Shortly after the news broke about the penalties related to the Saints bounty scandal — which include the NFL's suspension of head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis, plus a hefty fine and draft-related penalties — local purveyors of quirky, New Orleans-centric T-shirts wasted no time in posting images of "FREE (SEAN) PAYTON" T-shirts. Fleurty Girl was first, shortly followed by a similar shirt from Dirty Coast.
Steam shovels provided the backdrop for this morning’s groundbreaking for the new Winn-Dixie shopping complex at S. Carrollton and St. Louis streets in Mid-City. The lot — site of a former Bohn car dealership — has sat fallow since Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods. Mayor Mitch Landrieu, District A City Councilwoman Susan Guidry and representatives of the supermarket chain and developers Stirling Properties were all on hand for the ceremony. “Though the lot was not technically blighted,” Guidry told the crowd, “it was a blight to our souls.”
“We’re not building the city the way it was; we’re building the city the way we want it to be,” Landrieu said, adding that the shopping complex is expected to provide 365 permanent jobs in the supermarket and satellite businesses, which will include Office Depot, Neighborhood Pet Market by Jefferson Feed, Felipe’s Taqueria, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Pei Wei Asian Diner and the frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry, “which I am really pumped up about,” Landrieu added. (The mayor can be spotted at the Magazine Avenue location fairly regularly.)
Guidry referred to the complex as “a premier shopping as well as recreational area,” making reference to the Lafitte Corridor, the 3.1- mile greenway that will eventually run through Mid-City to the French Quarter. In December, the city agreed to let the supermarket build a car crossing on St. Louis Street into the parking lot, a move vigorously opposed by the group Friends of the Lafitte Corridor (FOLC) but defended by the Landrieu administration. Before the ceremonial shovel-turning, Landrieu made oblique reference to the contretemps, thanking FOLC “for taking what could have been a very big conflict” and helping find a solution — “while it may not be perfect,” he added.
RHINO Contemporary Crafts Gallery is having a grand opening party from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, March 9, at its new location on the second level of The Shops at Canal Place (333 Canal St.). The grand opening party includes a reception and special events by artists.
Moving to a larger gallery space coincides with the 25th anniversary of RHINO, short for Right Here In New Orleans, an artist co-op that has operated at Canal Place (previously on the third level) since 1998. The new RHINO features the work of 26 artists offering jewelry, sculpture, oil paintings, textiles, ceramics, metalwork and more. The new location also has a larger area for holding art workshops, which are open to the public.
For more information, call 523-7945 or visit www.rhinocrafts.com
No one likes getting pinched on St. Patrick's Day for not wearing green, but who wants to wear a boring "Kiss me I'm Irish" T-shirt? No one, especially if you can't sensibly pass for Irish. Show 'em how New Orleans rolls for St. Patty's Day with Nola Tawk's St. Patrick's Day, New Orleans Style T-Shirt available here. Sizes range from female small to unisex extra large and are $25 (domestic shipping included) with $5 from each shirt going to the St. Baldrick's Foundation.
It's Valentine's Day, and if you don't come home with a heart-shaped mylar balloon, a box of assorted chocolates, or a bouquet of red roses (whose petals you'll use to litter your bedroom or create a path leading to a tepid bubble bath), then you obviously hate your significant other. If you've yet to purchase your romance cliche of choice, the Rouses supermarket in Mid-City (next to Gambit World HQ) is here to help — there's a "Valentine express lane" currently occupying the regular express lane.
Last week we told you about One Million Moms, a group that was threatening to boycott JC Penney because the store has hired Ellen DeGeneres to appear in its commercials — and, you know, she's gay. (DeGeneres, a New Orleans native, has mentioned her first job was at the JC Penney in Metairie.)
Since then, JC Penney has issued a statement of support for the comic, and BIll O'Reilly took DeGeneres' side last night on his Fox News hour The O'Reilly Factor:
DeGeneres also addressed the issue on her talk show today:
It seems the very fabric of our republic has somehow survived both DeGeneres' hiring and the fuming of a Million Moms. Who could have imagined?
"One of my first jobs was at a jcpenney in Metairie, Louisiana. You know what — I don't think I ever clocked out on my last day. I should look into that. Anyway, I'm so excited to be back working with the company," said DeGeneres. "They have an incredible vision for the future and are completely re-inventing themselves to become America's favorite store. And most importantly, I'm gonna get my employee discount again. Hello new pillows!"
Seems like a good fit of store and spokesperson — Ellen's light and funny, she has a very popular talk show that probably matches Penney's demographic, she's raised millions and millions for charity (especially New Orleans recovery) and continues to raise more, she's ... uh-oh.
Can you see where this is going?
Enter some group called "One Million Moms":
JC Penney Offends Traditional Families Again
Recently JC Penney announced that comedian Ellen Degeneres will be the company's new spokesperson. Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families. More sales will be lost than gained unless they replace their spokesperson quickly. Unless JC Penney decides to be neutral in the culture war then their brand transformation will be unsuccessful.
Their marketing strategy is to help families shop and receive a good value for their money. Degeneres is not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store. The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there. The small percentage of customers they are attempting to satisfy will not offset their loss in sales.
Seriously? Seriously?? More on "One Million Moms" after the jump ...
If you identify as female and have access to cable television, it's likely you have spent at least Friday night in your life watching TLC's back-to-back schedule of wedding programing. If you haven't, then I applaud your ability to resist the pervasive bridal industry, with its pretty cakes and dresses.
One of the reality series on the network's wedding block is Say Yes to the Dress, in which brides-to-be deliberate over high-end wedding gowns at New York's Kleinfeld Bridal (there's also a spinoff series that takes place at a bridal boutique in Atlanta). If you're getting married and have always dreamed of being filmed while you and your mother-in-law fight over wedding dresses, now's your chance: Randy Fenoli, the fashion director at Kleinfeld, is coming to New Orleans Feb. 26 to film a new show for TLC.
The show is Randy to the Rescue, where the TLC-ordained "FOB" (friend of the bride) will travel to eight U.S. cities to consult with brides. If you're interested in appearing on the show, email your name, age, location and wedding date to email@example.com. Check out the promo below:
On yesterday's broadcast of American Public Media's Marketplace program, host Bob Moon interviewed marketing professor Nathan Novemsky from Yale University's Center for Customer Insights. He recently conducted a study on how gift wrapping influences people's reactions to gifts, and test subjects who got presents wrapped in brown paper were happier with the presents inside.
Sometimes, according to Novemsky, it's better to not wrap the gift at all.
And one of the interesting findings was that if you wrap a gift, you raised peoples expectations and the liking of the same gift goes down. If you wrap a gift that, you know, is really just meant to be a little something, it might behoove you not to wrap it — or if you are going to wrap it, to not wrap it so nicely.
Elves have creeped me out since 1996, when a seatmate on a trans-Pacific flight told me about Mexican elves who masquerade as adorable, saucer-eyed children. They implore you to come with them so they can show you something important. "Then you're never heard from again," she said gravely. She believed in elves, and her conviction made me believe, too. I arrived home safe and sound. Eventually I relinquished my sweaty grip on my hiking staff and kitchen knife (elf-slaying tools) and fell asleep after 53 hours of jet-lagged wakefulness. But the fear of elf abduction remained, especially on rural drives through sylvan Louisiana, when it's neither night nor early morning, but that misty, gray hour in between.
So press releases like this one strike a dissonant chord:
However, those who are less elf-phobic might want to consider this good cause: For $5, Junior League "elves" will wrap a gift, and all proceeds benefit the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO). They'll be wrapping at The Shops at Canal Place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. now through Saturday, Dec. 24. As to whether the workers will be dressed as elves, Holly Payne of the JLNO says, "I think they might have Christmas hats on."
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