Don Vappie from 2011
Talking Mexican food and Irish (Channel) whiskey in YatPundit’s Pub 29-April-2019.
YatPundit’s Pub 29-April-2019
Two items today for Red Beans and Rice Monday. First, we discuss El Fogon, the Mexican restaurant in Metairie that took over the old Taco Location. Then, we talk local whiskey.
I must admit, I mourned the loss of the Taco Tico on Vets more than I should have. That wonderfully greasy fast food is part of my formative years! Iooked like the place would be demolished to make way for yet another nameless, faceless, chain place that could afford 2019 rent on Vets. I loved it when it became clear the building was merely undergoing a renovation. When El Fogon opened, Mexican food near Clearview in #themetrys went up more than a notch or two.
On my first trip, I had the Chile Relleno, “Sierra” style, with chicken and cheese. Good plate!
El Fogon offered me “Taco Tuesday” for my next visit. So, four tacos for $5. Absolutely wonderful!
I chose the enchiladas the next trip, and they rocked. While there are other places with Mexican and Tex-Mex in the city that are good, El Fogon is close, tasty, and, well, Tacos!
Since El Fogon doesn’t appear to have a liquor license, I usually order a Coke. As much as to-go orders from a good restaurant give me mixed feelings, I need to order takeaway and have a beer at home.
I saw “Irish Channel Whiskey” on a visit to 504 Craft Beer Reserve last Thanksgiving. I was DD for the boys, as LT Firstborn was home for Thanksgiving. As they picked out obscure beers to buy, I shopped. I came across “Irish Channel Whiskey” from 73 Distillers on the shelf. Made a mental note to try it. When we finished a bottle of (I think) Red Breast, we sought out the 73 Distillers Irish. Took a while to come across it again. It appeared at Martin Wine Cellar in Metairie a couple of weeks ago. So, we bought a bottle and were very pleased.
73 Distillers makes their whiskey in the Treme, at Bienville and N. Claiborne. They offer tours of the place. The owners fully leverage their location in one of New Orleans oldest neighborhoods. We’ll take the tour at some point this summer.
Slate’s Hit Parade is one of my regular podcasts
Slate’s Hit Parade
This week’s edition of Slate’s Hit Parade podcast features posthumous hits. Host Chris Molanphy’s run-down of deaths of chart-topping artists offered a good range.
The Day The Music Died
I’m glad that, when talking about “The Day The Music Died” (February 3, 1959), Molanphy gave more time to Richie Valens than he usually gets. Buddy Holly deserves all the praise. While J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) was a one-hit-wonder, that one hit, “Chantilly Lace” was fantastic. It was good to hear their music pop up in April, rather than February 3rd.
Remembering Death Days
I’m not one for remembering “death days” as much as birthdays. I prefer to remember the happy milestones. A plane crash in February isn’t how these guys ought to be remembered. Same for John Lennon being shot down. So, I get the theme of the pod. I get the business impact of death on songs on the radio and song sales. After that initial grieving period, though, I’m done with that. It’s like some of these old people who post these “remembering <insert actor/musician/celebrity> on the anniversary of their death. I’d much rather remember Lennon on the rooftop of the Apple building than dead on the sidewalk in New York.
The business of musical death
Molanphy’s personal anecdote about Prince amused me. He was in a bar in New York, and the bartenders couldn’t find Prince music to play. That’s because, like way so many of us, they relied on Spotify from a phone for the bar’s sound system. For the most part, that sort of solution, playing a streaming service, makes sense. A bartender can work up a few playlists on their preferred service, plug in the phone, and let it roll. If the crowd/mood changes, switch it up. Low-effort, amateur DJ-ing.
That’s the environment Chris was in when Prince passed. The problem the bartenders had was that Prince didn’t care for digital music and streaming services. His music is not easily available. Chris loaned the bartender his iPod. Yes, his offline device! That got the collective unconscious through the evening.
This validates my continued ownership of an MP3 player, along with hanging on to my old iPod nano and LT Firstborn’s first iPod. Now I want The Trio from Dragon’s Danger and Dragon’s Discovery to have at least one offline device!
Catch up with the pod in YatPundit’s Pub!
Mid-City New Orleans – housing is a challenge
Mid-City Condos New Orleans real estate
Are $200K Mid-City condos “affordable” for young professionals? Ilse Falk Stough, project manager for New Orleans Redevelopment Fund, think so. I agree. The company (a private equity real estate firm) plans a 21-unit building at 3100 Banks Street, in Mid-City. That’s the part of Banks between Jefferson Davis Parkway and S. Broad Street.
The developer thinks they can market this development to, as reported by NOLA dot com. Banks Street below S. Carrollton Avenue offers more opportunities such as this lot. Above S. Carrollton, the neighborhood is more gentrified. Property owners fix up multi-family dwellings, converting them into unlicensed hotels.
From movie theater to condos
The 3100 Banks Street location offered the neighborhood the Escorial Theater, from the 1910s to the 1950s. The building operated as mixed retail/commercial space until the 1990s. It burned down at that time. The property has been an empty lot since.
$200K per unit?
I’m not an expert on real estate, but my instinct says this price range is reasonable. The developer targets the right demographic. If the old calculations still hold up, the theory was, don’t take on a house note that’s more than one-third of your take-home pay. A 15-year mortgage (with a 20% down payment) on one of these condos means a monthly note around $1350. That puts the income needed to fit the one-third plan at between $55K-$60K.
Is this realistic? A quick google of “NOFD Starting Salary” comes back with $45,955. Let’s assume a brand-new firefighter needs a few years to get to the point of home ownership. A young professional in the private sector earns a higher salary than a firefighter, so yes, this is in line.
Another aspect of this discussion is single vs. couple. Certainly a two-income couple can afford the note on a $200K condo.
Condo vs. House
This is an ages-old consideration. Condo closer in the city? Die and go to the suburbs? It’s possible to get a $200K house in the burbs. Living in the city means paying more for fewer square feet. While there are fewer neighborhoods where a “young professional” finds a fixer-upper, it’s not out of the question. Therefore, the condo/city vs. suburban/front-lawn debate continues.
Mid-City New Orleans is the main neighborhood setting for Edward J. Branley’s Urban Fantasy novel, Trusted Talents. Check it out!
Talking about teens, high school, expectations, and guitars in the first segment of YatPundit’s Pub 25-April-2019.
YatPundit’s Pub 25-April-2019
I’m in-between books in a sense at the moment. I finished the Rebus novel, but not ready to do a full review of it. I started Mitch Landrieu’s book, but not into it enough to talk sensibly about it. So, there wasn’t much to go into with respect to my personal reading. I thought we’d talk about two writing themes.
Tweens entering eighth grade, particularly here in New Orleans, have interesting expectations. As they approach their senior year, however, things change. Parents foster expectations. Therefore, a dad who was on the football team in high school wants his kid to play that sport. Maybe the young man wants to wrestle, or run cross country, or (heaven forbid!) join the Debate Team! Some kids will start out doing what the parents push, move on.
Some expectations are more subtle. So, an eighth grader may start in marching band. By tenth grade, kids with a lot of talent “outgrow” the school band. They join after-school orchestras, bands, and other projects (like musical theater). Conflict arises when they do less for the school. Then there are the musicians who, while they enjoy their horn or wind instrument, want to play guitar or bass. They invest in lessons and practice, putting aside growth on the band instrument. It’s called growing up.
I’m a train nut. Y’all know that, I’m sure. As old passenger cars from the 1940s and 1950s die off, we lose a part of mid-century culture. I want to write about those railroad days. So, a story arc about a Pullman Porter in 1940-1941 interests me. Europe is already at war, but the US hasn’t made the move to actual combat. Spies and intrigue abound! I keep seeing an African-American man who wants to defend his country in a unique way.
Two segments in YatPundit’s Pub 24-April-2019. Enterprise Storage and WordPress vs Drupal
YatPundit’s Pub 24-April-2019
Talking Enterprise Storage and websites this week in the Tech Wednesday edition of YatPundit’s Pub 24-April-2019. Also an announcement: I’m looking for suggestions on who to interview on both the Pub and NOLA History Guy Podcast. If you’ve got an idea, let me know.
Enterprise: Hitachi Command Suite
Hitachi Tuning Manager (abbreviated HTnM in the storage admin community) is one of the packages in the Hitachi Command Suite (HCS) group of utilities and administration software. Storage administrators use HCS to manage their Hitachi arrays. These arrays hold large numbers of hard disk drives, from eight to over a thousand. Admins allocate out the space on those drives to their users. So, if your department needs a Microsoft SharePoint server, the admin gives you the disk space to run it. Companies use these storage arrays to hold mission-critical data.
Administrators track the performance of their storage arrays constantly. HTnM collects that data, storing it so the admin team can run reports. The package also alerts admins when something could be a problem
Krewe de Tech – WordPress vs. Drupal
I presented a talk last night (Tuesday, 23-April) to the Krewe de Tech club. They meet at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library in Metairie. The subject was Content Management Systems. We discussed the pros and cons of using WordPress and Drupal. The quick take is, WordPress is best for ease-of-use, Drupal is better for tighter security and enterprise uses.
I recorded the talk using Facebook Live. It’s available on the seashell software Facebook page. The angle isn’t perfect, but the audio is good. The PowerPoint presentation gives you a basic idea of the talk. I kept the slides simple, elaborating on them in the talk. While the slides are available in a post on the seashell software website, it’s not as detailed as the talk.