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Neighborhood Grabbag

Here’s a number of Mid-City things on my mind lately:

  • Looks like they’re working to renovate the bar at the corner of Bienville and Rendon. Anyone know if they’ve applied for a liquor license? We should keep an eye on this. I don’t mind a bar near my house as long as they know how to prepare my favorite cocktails, but good bartenders are hard to find these days.
  • Speaking of bars, has anyone been to Lookers at Jeff Davis and Canal?


    Can we at least agree that’s a terrible name for a bar? I wouldn’t be caught dead in a place called Lookers.

  • Speaking of Jeff Davis and Canal, I notice they’re tearing up the earth all around the statue of Jefferson Davis. Does anyone have any idea what they’re doing? It looks like the continuation of a project that’s been going in fits and starts for years, but what the end goal is I can’t imagine. Perhaps they are going to put up an electrified fence to ward off vandals. Or maybe lights to illuminate the visage of this great champion of white supremacy at night. In any event, we never seem to hear about this project through MCNO so I can only assume the folks behind this have no desire to communicate their intentions to the neighborhood.
  • I read yesterday about how the City is persecuting some poor woman for painting the sidewalk in front of her house. They want to remove the sidewalk and bill her for it. So today as I was walking my daughter to daycare, I took a picture of a typical sidewalk in our neighborhood:


    This is neither the best nor the worst Mid-City has to offer, but it’s clearly in need of repair. Compare this with the painted sidewalk the city is all worried about:

    davids house

    That makes no sense to me. Where is the sense of priority?

Update: When I posted this to our neighborhood discussion group, one person replied, “I think your comment on white supremacy was out of line. I personally take that comment offensive.” At first I thought he was defending Jeff Davis. Then I thought maybe he just didn’t like hearing anything about racial politics. Then it occurred to me that he might be coming from a completely different angle. Really, his complaint was so vague that I really didn’t know what he meant. I thought it best to at least clarify myself, which I did thusly:

I am sorry. I did not intend to offend anybody. I was trying to write about some neighborhood issues with a humorous slant. Perhaps you thought my comment was made in earnest, so please allow me to clarify: I believe the ideology of white supremacy is wrong. I’m against it, and when I cited Davis as a “great champion” of white supremacy I was being sarcastic. That is, I do not feel there is anything “great” about white supremacy. I understand that in the time of Jefferson Davis almost all white Americans believed in white supremacy. Yes, Jefferson Davis was a white supremacist, but he was far from the boldest proponent of that cause. Today white supremacy is largely repudiated even amongst white folks — as most clearly evidenced by the election of Barack Obama. I think that’s progress. Yet the past is not so easily escaped. I believe the notions of white supremacy still have a tenacious hold in all our minds. In our region of the country in particular it is a special moral challenge which we all should face up to. I understand this is complicated. I’m not trying to put myself on a pedestal of moral superiority. I say such things in hopes of renewing the commitment we all share as we work together for a more just and humane society.

Published inNew OrleansPix


  1. Don’t think so. Looks like a typical singles bar. I think the googly O’s are supposed to suggest ogling potential bedmates.

    Oh, I should note that Lookers has established itself where ye olde Dixie Taverne used to be, which before the floods was the grungy punk ‘n’ metal venue of New Orleans, bar none. I didn’t hang out there much, but I preferred it to Lookers.

  2. holly holly

    Good lord. Are they still bothering that woman? I used pictures of David’s House when I taught a section on shrines and reliquaries this fall– the students thought the entire package (house, sidewalk, garden) created a sacred space and they really appreciated all the effort and emotion that went into creating the monument to her son. Really, I would think the city has bigger problems to deal with. And yes, those crumbling walks nearly took me down a number of times when I was there in September. To my knowledge, I have never tripped over paint, though.

  3. Julie Julie

    Time for another “flash to the past” :

    If I remember correctly the “Lookers” location was known as the Bamboo Room when I was living on Jeff Davis in the 1950’s. I recall a little-known pianist whose name was Liberace doing a weekend gig there.

  4. Maybe she should have painted the sidewalk Mardi Gras colors? Even her painted sidewalk is cracked up and out of wack. I think the challenge is to find a smooth sidewalk somewhere in the city. When I was growing up bike riding on sidewalks was a dangerous situation.

  5. In the spirit of Day Without a Gay / Call in Gay Day” maybe everyone in New Orleans should designate a day to paint their sidewalks.

    Okay, maybe it has nothing to do with Call in Gay Day, but darn it, some sympathetic activism involving paint sounds like a good idea. If it happens, let me know. I’ll paint my sidewalk even out here in Missoula MT.

  6. Bill C. Bill C.

    If it’s “Looker’s” with an apostrophe, as it looks to be from the picture, and it is owned by someone with the surname ‘Looker,’ that would be acceptable. Still bad, but acceptable. If it is “Lookers,” that is not acceptable and you should never go in.

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