October 28, 2005

Rejuvenation in New Orleans

I was heartened today to get my first weekly e-mail newsletter from Offbeat magazine since before Katrina. The publisher, Jan Ramsey, and her husband are attempting to get this fine publication, dedicated to New Orleans music and culture, going again. Their main office still cannot be used; but they are trying to get out a December issue with a drastically reduced staff, and have finally mailed out their September issue, which was printed but had not shipped when Katrina hit. They are soliciting new subscribers and allowing current subscribers to become lifetime subscribers for a mere $200.00. I urge you to support this magazine at some level!!! Their beneficial effect on the New Orleans music community and its fans over the years cannot be underestimated.

Also in their newsletter, I read with delight that the Louisiana Music Factory will re-open its store this Monday, October 31st (their web sales have been back up for a while). This is a treat, after Katrina's trick bag. I hope to be there. This store has also been a vital resource to musicians and lovers of New Orleans music, with its extensive stock of local and regional music (and lots of vinyl upstairs!), weekly in-store performances, books, DVDs, sheet music, etc. The store sustained little or no damage in the storm, as it is located in the French Quarter. Support these fine people, too, as they restart their lives and the life of the city. Buy something already!

As a matter of fact, support any New Orleans-based enterpise you come across by doing business with them. The ecomomic health of the city is on life support right now - and requires continuous transfusions of cash to survive.

My wife took the following photo on Freret St. in the Uptown area last Saturday, the 22nd, when we were in New Orleans to collect our daughter's belongings from the dorm room she had to evacuate before school even started. We also visited friends and spent some money. This shot depicts the current state of parading in the Crescent City: refrigerators lined up in the street or on curbs everywhere, a spooky, stinky second line of cast-offs that most definitely are fonky. Our friends have been meeting with their Mardi Gras krewe (a subset of Krewe du Vieux), planning for Carnival season, which should be one to remember. Hope is in the air, along with some lingering stench, of course, and a lot of dust from the post-hurricane drought.

An aggregation of refrigerators half blocking Freret St on a cool Fall day


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just hope they don't turn New Orleans into another disneyland. My wife and her family are from Terrebonne Parrish, and they got hit pretty hard also.



2:55 PM, October 28, 2005  
Blogger Dan Phillips said...

I hear ya, Jeff. The city will never be the same; but life goes on. It remains to be seen if its cultural identity will remain intact. No one knows if the reality will be as extreme as Cyril Neville's "ethnic cleansing" charge or as absurd as some theme park replica. We all need to do what we can to insure the revival retains what was best about the city, while not replicating the neglect, decay and corruption.

And, yes, let's not forget those outside New Orleans who lost everything from either Katrina or Rita. This was a monumentally terrible double whammy.

5:14 PM, October 28, 2005  
Blogger The Reaper said...

Louisiana Music Factory is now shipping orders! I know because they said they shipped mine today (Onward Brass Band, Wild Mags and Monk Boudreaux's solo album all headed my way, plus a t-shirt). Hopefully I'll be able to order a few discs each month for the forseeable future.

1:08 AM, October 29, 2005  
Blogger Dan Phillips said...

OK. The Reaper is on the board! Who's next? I'll be shopping in person Monday, looks like.

1:14 AM, October 29, 2005  

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