In News outside of the French Quarter

The Quarter Rat’s TOP 20 Memes of 2020

(All memes by Eric T. Styles)
The only folks who loved the “Year of the Rat, 2020” were those of us who created memes. Here are the Top 20 Memes from TheQuarterRat.com.

20. We could only find 19 memes, NEXT!

19. I posted this in February before Mardi Gras ’20 as a warning. Back then it was all in the back of our minds about the potential for an outbreak from Corona but no one even dared to utter it. I caught a few comments from “No way! Really think they are?” to “Well, what are we supposed to do? Cancel Mardi Gras? NEVER!”

18. We got to see how the mayor handled hurricanes and natural disasters.

17. It took 10 months to recover three bodies from the Hard Rock Hotel collapse, which occurred in October 2019. Months after the tragedy, a leg of one of the victims dangling from the rubble could be seen from Canal Street. Mayor Cantrell was outraged that a photo was taken of the leg and posted on social media. We were outraged that there was a leg sticking out months later to photograph.

16. Bourbon Street hadn’t been this empty or clean in over 300 years. An eerie silent street with windows boarded up. I was told that it was busier in the days after Katrina than during the shut down. A couple of friends messaged me and asked if I needed help to actually paint this on Bourbon. As tempting as it was, in my older age wisdom I decided not to. Such public messages are only tolerated if it’s approved by the establishment to promote their agenda.

15. If anyone exemplifies a political “Karen” it’s our Mayor.

14. The George Floyd protests came to our city. Thousands went out to protest in various parts of New Orleans over the course of a week. With the exception of a few protesters getting pepper sprayed by cops on the bridge, they were all peaceful. No charges were brought against any city official for the deaths of three and injured dozens of construction workers. Selective outrage.

13. LaToya Cantrell thought that this summer was a great time for a photo-shoot to update her pictures on social media. Like somehow a resting bitch face would instill a sense of confidence in a community locked in their homes from a pandemic and collapsing local economy. I didn’t think the original City Hall background did her justice.

12. Admit it guys, who hasn’t at least once.

11. Ah yes, nothing like the classic memes.

10. The Hard Rock Hotel became a great example of incompetence from the city and it’s hired contractors. “How can we fuck up a collapsed building?” “I know! We’ll set it on fire!”

9. The Quarter Rat publisher kept after me to make a temperature gun meme. I think this one is now my favorite from 2020.

8. Remember when Mayor Cantrell went off on a reporter during a press conference about opening up businesses?

7. For those of you familiar with the humble beginnings of The Quarter Rat Magazine, you would agree that no one would ever dream that it had much potential to ever be taken seriously. In 2020 this web site has shown otherwise. The talent and professionalism of Dave Minsky has shown the QR as an emerging reliable source of news information. City officials now actually take the call without saying “The WHAT?” Don’t get me wrong, self-improvement is a lifelong journey and we still have a lot of work to do. Thanks for keeping the faith.

6. In the spirit of wokeness, DIXIE beer has decided to change it’s name (we know there’s a misspelled word in there; that’s the pint).

5. We couldn’t help noticing that those who pushed for a longer shut down seem also to be the same fucks always bitching about their jobs, getting fired a lot and are, coincidentally, Bernie Sanders supporters. Just saying.

4. Best. Headline. Ever. We may never be able to top this.

And the follow up meme.

3. When it comes to making memes, sometimes things just click.

2. The intent for us is not to make light of deaths of those construction workers. Our condolences go out to their families and loved ones. We do how ever wish to see justice, and want to see those responsible for deaths due to incompetence to be held accountable.

1. As if 2020 hadn’t been scary enough for us, NOLA had the distinction of being threatened by two hurricanes simultaneously. This meme got way more likes and shares than anything else posted. It just shows where all of your heads are at.

What will 2021 hold for us? I’m not optimistic. I think a year from now we will be looking back on 2020 as “The good old days.”

Knock Knock

I’m just a janitor in a dive bar who heard sirens. We in the Quarter generally ignore it as background noise. When I saw emergency vehicles race past the windows going in the opposite direction of the one way on Toulouse Street, I stuck my head out. The next block was taped off due to the stand-off on Dauphine Street. I strolled down, found crime tape marked US MARSHALS draped across the street and unmarked vehicles.

Standing at the tape was a tradesman with a tool bag on the sidewalk next to him. He told me he was trying to go to work but his work truck was in the middle of this unfolding drama. He was the first to tell me about an armed man barricaded in a house and in a stand-off with law enforcement. We watched the US Marshals in full tactical gear pace back and forth with long guns.

I gathered details from both media and the locals standing in front of dive bars. I spoke to several who were familiar with the house and occupants. Apparently, in the weeks prior there had been conflict and drama among roommates. One person (who wished to remain anonymous) said they knew Eddy Roche and claimed to have allegedly snorted drugs with him on several occasions. Recently, according to this individual, Mr. Roche had become very erratic in behavior and had been seen flashing a .22-caliber pistol. A second individual, who was acquainted with one of the roommates, also noted Roche’s behavior had become so unpredictable that the roommates had to move out.

Roche

I was later contacted by a third individual who worked on that block and who stated that he was not surprised that Roche made the news. Those on the block were suspicious of the residence being a location for drug deals. People in and out daily, only staying for a few minutes at a time.

The NOPD narrative is: A contractor thinking the unit was empty, entered and was confronted by Roche who fired several shots at the contractor. The contractor was not struck by gunfire, fled and called the police.  NOPD arrived, the suspect discarded his weapon and retreated to the house and barricaded himself inside.

The “contractor” angle smelled like bullshit. As much work as the structure needed, the tradesman I interviewed said he never saw anyone doing work there before. Was the landlord aware of the conflicts between roommates?

I have other questions: Did he confirm sending a contractor to the location with a key? Was he sent to do work or to evict? Why did the property owner assume the apartment was empty? Did he contact the tenants prior? Having worked as a house painter in rental properties, I never assumed any unit was empty upon first entering. You always knock loud and announce yourself.

I know a Quarter resident who bartends at night and sleeps during the day. She was awoken one afternoon to the sound of mens’ voices in her living room. They were greeted by a naked woman pointing a gun at them screaming “Who the fuck are you and how did you get in?” It was a case of a property manager not making the proper arrangements with the tenant. The manager had relied on a morning text message to the sleeping bartender: “We’ll be over in a few hours to look at the leak in the roof,” and didn’t wait on a confirmation reply.

Something about this part of the story sounds shaky to me. As many times as I have been questioned by cops over the years, I would like to ask the NOPD a few. Did you speak to the property owner to confirm the authenticity of the contractor’s story? Why did he tell the contractor the unit was empty when there may have been at least three occupants? Any sign that this incident might have escalated from a drug deal gone bad?

I went over the next day to take some photos of the house from Dauphine Street from the stand-off. On the stoop was a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of “DC comic Bombshells” and a package of tampons. Wassup with dat?

A jigsaw puzzle and tampons found on the stoop of the house involved the police standoff in ithe 500 block of Dauphine Street Friday. Photo by Eric T. Styles.

These are the questions that have been bouncing around my head as I sweep the floors of a dive bar.

Making groceries

So Rouses Market is closed for renovations until December 21. I had put off shopping last week until last Monday only to find it just closed. They were wheeling out displays, coolers etc. The place was totally gutted. Even with everything out of there, it still looks small.

I waited until Monday because I hate going in there on the weekend with the fucking tourists. There is one tiny shopping cart in the entire store that is used by the staff when stocking shelves. Numerous times, I have had to squeeze past a tourist couples who managed to find the cart empty and decided that they should use it to hold their three items as they stroll up and down every narrow isle browsing. Looking at the “genuine Cajun seasonings” or picking up and putting down the bags of Hurricane mix while us locals are shopping with baskets. Great, they decided to bring the cart with two sandwiches and a bag of chips to the fucking check out isle. Oh look, four people and two baby strollers came in to buy one bottle of wine. Please, take your time.

I love the employees, Tony, Miss Treva, Xavier, Mandy, they all make it like visiting friends. Great staff. Most of the customers make me hate shopping there. One time, I had to squeeze by a cliché hipster in front of the beer section. He was annoying just to look at. The perfectly trimmed beard, those stupid black framed glasses that probably didn’t even have lenses in them, silly tight pants and a T-shirt with a logo for something that he didn’t even know to what. One flash art tattooed arm against his stomach with the other elbow resting on it as he stroked his beard. He was intensely studying the ridiculous array of beers.

I went down to grab cold cuts and bread and walked back, he was still there scowling deep in thought. I continued to dart up and down the isles I needed to grabbing my basics. As I doubled back around he was still there in front of the beer in the same pose.  “WTF DUDE? You act like you’re picking out an engagement ring or something.” I grabbed the last of my standard dietary staples and stood in line.

Who should get in line behind me? Harry Hipster. I had to look at what strange brew he finally decided upon. “PBR? REALLY?! I spent less time picking out the last car I bought. You stood there for at least eight minutes, obstructing shoppers as you read the label of every pretentious pickled trout flavored lager only to pick up a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon. I hate you and everyone like you.”

Another time I had a basket packed to the top as I grabbed pack of cheese. This scruffy looking white guy strolls up next to me and flashes his Louisiana Purchase card and whispers “Fifty cent on the dollar.” I responded “No thanks,” and started to stroll off. He followed: “Come on man, you’ll be getting all of that stuff for half price.”  “No,” I said. “Why not man, don’t you want to save a few bucks?” “No, because it’s theft.” Indignantly he snapped: “It ain’t stolen, it’s mine. I need the cash.” I just walked off. I wasn’t even going to try explain to the morally bankrupt commie why it was wrong.

I wonder if this renovation was just a typical corporate makeover or is it to improve “social distancing.” If it is COVID-19 related that means an isle or two will have to be removed, thus reducing the selection of products. For a small store, they managed to squeeze in most anything a non-food snob could ask for. If they are going to reduce anything let it be the fucking beer selection. They had twelve feet of beers and only eight feet of fresh produce.

Until it re-opens ,we in the Quarter will have to shop for our groceries at CVS or Walgreens, which is essentially like grocery shopping at vending machines. Perhaps Toulouse Grocery, with their stoic staff.

Let’s take the cheese…

An on-line petition has been started for the
impeachment of Mayor LaToya Cantrell:

“We the people seek to impeach New Orleans mayor Latoya Cantrell on the grounds of gross incompetence. She has enacted policies aimed at the permanent shutdown of local businesses, while restricting civil liberties of all New Orleans residents. In addition, her policies have led to a gross increase in violent crime across the city.”