A Happy-ish Ending

Earlier in the week, both Jan Ramsey and I commented on the bust at the Blue Nile that took place during Cree McCree’s Costume Bazaar Sunday. McCree wrote us with an update:

“The Great Blue Nile Costume Bust of 2011” appears to have a happy ending.

I got a call today from Scott Hutcheson, the mayor’s advisor for the cultural economy, who apologized for Sunday’s shutdown, attributing it to a comedy of errors and misinformation by the various agencies involved. He said the city is committed to supporting grassroots markets like the Blue Nile Costume Bazaar and the Piety Street Market. To that end, his office is working to streamline the permitting process so that everyone understands it, and to make it accessible (and affordable) for all types of events.

The ultimate goal is to set up a single online portal for all elements of special events permits. This would serve as a one-stop clearinghouse instead of requiring applicants to navigate through multiple agencies. That could take a few weeks, but it’s already in motion. The Blue Nile shutdown put the overhaul on the front-burner, so I think reform is actually on the way. That’s good news for everyone involved.

Piety Street Market is already moving forward with our own permitting process, which Scott assured me can be in place by our next scheduled date of Sunday, March 20. I’ll be posting more details about that market soon. Meanwhile, enjoy Mardi Gras!

I add an “-ish” to McCree’s assessment because the damage has been done. In the handmade goods economy, most profit – if any exists – is in volume, not the individual sale. The sellers involved missed one of the few opportunities they had in the year to sell in quantity, including their more outlandish creations. But the city’s taking steps in the right direction; that’s progress.

  • Creemccree

    Yeah, you’re right, Alex., I may have over-reacted with elation when I actually received an apology instead of a summons or a fine. We all lost a lot of sales, and that’s really unfortunate. But if it serves as a catalyst to clean up the byzantine permitting process, the bust won’t have been in vain.

  • Creemccree

    Yeah, you’re right, Alex., I may have over-reacted with elation when I actually received an apology instead of a summons or a fine. We all lost a lot of sales, and that’s really unfortunate. But if it serves as a catalyst to clean up the byzantine permitting process, the bust won’t have been in vain.

  • swag

    And thanks to Offbeat for beating the drum on this issue. Were it not for the coverage you gave it, I doubt the resolution would have been as reasonable or as quick.

  • Something about a disagreement between American Aquatic and McCree and the fact that someone from AA Gardens drinks with a permit big-wig. I can’t believe it was “a big mix-up”. The city can barely do what it needs to. I cry BS!