Archive for February, 2008

…the beloved Fiorella’s?

Well established restaurant for sale. Located on Decatur Street,next to the French Market. Great location and the restaurants reputation proceeds itself.

Linky

Anyone want to go halfsies?

Poor Johnny, he picked the wrong moment in history to be a white male…

Nagin didn’t look good. His skin looked bad. He was haggard. Maybe he’s not used to being up that early. Since he sometimes doesn’t roll into the office until noon after a long weekend, perhaps that’s exactly what it was.

But whether it was the lack of sleep or the mental health crisis he seems to be enduring, he made a fool of himself again. He put himself in a position where local anchor Eric Paulsen had to pat him on the arm in a pitiful sort of “get help” gesture while anchor Sally Ann Roberts played the role of concerned friend by stating, “People who are listening to you speak, people who care about you, may be worried about you because of your emotional state.”

It was awful. Nagin looked at the ground many times and seemed tired and weary. His body language seemed depressed.

And hey, if I was the victim of a blatant and malicious act of slanted photojournalism like what occurred last week in the Times-Picayune, I would be weary as well, and certainly pissed. The paper was caught deliberately trying to make the mayor look bad. Whomever was responsible for framing the shot in that manner should be fired. I am actually offended myself by it. I expect the paper to be bias only towards truth and the photo was a misrepresentation of the event it depicted. When a frame is precisely picked out from a piece of footage so as to depict a person pointing a gun at another when it wasn’t actually what happened, it seems pretty blatant the paper was going for a money shot.

So Nagin had every right to be upset about it.

But then what does he do?

He threatens to fight and punch people, thus justifying the message that was originally trying to be sent – that he is an impulsive and weak-minded official who consistently makes poor decisions on a moment-by-moment basis.

It’s odd that Nagin was actually the victim when this whole thing kicked off. I don’t care what the ends are, the Times-Picayune bamboozled Nagin. But unfortunately for him, he has done such a poor job of being the face of the city and its recovery that folks can’t wait for another opportunity to bash him. In fact, folks at the Times-Picayune are making up ways to bash him. And many of us took it hook-line-and-sinker. I know I did.

But the embarrassment I felt over being snookered by the newspaper transformed itself back into ridicule of the mayor this morning when he stated Aryan groups were out too get him and when he threatened to “cold cock” people.

After that, everyone could go back to despising him.

In honor of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson’s glorious homage to himself in the lobby of HUD’s headquarters (h/t Jeffrey), I would like to take this moment to also display myself participating in glorious acts of vast importance with some of my greatly revered and esteemed cronies. We always serve our country, city and state in the most respected and hallowed manner.

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Sharon Jasper has been Snopified
Welfare Queen decries Public Housing
Snopes

Preservation Hall’s John Brunious obituary from the New York Times
John Brunious, 67, Louisiana Trumpeter, Is Dead
NY Times

I wonder why this and Sunday’s Decatur street shooting aren’t mentioned among the many claims of the NBA All Star game being such a lovely weekend?
Tank Arrested Amid Claims of Police Brutality
contactmusic

Times-Picayune series on coastal erosion won and evironmental reporting award. I remember this series and it was quite deserving of the honer. Conragtulations to Times-Pic staffers Bob Marshall, Mark Schleifstein, and Matt Brown. Exalt to Dan Swenson who programmed and designed this awesome flash interactive map.
‘L.A. Times,’ ‘Times-Picayune’ Win Environmental Reporting Award
Editor and Publisher

“The LIGO facility is 5-miles long and is located in Livingston, Louisiana”
LIGO Livingston Observatory
LIGO

It’s Sunday morning and Mahalia Jackson is humming through the Winamp. Rain is trickling through the busted up gutters and we can barely hear the calliope from across the river behind hallelujahs and upper rooms. In a moment, I will step on to the porch, drink some milky coffee and consider how to muster up a poker game in the midst of this soft Sunday.

It takes a buttload of critical thought and some genuine skepticism to get past the simple, inspirational chord changes, tres cool editing and inspirational imagery in this B-Rock video, “Yes We Can.” See for yourself. Be sure to note the unbuttoned blouses and cleavage! Maybe it should be called “Yes We CANS.” Ha!

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This picture. I can’t think of anything to say. I’m blogless. Christ. Just…Christ. Let’s hope the safeties are off.

Story: N.O. police show off new crime-fighting equipment

UPDATE: He’s terse…

The photo selected to depict the public safety press conference on yesterday by the Times Picayune grossly misrepresented the Mayor of the City of New Orleans, the Superintendent of Police and the men and women of the police department. The press conference held by the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) was designed to display to the public the department’s new crime fighting and life saving equipment. Further, the announcement acknowledged the entities that have worked in cooperation with the city to make this new equipment a reality-the State of La Delegation authorized over $6million in the last legislative session for the purchase of new equipment as well as to acknowledge other organizations that donated equipment to this recovering police force.

Yesterday’s announcement was a lift to the morale of this heroic police department that lost much of it’s resources in Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that resulted from the levee breaches. Mayor Nagin was and continues to be on the frontlines working to secure resources for this agency, as well as the other agencies within city government that are struggling to rebuild.

Unfortunately, photos of the command unit that will be stationed across from the NBA headquarters for this week’s NBA All Star Game were not selected for publication, unfortunately photos of the smart boards and computer equipment that will allow officers to have real time data and analysis while in the field were not selected to educate, inform and reassure the publics confidence. Instead a photo, taken out of context, was selected by our own local media and now showcased across the nation as a mockery of all this city’s recovery efforts. This is the real tragedy.

Ceeon D. Quiett
Communication Director
Office of the Mayor
C. Ray Nagin

The real tragedy is that you’ve gone and acted like a yahoo again!

UPDATE 2: Times-Pic “clarifies”…

A photo in some Metro sections and on Nola.com on Wednesday showed a laughing Mayor Ray Nagin pointing an M-4 rifle at Chief of Police Warren Riley at a
news conference to announce new crime fighting equipment purchased by
the New Orleans Police Department. A review of a video taken at the
event shows that the mayor momentarily pointed the gun at the chief as
he was lowering it but he did not deliberately point it at Riley.

Get your water skies out. This story has jumped the shark.

UPDATE 3: Fark caption contest voting results…

UPDATE 4: After hearing the whole story, C. Ray is actually the victim in this whole thing. Beleive it or not. Shame on the Times-Picayune for shifty photojournalism.

A year and a day for Nick Baroni and son

A federal judge today sentenced former Kenner City Councilman Nick Baroni and his son each to a year and a day in prison for defrauding the Navy of almost $120,000.

The punishment meted out by U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams Jr. falls within the range suggested by federal sentencing guidelines, which called for 10 to 16 months.

Wow, if that’s the going punishment for stealing $120,000 who WOULDN’T grab that cash like a funny money machine.

Come to think of it, this story brings another machine to mind.

I spent Lundi Gras running around the West Bank looking for costume supplies, some horns, some spray paint, a few minor things. I’m trying rely more and more on the existing “costume box” than having to go out and buy a bunch of stuff two times a year. The box is becoming its own haberdasher of masquerades.

I wasn’t planning on getting my groove on too strong for Lundi Gras as I have been known to do in previous years. So I ate a good dinner, shaved my head into a mohawk (so I wouldn’t have to do it in the morning) and took the ferry over.

I met up with some friends and we just sat outside their hotel on Tchoup hotel and waited for the parade and talked to folks.

When it came by, I snapped a few pictures of Salt ‘n’ Pepa and Miiiiiiiiiiiiitch and noted that Sydney Torrez has the build of a nine-years-old boy.

The Krewe of Orpheus seemed to be out of gas by the time they reached us. Much of the choice throws were gone or were being saved for the Convention Center. The red flambeauxs were out of flares and the gowns were hanging off. Everybody was dragging their ass. It was still a great parade. I just remember it being better last year when we saw it a few blocks up.

I am happy to say that this was the first parade of Mardi Gras in which we did not haveto endure a single douche in our general area. Very nice!

After it was finished, I quietly worked my way back to the ferry and got a good night’s sleep.

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I woke up on Tuesday prepared. Ready to be a two-man Krewe with Romy. It took us a while to leave the house but we finally made it out the door at noon. A pitiful time to leave I know. Costumes take time. She was a drag queen and I was the Axeman of New Orleans. We posed for a pic outside the house.

We were among a dozen or so costumed folks on the ferry but met up with our friend Brice and chatted him up while we crossed. He said to find him later on Frenchmen where he would be with a fella serving drinks from a gas pump.

We disembarked and made our way toward the Marigny, stopping at a bar the name of which eludes me. We met our neighbors at said bar and had a drink to get warmed up for the jaunt. They called some other friends who met us a few minutes later and they had a drink too.

A girl under the influence of either pharmaceuticals and alcohol or hallucinogens and alcohol was dancing around and harassing me. Then she went outside and played in a cyclone of confetti whipped up by the wind and the buildings.

Another couple joined us and we set out for the Marigny. But it would be some time before we arrived and, our numbers would be dwindled.

We walked a block before everyone’s drinks were empty and their bladders full. We encountered several entities along the way, among them a Frida Khalo and a marvelous drag queen and a golden gimp.

After everyone got situated we set out again.

Then I lost them when I doubled back to catch some Indians.

Then we encountered this gentleman who Romy adored. He said he has never dressed up like this before but I have a hard time believing him since his scrotum was shaved. Unless he shaved it for some other reason. Very possible I suppose. Either way, we all were staring at him and I could tell he was loving every minute of it. One lady in our group was begging him to work out. I don’t think she understood doing so would defeat the whole purpose. Think shock and awe.

We left our direct route to travel Royal for a few blocks and everybody stopped and got drinks and peed again. The some people saw folks they knew and we stopped a few more times. Then someone stopped to talk to strangers. In an hour, we probably traveled a block and a half.

I saw this leather bound guy who said he was in love with my teeth. We had brief conversation that went like this:

Him: I love those teeth!
Me: Thanks!
Him: That costume is too much! You are fine!
Me: Thanks!
Him: But those teethe are the best!
Me: I could have glued them in but I wanted to take them out so I can drink and blow my horn!
Him: I’LL blow your horn!
Me: Thanks! See ya later!

We made our way around Royal and finally ended up by the Alibi where several members of the party stopped to get drinks and pee.

The one of my friends said he wanted to go to the Cathedral so, “Lance can harass the Christians.” I don’t know why I was volunteered as the one to harass our heavenly brothers but I have never been one to look away from responsibility when it is thrust upon me. So I walked up to the damnation congregation gathered in front of the Cabildo in my “Axeman of New Orleans” outfit and stood in front of them for a quick picture. Well, the guy on the megaphone behind me was preaching the word hot and heavy and I must say his gospel inspired me. I started showing my teeth and mimicking his words and pointing at people around me with my axe and horn, telling them they were sinners. My friend was snapping photos the whole time. This whole act inspired people around me to come up and get pictures with me and before I knew it there was a whole crowd gathered around witnessing the event. Evey time I decided enough was enough some more people made get in front of the crowd and pose with them. Then a guy dressed as a priest came up and demanded I take communion right there. he gave me a the body of Christ and some blood straight from the box. By this time another fella dressed in a green pope outfit started arguing with the congregation and the Guardian Angels had to step in to break it up. I used this opportunity to pose with Romy (dressed as a drag queen) one last time. I grabbed the sock stuffed in the crotch and we posed for this picture.

Then I removed myself from the situation before I was charged with inciting a riot.

It seemed like our group was never going to make it to the Marigny so Romy and I left them at the Cathedral as a means of possibly forming a vanguard that would serve as a motivation for them to move froward.

We left Jackson Square and proceeded to Molly’s where we were able to rest our feet and drain our bladders. We phoned the Krewe of few times but they said they were further away than when we left them. After chatting with very nice tourists, Romy’s hairstylist and some other folks, we departed for Frenchmen. This was around 3 p.m. Thats right, it took us 3 hours to get to The Marigny. It was as if it was the Land of Oz or something.

Along the way I saw this insane female joker and her sad little Warrior.

When we reached the Marigny the dancing and music in the street was in full effect. There was even a clarinetist. Things were getting a bit blurry and all the people we met and the costumes we saw were starting to blend together. We danced our butts off and I consumed some more beers.

Interestingly enough, I never caught a serious buzz this entire Carnival. I was lightly buzzed a few times but never really shitty on the mic. I never reached any significant hangover even though it was my intent at least once. I don’t really drink during parades because (and I know this makes me sound like a serious Mardi Gras nerd) the parades are often exciting enough. Now it seems that Fat Tuesday has reached that same level.

After a few hours in the Marigny, we decided to head back the other way. Romy traipsed almost the entire time. She felt muy buenisimo in her drag queen outfit. I would sometimes catch her rubbing her stuffed sock. A drunk tourist up on the balcony saw her doing it and the ensuing conversation went something like this:

Him: (leering) What you rubbing on there girl?
(approaching the balcony and grabbing the sock) Her: My dick!
Him: (stammering) I…heh….you….ahhh…what’s…uh…

It takes a lot to render a drunk Alabaman speechless on Fat Tuesday.

Romy made me take several more images of her on the way back to the ferry and then we boarded, ate a burger at the Dry Dock and went home. Mad props to Subu for picking us up and dropping us off.

Until next year ya’ll!

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Best parade: Muses (what they lacked in bands they made up for with Steppers and the like). Close second to Hermes.
Best throw: Bags of REAL GLASS BEADS.
Most throws: Orpheus
Best band: O. Perry Walker and St. Aug.
Best celeb: Hogan
Best pics: Banjo girl, Tuba man