May 162017

“When the crisis comes…when there is no way out – that is the very moment when we explode from within and the totally other emerges: the sudden surfacing of a strength, a security of unknown origin, welling up from beyond reason, rational expectation, and hope.”
-Émile Durkheim

For part one of Matt’s Appalachian Trail adventure, click here. For part two, click here.

Day 15 of beard regeneration. I’ve noticed my friends who can’t grow beards seem the most disappointed at how slowly mine grows. Hold your horses!

Goodbyes Aren’t Always Forever

In my two-and-a-half weeks on the trail, I’ve suffered through aches, illness, injuries, inclement weather and plenty of other challenges. But few of them match the lady sitting next to me, engaging me in a battle for elbow space going on its sixth hour on a 24-hour Greyhound bus trip from Knoxville to Des Moines.

There are rules on a bus. Each row has four seats. Two seats on each side of the aisle. Look at the two bus seats in front of you and stay on your side of the space between them.

If you encroach a little into that no-mans-land space between the two seats, I’m not going to make a fuss, but there’s no mistaking that she’s making a power play way into my zone. As I write this, my elbow is jammed into the soft, side of her arm, and I am slowly, but deliberately trying to push her back into her space. She doesn’t want to go back into her space, because she’s selfish and terrible, so she is pushing back. Continue reading »

May 152017

Photo by Bart Everson

Nothing left but a foundation. Let’s build something new.

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.

Apr 282017

I shaved my beard for the first time since 2010 and will not shave it again until I get to Mount Katahdin. I’m taking a selfie each day to chart its resurgence.

For part 1 of Matt’s Appalachian Trail adventure, click here.

This is Me

My train left the Amtrak station on Saturday, April 22, at 7am. My going away party was was at Finn McCools the night before (and well into the morning). No one who knows me will be surprised that I was not on that train.

I threw a few curse words at myself, took a few minutes for self-loathing followed by dejection, and then made my way to the Greyhound website. Fortunately there were two more buses running to Atlanta that day. Thirty-three dollars – and two hours – later, I was on my way. Continue reading »

Apr 262017

Patrick Armstrong

I was expecting more people would attend the NOPD Consent Decree Monitor’s public meeting Wednesday night at the Ashe Center on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. In conversations about public safety I often hear the mythological excuse that New Orleans’ crime problem has something to do with the Consent Decree, as if crime wasn’t a problem here before 2013. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, someone who ought to know better, calls our mandate for the NOPD to follow the United States Constitution a “hug-a-thug” program. United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions doesn’t have many nicer or more coherent things to say about the nationwide need for police and criminal justice reform. At the same time, we’re having a loud civic discussion in Louisiana about issues of public safety, and how big a slice of our tax pie goes to incarcerate people. Thank goodness Governor John Bel Edwards and so many legislators are committed to comprehensive, best practices reforms in Louisiana. Continue reading »

Apr 242017

I’m not sure, but I think I was recently on the receiving end of some “mansplaining.”

That word is almost a decade old and so probably doesn’t deserve scare quotes or require further explication. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to put quotes around it and offer a definition. I guess I’m a linguistic conservative.

Artwork by Ron Mader, licensed under Creative Commons.

Just in case you’ve been living in an isolation chamber, here’s how the good folks at Merriam-Webster define the word.

It’s what occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does.

Women tend to know more about this phenomenon, by dint of experience, or so I’ve been told.

Continue reading »

Apr 202017

“Life is full of adventure. There’s no such thing as a clear pathway.”
-Guy Laliberte

This is Me

My name is Matt Haines. I’m 34 years old, originally from New York, and moved to New Orleans in 2009. Here’s a brief list of things I’m afraid of on the Appalachian Trail:

-Being attacked in the woods by a bear
-Being attacked in the woods by a human
-Being struck by lightening
-Dying of thirst
-Dying of hypothermia
-Starving to death
-Just being a little bit hungry for what should be a manageable amount of time
-Getting my arm caught under a rock and having to chew it off
-Lyme Disease
-Encephalitis mosquitos
-Being forgotten
-Missing the New York Mets have a good season
-Missing Red Dress Run, White Linen Night, and Running of the Bulls
Mt. Washington because it almost killed me once
-Wild boars because they actually killed Robert Baratheon once
-Not being able to pick up a hitchhike when I need to get into town for more food or gear
-Being able to pick up a hitchhike, but by a nefarious driver


And other things I probably haven’t thought of yet. Continue reading »

Apr 172017

Photo by Bart Everson

Did you notice the new stripes where the Jeff Davis bike path crosses Tulane Avenue? Kind of hard to miss, actually. And that’s a good thing. According to a friend of mine who knows about such things:

This is pretty major because LaDOTD doesn’t consider the high visibility variety of crosswalk their standard. Rather two horizontal stripes 6 feet apart is their norm.

Two stripes six feet apart? That sounds familiar. Ah yes. Here’s a photo of the same crossing eight years ago.

Photo by Bart Everson

As I noted at the time, it took a lot of cajoling and wheedling to get those stripes.

The new ones are a big improvement, in my opinion.

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.

Apr 102017

Forget about those confederate monuments for just a moment. If you really want to generate some controversy in New Orleans, try talking about directions.

Case in point: the new Equity Circle installation down on Jeff Davis Parkway.


Equity Circle is the newest installation on the neutral ground of Jeff Davis Parkway.

You may have seen this when passing by recently. It was constructed toward the end of last year and officially dedicated in December. It’s kind of low profile, so you really have to get out of your car to appreciate it.

Continue reading »