New Orleans Life

Saturday, May 27, 2017

FitLot, a community fitness center on the Lafitte Greenway

Posted By on Sat, May 27, 2017 at 9:00 AM

The FitLot is an outdoor fitness facility that's open to the public and free of charge. - PHOTO BY KATHERINE M. JOHNSON
  • Photo by Katherine M. Johnson
  • The FitLot is an outdoor fitness facility that's open to the public and free of charge.

Adam Mejerson was struck with an idea while walking on the boardwalk in Tel Aviv.

The boardwalk was full of the usual suspects: wandering tourists and joggers, but what was unusual about these joggers is that every few hundred feet or so, they would stop at a fitness station to do a quick workout before continuing to run.

Mejerson, who grew up in a household where his exercise physiologist father trained clients in their home, and who’s no stranger to fitness himself, having worked as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, had a thought.

“Other cities in other countries have spaces like (this) throughout the city so that everybody who wants it has access (to training equipment),” he says. “We took that as an example and designed our own park.”

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

After 13 years, DJ Soul Sister closes out her weekly Saturday night dance party

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 4:30 PM

DJ Soul Sister's weekly Hustle dance party at Hi-Ho Lounge ends May 27.
  • DJ Soul Sister's weekly Hustle dance party at Hi-Ho Lounge ends May 27.
After more than a decade of dance parties set to rare groove and addictive funk and soul pulled from a seemingly infinite stash of vinyl records, DJ Soul Sister's popular Saturday night dance party will no longer be held on a weekly basis.

"I might change my mind in a couple years, but right now, every Saturday is out," she says. "I'm not afraid of change and this is what it is."

Hustle — Melissa Weber's nearly 13-year-old Saturday night dance party — will hold its last weekly edition May 27 with guest DJ Mannie Fresh. It's also the show's 13th anniversary. "Now it's going to be serving two purposes," Weber says.

Hustle will return as a semi-regular event, beginning 11 p.m. Saturday, June 24 at The Orpheum Theater's below-ground space The Ice Pit. Weber also will preside over a monthly "Soulful Takeover" show beginning Friday, July 7 at One Eyed Jacks.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Y@ Speak: taking them down, part 4

Posted By on Mon, May 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM

Festival season is in full swing as hundreds of people gathered to listen to brass bands, dance, drink beer and watch cranes lift monuments to Confederate generals from their pedestals. Also this week: graduation time and twerking Mickey Mouse.

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'Know Your Rights' ACLU workshop May 25 provides training for interacting with police

Posted By on Mon, May 22, 2017 at 2:00 PM

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On May 25, ACLU hosts a workshop at New Orleans Public Library's Alvar branch about interacting with authorities. Participants' questions will guide a short tutorial from ACLU organizers about one's legal and constitutional rights when engaging with police and similar authority figures, such as Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). It's a workshop which could be useful for political activists of all stripes, people with criminal records, people who previously have had contentious interactions with cops, members of historically marginalized communities and others.

ACLU also publishes a list of resources regarding one's rights in several scenarios, such as the right to take photos in various situations, youth rights when dealing with police, rights in the face of voter intimidation and a host of other topics.

The workshop takes place at 6 p.m. Thursday; it's designed for adults but teens are welcome to participate. It's free to attend.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Beauregard monument is removed from pedestal outside City Park

Posted By on Wed, May 17, 2017 at 4:51 AM

A monument fo P.G.T. Beauregard is removed early May 17. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • A monument fo P.G.T. Beauregard is removed early May 17.

The peripheral block party scene at Confederate-era monument removals and demonstrations has become a nearly-weekly ritual. During the seven-hour stretch from when removal crews arrived and when a statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was lifted from its pedestal outside City Park, people kayaked on Bayou St. John to get a closer look, pulled up beach chairs along the water, popped Champagne, brought beer and coolers, and then a brass band showed up.

The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) separated the crowd with a series of barricades at Moss Street and Esplanade Avenue facing Beauregard. Barricades stretched from across the bridge down Esplanade in front of the Shell gas station on Moss, with more around City Park, stretching across Carrollton Avenue. On one side of Esplanade were a couple dozen monument supporters, who draped Confederate flags over the barricades and waved several others, including a half-Stars and Stripes and half-Confederate flag, a flag that said "President Trump," and two flags symbolizing the 3 Percenters. Supporters chanted "where's Mitch?"

A saw cut into the statue's base where it meets the pedestal as crews hovered above in cherry pickers to strap Beauregard to a crane using yellow straps.

Among people in the crowd: musicians Terrence Blanchard and Nicholas Payton, as well as Angela Kinlaw, Michael "Quess" Moore and Malcolm Suber with Take 'Em Down NOLA.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Y@ Speak: taking them down, part 3

Posted By on Mon, May 15, 2017 at 7:10 PM

This week: The lingering sunscreen fog of Jazz Fest dads, a monument to the specter of slavery gets yellow suspenders and a green bubble wrap diaper, and a ton of people roasted it completely. Also, Sen. John Kennedy got some embarrassing national attention.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

'Sugar in Your Tank' queer storytelling event is May 11

Posted By on Tue, May 9, 2017 at 10:00 AM

PHOTO BY ROBERT ASHWORTH / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • PHOTO BY ROBERT ASHWORTH / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

Bring Your Own
and Last Call, the queer history archive and performance collective, will co-host an outdoor storytelling event at LGBT Community Center May 11. "Sugar in Your Tank: Stories of Queer Resistance" features stories by eight LGBT folks around the theme of organizing and activism. A Facebook post announcing the event promises the "cutest (gayest) story slam ever."

This event also will be recorded for a resistance-themed episode of Last Call's podcast. It's all part of the organization's "Queer Histories//Queer Futures" initiative, which hosts workshops and salons in an effort to compile and preserve LGBT oral histories.

Chairs will be provided at the event, and food and drinks are available for purchase. The event takes place from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. It's free to attend.

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Y@ Speak: taking them down, part 2

Posted By on Mon, May 8, 2017 at 6:30 PM


Presenting your week bookended by demonstrations at Confederate monuments, with room for a music festival in between:

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Former Gambit editor Michael Tisserand weighs in on monuments in The New York Times

Posted By on Mon, May 8, 2017 at 2:29 PM

Michael Tisserand.
  • Michael Tisserand.

Michael Tisserand, former Gambit editor and author of the recently acclaimed book Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White, has an opinion piece about the Confederate monument controversy in today's New York Times, "In New Orleans, Racism’s History Is Harder Than Stone." An excerpt:
My son’s school is racially diverse, but it still bears the last name of Robert Mills Lusher, a fierce segregationist who championed education as a means for maintaining white dominance. I enjoy art markets and crawfish boils at a park named for Benjamin Palmer, a Presbyterian minister who on Thanksgiving in 1860 preached that it was the South’s holy duty to protect and extend slavery.

Over time, these tributes to white supremacy become just part of the landscape. “I never even notice them,” white friends have told me, and often I could say the same. As I drive these streets, I am reminded of the observations of Chuck Berry, who celebrated the city in his songs but shrewdly wrote in his autobiography that in New Orleans “segregation was practiced in a more polite manner, with some strategy.”
Read the whole thing.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

City seeks volunteers to test evacuation programs May 17

Posted By on Thu, May 4, 2017 at 10:14 AM

Evacuspot sculptures, unveiled in 2013, indicate city-sponsored evacuation points. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • Evacuspot sculptures, unveiled in 2013, indicate city-sponsored evacuation points.

New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) and Evacuteer are calling for hundreds of volunteers to join them in a test of the City-Assisted Evacuation plan.

Volunteers will participate in a program from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 17 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Lunch and parking will be provided for participants. Volunteers should register in advance of the exercise.

In the event of a hurricane requiring a mandatory evacuation, thousands of New Orleanians — including many elderly people and people with special needs — rely on the city to bring them to safety. Testing is needed, the city says, to make sure the plan works well.

Hurricane season begins June 1.

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