News

Intersection of Chartres and Conti streets closed for workdays until April 9 for electric utility upgrades

(Photo: Crews close the section of Conti Street in March for reconstruction. | RoadworkNOLA)
The intersection of Conti and Chartres streets closed for five days starting Monday morning and reopen on Friday to accommodate upgrades to electric utility lines.

Crews plan to close the intersection of Chartres and Conti streets to accommodate Entergy Electric utility upgrades and will reopen to vehicular traffic at 6 p.m. The project concludes on April 9, according to New Orleans Department of Public Works.

Signage and a police detail will be in place to allow local traffic onto Conti Street between Chartres and Decatur streets

The project was designed by Mott McDonald and is being constructed by Hard Rock Construction. Construction is anticipated to run through winter 2021, with approximately four months per block, and construction partners include Entergy Electric, Entergy Gas, Cox Communications and AT&T.

The work is part of a $4.3M reconstruction project along Conti Street, which involves removing and replacing the existing pavement; replacing/upsizing the existing drain lines and catch basins; replacing existing water lines; repairing or replacing existing sewer, water and low-pressure gas lines; repairing/replacing underground electrical duct banks; replacing sidewalks and adding Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramps, and a mid-crossing at Exchange Place; and bollards along the street’s side facing Esplanade Avenue.

Crews are working seven days a week from 8 a.m. until sunset each day to complete the project, according to Department of Public works officials.

As part of the reconstruction project, the 700 block of Conti Street is currently closed to vehicular traffic for its duration, which is scheduled to end in June. Commuters are advised to detour from Bourbon Street onto Toulouse Street and then onto Royal Street.

When construction is completed, the fence will be removed and work will begin on the sidewalks; and once Entergy crews have finished their upgrades in the 600 block of Conti Street, Hard Rock Construction crews will shift their operations to the 600 block section of the street between Royal and Chartres streets, according to Department of Public Works officials.

During the day, commuters are advised to detour from Bourbon Street onto Toulouse Street, and then onto Decatur Street. The 600 block of Conti Street will reopen to vehicular traffic each night.

In April 2021, the intersection of Royal and Conti streets will be closed for approximately four weeks to accommodate utility upgrades and a traffic advisory will be sent ahead of that closure, according to public works officials.

Questions about this project or our Capital Improvement Program should be directed to 504-658-7623 or roadwork@nola.gov.

Mitch, I know where you got them shoes

I follow former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on twitter. I don’t know why, all of his tweets are essentially the same: Condescending, white “progressive” and self-flagellating for woke points. If you saw him on the street and said “Nice weather.” He would probably respond with “Only for white people.”

In all fairness, he is running a business. In 2018, he wrote the book “In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History.” Genius grift by the way. How can a white Southern man from a prominent political family gain capital from racism? I chuckle when I see CNN calls Mitch to polish up his head to appear on one of their panels discussing…what?

To paraphrase President Biden: “You’re a one-trick pony soldier horse fat face … come on man, you know, the thing.”

“Hey Mitch, where can I pick up a good po-boy?”
“There’s a place three blocks down from the white supremacist statue to racism, on the left.”
“Uh ok, thanks.”

Like that monotypical uncle who always manages to steer the family dinner conversations back to his favorite topic of model railroading; Mitch will always come back to the statues. I think he deserves a statue for tearing down statues of fellow Democrats. It’s probably safe to say Mitch’s official stance on slavery in this country is that it was a bad idea. I really don’t know any American that would dispute that. None. The minute number of actual real white supremacists share that same belief, also.

The statue issue aside, who cares? Tourist come down here to binge eat, binge drink and cheat on their spouses. They want to see titties, not General Lee. Some locals may find the reminder of slavery from 200 years ago offensive? Slavery bad?

I know where you got them shoes.
CHINA!

You must have at least one pair of sneakers in your walk in closet filled with those wild gray suites. Do you even wear the pants anymore? Or just the shirt, jacket and tie when you’re a talking head for six minutes of relevancy?

I’d bet a paycheck that many of those folks down at the statues protesting wear one of many major brand of sneakers; made by humans enslaved on the other side of the globe, imprisoned for no other reason than their ethnicity, forced to work under horrendous conditions and daily inhumane abuse. Protesting the ugliest part of America’s past that’s been over for about 150 years while wearing shoes made by slaves a few weeks earlier.

Imagine 180 years ago, a Northern educated white lady and an abolitionist, sipping tea and clutching her pearls while saying, “Those Southerners are so evil, using slaves to work in the fields! By the way, do you like my new cotton dress? It’s so comfortable and inexpensive.”

Imagine being a Black slave and knowing that 180 years later your descendants would be wearing apparel made by forced labor. You could hear that facepalm clear across the field.

We cannot correct past injustices to those people. History is etched in stone despite what we write on paper or what bronze we tear down. If you are sincerely and deeply disturbed by this blot on our nation’s past, and feel the need to do something positive, work to end slavery that is happening today. Your moral outrage will not change the past, but it could change today.

Perhaps it’s not important to you since they aren’t Black Americans. They’re so poor and live so far away, it doesn’t matter to you. In 2016, there were about 40 million “modern” slaves, including forced marriages, sexual exploitation and debt bondage, according to the United Nations. It’s difficult to calculate exact number for obvious reasons. Less than 400,000 human beings used for chattel slavery were shipped to the U.S. between 1525 and 1866, according to Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Imagine if we turned all of our energy and passion for this crime in a direction that could tangibly change something. If protests were directed towards bad actors, instead of inanimate objects from the past, there would be meaningful change.

In September 2018, there was news story about how Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn wanted to ban Nike products following the Collin Kaepernick-Nike deal. Mitch was quick to jump on board that streetcar named Attention and call “unpatriotic” and defended Nike. How could Nike afford to pay Collin Kaepernick $25 million dollars? Slave labor. Does any of this click?

A few corporations have stepped up to the plate and took a stand against China and its Uighur concentration camps: forced labor, sexual abuse, forced abortions and organ harvesting of Uyghur Muslims. Any business that takes a position opposing slave labor in China should be applauded and patronized. Those who ignore or profit from it should be treated worst than Aunt Jemima syrup was. Doesn’t that seem a little ridiculous now? Outrage over a syrup label but none over people enslaved today.

Hey Mitch, do you know where the slavery is?
On your feet.

About the title. Here in the French Quarter of New Orleans, specifically Bourbon Street we have street hustlers. “Shoe Guys” will stroll up to unsuspecting tourists, point to their feet and say: “Nice shoes, I’ll bet you $5 that I know where you got them shoes.” The gullible tourist will usually blurt out “Where?” The Shoe guy will respond: “You got them shoes on your feet. You owe me $5!”

If they’re not running shoes, you better pay up.

‘NCIS: New Orleans’ filming scheduled on Chartres, Decatur streets; parking affected

(Graphic by Eric T. Styles)
Parking will be limited along portions of Chartres and Decatur streets on Tuesday as production crews film scenes for “NCIS: New Orleans.”

The 500 blocks of Chartres and Decatur streets will be affected between midnight and 11:59 p.m., although crews will arrive on location and will film between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., according to CBS Studios, which is currently producing episodes for the series that’s in its seventh and, most likely, final season.

During filming, parking along the lakeside portion of the 500 block of Decatur Street and the riverside portion of the 500 block of Chartres Street will be impacted.

Crew member parking and base camp will be located in private lots to minimize the impact in the area, and all driveways and handicap zones will be respected, according to CBS Studios, which will also have New Orleans Police and security details on site.

CBS Studios is working with Film New Orleans, an agency that regulates site location permits in the city, on the production, which stars actors Scott Bakula as the fictional Navy Criminal Investigative Service supervising special agent Dwayne Cassius Pride and assistant supervising special agent Hannah Khoury, played by CCH Pounder.

“We realize that you may have had a great deal of filming in the past and that it can sometimes be a nuisance,” according to CBS Studios. “We work closely with Film New Orleans to help ensure that we adhere to the standards they have set forth.”

Anyone with questions regarding planned deliveries, construction and with concerns regarding parking or the filming may contact CBS Studios site location managers, including:

Ryan West, assistant location manager, 225-955-0930, ryan@ncisloc.com
Claire Dahm, assistant location manager, 260-205-3151, claire@ncisloc.com

Carroll Morton of Film New Orleans can also be reached at 504-658-4341 or 504-240-9504, and cgmorton@nola.gov.

2 people injured in Bourbon Street shooting; 2 suspects sought

(Photo: Two suspects, in the green and black clothes, are sought in a March 20 shooting. | NOPD)
Two suspects who remain unidentified are wanted by New Orleans Police in a shooting that injured two people following a verbal altercation on Bourbon Street last week.

The shooting occurred shortly after 11 p.m. on March 20 in the 300 block of Bourbon Street, according to New Orleans Police.

The incident began when one suspect, who was wearing a green shirt and blue hat, began arguing with a person on Bourbon Street.

At some point, the argument escalated and another suspect wearing a black jacket produced a gun and allegedly started firing, striking two bystanders, according to New Orleans Police.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to contact Eighth District detectives at 504-658-6080. Anonymous callers may contact Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

Matassa’s Market reopens in the French Quarter with new operators

(Photo: Infrogmation | CC)
Matassa’s Market, grocery store located at the intersection of Dauphine and St. Philip streets, reopened earlier this month.

The market, located at 1001 Dauphine St., reopened several weeks ago after its owners leased it to new operators, according to nola.com.

Owners Louis Matassa and partner Vincent Catalanatto Jr. shuttered the business in January, although the exact reasons weren’t immediately clear at the time. Many believed the store would join other neighborhood businesses that closed permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent government restrictions.

But Matassa and Catalanotto, who own the building, leased it to Richard Djapni, a Monroe-based pharmacist who also operates several grocery stores throughout Louisiana.

Matassa is a third-generation owner of the store. His father, Cosimo, opened a recording nearby on North Rampart Street in the 1940s and worked with artists such as Little Richard, Allan Toussaint, Fats Domino, Ray Charles and others. The grocery store was started by Giovanni Matassa, Cosimo’s father, in 1924.