A Gathering of thoughts and ideas

Politics, lifestyle, and culture for Metro New Orleans and beyond.
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YatPundit’s Pub 23-May-2019 – Baseball and Railroads

YatPundit’s Pub 23-May-2019 – Baseball and Railroads

Baseball and Trains on YatPundit’s Pub 23-May-2019
yatpundit's pub 23-may-2019

Proposed engine terminal near Greenwod Cemetery, 1944

Yatpundit’s Pub 23-May-2019

Our first brew in the pub for this episode is New Orleans Baseball. We interviewed S. Derby Gisclair for the history pod, talking baseball. That had me thinking of how baseball fits into a number of potential writing ideas. When I jotted down the starter notes for the segment, three things came to mind:
  • Playground moms
  • Amateur leagues
  • Kickball!
Now, “Playground moms” is just a jumping-off point. Imagine all the things you could do at a public playground. They’re not all “mom” related, Although, the notion of a SAHM in #themetrys being a spy and doing an intel hand-off at t-ball practice is kind of a neat idea. Amateur leagues are a thing as well, particularly if you’re considering a period piece or story. The Commercial League came up in my research and photographs for both the Maison Blanche and Krauss books. These days, amateur baseball focuses more around individuals than company teams. Either way, though, the social interaction has a lot of potential. So, when I say “baseball”, I don’t want that to be limited to just men on the field. While women play organized softball more than hardball, those games and leagues are just as interesting as writing prompts. At the kid-tween-teen level, taking a girl to softball practice plays out similar to boys teams.

Fictional Railroads in New Orleans

You’ll find me coming back to this as I work out thoughts and designs of my Pontchartrain Railroad model layout at home. While the layout has basic roots in New Orleans history, it’s more of an “alternate history” universe. The idea is, what if railroads maintained their influence¬† from the 1940s? What if both freight and passenger rail maintained their significance? So, it’s not “prototype” as in limited passenger service provided by Amtrak. There’s also some variations to where railroad tracks are in New Orleans. Here are a couple of diagrams of Mid-City in 1944. The Bernadotte yard was real. The engine terminal and roundhouse were proposed for the location that is now the big Baptist church behind Greenwood Cemetery. What if that facility actually existed? Pontchartrain Railroad – N Scale
YatPundit’s Pub 21-May-2019

YatPundit’s Pub 21-May-2019

YatPundit’s Pub 21-May-2019

yatpudit's pub

YatPundit’s Pub 21-May-2019

Ranting about Short Term Rentals and the French Market this week.

Programming note: Yesterday’s Red Beans and Rice Monday moves to YatCuisine next week! We’re tweaking the present pod lineup. I created a “YatCuisine” group on Facebook. The pod fits better that way.

Short Term Rentals

With respect to the “strict” short-term rental ordinance passed yesterday by the New Orleans City Council:

1. This was not a final-passage. The ordinance will come back before the Council in a couple of months.
2. in the interim, the forces supporting unlicensed hotels in the city will open their wallets and dilute the ordinance.
3. It’s likely that, by the time of final passage, the ordinance will no longer contain the “domicile” requirement, where you can only short-term-rent the house you claim a homestead exemption on (i.e., you can only AirBnB the house you live in).

How the City Council screws New Orleans

4. By the time the ordinance comes back for final passage, the Councilmembers figure you think they did the right thing back in May. The unlicensed hotels continue on as if the vote yesterday never happened.
5. Advocates for limiting short-term rentals to the renter’s domicile, banning unlicensed hotels must remain vigilant. Demand any changes and amendments proposed to yesterday’s ordinance in advance. Watch the Council’s calendar. Don’t be sandbagged on the day of final passage.
6. Do not trust the Councilmembers who you believe are on “your side” – they know how this works, voted how you wanted them to yesterday, with confidence you won’t be looking when they vote the other way in a couple of months.
7. Follow the money.

Think I’m overreacting? This is why you fail at fixing things in New Orleans. Enjoy your protests, podcasts, and blogs.

French Market

yatpundit's pub 21-may-2019

New Orleans French Market

Mayor Cantrell considered some research on Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Her staff looked into re-purposing public facilities in other cities. Da Paper published a good article on the status of the city’s research. Unfortunately, the headline was click-baity.

YatPundit’s Pub 20-May-2019 – Lunch in Metairie and Mid-City

YatPundit’s Pub 20-May-2019 – Lunch in Metairie and Mid-City

YatPundit’s Pub 20-May-2019

 

YatPundit’s Pub 20-May-2019

Talking lunch today, along with a big format announcement. So, beginning next week, our “Red Beans and Rice Monday” pods move over to YatCuisine.com. This pod drops on YatPundit. It crossosts to YatCuisine. Next week, we reverse that. Therefore, YatCuisine becomes the permanent home.

We’re moving the food segments to bring them in line with the YatCuisine group on Facebook. When The Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper announced their purchase of the Times-Picayune/NOLA.com, I feared for the future of “Where NOLA Eats,” the big NOLA.com-sponsored food group. I created the YatCuisine group as a fall-back position. If Georges and his people nuke the NOLA.com group, So, YatCuisine offers continuity.

While we don’t expect the 50,000 members of Where NOLA Eats, we have 600+. So, the food pod moves, too!

Lunch at Caffe! Caffe!

yatpundit's pub 20-May-2019

Grilled Ceasar Pita at Caffe! Caffe!

This incredibly popular place opened in 1992, on the corner of Clearview Parkway and W. Esplanade Avenue in Metairie. A few years back, the very-successful coffee house and lunch place opened a second location on N. Hullen Street, off Causeway Blvd., near Lakeside Mall. As a lunch place, I like the vibe of the N. Hullen location. While Metairie isn’t the CBD, office workers heading to a local place to grab a quick bite is similar.

We went to N. Hullen location on a Saturday. The vibe changes on a weekend. Instead of workers from nearby businesses, the crowd includes friends catching up, couples getting out (us!), and families.

Mrs. YatPundit had the Grilled Chicken Caesar Pita. It’s not a unique sandwich, but everything is fresh and tasty.

Yatpundt's pub 20-May-2019

Chipotle Chicken Wrap and Seafood Soup

I got the Chipotle Chicken Wrap and a cup of Seafood Soup. Caffe! Caffe! makes a spicy chipotle sauce. The wrap works. The soup was yummy.

Leisurely Lunch

YatPundit's Pub 20-May-2019

Black Eyed Pea Hummus from Brown Butter Southern Kitchen

While my lunch last week at Brown Butter Southern Kitchen and Bar wasn’t a three-hour affair at an old line restaurant, the pace was slower. Instead of a quick sandwich, we had the Black Eyed Pea Hummus (the place is indeed Southern). One of my friends had a salad, and the other had the “Seoul Bowl,” a Korean-influenced bowl of rice, kimchi, and your choice of beef, chicken, shrimp, or Brussels sprouts. I got the “Seoul Burger,” Brown Butter’s excellent burger, topped with Kimchi and Korean BBQ sauce.

Two lunch winners!

Times-Picayune Farewell – Preserving the memories

The Times-Picayune Farewell begins. I have concerns. (cross-posted to NOLA History Guy)

Times-Picayune Farewell

Screenshot of NOLA.com, 03-May-2019 in the morning.

Times-Picayune Farewell

The phone delivered a tweet with a story about The Advocate acquiring the Times-Picayune yesterday afternoon. I feel a sense of anxiety and urgency over this acquisition.

You’re Fired!

They’re firing the entire staff at TP/NOLA.com. This wasn’t a merger, it’s a purchase of intellectual property and physical assets. The humans that made NOLA.com what it is are on the street.

When Newhouse delivered their last big round of cutbacks at TP, I felt like something should/could be done to develop a platform in the market that offered a place for some of those laid-off writers to publish and get paid. Folks told me there was no way it would work. A discussion group on the subject failed miserably. Fortunately, Lamar developed the idea for TBB delivered big time in its first year.

TP employed a lot of talented people. Many of them know New Orleans is home, in spite of this setback.

Preserving Memories

The “digital era” of the Times-Picayune spans over twenty years. While Da Paper struggled, management and staff found a “digital voice.” Forays into video produced good, thoughtful discussion between writers such as Tim Morris and Jarvis Deberry. The bumps in the road were large, though. The first massacre at TP was when Newhouse fired all of the “digital” staff at NOLA.com. That staff operated separately from T-P. Unifying the dot-com with the newspaper offered the organization an opportunity to take charge. All this now shifts to history.

The stories of how NOLA.com grew, then shrunk, then merged with T-P connect with New Orleans’ larger stories in the early aughts and teens. T-P struggled like everyone else during Katrina. They rose above the #shitshow.

We must preserve these stories and memories.

I’m thinking this through, but we have to move quickly. People pack up and leave as soon as other opportunities present themselves.

Work with me to preserve the stories of the last twenty years.

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