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Wendell Pierce, American Crime Story and Bourbon Street tourist drinks 

Wendell Pierce talked to People about Pontchartrain Park, the neighborhood where he grew up and that he's helped to restore after Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods through his Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corp. Pierce told People his proudest moment was getting his parents back into their restored house before his mother died.

  "My neighborhood was literally born a couple of years after Rosa Parks stood her ground on that bus. It would have been a disservice to my mother and other pioneers of the civil rights movement to let this all go," Pierce said. "That's why I came home to help rebuild. There's a lot of love here." ...

In Britain's The Guardian, Jim Gabour wrote "Shadow of violence hangs over New Year's celebrations in New Orleans" — an odd title for an essay that decried shooting guns in the air on New Year's Eve, but also admitted the last case of someone injured by a falling bullet was eight years ago.

  Gabour went on to lament the French Quarter shooting of Pat O'Brien's bartender Earl Wheeler in 2010 and the stabbing of U.S. Marine Ryan Lekosky in 2013, both of which were tragic and neither of which had anything to do with New Year's revelry. "This is not an amoral Isis (sic) shooting into the skies of the United States. This is not a rabid NRA gun nut raving on about the safety of gun proliferation while emptying mag after mag skyward," Gabour concluded. "This is truly American culture run amok." Well, that and New Orleans' intractable crime problem. But not New Year's Eve ...

The website Chicago Now offered a list of "5 Things to Drink in New Orleans That Don't Come in a Souvenir Cup" (Sazerac, absinthe, chicory coffee), but not before the author, AJ, tried a "Horny Gator" at Bourbon Street tourist magnet Funky Pirate — which comes in a fluorescent cup shaped like a cartoon alligator.

  "You've seen them. Either on TV, in a movie or in real life," she wrote. "Some sort of undetermined liquor, sugar, and ice concoction in a plastic container shaped like it's (sic) namesake. Maybe, if you're lucky, it evens comes with a necklace so you won't ever have to worry about losing it."

  The verdict? "My husband thought it'd be fun to try them," AJ reports. "I mean, they even came with little plastic alligators sitting on top. And it was good for a laugh and fun for about 5 minutes, until we realized that there was no way we could drink these awful drinks and had to throw them out." ...

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the second season of the FX network anthology series American Crime Story will be set in New Orleans in the days following Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods. Wait — does tragedy equal true crime?

  The Reporter quoted producer Ryan Murphy, who created Glee and the various American Horror Story installments (one of which was set in New Orleans), as saying he planned to "follow a group of six to eight people in an attempt to examine all sides of the tragedy. ... In my opinion, Katrina was a f—ing crime — a crime against a lot of people who didn't have a strong voice, and we're going to treat it as a crime. That's what this show is all about." No script has been written, but Murphy hopes to begin filming this fall.

  Meanwhile, the first season of American Crime Story — 10 episodes focusing on the media circus around O.J. Simpson's 1995 trial — debuts Feb. 2.


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