My favorite installation from p.2: Dawn Dedeaux’s “Goddess Fortuna and her Dunces.” Prospect 2 biennial closed this week. What was your favorite installation?
As we gear up for a Pats/Giants Superbowl this year, Saints fans are still getting over the loss to San Francisco. This article pretty much sums it up.
“My Drunk Dial to the New Orleans Saints” – by Shaneika Dabney
Hey…it’s me…Nola Chick. I’m just here on my couch having a few glasses of wine and thinking about you and about us. We had some wild times, right? Right?? (Nervous laughter) I probably shouldn’t have called but… I have a few things to get off my chest. I guess I was just wondering, what happened? We were so happy then all of a sudden… it’s over. Just like that.
I keep asking myself what I’m going to do on Sundays. Sundays were our days! And we were supposed to take that big trip to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks. Now, I’ll just spend that weekend at home, thinking about what might have been. I feel empty, you know? I just want it to go back to the way it was a few months ago when we were riding high and it seemed like nothing could stop us. It’s like, I can’t turn on the TV or listen to the radio without being reminded of how things were.
I’M DYING OVER HERE!!! AND SOMETIMES I WONDER IF YOU EVEN CARE!!! I MEAN, DO YOU EVEN CARE???? OR IS IT JUST ALLLLL ABOUT YOU?? HAVE YOU EVEN STOPPED FOR ONE SECOND TO THINK ABOUT HOW YOUR ACTIONS AFFECT ME? DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT ME?!! SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE I HATE YOU!!!
I’m sorry. (sobbing at this point) I didn’t mean to yell. It’s just that, I miss what we had.
I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. I’m just… I’m lost. I can’t believe you did what you did and I can’t believe who you did it with. The 49ers? Those skanks? They don’t deserve the happiness we had together.
Part of me wants to grab a bat, get in my car, drive to San Francisco right now and… no, no… I won’t go there.
I’m better than that. I’ll just say what goes around comes around.
Anways, I want to know what we can do to make this right again. Or have you moved on, already? Yeah, I bet that’s what it is. You’ve moved on already.
YOU KNOW WHAT? YOU’RE SO **BLEEPIN** SELFISH!!! NO SERIOUSLY, YOU’RE JUST SELFISH. IF YOU CARED ABOUT ME, YOU WOULDN’T HAVE LET THINGS GET TO THIS POINT. YOU WOULD HAVE DONE WHATEVER IT TOOK TO MAKE IT WORK. YOU PUT ME ON THIS EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER AND YOU EXPECT ME TO JUST GET OVER IT? REALLY? JUST LIKE THAT?? I HATE YOU!!!!!
(Violently sobbing now)I don’t hate you, baby. You know I don’t mean that. I’m just hurt. I’m sitting here, listening to “Stand Up and Get Crunk” on repeat, wearing that t-shirt I wore on our special day back in February of 2010, thinking about how happy we were and driving myself nuts. I probably shouldn’t have called. I’m sorry I called. I really do hope you’re happy. I’m not just saying that. I want you to be happy because when you care about someone you want the best for them. I just wish I could be happy too, but I guess there’s no way to make that happen.
(Chugs more wine)
Maybe this time apart will be good for us. Maybe once we think about what went wrong, we can figure out how to make it right. But only a few months apart, okay? Maybe once the summer is over we can start fresh. I really think we can have what we had again.
Well, you were probably busy so I won’t keep you any longer. And I know you probably think I’m drunk but I’m not. (I’m totally drunk) I’m just emotional and having a hard time dealing with things.
So anyways, I’ll let you go. Before I do… please say those two little words to me. I know it’s hard to say but I need to hear it. Okay, I’ll go first…
(Deep and heavy sigh)
(This article was originally posted on the website Chicks in the Huddle)
Whether you are moving to New Orleans for the first time or moving back to the city, chances are you will have to make a few adjustments in lifestyle. For me, after living in Washington, DC, the hardest part of reintegrating into NOLA culture was the transportation. In DC, I had a love affair with the public transit systems, an area where NOLA has always severely slacked. Shifting from a no-car-necessary city back to the drive-at-your-own-risk New Orleans streets left me longing for New Orleans to have a metro of its own and over two years later I still resent having to use a car to get around the city.
In New Orleans, the streetcars serve only to add to the ambiance of the antiquated city, the bus system is less than accessible and/or navigatable and the system as a whole is entirely inefficient. Chances are, if you aren’t a tourist heading to and from the French Quarter, you don’t use the streetcar (well unless you are heading to French Quarter Fest that is). I would also be willing to wager that you don’t ride the bus much either-do you even know where the bus lines take you? Me either.
As a native New Orleanian public transportation always seemed so foreign. None of the bus stops nor streetcar stops were convenient to where I lived nor did they take me anywhere I wanted or needed to go. Even now, after having used public transit as a primary form of transportation elsewhere, I cannot reason why it would be better for me to take the streetcar to work. I can either drive 10 minutes down Carrollton Avenue or ride the streetcar for over an hour and a half transferring somewhere downtown. Taking the bus would be a bit quicker, but only be if the two bus transfers were on time. Of course no one is going to use RTA’s systems unless the absolutely have to, especially if it turns a ten minute car ride into an hour plus commute.
On the East Coast, public transit functions quite differently. The subway systems primarily function as a means to bring the residents between the major city centers-downtown offices, suburban homes (with the exception of Georgetown of course, but I can tell you they are kicking themselves now for banning the metro in their swanky neighborhood), trendy restaurants, shopping centers and sports arenas. Tourist transportation is an afterthought and a bonus feature to many of these mass transit systems. It’s a novel idea that a public transportation system would actually serve the public whose tax dollars pay for it.
These systems work very well in old cities like the ones on the East Coast, where most places of importance are in fairly close proximity to one another. Metro stops provide a quick link between important neighborhoods where parking is scarce. A fifteen-minute car ride plus fifteen minutes spent hunting for parking can easily become a quick and painless metro hop. Public transportation is simply more convenient for the city lifestyle.
Let’s face it, parking in New Orleans is not a dream scenario either and as an older city like New York, Chicago and DC, NOLA is also spatially equipped to create an effective form of mass transit. Old American cities were originally built in very tight grids so that individuals may walk or ride horses between destinations. Evidence of a horseback version of NOLA is still seen across the city in hitching posts and water troughs. Since these areas were originally accessible via horse, a subway system can now step in place of the old saddle, bringing NOLA into the 21st century.
Okay, okay. A subway system may be far from reasonable in a city that is as far below sea level as Atlantis. However, a subway is not the only efficient form of public transit used in great American cities. Chicago utilizes an above ground light rail system that functions in a similar manner to a subway and I can foresee something of this nature, a light rail system with cars designed to look like the old streetcar, working in a city like New Orleans, especially with the ample neutral ground space on many of the cities major thoroughfares.
Aside from the convenience factor of it all, mass transit would serve to alleviate a number of social problems the city has battled for years: obesity, drinking and driving, high car insurance rates, increasingly limited parking and not to mention in today’s world would address the growing costs of gas and be an effort towards the current trend in green initiatives. Can New Orleans realistically address many of these issues without a more efficient form of public transportation?
All rational thinking aside, functioning public transit systems add energy and life to an urban landscape. They breathe life into the quite streets by putting people on foot. They connect the citizens under one common experience. With the influx of young professionals in the Crescent City in these post-Katrina times, many people living in NOLA today are not only comfortable using public transportation, but would prefer use it. With the energy and momentum from the younger generation, now is the time for the city to revolutionize the mass transit system, putting NOLA on the map of the United States most youthful and vibrant cities while addressing many of the issues that directly face the cities residents.
(This article was originally published on InvadeNOLA.com on December 14, 2011 – http://invadenola.com/2011/12/rta-nola-calling/)
As someone who is fascinated with the culture of New Orleans, I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to hear a talk by the award-winning filmmakers Bill and Turner Ross who are scheduled to release their new documentary, Tchoupitoulas, this March. On Tuesday, January 10, the filmmakers presented to a public audience at Metairie Park Country Day School on their upcoming film about New Orleans culture that is predicted to receive attention from the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 for the New Frontier section.
After much success with their first film 45365 about their hometown, Sydney, Ohio the brothers were awarded the 2009 SXSW Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature, only one of their many accolades. Their very next project was to take on New Orleans, a place where they had spent much time as children and where their father currently resides. Their new project will use their unique style of documenting the experience as a distinct time and place- no voiceovers, no interviews, purely the time, place, feeling and emotions as they are happening.
Tchoupitoulas explores cultural dynamics of New Orleans through the eyes of three young boys from the West Bank who frequent the French Quarter where they are exposed to a world many their age have only experienced in movies. The film sets out to capture not only the dynamics of New Orleans and the complexities not seen to the naked eye, but also the naivety of a young child experiencing many of these things for the first time and the adventure they find as they explore the streets of the Quarter. The result is an amazing anthropological description of three boys experience in the Crescent City, curated by the filmmakers but told through the eyes of a local.
Coming from someone who constantly tries to describe the layers to this rich New Orleans culture, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Ross brother documentary in March. They have not only taken the time to learn the city’s culture and the landscape, but they care enough to depict it in a way that shows more than the Nation’s stereotype, showing that these national myths are only one element in the lives of the people who reside in New Orleans.
Check out the teasers here: http://www.rossbros.net/tchoupitoulas.html