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808-10 Royal Street, before and after collapse (Photo, left: Google and Photo, right: frenchquarterbxb.com)

A collapsed balcony showcases a bigger problem

Yesterday, the balcony on a building located in the historic French Quarter at 808 Royal Street suddenly, partially collapsed. There was obvious damage to the gas piping and plumbing, and a cloud of dust enveloped the street. Luckily, no one was hurt. Today, the building itself started to crumble, closing the street again, and created [...]

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Music Bubble

I’ll bet that if you read OffBeat and this blog that you tend to live in what I call “the music bubble.” We are the people who love local music, local musicians. We don’t give a damn whether the musicians we love are in the top 40 or in rotation on a commercial station, or [...]

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Being afraid in my home town

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to several countries overseas, and it always is fascinating to observe the differences in the way of life and in the cultures of the countries I’ve visited. Joseph and I just returned from a visit to England. Our daughter now lives there with her partner and their baby daughter, [...]

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Funny Boss Greedy

Noise lawsuit against the 544 Club squashed

The noise lawsuit against the 544 Club in the French Quarter didn’t make muster. This suit is important because it’s the tip of the iceberg of the mass of lawsuits filed against several reputable venues in the Quarter.  If they are won by the plaintiffs, the could literally close down Bourbon Street. Thank goodness for [...]

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Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking and noise abatement

Today’s newspaper ran a brief article that reported that “noise” opponent and lawyer Stuart Smith pleaded guilty to a cyberstalking charge and was given a one-year suspended sentence, and two years of  inactive probation. Smith didn’t appear in court but sent another attorney to represent him. Smith was charged with sending a threatening text message [...]

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Information Geek Finds New Music Where?

I’m sort of an information geek, always have been. My mother used to call me a walking encyclopedia of useless information, because I love facts. In fact, I used to love to read the encyclopedia (when they still existed). But now pretty much all the information you’d ever be interested in is online. For a [...]

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Homogenous, we ain't...! (Photo: Kim Welsh)

Southern Decadent Culture and Lifestyle

How much thought do you give to your “culture and lifestyle”? Probably not that much, I would imagine. But the fact is that there are a lot of different kinds of cultures bubbling under the surface of the niceties that most of us observe as American “culture.” I think most everyone would admit there’s a [...]

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Tuba Skinny on Royal Street (Photo: http://playing-traditional-jazz.blogspot.com)

Survey says trad jazz

For the past couple of months, OffBeat has posted a survey on our website, just to get an idea of what our readers like, their opinions on political matters related to music, how they use information and more. Last week, we polled our readers and asked them “If you had one night to experience music [...]

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Fading away?

Ephemera, or the wonderful world of disposable information

The internet is wonderful, and opens up almost infinite possibilities for acquiring and seeking out new information; it’s had a profound impact on how we relate to the universe. It used to be we had encyclopedias, books, libraries, research information, photos and books in hard copies, but that’s changed so drastically. Take photography, for example. [...]

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All the beads, confetti. None of the bodily fluids.

The Faux and The Reel

For the past couple of days, I’ve been visually bombarded with a huge faux Mardi Gras parade outside my Frenchmen Street perch. A film crew, hundreds of costumed extras, a couple of confetti cannons, several fake Mardi Gras floats, a Toyota Camry outfitted with a camera, and at least as many film crew people closed [...]

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