New Orleans Life

Monday, November 20, 2017

Mayor-elect Y@ Speak

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 5:00 PM

This week brings us LaToya Cantrell vs. Desiree Charbonnet, Rosie O'Donnell vs. Steve Scalise, Rep. Garret Graves vs. Puerto Rico, and the Saints vs. everyone, except Airheads, which we now will debate 1. how best to eat them and 2. which flavor is the best flavor. (Correct answers are 1. slapping them into the bottom of the packaging and 2. pink lemonade.)

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mid-City church offers sanctuary to Salvadoran man threatened with deportation

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 2:45 PM

Jose Torres addresses a crowd outside First Grace United Methodist Church, which has offered him sanctuary following attempts from immigration authorities to deport him. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Jose Torres addresses a crowd outside First Grace United Methodist Church, which has offered him sanctuary following attempts from immigration authorities to deport him.

When he was 18 years old, Jose Torres fled violence in El Salvador and later arrived in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. On Nov. 15, he was scheduled to appear for a check-in appointment at the New Orleans office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), where immigrant advocates say agents planned to hand him a ticket out of the country to “self-deport.”

But on Nov. 15, Torres — standing among immigrant advocates and local faith leaders, along with his two U.S.-born daughters, ages 2 and 8 — announced First Grace United Methodist Church would provide Torres sanctuary.

“I’m tired of being punished over and over, for one reason: for being an immigrant,” Torres said through tears. “It’s time for our immigrant community to rise up, to lift up our voices, and demand respect from this country.”

First Grace — which also provides meeting space for the immigrant advocacy group Congress of Day Laborers and offers shelter to women and children through Hagar’s House — will provide Torres “a safe place to be in our community and have some degree of safety,” Pastor Shawn Anglim told Gambit.

“You remember that you were once in that place, you were once treated as a foreigner, as strange, as a stranger. Being a human being means providing a space for people who once felt that way,” he said. “The word ‘sanctuary’ is to harbor, to protect, and that’s what we’re doing here for Jose.”

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Editorial: New Orleans prepares to turn 300

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 2:33 PM

A “NOLA 300” sculpture in New Orleans City Park. - PHOTO BY KEVIN ALLMAN
  • A “NOLA 300” sculpture in New Orleans City Park.

As 2017 comes to an end — and with the mayor’s race almost over and the New Orleans Saints ascendant again — you’ll soon be hearing about a major citywide initiative that will encompass much of the city’s cultural life in 2018: the tricentennial of the founding of New Orleans, or what city leaders are calling NOLA 300.

Tonight, WYES-TV premieres New Orleans: The First 300 Years, a two-hour documentary narrated by John Goodman exploring the city’s history (the program repeats at 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 23), and there’s a coffee table book of the same name by Errol and Peggy Scott Laborde, with an introduction by historian Lawrence Powell. Yesterday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and more than a dozen local leaders held a symposium at the Orpheum Theater “to recount the past, discuss the present and envision the future of New Orleans.”
Commemorative, Instagram-worthy “NOLA 300” sculptures like the one pictured, near the Big Lake in New Orleans City Park, are going up around town, and even Prospect.4, the New Orleans art triennial that starts this month, draws inspiration from the city’s history. After Jan. 1, opera, ballet, theater, art exhibits and concerts celebrating New Orleans history will be staged all over town. The celebration will culminate in late April 2018 (while New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival visitors are in town) with a tricentennial interfaith service, a weekend for international guests and dignitaries at the restored Gallier Hall, and a citywide celebration April 22.

Naturally, all this will be a major tourism draw and a chance for New Orleans to once again shine in front of the world. But NOLA 300 has to be more than a clever bit of marketing if it is to be a true celebration of New Orleans. Making sure that the city’s entire history — the good and the bad, the accomplishments and the still-imperfect — will be the challenge.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

WYES documentary New Orleans: The First 300 Years premieres Nov. 15

Posted By on Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 3:42 PM

Peggy Scott Laborde and John Goodman. - COURTESY WYES-TV
  • Peggy Scott Laborde and John Goodman.

Next year is the New Orleans Tricentennial, and events are beginning to ramp up to mark the 300th anniversary of the city's founding. A documentary, New Orleans: The First 300 Years premieres on public television station WYES-TV tomorrow night, produced by WYES veteran documentarian Peggy Scott Laborde and narrated by John Goodman.

The documentary will air at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on WYES, with repeats on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 4 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 23 at 1 p.m. and 9 p.m.

WYES also is producing a series of "Tricentennial Moments" that will run during its regular programming. More information under the jump.

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Y@ Speak: sizzle reel

Posted By on Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 11:30 AM

This week's episode plays like a highlight reel of perennial Y@ Speak favorites: quotable cringe from Sen. John Neely Kennedy and Attorney General Jeff Landry, reactions to extremely mild changes in the weather, Saints memes, a terrible Katrina take, and Fletcher "King of Line Break Twitter" Mackel.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The DSA wants to change your brake lights

Posted By on Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 10:00 AM


The New Orleans chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) inspired several chapters around the U.S. with its brake light repairs, where volunteers replaced car tail lights for 67 drivers at two clinics in August and September — free of charge.

DSA New Orleans holds another "Gimme A Brake (Light)" clinic from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11 at 2940 Destrehan Ave. in Harvey.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, traffic stops made up 42 percent of contacts between police and citizens in 2011. Three percent of all stops resulted in a search of the driver, vehicle or both. In a 2017 report that scraped data from 31 states between 2011-2015, The Stanford Open Policing Project found Black and Hispanic drivers are twice as likely as whites to be searched when they are stopped.

"Changing a brake light is not typically difficult or expensive. However, being stopped by a police officer for having a brake light out can be both," writes Kaitlin Marone with DSA New Orleans. "A ticket can cost a significant amount of a working person’s earnings. If that person has a warrant out for their arrest due to unpaid tickets or something like that, they might be detained and arrested. This means more fines. It can also be quite disruptive to a person’s life  —  they might miss work or be unable to care for their children."

The DSA's national membership has reached more than 30,000 as of earlier this month. Its membership has quintupled over the last year — a New Orleans branch grew from a handful of dues-paying members to more than 70 within its first few months after it was formally recognized earlier this year. A Baton Rouge organizing committee was recognized by the national organization in September. 

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Y@ Spooky

Posted By on Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Twitter mourns the loss of the Greatest, plus some pre-Halloween goofs, a stressful Saints win, and more reactions to John Besh and allegations of sexual harassment in this week's edition of the worst and only New Orleans Twitter roundup.

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Second line for Fats Domino set for Nov. 1

Posted By on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 11:30 AM

Friends and fans left bouquets, notes, records, signs and candles outside Fats Domino's old house on Caffin Avenue Oct. 25. The artist died Oct. 24. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Friends and fans left bouquets, notes, records, signs and candles outside Fats Domino's old house on Caffin Avenue Oct. 25. The artist died Oct. 24.

A second line honoring Fats Domino will begin in Bywater and head to his famously black-and-yellow house on Caffin Avenue. James Andrews and the Crescent City Allstars will lead musicians in the procession.

The second line meets at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1 at Vaughan's Lounge (4229 Dauphine St.) and parades down St. Claude Avenue to Domino's former home at 1208 Caffin Ave., then it returns to Vaughan's for a memorial party and tribute performance.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Y@ Speak: reactions to Besh and more from the week in Twitter

Posted By on Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 5:40 PM

This week: reactions to John Besh and reporting on sexual harassment.

Also: The return of the New Orleans Pelicans and "What does Rob Ryan look like?" (Answer: swole Crockett? Michael McDonald's? Perfect?)

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

New Orleans: Can we talk about talking at concerts?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 4:46 PM

A cheesy stock photo illustration of talking during concerts. - THINKSTOCK
  • A cheesy stock photo illustration of talking during concerts.

At this year's Ponderosa Stomp, I was sitting in front of two couples who were visiting New Orleans. They were staying in the Bywater, and had enjoyed a meal at Sneaky Pickle. They were thinking about going to Turkey and the Wolf. They wished the Orpheum Theater had more of a beer selection. They were planning what other concerts to see and what other things to do while they were in town.

I never met them. I wasn't eavesdropping. I was trying to listen to Barbara Lynn. I just heard them throughout the show, because they never once shut up and listened to the music. They were louder than Barbara Lynn on stage — and we were in the balcony.
This wasn't a one-off. At the Pretenders/Stevie Nicks concert at Smoothie King Center earlier this year, the audiences for the two acts couldn't have been more different (one glance around the lobby, which was equally split between tuff girls and witchy women, told the tale).

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