Pirates are again gathering and plotting in Lafitte. The shipborne theater group Caravan Stage Company is docked along the Intracoastal Waterway where crew members are developing a pirate-themed musical/circus arts show it will unveil in spring and take on a tour up the East Coast to Canada, the Great Lakes and downriver into the Ohio Valley.
Caravan Stage last docked in Lafitte in 2002 before embarking on a similar odyssey. For the last eight years, the group has toured Europe, starting in Rotterdam and going as far south as the Greece and Turkey. It presented a trilogy about global climate change and indigenous cultures, and its most recent show was the beginning of a new series about piracy. It concluded with the pirates stealing a treasure of gold from a bank, which they intend to redistribute around the globe Robin Hood-style. In the beginning of the forthcoming show Hacked...The Treasure of the Empire, the pirates and the treasure are captured. But it's also a modern story, with themes about the surveillance state, computer hacking and mammoth global corporations.
Caravan Stage travels with a crew of 18-24 onboard, including boat and technical crew and performers. The company seeks to present its multi-media and musical spectaculars to new audiences. Shows combine video, light projections, puppets, singing, aerialists and acrobats, and they use the boat and its riggings as a stage. The shows are spectacle-driven (think Cirque de Soleil on a ship), but themes are often progressive (ie about the loss of indigenous cultures, preservation of natural resources, pro-democracatization). (The company website has photos and video of past tours.) As choreographers develop the movement for the new show, the tech crew is designing a mini-roller coaster that will be stretch between the masts and be a main feature in Hacked.
•Curbing HIV/AIDS transmission NOLA (C.H.A.T. NOLA), an organization that answers anonymous callers' questions about HIV/AIDS, is hosting a grand opening for its lounge, which will serve as a place where young people can display their talents. There will be door prizes, performances, open-mic and refreshments.
•Researching Your New Orleans Property participants will learn how to trace a property's history using primary sources like city directories and the census.
•At the Community Let's Move Family Health and Fun Fest, there will be music, health screenings, food and activities for kids and grown ups. A mountain bike, 32-inch HDTV, $500 and an iPod Touch will be raffled.
•Our Crowning Glory is a natural hair convention where attendees can learn how to style natural hair, participate in discussions about it and buy products to maintain its health.
•Huey P. Long bridge runners will run the entire span of the Huey, starting in Bridge City and ending on Jefferson Highway. This is the inaugural run, celebrating the widening of the bridge.
•What Maisie Knew is a movie about divorce and custody proceedings, told from a child's perspective. It's based upon a Henry James novel of the same name and Chalmette Movies is the only theater in the state showing it.
Details are below the jump.
New Orleans City Park is getting a new 36-hole golf course — a miniature golf course. City Putt will have its grand opening May 24 across from the entrance to Storyland and the Botanical Gardens.
Of course, being in the Crescent City and Louisiana and all, it won't be your regular affair of creaky windmills and dodgy tunnel traps:
City Putt is a 36-hole mini golf complex with two courses: the Louisiana Course highlights cultural themes and cities from around the state; the New Orleans Course showcases streets and iconic themes from around the city, with signs detailing the city’s historic sites at each hole.
Greens fees (well, fake plastic greens fees) will be $8 (12 and under, $6), and a $4 upcharge will allow golfers to take on both courses. Mini-golfers will be able to play year-round (closed Mondays).
To RSVP for the grand opening or learn more, check out City Putt's Facebook page.
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.
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.
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!)
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):
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 hasnt been revealed, but past winners have received new bikes, bicycle books, memorabilia, posters, T-shirts and more.
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