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Mar 062017
 

Photo by Bart Everson

I hear this window got broken by beads after I took this photo — second year running. I sure wish broken windows were the worst news to come out of Endymion this year, but instead we had a truck plowing into the crowd just three blocks away from this scene. I had no clue what happened at the time; in fact I was contacted by concerned friends from around the world before I even learned of the incident. Bad news travels faster than ever.

Bart Everson is a writer, a photographer, a baker of bread, a husband, a father and a resident of Mid-City. He is a founding member of the Green Party of Louisiana, past president of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, and a participant in New Orleans Lamplight Circle. More at BartEverson.com.

Feb 272017
 

Carnival revelers in the streets of New Orleans, 2012.

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When I moved to New Orleans at the tail-end of the 20th century, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Despite a couple brief visits in my youth, the city was a virtual blind spot for me. I was sadly ignorant of even the most iconic aesthetics of New Orleans culture. The filigreed ironwork in the Quarter, the second-line parasol, oysters on the half shell — these were all revelations to me.

But the biggest revelation was surely Carnival. I wonder if native New Orleanians can ever truly appreciate the shock of this discovery. To encounter a new holiday at age 33 is bracing, to say the least.

And not just a new holiday — a whole new holiday season. What fun.

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Feb 232017
 

Patrick Armstrong

There’s an old political science phrase called the “tragedy of the commons.” This is a dynamic that states any public resource that can be used by everyone will be overused until it is exhausted and no longer has value. Way back in college, a professor described it in terms of cows. There was a field of grass owned by the townspeople and anyone could graze their cows there until their cows became too fat and ate all the grass. Or something. It was always a difficult concept for me to grasp when put in a bovine context, because what town has a bunch of people who own individual cows? Continue reading »

Feb 202017
 
Skyline

Photo by Bart Everson

Tearing down vacant warehouses to make way for apartments alongside the Lafitte Greenway.

Bart Everson is a writer, a photographer, a baker of bread, a husband, a father and a resident of Mid-City. He is a founding member of the Green Party of Louisiana, past president of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, and a participant in New Orleans Lamplight Circle. More at BartEverson.com.

Feb 132017
 
Photo: at the Women's March

My wife and a friend at the Women’s March in New Orleans. Thanks to the random stranger who took this photo, whoever you are.

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History will record that Donald Trump’s presidency was greeted with massive protests worldwide. That is, of course, if any historians survive and are allowed to write anything approaching the truth. Here in New Orleans, the Women’s March on the day after the inauguration drew somewhere close to 15,000, surely the largest demonstration in our city, ever.

This is a good thing. We need more protest in this country. Protest should be a widespread part of our general culture. Unless, of course, everything is OK. (It’s not.)

To reach the epic levels we’ve seen over the last month, it stands to reason there must be plenty of fresh blood in the mix. Many people protesting have never done so before in their entire lives. I know at least one such person. I bet you do too. Maybe you even are that person.

This also is a good thing, a very good thing. It’s inspiring to me. Seeing so many people out at demonstrations, marches, protests and rallies, I get excited. Surely revolution is imminent! I got so worked up after this last round of protests, I almost felt optimistic about the future for a moment.
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Feb 072017
 

Patrick Armstrong

What does the bumper sticker slogan say? “New Orleans – 3rd World and Proud of It?” That sentiment may be fun on a snarky souvenir, but I lose the joke when it is made at the expense of so many individuals living in our city. What may be enjoyed by some tourist looking for an authentic weekend experience in a gritty New Orleans neighborhood takes on a very different meaning when we think about the living conditions of the neighbors who live there every day.

Too many of our New Orleans neighbors live in conditions that are not fit for human habitation. That’s why I’m glad to see New Orleans City Council working on the Healthy Homes ordinance. Most of you may know it as the Rental Registry. Continue reading »

Feb 062017
 
Banks Street Bike Lane

Photo by Bart Everson

I’ve been biking down Banks with my baby for years. We love the new stripes. Our only question: What took so long?

Bart Everson is a writer, a photographer, a baker of bread, a husband, a father and a resident of Mid-City. He is a founding member of the Green Party of Louisiana, past president of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, and a participant in New Orleans Lamplight Circle. More at BartEverson.com.

Jan 302017
 

Former Gretna mayoral candidate William Boartfield and Green Party Presidential nominee Jill Stein working for flood relief in Denham Springs. (photo by Miranda Murray)

bart-everson-headshot-2013

Can we talk about Gretna for a moment? I rarely get over there, as crossing the Mississippi River on a bike presents challenges, but there’s clearly some cool things going on. Two musical heroes from my youth rocked Gretna Fest in recent years: Joan Jett and Blue Öyster Cult. Plus, as I recall, there’s a store that still sells unfinished furniture made from solid wood, much appreciated in these days of particle board and plastic.

However, there are also some things that are decidedly uncool. Gretna has a policing problem. The online publication Fusion recently reported that it is the “most arresting” city in the country. That is, Gretna arrests more people per capita than any other city. In one year, they may arrest over 6,000 adults — this in a town of only 18,000 residents. Kind of astonishing. Continue reading »

Jan 162017
 
Cloud Formation New Orleans 2003 (photo by Bart Everson)

Cloud Formation New Orleans 2003 (photo by Bart Everson)

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.

Stone Cold 97

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My fourth decade kicked off with a knock-down, drag-out, protracted dispute between my father and me. We worked through many longstanding resentments and misunderstandings in counseling sessions that went on for the better part of a year. As part of the deal, we both agreed to swear off drugs, including alcohol and tobacco but not caffeine or cough syrup, thankfully. Continue reading »

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 »