Up until that bitch Katrina destroyed much more than houses alone, I always took friends for a walk in the park on my yearly visit. Since then, year after year I hope to find the park open to the public, and I don’t know how to explain that lack of efficiency/goodwill/good sense anymore. The city or the community should finally get something done. I support every initiative that you or your fellow citizens should start. And of course incorporate the park into the French Quarter Festival! The festival, the city and the visitors will welcome any breathing space.
—Anton Vandorpe, Kortrijk, Belgium
I think the music has to be upgraded to honor the memory of the great Louis Armstrong; not to attract tourists but for the benefit of local residents looking (listening?) for a fuller expression of Armstrong’s legacy beyond “What a Wonderful World.” Consider that almost everyone in the world playing music that comes out of a jazz space is beholden to Armstrong, yet much of what the festival has on offer is schlock. Even the mighty New Birth Brass Band, as killer as they were, felt the need to belt out a lame “What a Wonderful World.” Armstrong introduced audacity and virtuosity into the world of popular music; we owe him a better monument in the city of his birth and inspiration.
—Benjamin Lyons, New Orleans, LA
I represent Hollygrove Market and Farm, and I want to state that we offer a 15 percent discount (which applies to all purchases made in the market) for any and all individuals residing in Hollygrove. As the community coordinator, I promote this fact at the numerous resident meetings we host at the market and farm, as well as promoting this whenever I meet a new resident.
—Bill Pastellak, New Orleans, LA
10TH WARD BUCK LOVES A PARADE
I knew cooking was going to be in Buck’s future. Once he boiled eggs and put them in a jar of pickle juice and hid it in his room on a shelf. He had a dog named Jennifer, and whenever Buck would play his keyboard, the dog would stand in front of Buck and sing and dance—it was so funny. He loved to march so much that once it rained for the Freret Parade on Monday night, and Buck cried and cried because he wanted to march. I didn’t want him to get sick, but he won and marched. My son came home soaking wet. He marched from 6th grade to 12th and he never missed a parade.
—Dawn P. Horton-Johnson, Bridge City, LA
WOMEN IN MUSIC
It was a pleasure working with you [Elsa Hahne]. I’ve already sent copies out to my family, and I know they will all be proud. I can already hear my Grandma saying “Honey, you’re so much prettier when you smile…”
The photos are striking, and one even has permanent residence on the bell of Jason [Jurzak]’s tuba. You have given my career a giant boost and successfully spotlighted a subject often overlooked: women in music. Thanks for keeping up the good fight in a clever and aesthetically appealing way.
—Meschiya Lake, New Orleans, LA
I’m so glad that Camile [Baudoin] has found a satisfying place to land musically after doing the same thing for 33 years. It’s really cool to see where he’s coming from. Best of all is that he seems to be really enjoying it. I’ve only seen that one debut gig at the Hi Ho, and Camile was obviously loving it! It felt like we were in his living room, rather than a club. Really sweet.
—Greg Sahagian, Barrington, RI