Sunday, December 31, 2006
2. For five nights a week, I will go to bed before 11 and wake up before 6.
3. I will resume my bagpipes training and be able to play a teary-eyed song for New Year's Eve.
4. I will do whatever it takes to ensure that my job contributes directly to the New Orleans Renaissance. If I can't make my current job do that, I will get a new one.
5. I will submit something for publication in a significant outlet.
6. I will repair and improve Lee de Fleur's outfit.
7. I will complete the sheetrock work that I've been supposed to do ever since we finally got our new roof.
8. I will line up concrete dates and plans for a Clio family trip to Scotland and Ireland in 2007 or 2008.
9. I will get my financial affairs in better order, and I will buy Dr. Mrs. Clio something lovely and gold.
10. I will work hard with all my kids--but especially Clio II--on school, music, and art.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
2. I predict that on Sunday Jamaal Branch will become the third Saints running back this season to have a 100 yard game, and he'll do it in 2 and a half quarters of play.
3. I like that Humid Haney posted 10 New Year's resolutions on his blog. I resolve to do the same today or tomorrow.
4. Mr. and Mrs. Berto and Lil Hap (my godchild) invited me to the Crescent City Steakhouse on Thursday. I didn't want to break anybody's heart, so I didn't snap pix of the exquisite food--I had the New York Strip--but here are a couple of pix. (We were there when it opened; by the time we left, the dining room had filled about halfway. Also, you can see Hap's forehead and tops of his eyes.) I've posted a pic of their current hours of operation (which do include both lunch and dinner, contrary to my prior post) for your convenience. I hope many LSU and Notre Dame fans go there to enjoy the beef.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
We who love New Orleans have been given a wonderful gift over the past year or so: a concrete ability to imagine what our own lives and the lives of our nation and world would be like without our city. Like few others, we know what it is to imagine our city simply gone. We know how bad off we, the nation, and the world would be without this city.
With Christmas thanks and apologies to this website, I offer the following ham-fisted allegory:
Like George Bailey, let's use that sense of loss and restoration to inspire us every day. Merry Christmas!* * *
CLARENCE'S VOICE: You sent for me, sir?
FRANKLIN'S VOICE: Yes, Clarence. A city down on earth needs our help.
CLARENCE'S VOICE: Splendid! Is it sick?
FRANKLIN'S VOICE: No, worse. It's discouraged. At exactly ten-forty-five p.m. tonight, Earth time, people in that city will be thinking seriously of throwing away God'sgreatest gift.
CLARENCE'S VOICE: Oh, dear, dear! Its civic life! They're all going to move away! To Houston and Atlanta! Then I've only got an hour to dress. What are they wearing now?
* * *
FRANKLIN'S VOICE: What's that book you've got there?
CLARENCE'S VOICE: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
FRANKLIN'S VOICE: Oh, of coures, the book by that writer who was inspired by his time on the Mississippi and in New Orleans. Clarence, you do a good job with New Orleans, and you'll get your wings.
CLARENCE'S VOICE: Oh, thank you, sir. Thank you.
* * *
BOYS (ad lib): Come on, Harry! Attaboy, Harry!
MEDIUM SHOT –– Harry takes a last drag on a joint, then gets in his used Camaro. His friends are holding stopwatches as they watch Harry try to break a speed record late at night on an icy boulevard in suburban Chicago. Three blocks into his run, he crashes into a light post.
CLOSE SHOT –– George.
GEORGE: I'm coming, Harry!
MEDIUM SHOT –– George runs to the car and grabs Harry. As he starts to pull him out he yells:
GEORGE: We're taking this boy to New Orleans, gang! We've got to get him out of this empy living! MEDIUM SHOT–– The young men boarding a plane for New Orleans at O'Hare Airport.
VOICE: George saved his brother's life that day. But at the Thoth parade, he caught a bad cold which infected his left ear. Cost him his hearing in that ear. It was weeks before he could return to his job at old man Gower's drugstore.
* * *
CLOSE SHOT –– a tombstone. Upon it is engraved a name, Harry Bailey. Feverishly George scrapes awaythe snow covering the rest of the inscription,and we read:IN MEMORY OF OUR BELOVED SON –– HARRY BAILEY –– 1960-1977.
CLOSE SHOT –– George and Clarence.
CLARENCE: Your brother, Harry Bailey, overdosed on heroin, so distraught he was over his empy life in the Midwest.
GEORGE: That's a lie! Harry Bailey went to war in Iraq! He got the Congressional Medal of Honor! He saved the lives of every man on that transport.
CLARENCE (sadly): Every man on that transport died. Harry wasn't there to save them because New Orleans wasn't there to save Harry when you took him for Mardi Gras and reminded him of how sweet life could be.
And that transport? It never existed. The American military was never the same after the D-Day failure in World War II. Andrew Jackson Higgins and the city of New Orleans weren't around to invent the Higgins boats used at Normandy. Thousands of American soldiers died needlessly that day, and the War dragged on for two more years. America was a second-rate power for the rest of the century.
You see, George, you really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to throw New Orleans away?
Friday, December 22, 2006
1. Louisiana's population shrunk by 5 percent in a year. Andy Kopplin summed up the bad news in a suitable way:
That second statement is telling. We need FDR-style courage and solutions, and we have Warren Harding as president. We need a leader, and we have George W. Bush, a guy who'd get fired as a night manager at Time Saver.
This is the first time we've seen a statewide look at the displacement in Louisiana versus out-of-state. The magnitude of the damage in Louisiana is not comparable to anything we have ever seen, anywhere.
A Census bureau demographer added: You have to go back to the '40s to find percentage or numerical loss of that magnitude for any state.
Update: I'm not smart enough to know how to take the comment from "Anonymous," but I have no gripe with Andy Kopplin in this post. I'm complaining about our pound-foolish president.
2. The flooding yesterday was troubling. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I really don't think we're getting the whole truth on the state of our drainage "system." I don't trust the people charged with fixing and maintaining it. Anybody wanna argue with me on that point?
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
We have been hosed badly by all three of them over the past 16 months.
And we are still a World Class City. And we are still NFC South Division Champions.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
We're supposed to accept that.
Now, this weekend we learn that white suburban Jefferson Parish residents are central to the reelection of a petty thief congressman with $90,000 in his freezer. In response, Americans get all high and mighty and say things like "New Orleans [sic] will never change" and "They don't deserve rebuilding."
And we in New Orleans are supposed to beat our breasts and feel guilty?
Ain't gonna happen.
By the way, it was beautiful tonight to watch us BEAT DOWN America's Team.
I heard some sideline reporter ask Drew Brees if the Saints are now America's Team.
I don't want to be America's Team. Let 'em have the Cowboys. And Applebee's.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
2. To respond to anyone who gets all high and mighty about silly old, corrupt New Orleans doing the same old, same old, I quote those noted Alabamian political philosophers Lynyrd Skynyrd (comparing George Wallace with Richard Nixon):
In Birmingham they love the governor.
Now we all did what we could do.
Now Watergate does not bother me.
Does your conscience bother you? Tell the truth.
In Orleans Parish, we all (well, most of us) did what we could do.
How do you, America, feel about the looters in the White House who are running our country right now?
Google Maps is really cool, but they need to update dramatically the satellite views of our region. They've still got the la-la land photos of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.
I want the World to see what we look like now--the FEMA trailers in yards, the parts of town that have little activity, the post-apocalyptic scenes in Mississippi. Show 'em the truth, Google.
Somehow I think New Yorkers would be screaming if Google Maps was still showing the Twin Towers. This is a (perhaps unintended) insult to us, just as it would be an insult to New Yorkers.
While they're at it, how about before/after views? How about really closeup shots of what Donald Powell says will be "the finest levee system in the world"? Ha.
My point is, We Are Not Okay.
And Google should help us get that message out.
Friday, December 08, 2006
The interior of the place would make for great filming, and I'm happy there's activity there. But we need steak. Soon.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
A few months ago, I sat on a flight from Miami to New Orleans with the program manager in charge of BellSouth's rebuild. According to him, the BellSouth wireline network is being rebuilt at state of the art fiber nodes instead of trying to fix the ruined copper.
Of course, the muni-wifi network that Nagin/Meffert deployed after the storm was also a savvy move.
On the whole, the FCC regulated telecom industry is doing its part to provide universal access to the rebuilding and this is to be commended.
Further, I heard today that Leap Wireless (which operates under the Cricket brand) is going to build a pcs network in New Orleans this year and launch soon after.
For all the headwinds at this point, New Orleans is decidedly more 3G than Third World and getting better everyday.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Excellent, though I'm not giving up on that empire.
Mr. Schmidt is one of my favorite New Orleans artists. At his gallery, as discussed in Gambit this week, he is showing recent work that centers on the Fairgrounds.
Mr. Schmidt is also a key member of the New Leviathan Foxtrot Orchestra, a fine local ensemble.
Friday, December 01, 2006
By my calculations, Coach Nolan was in college when his dad was coaching Our New Orleans Saints. Still, I post this familiar tune in his honor.
The smothered okra with shrimp plate.
The featured entree (the okra and shrimp) comes with two huge, perfectly fried-to-order filets of catfish.
And potato salad.
And a large square of cornbread.
All of the above was perfect and piping hot.
For seven dollars.
The styrofoam plate barely could hold the weight of the food.
I love my city.