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Mid-City Messenger

Jan 022017
 
I'm your groove thing.

I’m your groove thing.

As I draw on to the end of my fifth decade, I’m feeling reflective. Indulge me in a little reminiscence, and by all means come to my birthday party.

A spiritual quest

I celebrated my 20th birthday in 1987, just as I began my second semester of college at Indiana University in Bloomington.

I found much to love about the academy. Here at last was a community of mind, a place where all manner of ideas could be explored. I took an eclectic array of classes, studying whatever seemed interesting: religious philosophy, linguistic anthropology, comparative literature, semiotics, folklore, Latin, Chinese, Asian-American literature, criminal justice, 3D art, bass guitar. I even took an accounting class to humor my father, who was after all footing the bill. bart-everson-headshot-2013

If I had little regard for how my studies would lead to a degree or a profession, it was because I wasn’t focused on the future. I felt I didn’t have a future. I had come to see society a monstrous, self-perpetuating machine, fueled by the souls of the hapless humans who had invented it. I was on a spiritual quest, as many young people are — a search for meaning in life.

For a while I thought romance alone could supply that missing value. Yes, I had a girlfriend, but she dumped me after a couple years, and I learned I was not immune to the pangs of jealousy. Continue reading »

Dec 152016
 
The frozen north.

The frozen north.

As I draw on to the end of my fifth decade, I’m feeling reflective. Indulge me in a little reminiscence, and by all means come to my birthday party.

The insufferable nerdiness of being

At ten years of age, I was a big nerd. Big? Sure, I was almost five feet tall. But the true magnitude of my nerdiness was measured in other ways.

Other kids wanted to be firefighters or race car drivers. I wanted to be nuclear physicist. I could tell you anything you wanted to know about electrons, protons, and neutrons. My 4th grade science fair project on atomic fission won a blue ribbon. bart-everson-headshot-2013

I had 50 cents to my name, which I kept in a little safe labeled Fort Knox. On the side of the safe, I had one of those molded rubber fridge magnets, a yellow one picturing a lightbulb, with the slogan, “Whatever Turns You On.”

It was the 1970s, after all. I made ten in ’77, the same year the Sex Pistols came out with Never Mind the Bollocks. But I didn’t know anything about that until later.

I was into planets and space exploration. When the rings of Uranus were discovered in March of ’77, that made my diary. When I discovered a discrepancy between our textbook and my Dad’s Time-Life encyclopedia regarding the number of moons orbiting Saturn, I confronted my fourth grade science teacher. She just stared at me.

A huge, insufferable nerd. I haven’t changed much over the years.
Continue reading »

Dec 022016
 

dcc-delgado-logo

Delgado Community College has been named one of the best online colleges in Louisiana, according to a new ranking released by Affordable Colleges Online, a leading resource for online learning and college affordability information.

Delgado Community College is at number six on the list, which includes 17 four-year institutions and six two-year colleges.

For more information, read the full release below: Continue reading »

Nov 282016
 
The Three Palms Bar & Grill is among the newest additions to Tulane Avenue. (photo by Stephanie Standige)

The Three Palms Bar & Grill is among the newest additions to Tulane Avenue. (photo by Stephanie Standige)

By Stephanie Standige for Mid-City Messenger

Louisiana native Susan Dandridge opened Three Palms Bar and Grill in October on Tulane Avenue, becoming part of the ongoing revitalization of the corridor expected to accelerate once road construction is complete in January. Continue reading »

Nov 282016
 
As I draw on to the end of my fifth decade, I’m feeling reflective. Indulge me in a little reminiscence, and by all means come to my birthday party.

slope

Earliest intimations of artistic pretense. The author took this pinhole photo of a snow-covered slope on his grandparents’ farm in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, circa 1974 (Bart Everson).

Out of Oklahoma

I was born in January of 1967, two days after the first Super Bowl in Los Angeles, and I was named after the Starr player. However, I was not born in California. A couple weeks later, in New Orleans, the first Endymion parade rolled. However, I was not born in Louisiana. I was born in Oklahoma. I was baptized in a church in Tulsa at the age of twelve days.

War was raging in Vietnam, but I knew nothing of that. There were over a hundred and fifty race riots across the United States that summer. And they called it the Summer of Love.

In the midst of all this, my parents moved from Tulsa to Norman, Oklahoma, so my father could enroll in grad school at the University of Oklahoma. He wasn’t worried about getting drafted. He’d already served in the peacetime army in Germany. In fact, he was able to attend college full-time because of the G.I. Bill.

That fall, while my father worked on his MBA, hippies levitated the Pentagon, part of the largest antiwar protest in US history. bart-everson-headshot-2013

Around the time of my first birthday, the Tet Offensive began. Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood debuted on television; I would watch many episodes as I grew up. There was a general uprising in Paris in May of ’68, about the time my father finished his degree.

That summer, we moved to a suburb on the south side of Indianapolis. My father had gotten a job at a major pharmaceutical company headquartered there.

Cops beat protestors at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and Nixon was elected president.

Humans were venturing into space, and we landed on the moon when I was two. We gained a new perspective on the Earth, one which we are still struggling to assimilate. Continue reading »

Nov 222016
 

inspirenola-scores

InspireNOLA Charter Schools achieved impressive academic results for the 2015-2016 school year at all three of the schools that it operates, continuing its status as the highest performing open-admissions charter network in New Orleans and Louisiana.

InspireNOLA’s two foundation schools, Alice M. Harte Charter School and Edna Karr High School, both achieved A letter grades for the second year in a row. Alice Harte’s school performance score (SPS) rose to a 104.3, with 45% of students scoring mastery or advanced on state assessments – far surpassing the district and state averages of 27% and 33%, respectively. Continue reading »

Nov 212016
 
cito-2010-102-2

(via Friends of City Park)

Celebration in the Oaks, the annual winter lights display at New Orleans City Park, opens this week, marking its 30th anniversary! As one of the most spectacular holiday lights festivals in the South, with more than 165,000 visitors to the month-long event, it takes a little magic and a ton of work to make this extraordinary display come to life. Continue reading »

Nov 212016
 
Third District Commander Gary Marchese walks through the Third District station (via Youtube)

Third District Commander Gary Marchese walks through the Third District station (via Youtube)

Last Thursday night I attended the NOPD 3rd District NONPACC meeting. NONPACC stands for New Orleans Neighborhoods & Police Anti-Crime Council, and serves as the monthly after-hours meeting between citizens and their police district command. Out of the many public meetings you can attend in New Orleans, I continue to find NONPACC meetings among the most informative and important. Depending on the Commander sitting at the table, they can also be among the most accessible meetings for citizens. 

Patrick Armstrong

Patrick Armstrong

The reason I feel this way is due in no small part to former 3rd District Commander Gary Marchese. While I am a relative new face at these meetings, having attended for less than a year, it was easy to see that Marchese had invested the time and effort building a positive atmosphere among the longer-term attendees. Understanding law enforcement policies and procedures can be heavy lifting if someone isn’t patient enough to explain things to you, and Marchese was great at patient explanations. If he didn’t have an answer immediately, Marchese was always good about finding out and getting back to you. Even on the hardest of questions, the Commander didn’t get flustered or frustrated with the folks who were asking, and there are a lot of hard questions the NOPD gets asked. I know I added my share.

But you build community trust in law enforcement by answering those hard questions honestly, and working through the hard answers together. Marchese never shied away from that, and it showed at 3rd District. He retired from NOPD earlier in November, and I hope the hardest question he has to answer from here on out is “would you like to see the dessert menu?” Congratulations on your retirement, Commander, and good luck with whatever is next. Continue reading »

Nov 142016
 

by Stephanie Standige
Special to Mid-City Messenger

Paul Varisco, father-in-law to Steave Gleason, introduces the 'Gleason' DVD at its premiere event at The Cannery in Mid-City, Nov. 2 (Stephanie Standige)

Paul Varisco, father-in-law to Steve Gleason, introduces the ‘Gleason’ DVD at its premiere event at The Cannery in Mid-City, Nov. 2 (Stephanie Standige)

The Gleason DVD premiere was held in Mid-City at The Cannery on Wednesday, November 2. Attendees mingled as they awaited raffle drawings, a speech from Steve Gleason’s father-in-law, Paul Varisco, and the debut of the documentary, Gleason. Guests enjoyed refreshments, elegant scenery, and Pearl Jam (Gleason’s favorite band) background music prior to the viewing of the film. Continue reading »

Nov 142016
 

The first results came in from Indiana, my home state. Us grown folk were not surprised, and we knew the final results would be different — or so we thought. bart-everson-headshot-2013

But my eight-year-old daughter was dismayed. As she contemplated the prospect of a Trump presidency, she wondered, “Why am I worried about studying for my math test if the world is about to be in an apocalyptic state?”

(I can’t even tell you what the ten-year-old neighbor boy said, or the Secret Service would be knocking on his door.)

Now that we’ve seen how it all went down, many of us are sharing her anxiety. The apocalypse is here, it seems. The sky is falling, only this is no Chicken Little fairy tale. It may feel like a nightmare, but this is for real. Continue reading »