Best of the Beat
I wanted to take a moment to thank you [Jan Ramsey, OffBeat] for all the hard work you do for the music community year after year. I know it’s challenging to keep up with all the changes going on in media today, but dang it you’ve managed to stay relevant with a mighty good looking product. Thanks for the recognition for me [Best Studio and Best Studio Sound Engineer] and all the other cats last week [Best of the Beat Business Awards]. Good luck for another year.
—Tim Stambaugh, New Orleans, Louisiana
So thrilled to have been there to experience Johnny receive OffBeat’s Lifetime Achievement in Music Award. Truly one of the greatest keepers of the beat anywhere on Earth originating in New Orleans, Louisiana.
—Johnny Palazzotto, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
After reading Jan Ramsey’s column [Mojo Mouth, Happy Safe New Year!] I felt compelled to respond.
Our first visit to New Orleans was in 1970 on our honeymoon. It took two more visits before we “got it.” Then we were hooked and we have been there numerous times—our last visit was in April for the French Quarter Festival. We enjoy the festivals, but plan our trips when there is nothing to compete with soaking in the city. Each time we returned we felt that we had so much more to learn.
During our last visit was when Will Smith [New Orleans Saints defensive end] was murdered. There was also a stabbing of six people in an area we had been earlier that day [Woldenberg Park near St. Peter Street]. While at the French Quarter Festival we met a couple that owned a rental condo in the Quarter. They always reserved the condo for themselves during the Festival. The same night a man was murdered on the street where the condo is located. For the first time ever we felt afraid on the city.
I certainly do not have the answer, only my feelings. But I feel it is time for New Orleans to rise above the element that is destroying the most beautiful city in the United States. By beauty I do not mean physical beauty alone. I mean all the history, the kindness and all those things that make New Orleans special.
Overcoming Katrina is child’s play as to the job ahead of you now.
—Dianne Rundell, Gambier, Ohio
Guns on Bourbon Street
The following letters are in response to Jan Ramsey’s blog post, “Bourbon Street Needs Fixing,” about a shooting on Bourbon Street that killed one person and injured nine others.
How about requiring all bars to have metal detectors at the door, and personnel to operate them, as a condition of their liquor licensing? Since it’s illegal to carry a gun into a bar, metal detectors would merely be an extension of the current law. While such a program wouldn’t control guns on the streets of the Quarter, it would go a long way to reducing the number of guns brought into the Quarter in the first place.
—David Turgeon, Ontario, Canada
You Americans never learn, do you? If Europeans knew that guns are allowed they would not visit Bourbon Street or New Orleans. Your gun laws are insane. Wake up! Best from Amsterdam.
—Marc Stakenburg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The following letter is in response to Sam D’Arcangelo’s news post, “John Boutté Feels He Can No Longer Afford to Live in New Orleans,” about the cost of housing in New Orleans.
Very sad but indeed very predictable, politicians tend to look for a “Disneyland” type of New Orleans but don’t get at all what this beautiful culture is based on. Mixing influences from Caribbean, Spanish, African-American, French, just name it and it’s nicely cooked in a delicious and unique “Gumbo.” If you throw out of the City the best part you will end up with a circus city just for tourists but without a real life!
—Jean-Pierre Dangy (Jipes Blues), Mulhouse, Alsace, France
OffBeat welcomes letters from its readers—both comments and criticisms. To be considered for publication, all letters must be signed and contain the current address and phone number of the writer. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for length or content deemed objectionable to OffBeat readers. Please send letters to Editor, OffBeat Publications, 421 Frenchmen St., Suite 200, New Orleans, LA 70116.