Thursday, February 14, 2013

St. Roch Park set to open summer 2013

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 5:51 PM

The dugout of the St. Roch Park from its perimeter fence.
  • The dugout of the St. Roch Park from its perimeter fence.

The $1.8 million park project anchoring St. Roch Avenue should wrap before summer, according to city officials who announced the plans from outside the park gates this afternoon. Construction on the park's pool, however, will wait as the city and park planners gather more funding — the city already has $400,000 from FEMA dedicated to restoring the existing pool. A new indoor pool is unlikely and would cost millions, officials said.

Vincent Smith, the city's director of capital projects, said the park should open in time for NORD's 2013 summer programming. "Right now we've just got the $400,000," he said. "It's going to be a process to raise additional funding." NORD director Vic Richard added, "If we get the park up June 1, the community will be proud of it."

The park (third oldest in the city) and Harold Sampson playground sits between the St. Roch Community Church and the St. Roch Cemetery. The park is currently bare and stripped of grass and amenities. Updates will include a baseball field and resurfaced basketball court, with repairs to the fences and gates, restroom facilities and concession stand. District C city councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said that the neighborhood "has not seen a lot of investment historically," but thanked the St. Roch Neighborhood Improvement Association and neighbors for driving interest in its revitalization. The park project will anchor the neutral ground — on its other end, the St. Roch Market, which is scheduled to open in March. The market links the park via a neutral ground park space with benches and "art walk" — which is roughly completed.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

NOPD offers free bike registration

Posted By on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 12:15 PM

The New Orleans Police Department, with the Fraternal Order of Police and Bike Easy, will offer bicyclists free licenses and registration from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5.


Bicycle registration typically is $3, but for bikes without a receipt, the city requires a notarized affidavit, and total registration can cost up to $35. At the event, Bike Easy will pay the notary, and the Fraternal Order of Police will pay the licensing fee. To register, bring your bike and a photo ID. Bike Easy also will offer free bicycle safety training from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In 2010, New Orleans City Council was set to consider a sweeping bike registration ordinance but it was pulled from the agenda. It would've updated the existing law — adopted in 1987 and requiring each bike pay a $3 registration fee — to enforce a $15 fee.

Under current city ordinances, "No person who resides in the city shall ride or propel a bicycle upon any street unless such bicycle has been registered and a registration plate is attached thereto." (Bicycles valued at less than $100 are exempt.) Bicyclists found without proper registration could be fined up to $100.

Several other U.S. cities have implemented registration programs in an effort to curb theft. Detroit enacted a 2008 ordinance calling for police to fine cyclists that didn't present a $1 registration sticker; a month later, the city council repealed the law. Oregon's House Bill 3008, a proposal for cyclists to cough up a $54 fee every two years to pay for roadwork and bike facilities, underwent considerable scrutiny and vigorous protests from the biking community — and subsequently died.

Visit Bike Easy's website for more information.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

4 (FOUR!) second line parades this weekend

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Take your vitamins and get your street shoes out cause we bout to get busy this weekend. Four (4) second line parades happening this weekend, three downtown, one uptown: Black Men of Labor, 6t'9 Halloween Parade, Men and Ladies of Class, and Treme 200 United Second Line.

For all you do New Orleans, this weekend is for you!

(parade times and routes below the jump!)

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Scenes from the 2012 Louisiana Bicycle Festival

Posted By on Sat, Jun 16, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Jet-propelled bike named The Biohazard

The 2012 Louisiana Bicycle Festival in Abita Springs Saturday, June 16, attracted a large group of bicycle aficionados as well as bike riders of all types and ages drawn to a festival ground filled with bikes from a variety of time periods as well as bike parts, accessories and live music.

Here's a sampling of what was there (Click on the photos for a larger image):

Biohazard at rest
  • "Biohazard" at rest

Vintage Western Flyer
  • Vintage Western Flyer

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Bicycle festival in Abita Springs Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 9:51 PM


Bike enthusiasts of all types will gather in downtown Abita Springs Saturday, June 16, for the 12th annual Louisiana Bicycle Festival to swap, buy, sell or just admire human ingenuity on two wheels. (Photos shown here were taken at past festivals.) Event times are stated as 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but insiders say the wheeling and dealing starts about 8 a.m. Anyone is welcome to display, sell, trade or buy bikes, parts or other items. The festival does not charge vendors or buyers.

The festival’s website, characterizes it as a “casual affair” that “officially starts when people show up. … This event is not officially organized by anyone.” It does, however, have quasi-scheduled events such as a “spontaneous bike ride” that beings about 12:30 p.m. and takes riders on a half-hour tour of Abita Springs’ historic district.

The range of bi-pedal transports drawn to the festival range from home-built, custom and vintage bikes to unicycles, racing bikes, recumbents, tandems, mountain bikes and new cycles. There also is a bicycle garage sale, a parade, live music, food and competitions, including several prizes for restorations (categorized by the years they were built). Other competitions judge custom bikes, decorated bikes, novelty bikes, art made from bikes or bike parts and Best in Show. Exactly what prizes will be awarded hasn’t been revealed, but past winners have received new bikes, bicycle books, memorabilia, posters, T-shirts and more.


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Friday, June 1, 2012

Free Jumpin’ into Summer celebration Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 10:06 PM

The Audubon Nature Institutes Wetland Express will present creatures from the wetlands at Jumpin into Summer.

The annual Jumpin’ into Summer at the Covington Trailhead celebration starts at 10 a.m. and runs until noon tomorrow (Saturday, June 2).

The City of Covington sponsors the kickoff to summer with activities that are children- and family-friendly. Audubon Nature Institute’s Wetland Express will show attendees live animals that are indigenous to Louisiana’s wetlands and present information about their habits, needs and importance in the ecosystem. Lauticeanna Party Art will offer face painting, and other summer-oriented activities are planned.

The Covington Trailhead (419 N. New Hampshire St., Covington), is a resting station for people bicycling or walking on the 28-mile Tammany Trace, a paved recreational trail that goes through Covington, Abita Springs, Mandeville, Lacombe and Slidell. It has become a popular spot for gatherings — a farmers market is held there on Wednesdays — and there’s a large playground nearby that is fully accessible to children with special needs. The Trailhead is in downtown Covington, a popular commercial district filled with restaurants, boutiques, galleries and more.

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W Hotel opens its rooftop pool to public on Sundays this summer

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 4:34 PM

  • The W's swanky rooftop pool area
We're in the beginning of Ew Season in New Orleans, when it's a million degrees every day and spending time as much time as possible submerged in cool water seems to be the only away to avoid dying. But where to swim? If you're not lucky enough to have access to a pool, the options are slim. You could swim at gyms and recreation centers, but those pools are often overrun by children doing cannonballs, playing Sharks and Minnows and — let's just face it — peeing in the water sometimes. There's the Country Club, which is gorgeous, but public nudity isn't for everyone.

Faced with these options, many resort to sneaking into the rooftop pools at hotels. However, the energy invested into inventing a not-too-fictitious-sounding room number to have handy if approached by hotel staff takes all the fun out of summertime leisure.

Thankfully, the W Hotel on Poydras Street is making guilt-free pooltime possible for us commoners and non-tourists. It's opening its tony roof top pool area on Sundays in June, July and August starting this Sunday, June 3, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Voodoo Music Experience: Campout — and glampout — info

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Even more interesting than the early Voodoo Music Experience lineup (Green Day, Neil Young, Skrillex, etc.) was the news that Voodoogoers will have the chance to camp out in New Orleans City Park. (Yes, Gambit will be doing it.) Tonight we have more details:

The inaugural camping experience will offer festival goers the chance to sleep under the stars amidst two hundred year old oak trees, picturesque lagoons and waterways of New Orleans’ historic City Park and located just steps away from the Voodoo entrance. Camping options range from general tent camping with basic amenities to a luxurious all-encompassing camping experience, where concertgoers can arrive to move-in-ready 10×13 safari style tents complete with cots, bedding and pillows along with exclusive Artist Access throughout the Voodoo site.

Yes, there are rules. Lots of them.

Prices are all over the place, and do not include Voodoo admission (you'll need to purchase a three-day pass in addition to camping fees). A basic campsite for two people is $150 and gets you a 12'x12' square of ground; you pretty much do the rest, though "showers, food and beverage vendors, special activities, 24 hour security and medical services will be available."

The LOA big-shot glamping pass gets you some swank in your accommodations for $1,500. Jeez, you could get three nights at the Ritz for less. Anyway:

Guests at the LOA Grand will sleep in comfort and enjoy unparalleled backstage access throughout the weekend with 2 Artists Passes. Upon arrival you will receive a ready to go fully pitched 10 x 13 safari style tent with 2 cots and bedding just steps away from and overlooking the Voodoo site. You’ll enjoy a water view plus complimentary breakfast, late night snacks, a reserved parking space conveniently located near the LOA Grand site, 24 hour security & medical services, upgraded restrooms, showers, concierge services and more. All campers must be 18+.

Plus there will be electrical outlets in every LOA tent, so let that iPhone run down without worries. Or have your concierge recharge it.

Tickets and info here.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jane Jacobs Walk 2012

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Urbanist, activist and community organizer Jane Jacobs once said, "Not TV or illegal drugs, but the automobile has been the chief destroyer of American communities." Known for her role in cancelling neighborhood-invading highway development in Manhattan and Toronto, she believed neighbors could come together to explore their own communities and find unique solutions to their neighborhood's problems. In her memory, Jane's Walks will be held across North America this weekend, the weekend of what would've been her 95th birthday.

Irish Channel Janes Walk
Wendy Waren says, "This is the third year I'll host a Jane's Walk. I've met some really great neighbors, people in town for Jazz Fest and older people who grew up in the Irish Channel but moved to the suburbs. Everyone adds something to the Jane's Walk experience, be it knowledge or questions about history, architecture, schools, restaurants, bars, day spas and breweries."

This year, Waren's Irish Channel walk is 1.5 miles and starts at Cafe Rani with continental breakfast and concludes at Belladoggie for Doggies & Donuts.

Detailed information about all six New Orleans Jane's Walks is below:

Luck of the Irish
Saturday, May 5
8 a.m.-10 a.m.
Begins at Cafe Rani Courtyard (2917 Magazine St.), ends at Belladoggie (815 Washington Ave.)
No registration necessary
Hosted by Irish Channel Neighborhood Association
Accessible to seniors and children

Lafitte Greenway Gallivant
Saturday, May 5
9 a.m.- 10:30 a.m.
Begins and ends at Congo Square
No registration necessary
Hosted by Stay Local! and The Urban Conservancy
Accessible to bicycles, seniors and children

Freretian Walking Tour
Saturday, May 5
9 a.m.-10 a.m.
Begins at Village Coffee (5335 Freret St.), ends at High Hat Cafe (4500 Freret St.)
Register by sending an RSVP to Andy@brottworks.com
Hosted by Brottworks TheNewFreret.com
Accessible to wheelchairs, bicycles, children, seniors, dogs, etc.

New Orleans: Portage Roll
Saturday, May 5
8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.
Begins at Governor Nicholls and French Market Place, ends at Bell St. and Bayou St. John
No registration necessary
Hosted by Allen Eskew, FAIA of Eskew+Dumez+Ripple
Accessible to bicycles only

Levee Disaster Bike Tour
Sunday, May 6
9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Begins and ends at City Park Boat and Bike Rentals at Big Lake Trail
Register by sending an RSVP to Sandy@levees.org
Hosted by Levees.org
Accessible to bicycles, seniors and children

Oak Street Jane Jacobs Walk
Sunday, May 6
9 a.m.-10 a.m.
Begins and ends at Oak and Carrollton
No registration necessary
Hosted by Oak Street Merchants, Residents and Property Owners (Oak Street MRPO)
Accessible to wheelchairs, bicycles, seniors and children

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Comiskey Park reopens in Mid-City

Posted By on Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and NORD Director Vic Richard at the reopening of Comiskey Park.
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu and NORD Director Vic Richard at the reopening of Comiskey Park.

Comiskey Park and Playground — once a neighborhood landmark, but a blight on a tough corner of Mid-City since Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods — was reopened today by Mayor Mitch Landrieu. The park had received national attention in 2007 when a production company planned to remake the park and document the effort in a reality TV/documentary show titled ReNewOrleans. Plans foundered, and the park space — one block off a gritty stretch of Tulane Avenue — sat for years in worse shape than before.

"They left a lot of things behind," Landrieu said. "Cost everybody a bucketful of money."

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