Archive for January, 2011

Streetcars Return to the Marigny

We’re pretty darned excited about the news that after more than half a century, streetcars will be returning to our neighborhood.

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Mr. Okra

You can hear him coming. “We got okra! We got bananas! We got mustard greens!”

From loud speakers in his pickup the Okra Man summons his customers with the sort of sing-song delivery you’d expect to hear somewhere in the Caribbean. But our neighborhood is the next closest thing perhaps.

Street by street he combs the Marigny in a pickup full of produce, pulling over to meet the people who come out to the curb to buy.

There was a momentary crisis awhile back when his brightly painted truck broke down and was deemed irreparable. But the community rallied to his aid, and in the process Mr. Okra became something of a celebrity and the subject of a documentary.

The new truck is painted just like the old one, but doesn’t have quite the same character. No matter. The real character is behind the wheel.

Mr. Okra's Old Truck

Mr. Okra's Old Truck

Mr. Okra's New Truck

Mr. Okra's New Truck

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New in the Neighborhood

In the next block over the historic facade of a building on St. Claude Avenue built in 1926 has been rescued from beneath a nasty sixties-era metal facade, as the building nears completion of its transformation into the New Orleans Healing Center. Soon it will bustle again with folks arriving to buy organic groceries, take a class, do some yoga, get a massage or participate in any of dozens of other activities that fall into the facility’s mission to be “a holistic, safe, sustainable center that heals, fulfills and empowers the individual and the community by providing services and programs promoting physical, nutritional, emotional, intellectual, environmental and spiritual well-being.”

Pretty cool mission we think. And handy for us, since we’re directly behind. Here’s the colorful cubist view of the final construction that we get from our side as captured by our good friend and frequent guest Scott Ellis.

sunset-colors

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