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About Puddinhead

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  1. A line to West End is a good thought, but I still contend that the first "River to Lake" streetcar line should follow the historic path of the old Pontchartrain RR right up Elysian Fields, terminating at the Quarter on one end and the University of New Orleans at the other. It would be a great tool for UNO; much as Loyola and Tulane can now boast to prospective students that they are "just a streetcar ride away" from the French Quarter and Downtown, so would UNO be able to do so to those prospective college students whose families' pocketbooks (like mine..LOL) can't quite handle Tulane or Loyola.
  2. Not exactly how it unfolded. The owner or the Hyatt and the city and state officials held a big press event to announce the new project...which was followed about a day later by the LA-based (I think) owner of the New Orleans Centre and Dominion Tower, Judah Hertz, saying that no one had approached him to inquire about the availability of his properties for the project. Seeing as those pieces of property were kind of the lynchpin of the whole deal, it seemed a little odd that such a big announcement would be made without someone at least gauging Hertz's interest...and to be frank, as you read more reporting on the topic I'm not sure I'm completely buying into his story that he wasn't even approached. More likely, to my mind, he didn't like the numbers that were being bandied around and thought he'd get a better deal if he let the project be announced and then would have public pressure on the developers to pay more for his property than was originally offered to see that the project went forward. It was also not exactly clear what level of FEMA funding would be available for the government properties at Duncan Plaza (City Hall, State office building, etc.) if the area were to be redeveloped as the Jazz Museum and Park plans called for rather than being "replace in kind".
  3. Just guessing, but it sounds like the Tom Bauer development for the "Storyville" area....I'm guessing the Winn-Dixie in the former temporary casino parking lot there (now the French Quarter RV Park...at least part of it) is the "hurricane-damaged regional grocery store".
  4. In all seriousness, the stretch from Poydras onto Claiborne faces similar obstacles as would an Elysian Fields line or the pre-K proposed revived Desire line (which would run down St. Claude to Poland to serve the proposed cruise ship terminal and expected Bywater riverfront development). For Desire, the problem would be the grade-level crossing of the railroad tracks at Press St. For Elysian Fields, it's the railroad tracks and canal at Florida Avenue. And for Claiborne, it would be the fact that a crossing of the Pontchartrain Expressway at that point would be problematic. Should streetcar lines be able to utilize overpass crossings (I have no idea of the maximum grade possible for a streetcar), then the Elysian Fields and Claiborne could be worked out....maybe. It would sure drive the costs up for the two lines. I don't think an elevated crossing at Press St. would even be considered. More likely for the Elysian Fields line, some have said, is an extension of the Carrollton spur up Wisner to Desaix on on to Gentilly Blvd (which intersection is only a few blocks from the Fairgrounds--think streetcar access from Uptown to Jazzfest), proceeding on Gentilly right past the front of Dillard's campus to the intersection with Elysian Fields (one of the city's designated recovery zone "redevelop" sites) and then Lake-bound on Elysian Fields to the UNO campus.
  5. That's OK....us folks on the downriver side of Canal really don't want to be involved in the streetcar renaissance. We weren't really interested in that Elysian Fields line that featured so prominently in the district's UNOP plan. One running down one of the city's only avenues going unbroken from River to Lake. Down the historic right of way of the city's first rail line, and one of the earliest rail lines in the nation. Situated so as to provide access to the Quarter and CBD to UNO, Dillard, SUNO, and Baptist Theological Seminary students. LOL (Sarcasm off....) LOL Just pulling you Uptown, World-Ends-At-Canal guys' collective chain a little. LOL
  6. If only they'd set up the GOZONE loan program such that only projects in the cities/towns that were devastated by the actual storms (New Orleans, Lake Charles, Slidell, etc.) qualified rather also making eligible projects in cities like Baton Rouge and Lafayette where the only real impact from the storms was to add a substantial chunk of population that was suddenly forced to patronize BR and LAF businesses--for the most part a chunk with funds to spend on their needs. Sure, traffic got bad, and the school system had to absorb an influx of students...and funds to cover that stuff flowed from the state and the feds. On the whole, the cities of Baton Rouge and Lafayette probably see the whole 2005 LA hurricane experience as a "good thing", as a result of their being A) relatively unscathed, B) nearby to communities that were almost obliterated, and C) treated by the state government and particularly the feds as though they were heavily impacted by the storms.
  7. I wish I knew whose (in state government) ear was the right one to put a bug in about the old spans once the new are completed. My understanding is that the current plans call for the complete demolition of the old spans. I've often thought that salvaging a substantial length at either end of the current east-bound span for development as public fishing piers would be a real winner for the area. Such "old bridge to fishing pier" conversions are fairly common elsewhere, and are frequently a big success...not just with the locals, but also as "attractions" to those who visit from more "landlocked" parts of the country. Think about saving say a mile at either end, and billing it as the "South's Longest Public Fishing Pier". With the bonus that there would actually be very good fishing, as some of the larger trout in SE LA are often landed along the Twin Spans, Hwy. 11, and train trestles. I'm sure if it's well maintained it would attract enough people that you might even find someone willing to set up a bait and tackle concession at the foot of the pier. Heck, if it really took off you might even have someone interested in taking a chance on a concession to rent out a small fleet of those "workman-style" tricycles fitted with small wagon/trailers behind...then you could rent one to haul your gear out to the end of a mile-long pier if you so desired instead of walk it with your own wagon you'd brought from home (much like the carts/wagons you see on the beach at Grand Isle when the surf fishing is hot). Any thoughts?
  8. Actually, Lincoln Beach is in New Orleans East, on Haynes way out between Bullard and Paris Rd. Quite a bit more remote than at the end of Franklin, which is where the still-dormant UNO Lakefront Arena is located.
  9. Keep in mind...New Orleans' importance as a port to the fledgling United States was such that Thomas Jefferson used money the country didn't have to buy about a quarter of the North American continent in order to get the one city. Of course, he only set out to buy the city itself (well, the Isle d'Orleans if you want to get technical), and the offer as Napoleon framed it turned out to be a pretty sweet deal in and of itself...but the fact remains that the importance to the future of the United States that Jefferson placed on control of New Orleans was the impetus for the entire Louisiana Purchase and remained the main benefit of the deal for many years afterward.
  10. By the way, more information about the Gentilly Charrette is available here: http://www.gcia.us/Reports/Duany_Framework...ated24May06.pdf
  11. The first looks like the results from the St. Bernard Parish charrette done by DPZ. The "town center" concept for Gentilly is still sort of sitting in the "boy, wouldn't it be nice...." category at this time; I don't foresee there being CDBG money or any other such funds available for this, and the key would be convincing the current owners of the shopping center at Gentilly and Elysian Fields to either buy into the idea or sell to developers who will. Although the neighborhood association which sponsored the charrette has stated a goal of finding just such a developer, I don't know that any progress has been made at this time.
  12. I rode it...and I have to tell you it was pretty unnerving...LOL. And I'm not particularly afraid of heights anymore than the next guy, seeing as how I climb caged ladders to open platforms atop 150'+ towers here in the refinery from time to time. But these pod-styled "cars" hung down under a cable like seats on a ski lift. The cable was stretched between two huge towers on either bank of the River; "stretched" may be a misnomer, as there was (to me) an amazing amount of sag in the cable, although considering it's length completely across the width of the Mississippi I guess it's about what you'd have to expect if you stopped to think about it. You were roughly at the height of the adjacent bridge, although as I just said your height about the water varied quite a bit. At the mid-river point you were at your lowest and really felt like you were dangling out in the middle of space with just the tiniest (and seemingly fragile) connection to the cable. Especially nerve-racking when the winds were just below the threshold at which they'd shut it down...you just "knew" that the "hook" was going to slip right off the cable when the car started swinging back and forth...LOL. Also interesting at night.
  13. Have you seen the parcel of land that the much larger Trump Tower is to fit on?
  14. My understanding has always been that it's less the river's depth than it's width that starts to become problematic as you get as far inland as Baton Rouge. Although the Port of Baton Rouge certainly handles ocean-going vessels such as oil tankers which service the refineries, I don't know enough to comment on cruise ships. I can say that I've read (in treatises explaining why the US doesn't have a choice but TO rebuild the Port and City of New Orleans) that once you get much above New Orleans you start having problems with the river's channel being wide enough for two ocean-going vessels to pass each other and to turn around safely in high river stages, and also that the US-190 bridge is too low for most such vessels to pass. The other problem, of course, that Baton Rouge has as far as the cruise ship industry would be concerned would be the fact that the ships would have to sail some eighty miles past the cruise docks at New Orleans up a winding river channel to get there. Even the distance the ships have to travel down the river from New Orleans is looked at as a drawback.
  15. Huh. I'm a draftsman/designer, albeit in piping, myself. Work as a contractor in a refinery down here in "empty" St. Bernard Parish, but live in Chilly Gentilly.
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