Sunday, December 12, 2010

Repost: Neighborhood Wish List

I'm not getting lazy when it comes to blogging. It's just that a lot of issues have been going on so long that I have spoken about them before. This morning on the front page of the Times Picayune was a story about how despite having 71,000 residents living out here New Orleans East and having a pretty good median income compared to the rest of the city we have no retail and amenities of a neighborhood with middle class people. When I read it this morning I felt the need to say something about it. That's when I realized that I already had so I went back and found this post from July 2008. I went back and read it and despite a few references to some officials no longer in the positions they were in at the time everything I said still holds form. Hopefully I won't be re- posting this again in 2012. If I have to post this again two years from now I won't be so nice about it especially with all these feel good development stories going on.

I have never been one to get excited by stories in the paper and magazines about up and coming developments in my community. I believe it when I see it. Actually, I believe it when I see people coming in and out of the building. With that in mind I want to discuss my current area of the city. I live right along the border of New Orleans East and Gentilly. There are thousands of people living out here and most of us are middle and working class people. Any given day you can ride around this area and see work being done on houses everywhere. I would argue that besides the affluent non flooded neighborhoods, there is probably more working people in New Orleans East and Gentilly than any other neighborhoods in New Orleans. So why is it when I want to buy a non bootleg CD I have to spend gas and time just to go to the store? I know we are supposed to be all in this recovery together but its obvious no one in control of the money wanted us to move back out here. This may seem petty to most people but by the time I get to a place with a really good cup of coffee to sip on the way to work I am already in the building.

This is not about the obvious things like a hospital or new schools. This is also not intended to disrespect and minimize all the stores like Winn Dixie, Home Depot and Sears that are open already, the small businesses opening up around the area or the Asian and Middle Eastern grocers who were here months before anybody else. What I am trying to say is that I want some of the things that are on the Westbank, Metairie, Slidell or Uptown. I think the folks around me make enough money to warrant some of these things. Here is my list. If you want to add to it or tell me about something being built please let me know. Keep in mind we had some of this stuff before the storm. I know we won’t get all of this. I will settle for five and would actually be shocked if we get one anytime soon.

Wal Mart
Best Buy
P J’s Coffee ( I would be in here every morning. They would probably stop charging me after awhile.)
Any Big and Tall Men’s Store
Buffalo Wild Wings
Fox and Hound
Borders Books (because I have a discount card)
A movie theatre (with proper security)
A cigar shop
Martins Wine Cellar
24 hour fitness center with a basketball court
Chuck E Cheese
Cell phone stores from all the major carriers.
Applebee’s, Outback, N.O. Hamburger and Seafood, Bennigans, anything?
Another original restaurant like Sassafras will be ok in place of the names above.
Burlington Coat Factory
Kroger’s( I know we don’t have these in New Orleans but they have the best steaks and beer selection for a grocery chain )
Golden Corral
About three of those 5 min oil change spots.
A really good hibachi restaurant

I think five from this list is fair. We definitely have the space. I have a great idea. How about we tear down that destroyed Six Flags park that is an eyesore and never going to open again. We can take half of that space and give some of these companies free rent. I should send this to Ann Duplessis and hope her lack of a pay raise hasn't affected her ability to open emails.


Anita said...

Well, I'd say you are definitely being deprived. How does anyone expect civil behavior from folks that don't even have a PJ's? I'd be glad to help you picket or what ever it takes to get fair treatment in your neighborhood!

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

One thing freezing business out of NO East (among so many things) is when developers sit on the most valuable commercial land while they negotiate with the city for tax breaks and such.

A lot of businesses that could invest in NO East right now would have to do so on less valuable property, and take a huge hit whenever the city and the developers strike a deal.

No investor is willing to compound their risk like that.

boathead said...

an investor in NOE would not get past the market study. Say what you will about the affluence of NOE. The neighbors do not embrace their neighborhood business' with the passion that you write your blog. New Orleans East has one of the very best meals for your money in this city. If "Brocato's Eat Dat" were Uptown, or even in Lakeview, at those prices, there would be a line in the street most nights for that food.

I don't get it either. I'd love to see flourishing business' in NOE, but this problem predated Katrina, and I do not see the residents stepping up to support what they have now.