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...


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Exploring India's culinary intricacies

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Crabmeat pudha and aloo tikki at Saffron NOLA.
  • Ian McNulty
  • Crabmeat pudha and aloo tikki at Saffron NOLA.

Saffron NOLA
serves the most inventive Indian food in the area, melding traditional flavors from the subcontinent with techniques and ingredients more akin to a contemporary Creole bistro. It’s well worth seeking out in its well-hidden little slot in a Gretna strip mall.

There’s one problem though. The restaurant is normally open only on Friday evenings, a function of the catering and other work responsibilities of its busy family owners. Recently, however, Saffron NOLA has started a once-a-month series of Sunday brunches, each of which focuses on different regional cooking styles of India.

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Can't trust S&WB with rate hike, letter says

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM

New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux told Mayor Mitch Landrieu today that the Sewerage & Water Board (S&WB) shouldn’t be allowed to manage any more money — unless it does so under intense scrutiny — because it is “the most likely of the City’s component entities to engage in fraud, waste, and abuse according to standard risk assessment technology.”

In a letter to the mayor dated today (Tuesday, July 31), the inspector general proferred comments about the S&WB so solutions to potential problems he pointed out could be addressed in the legislation necessary to enact S&WB rate hikes.

Quatrevaux pointed out problems that could make the S&WB pension plan unsustainable, waste and possible fraud in employee insurance programs and publicly funded take-home cars (one of every seven S&WB employees has a take-home car). Quatrevaux also mentioned problems in contract management and a questionable procurement process.
Landrieu was not immediately available for comment.

See the whole letter below the jump.

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News hoax artist Ryan Holiday signs book at Octavia tonight

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Ryan Holiday wrote Trust Me, Im Lying
  • Ryan Holiday wrote Trust Me, I'm Lying

As a marketing officer and online media buyer for American Apparel, Ryan Holiday has bought millions of dollars in advertising. But he has gained a reputation for the hoaxes and pranks (more on media deceptions) that gained free publicity for his company (as well as Tucker Max, the author/professional lout he’s advised on media strategies). There’s a back story on the animus between the Gawker blogs and American Apparel owner Dov Charney, but when Holiday wanted some free advertising, he turned to the Gawker blog Jezebel.

Posing as an employee willing to leak company materials, he offered photos from American Apparel photo shoots that he said were banned from advertising in publications. Thinking they had a scoop, Jezebel staff posted the photos and invited its female, predominantly feminist readership to be outraged. Many were. But at the end of the day, Holiday succeeded in getting the blog to drive readers to view otherwise unused photos. Jezebel benefitted from the traffic the post drew regardless of whether staff checked out the source or not. American Apparel got a lot of exposure without having to pay for it in the form of advertising.

It seems relatively harmless, but Holiday had caught on to how corruptible journalism, particularly blogs and online journalism, can be. To prove his point, he went on the website Help A Reporter Out (HARO), and responded to queries as a source on various topics. He was soon quoted in a New York Times piece about collecting vinyl records (which he doesn’t do), on a website about boatcare, in CBS in a story about embarrassing office stories, etc. He appeared in many news stories and shared bogus information on things he knew little or nothing about. His point: reporters never sought to verify his identity or anything about his credibility as a source. What does he have to say about his attempts to expose the media’s practices:

“People are lucky my intentions are to sell T-shirts,” he says. He finds placing bogus information on blogs and in major publications and broadcasts alarmingly easy.

Holiday moved to New Orleans 15 months ago to write Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. It’s actually a critique of the what’s wrong with journalism and the problems intrinsic to the transformation to the Internet driving news coverage. The book was released two weeks ago, and he signs copies at Octavia Books today at 6 p.m. His thoughts on the decline of The Times-Picayune after the jump.

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NOPD: warrant out for Cuba Gooding Jr.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Update: Gooding is off the hook, for now, for his alleged pushee, according to the Old Absinthe House. The bartender won't "press charges," but Gooding is due for an arraignment Friday, Aug. 3 when it'll be decided whether to dismiss any charges.

The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) has issued an arrest warrant for actor Cuba Gooding Jr. (Boyz N The Hood, Jerry Maguire... Boat Trip, Snow Dogs... Radio). According to a release from NOPD spokesperson Remi Braden, Gooding allegedly pushed a bartender, twice, at the French Quarter bar The Old Absinthe House earlier this morning (aka "late last night"). Here's the report:

The incident happened in the 200-block of Bourbon Street at about 3 a.m. A female bartender told officers that Gooding entered the bar with a group of people, and after a few minutes, other customers recognized him and started asking him to take photos with them. The bartender said Gooding soon became very aggravated with them. That’s when she says she approached him and asked him to calm down. Gooding then allegedly pushed her away with an open hand. One of the bartender’s co-workers then called 9-1-1. At that point, the bartender says she informed Gooding that the police were on the way, and that he needed to leave. Gooding then allegedly pushed her again, and left the bar.

Gooding is in town shooting The Butler.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

48 Hour Film Project - New Orleans starts next week

Posted By on Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Jack's Last Fandango from Carlos Bible on Vimeo.

The seven-minute film Jack's Last Fandango won best film, best director, best acting and other awards in the 2011 New Orleans edition of the 48 Hour Film Project. The competition challenges teams to create an entire film (maximum seven minutes) - including writing, shooting and editing a final cut - in 48 hours. Teams meet on Friday night to get a prop, character name and line of dialogue that must be in every film. Those were a cupcake, Tammy or Thierry Bison and "Try it...what have you got to lose?" respectively, last year. Each team also draws a film genre out of a hat.

Almost 30 teams competed in 2011. This year, 32 spots are filled and there's a waiting list, but if more teams sign up, a third group of 16 may be added. Lone filmmakers, actors and writers also can get involved. There's a mixer from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday at Chickie Wah Wah. Teams will get to know each other, and there may be opportunities to join teams in need of specific talents or extra help. The 48 hour competition runs from 6 p.m. Friday, August 10 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, August 12.

The films will be screened August 16 at The Prytania. Times to be announced. Winners will be announced the following week.

The film project is in its 11th year, and this is the 6th year for New Orleans. There will be competitions in 116 cities around the world. Cape Town, South Africa and Amman, Jordan are new this year. The top films from each city go on to Filmapalooza, and from there, the top 10-12 films are selected and presented at the next Cannes Film Festival. The overall winner from last year is after the jump.

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Y@ Speak: USA! USA!

Posted By on Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 10:33 AM

This week was so full of America. President Barack Obama rolled into town, caused a traffic jam and played the bass. In true American fashion, we got mad on the Internet because people are saying we shouldn't eat a fast-food chicken sandwich. And finally, we saw the arrival of the Summer Olympics, whose pageantry and poignant medal ceremonies distract us from the problems going on in our country and around the world. Let freedom ring. Also this week: locals eulogize Hubig's, Nicki Minaj loves New Orleans, and Oprah Winfrey and Anthony Bourdain spent time in the city.

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Gambit's Digital Edition: Week of July 30- August 6, 2012

Posted on Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 9:00 AM

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Nicki Minaj's dual identities please colorful fans at New Orleans show

Posted By on Sat, Jul 28, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Fan Lance Brown stole the show with his outfit.
  • Fan Lance Brown stole the show with his outfit.
With an identity as schizophrenic as Nicki Minaj’s, who has achieved success as both a formidable spitter and as a plasticy pop princess (the former critical success, the latter commerical), one might wonder what side would dominate in the rapper’s first headlining tour. Would costume changes and pre-recorded vocal tracks overshadow her dexterous rapping? While those arena pop show fixtures figured largely in her performance, Minaj mostly handled her dual identities with aplomb, engaging both rap fans and squealing tweens. There was also a surprise appearance by a Cash Money legend (not Lil Wayne).

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Saints unveil Steve Gleason "Rebirth" statue

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 3:10 PM

The New Orleans Saints unveil the sculpture on Facebook.
  • The New Orleans Saints unveil the sculpture on Facebook.

It's likely the best play ever in New Orleans Saints history: Sept. 25, 2006, during a Monday Night Football game and the first on the field inside the Superdome since December 26, 2004 and surviving Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods. A rematch with division rivals Atlanta Falcons. Safety Steve Gleason successfully blocked a punt by Falcons punter Michael Koenen. Saints cornerback Curtis DeLoatch scrambled the ball into the Falcons’ end zone, and slam dunked the ball to begin the 24-3 victory and start to an immense season.

Team owner Tom Benson commissioned a sculpture, created by artist Brian Hanlon. Under the players, the word "Rebirth" is written in script, flanked by two fleur de lis. The team unveiled it during a conference this morning. (Also, to Koenen, congrats: You are now memorialized in enemy territory.)

Gleason said, "I just don’t want this to be about me and that play. I want it to be about what the play symbolized, which was a commitment by this community to rebuild. This statue is about coming through adversity. It’s about finding your heroes. It’s about commitment and a rebirth for all.”

Last year, Gleason revealed he has been diagnosed with ALS and is raising awareness and funds to combat the disease via his Team Gleason project.

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