Pin It

Lafitte Portrait 

The Lafitte came here in 1938 or 1939, the same time that my mother-in-law got into that kitchen. We had a lot of civil-rights meetings in our restaurant. In New Orleans, when you meet, you have to eat. Down the street, in the Knights of Peter Claver building, A.P. Turead had his law office. So did Dutch Morial, the NAACP. Civil-rights leaders set up here, across from the Lafitte because they wanted to be in their own community, where they can reach people easily and where people can reach you easily. Morris Jeff lived in the project over on Galvez Street.

"When the project first got there, it was like a new lifestyle for people. But it was a different day and a different time. People were given rules to live by. You understood that you were there until you got on your feet. Then it became a way of life.

"They had problems over there. But they didn't cross the street with their problems. I didn't have iron bars on my windows. But I never got broken into, until Katrina came.

"I miss my neighbors. I hate to see those people living away. It must be awful to live somewhere else. So at first, I thought that they could tear down one part of the Lafitte and leave another. But I've changed my mind. That will not work. The buildings are too tight -- it's too many people under one roof.

"Now I say, 'Take the buildings out, take 'em out as fast as you can, and bring in the new.' Father Michael Jacques at our church (St. Peter Claver) has something to do with it. And he'll put down the same rules for madam on St. Charles as he does for Leah on Orleans." -- Reckdahl

click to enlarge Leah Chase, 84 -  - Proprietress and Chef - Dooky Chase's Restaurant - DAVID RAE MORRIS
  • David Rae Morris
  • Leah Chase, 84

    Proprietress and Chef Dooky Chase's Restaurant

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Submit an event Jump to date

Latest in News

  • Interview: Benjamin Booker

    Alex Woodward interviews the new New Orleans musician whose critically acclaimed debut album mixes punk, pop and blues
    • Aug 18, 2014
  • Beatings in St. Roch roil the neighborhood

    Jeanie Riess talks to two of the men who were beaten in St. Roch; NOPD says there’s no proof attacks were related
    • Aug 18, 2014
  • One night on Frenchmen

    Authentic New Orleans? Touristville? Or both? Four Gambit writers spent nine hours on Frenchmen on a Friday night
    • Aug 11, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Gambit
Powered by Foundation