forth new generations – they never had it so good!"

Must be seen to be believed.

Tags: , , , ,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A powerful museum

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 6:21 PM

“Despite the debate in the museum world about the value of blockbuster exhibitions, … the show became a watershed in the cultural history of New Orleans, with people speaking of ‘before Tut’ and ‘after Tut.’” -Prescott N. Dunbar*

Last week, with the death of Encyclopedia Britannica’s print edition, I toured Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial and thought about information. I researched the show beforehand on NOMA’s new and improved website, impressed with the museum’s education efforts, particularly in sharing the exhibition with Middle School children.

In my youth, the show was Treasures of Tutankhamun, and the research came not from websites and social media, but from small images and dense text in a fat set of alphabetized books lined up along the school library wall. There were no links, no games, and no videos. Outside of Encyclopedia Britannica, Tut existed only in Egypt until one magical year it visited six U.S. museums, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, its only southern stop. I sat last Monday on a bench in Hard Truths (reviewed here by D. Eric Bookhardt for Gambit) and googled 'Selket' on my iPhone, triggering a flashback:

At 4:00 a.m. on December 26th 1977, my mother, giddy, woke me.

“Hurry up, Wendy Anne. Wear your new coat. It’s cold.”

I was ten.

Along with my younger cousin Kelly, we left my uncle’s house at 484 Fairfield Drive in Gretna, Louisiana on a moonless, stormy night. We ate pop tarts in my mother’s canary yellow Oldsmobile as we drove across the Mississippi River and a then-single Greater New Orleans Bridge to a parking lot located somewhere in Mid-City. With hundreds of families we waited one hour in the dark for a bus that carried us past a Nile-blue painted Lelong Avenue and the New Orleans Museum of Art to a distant City Park path, where we joined thousands of people already in line.

Looking at NOMA, a speck at the end of Lelong Avenue, during Treasures of Tutankhamun 1977

Continue reading »

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pancho’s lowers the flag

Posted By on Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 11:56 AM

All is quiet now at the cheese sauce-colored restaurant.
  • Ian McNulty
  • All is quiet now at the cheese sauce-colored restaurant.

It’s the story of a buffet that burned twice as bright, made you twice as full but burned out very fast.

Pancho’s Mexican Super Buffet (100 N. Labarre Rd., phone n.a.) in Metairie has closed permanently, at least according to the unambiguous signs posted to its chained and padlocked doors.

The doors at Panchos on N. Labarre Road.

The news comes not quite three years after the restaurant reopened from a long post-Katrina hiatus and was welcomed by throngs of fans, who eagerly lined up outside to get a table.

To its devotees, the name Pancho's was synonymous with an exuberant excess of flautas, tacos, chili rellenos, cheese enchiladas and sopapillas, with the option to pour chili and cheese sauce over just about anything. Miniature Mexican flags mounted at each table were a trademark of the place, and customers would ceremoniously raise the tiny banner up a flagpole to signal Pancho’s servers that they wanted more food.

In its glory days — and at least initially after its return — Pancho’s struck a loud chord with many people.

Continue reading »

Tags: ,

Submit an event Jump to date

Recent Comments

© 2016 Gambit
Powered by Foundation