I keep telling myself that New Orleans just is seedy with spots of glory, that is its nature, but the fact is that it has gone downhill since my heyday in it in concrete ways such as the following:
– the public schools have all been converted to charters
– the Times-Picayune only publishes three days a week
– your gas bill now comes from some huge out of state conglomerate, not from the city
This is the face of privatization, and it is not at all community oriented, it is the Wild West. I am against it and I am shocked at how many apologists it has; I did not realize so many peoples’ civic values were so weak.
Other “T’ings dat ain’t dere no more” in New Orleans, as the lead article in this week’s Gambit points out, also include McKenzie’s, Maison Blanche, Seafood City, and Krauss; if you remember these institutions or can list more (K&B, Schwegmann’s, Canal Villere, the Pearl, Canal Street before that ridiculous Harrah’s, anything), you should comment. But it is still the school district, NOPSI, and the Times-Picayune I miss the most. (I am not trying to say these were always good, you understand.)
Something to go to here in October, though, is The Lily’s Revenge, partly because of where it is being put on — and also because New Orleans is so eccentric that one will probably have a kind of patience for it that people in SF/NY did not. Also in October, on the 20th to be exact, there is the parade of the Black Men of Labor which I have never seen, and always mean to see. If the two events coincide on the same weekend, and if I can be there, I will be charmed.
Finally, I have been to my conference which was not in my academic field but on law and the prison industrial complex, and I see that all the standard academic advice about using time wisely and sacrificing for your career does in fact apply if your career is your passion. And I have a lot to say about this article, or rather, about the comments in it, as you can see.