colleges COVID-19 good works opinion recovery

Displaced hospitality workers can learn medical-industry skills through Goodwill

By Danae Columbus, opinion columnist Like many New Orleanians, Tiffany Turner has been having a tough time during the pandemic.  She was eager to train for a different career when she saw a Facebook post about Goodwill Technical College’s new Hospitality to Healthcare program for displaced tourism industry workers.

COVID-19 Mardi Gras opinion

Viewpoint: Sealing off the French Quarter won’t stop COVID-19 infections during Carnival

By Danae Columbus, opinion columnist Mayor LaToya Cantrell is caught between a rock and a hard spot.   By her own admission, the citizens and businesses of New Orleans have done a pretty good job of following the city’s ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions. Tourists, on the other hand, come to New Orleans to party — and party Read More…

business COVID-19 Featured Mardi Gras

All that glitters: NOLA Craft Culture is riding out the year of no parades

By Jeanne D’Arcy, Mid-City Messenger “You can’t keep a good New Orleanian out of a costume or from glittering,” said Lisette Constantin, co-owner of NOLA Craft Culture. Now in its second year, the shop is nestled in a Mid-City residential neighborhood. The house where NOLA Craft Culture is located on South Solomon Street just off Read More…

business COVID-19 food and drink

Pagoda Café opening its doors after 10-month hiatus

  By Marielle Songy, Mid-City Messenger Pagoda Café, the breakfast, lunch and coffee hot spot on Bayou Road and Dorgenois Street, is set to reopen on Thursday (Jan. 21). The 7th Ward café has been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Owner and manager Shana Sassoon made the difficult decision to temporarily shut Read More…

business COVID-19 Featured Mardi Gras

Hope floats: Festival cancellations almost killed Stronghold Studios. Then house floats offered a lifeline.

By Jeanne D’Arcy, Mid-City Messenger The pandemic nearly shut down Stronghold Studios in Mid-City. As the sub-contracted art department of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Stronghold was in mid-production for the 2020 festival when the COVID-19 restrictions hit. The 25-year-old company makes the façades for the Jazz Fest food booths, the stage headers Read More…

arts, books and music COVID-19 festivals

Jazz Fest 2021 is moved to October, media reports state

There will be a New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2021, but it won’t take place until October, according to multiple media reports. Jazz Fest organizers have not yet made an official announcement on the festival’s schedule for this year. Offbeat Magazine first reported the October dates on Friday, followed by and WWL-TV, Read More…

business COVID-19 food and drink

Gabrielle Restaurant is closing its dining room, moving to take-out only

by Kristine Froeba, Mid-City Messenger Chef Greg Sonnier and his pastry chef wife Mary, owners of Gabrielle Restaurant, announced today that they are closing their dining room due to business losses related to COVID-19. A takeout menu will still be available, and a special Mardi Gras catering menu is in the works. “We are open Read More…

COVID-19 elections opinion

Viewpoint: It will take more than a vaccine to restore America’s spirit

By Danae Columbus, opinion columnist Amid an Epiphany Day marred by an unanticipated insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and the state’s highest COVID rates, 87-year-old Isiah Steele received his long-awaited COVID-19 vaccination at New Orleans East Hospital. “I am so blessed to have gotten this vaccine,” said Steele, before lighting a candle at the Shrine Read More…

(Polina Tankilevitch photo via Pexels)
city government COVID-19 opinion

Viewpoint: City faces challenges in reaching herd immunity and retooling economy

By Danae Columbus, opinion columnist By almost every measure, Mayor LaToya Cantrell has done a yeoman’s job of keeping COVID-19 at bay in New Orleans, albeit at great cost to our tourism-driven economy. Now that the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have reached the region and Moderna’s vaccine is not far behind, Cantrell must Read More…