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Everything posted by NCB

  1. I was there last night as well, byrde. Sec. 308. The game was great, as CP3 continued his March dominance with 27 points, 17 assists, and 4 steals. David West had a great game but unfortunately sprained his right ankle (after missing 3 games with a sprained left ankle last week) in the 4th quarter. It looks like he'll miss the game tommorow's game at Detroit (televised nationally on ABC) and possibly Monday night's game at Chicago. The crowd last night was great, and as you mentioned, was another sellout, the Hornets' 6th in their last 10 games and largest of the year. I've got tickets to the big Hornets-Celtics matchup next Saturday in the Arena, and I can't wait. I've also got tickets to the Warriors-Hornets game (can you say high scoring!) to see Baron Davis come back to New Orleans in a few weeks. I picked those tickets up off StubHub for $9. It costs more for me to watch a movie and get a small bag of popcorn! Just an update on the Hornets' television situation: If you live anywhere in SE Louisiana or southern Mississippi and have DISH Network, you can now watch every Hornets game. And the Hornets are now in discussion with DirecTV about airing the Hornets games, which you can bet they will after DISH picked them up. Neither Cox Cable or Charter Cable agreed to televise Hornets games, even after the New Orleans City Council stepped in with the Hornets and offered what was viewed by many local business leaders as a "fantastic deal." So if you've got cable and you live around these parts, it looks like you're out of luck.
  2. NCB


    That's a great field to get into, Dan. It takes alot of hard work to get through a good college Architecture program, and it can be rough those first couple of years after college, but if you've got a passion for it and always put your heart into it, you'll find yourself in a great position. Always keep your options open though, man. I was this close to enrolling at the Tulane School of Architecture, but decided not to after I put alot of serious thought into it. I've always had a passion for architecture, (and I'm sure I can thank growing up in the French Quarter for that) but I just wasn't sure if I wanted to basically dedicate my life to it. I decided that I'd rather pursue business management and studies into the hotel and restaurant industries at Tulane (again, thanks to growing up in New Orleans I suppose) and I'm very happy I went that direction. But again, just keep your options open. I belive the average college student changes their major 3 times before the end of their sophmore year, and that stat is rising every year. Really think about all of your interests, and then decide if you would want to make a career out of any of them. That way, if you find yourself in college majoring in something you discovered you had no real passion for, you'll be prepared to find something new. Putting all of your eggs into one basket can come back to bite you if you find yourself unhappy in your current position. But if you to decide to pursue architecture, take a look at Tulane. It's a great unversity (one of the five "Southern Ivies") and its architecture program is really leading the way in physically rebuilding New Orleans and much of SE Louisiana. These "houses of the future," "affordable green units," "energy efficient neighborhoods," and studies of how to "flood proof" historic New Orleans neighborhoods you may have heard about--all Tulane. I don't know what your interests are, but apparently all of these rebuilding projects interest alot of high school students, because Tulane has received 99% more applications from high school students this year than the last few, and applications to UNO and Loyola have more than doubled. LSU's got a great architecture program as well, and being from Baton Rouge I know LSU is probably staring you right in the face. If that's your future route, you'll no doubt enjoy it and find success there. But if you're not entirely sure yet, and want to stay in Louisiana, take a look down I-10. http://architecture.tulane.edu/
  3. I've been to the Apple Store in the Pentagon City Mall outside of D.C., along with the store in The Woodlands Mall outside of Houston. Both were very plain, but I guess that just fits with Apple's "simple but effective" message. They're really fun stores; the kind that the average guy will just "take a look around," and end up spending 30 minutes there just pressing buttons and watching product promos.
  4. There were some plans to bring an Apple store to Canal Place in downtown New Orleans, but those were pre-Katrina and basically disappeared as soon as the storm moved out of the city. But I'm very happy just to see Apple enter Louisiana. I'm not an Apple user, but the Apple Store has become a "cool" thing, (as have their products) so it's nice to see them entering two Louisiana markets.
  5. Apple has announced they'll have a store at the new Pinnacle shopping center in Slidell. It's scheduled to break ground in early May.
  6. I totally agree, blackcoat; Metro in D.C. is an absolutely fantastic mass transit system. I've been to D.C. 7 times, so I'm familiar with much of the city and know the Metrorail like the back of my hand. I've also used the Metrobus many times, and have found many of the bus routes easy for an outsider to understand. I also agree with you, though, that it is very difficult for RTA to truly look at Metro in D.C. as anything more than a model for leadership and efficiency. There is far more money invested into mass transit in D.C. than we see here in New Orleans, and not because the D.C. region is more wealthy, but because it is our nation's capital. I've read that many of Metro's largest projects, including the Metrorail system and the expansion and improvement of its bus service, have been as much as 86% funded by the federal government. New Orleans doesn't have that wonderful luxury, (if only!) so it needs to look at other progressive cities such as Boston, Portland, and as you mentioned, San Francisco, as models. A serious look back at our own history would probably do alot of good for the mass transit system in this city, as it wasn't that long ago that New Orleans worked to build and mantain one of the largest mass transit systems in the nation, which centered around the huge streetcar system.
  7. A few months back we had all been talking about the continued development of Fulton Street in the CBD, and it now looks like a New Orleans restaurant legend could soon be opening a new location on Fulton Street. Ruth
  8. This afternoon the Saints signed former Patriots and LSU cornerback Randall Gay to a 4 four year deal. The Saints also signed former Jacksonville DE Bobby McCray to a five year deal. Randall Gay was born in Brusly,LA(West Baton Rouge Parish), played at LSU, and made a point of scheduling New Orleans as his first visit (for obvious reasons). After the Jason David signing last year, I'm not convinced by anything being "good" until we see the player on the field, but I definately like this signing. Gay was listed as one of the top CB's available, he's a Louisiana/SEC boy, and has had success in both zone and man coverages up in New England. Bobby McCray was listed as the third best DE available, and while the Saints' largest D-line need is at DT, this looks like a great depth signing. He's had alot of success as a third down pass rusher, and that, along with the fact that Charles Grant had some injury problems last year, makes him a valuable addition. Good day for the Saints!
  9. You're certainly right about that, Richy! In the West, 5 or 6 games seperate the #1 seed from the #8 seed. In the East, 20 or 21 games seperate the #1 seed from the #8 seed. In terms of balance, those numbers just about speak for themselves! BTW, here's a great article from the Times-Picayune about New Orleans responding to the challenge to support the Hornets: Hornets crowds could meet attendance goals Article
  10. Great stuff, JerseyBoy! It looks like we took many pictures in the same areas. Whenever I go through cities like Atlanta or Houston, I turn into a bit of an "interchange/look how wide that interstate is!" geek myself. As for my photo from below the I-20 interchange, I call that nothing more than luck. I literally just held the camera around the seat, held the shutter to get a shot through the back window, and hoped for the best. After a little cropping and rotating, I managed to come out with a shot that wasn't half bad.
  11. NCB

    NFL Talk

    The Saints picked up MLB Jonathan Vilma from the Jets for a conditional 2009 4th round draft pick. I know Vilma is coming off knee surgery, but I saw him at Miami and saw what a beast he was for the Jets in the 4-3 scheme before Mangini arrived, so I'm very excited about this trade for the Saints. He seems like a classy guy as well, which I love to see. Any Jets/AFC East fans here at UP? What were your experiences with Jonathan Vilma while he was a Jet?
  12. Every year the American Planning Association releases its lists of top neighborhoods and streets in the U.S., and Saint Charles Avenue was included on the newly released "Great Streets" list. http://www.planning.org/greatplaces/street...arlesavenue.htm
  13. NCB


    Richy, from what I read, Lehigh Acres was basically just a huge development that flopped. To the point that, of all those land plots you see, only 90% of them are occupied. I'm also really interested in city layouts, which mostly stems from my curiousity about the street grid in New Orleans and the city's layout, which has alot of history to it. I think Baton Rouge has an interesting bit of history to its street layout; you can basically trace the historic occupancy and development of an area based on what the streets look like. I'm by no means an expert on Baton Rouge's history, but just from looking at the city on a map, it's very easy to figure out which neighborhoods developed 10 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years, etc. If you know the history of New Orleans, you can figure out which neighborhoods were laid out 300 years ago, 200 years ago, 100 years ago, and even 20-50 years ago in the case of New Orleans East, but it's not nearly as obvious.
  14. NCB


    Check this out guys...planned development at its worst. Salton City, California. It was fully developed as a massive resort on the Salton Sea in California, but development immediately ceased, and already developed areas were abandoned after salt and pollution levels in the Salton Sea rose. Salton City looks like a pretty large place on Google Maps: But you see some very different things from the satellite: Salton City Airport and surrounding neighborhood: Lehigh Acres, Florida. It was developed into a massive subdivision in the 1970's, and was divided into thousands of quarter-acre and half-acre land plots, complete with thousands of miles of roadway. Lehigh Acres looks huge on a map, to the point that you wonder why you've never heard of a city this large: But again, the satellite view reveals some astonishing sights: Modern day ghost towns! All of those maps and satelite images were courtesy of Google Maps.
  15. Excellent shot, JerseyBoy! And thank you again, IC! Here's another shot of the Atlanta skyline from the connector:
  16. NCB


    Actually, Uptown, Mardi Gras is an official holiday. I believe it's considered to be an official holiday over most of Louisiana, but it's really only taken to the max in and around New Orleans/Houma and possibly Lafayette. I'm not sure about Baton Rouge, but I'd love for someone familiar with B.R. Mardi Gras to fill us in. You're completely right about schools and work, though. The most strict employers usually close on Lundi Gras, Fat Tuesday, and Ash Wednesday in New Orleans. But most, and this goes for schools as well, are closed for even longer unless they cater to the hospitality business. As a kid growing up in New Orleans, Mardi Gras meant one thing first and foremost...a nine day holiday.
  17. Some sports stories coming out of New Orleans: The Hornets defeated the Utah Jazz (originally the New Orleans Jazz from '75-'79) last night in front of another sellout crowd at the New Orleans Arena. The Hornets went on a 23-0 run in the 1st quarter, and finished the 1st leading 38-15. But the Jazz slowly worked their way back into the game through the 2nd and 3rd quarters, and dropped the Hornets lead to only 4 with only 6 minutes or so remaining. But for the second straight game, Janero Pargo came off the bench and was huge. The Hornets hadn't scored in nearly 4 minutes, but Pargo came out and nailed a 20 foot jumper, hit a 15 footer on the next possession, and hit a 3 on the next possession. 7 consecutive points off the bench put the Hornets up 10, but Utah dropped it back to 8 with 3 minutes remaining. At that point, Chris Paul stole the ball from "rival/friend" Deron Williams, had it picked up by David West, who threw it back to CP3, who drove up the court and found an open Peja in the corner. Peja faked Andre Kirelinko completely off the court, and nailed the 3 to put the Hornets up by 11. On the next possession, Pargo hit another 3, and that sealed the win for the Hornets, who have won two in a row after a three game losing streak, to improve their record to 39-18; 3rd in the West. CP3 outshined Deron Williams in the highly touted matchup between the two, finishing the game with 24 points, 16 assists, and 5 steals. David West was fantastic yet again, with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Peja finished with 20 points, and Pargo finished with 15 off the bench. Also, as I mentioned, the game last night was a sellout. The Hornets have now sold out 4 of their last 5 home games. The game Wednesday night vs the Suns(big Hornets win) drew 17,931, the largest crowd to ever watch a basketball game at the New Orleans Arena. In January, the Hornets were dead last in NBA attendance, drawing only slightly above 10,000 fans per game. Now on March 1st, the Hornets are drawing over 13,200. That's still not anything to brag about, but it's a major improvement in only two months. It took 3 months for the Hornets to get their first sellout of the year, and they've now sold out 4 times in less than 4 weeks. I think those are all great signs that things are getting better for the team here in New Orleans. Now some Saints news... The Saints picked up linebacker Jonathan Vilma from the Jets yesterday for an unconditional 2009 draft pick. The middle linebacker had 118 tackles in his rookie season in 2004, earning him the defensive rookie of the year award. The next year, Vilma had a league-leading 187 tackles, earning him a Pro Bowl spot. In 2006, however, Eric Mangini arrived as Jets coach and switched their defensive scheme from a 4-3 to a 3-4, which essentially ended Vilma's positive playing there. In 2007, a dead piece of bone that had been in Vilma's knee since high school dislodged, which forced him to be out for the season. He had surgery on the knee four months ago, and says that it feels great. I really like this deal for the Saints, who needed a strong leader for their defense. Jonathan Vilma is a beast in the 4-3 scheme, and that's exactly what the Saints use. He had a major injury last year, and is now viewed as "injury-prone" by many, even though that was the first major injury of his career. In that case, he's extremely similar to Drew Brees, who had only missed a few games before his before his torn shoulder labrum. And the Saints really didn't give up a whole lot for Vilma; they traded a conditional 2009 4th round draft pick, meaning that it could turn into a 2nd or 3rd round pick if Vilma plays very well and/or signs a contract extension with the team. At that point, either one of those picks would definately be worth it, IMO. Many national "experts" are saying that this pickup alone makes the Saints a true playoff contender once again, but I'm not completely sure of that. We're set on offense, even with the loss of center Jeff Faine to Tampa Bay. He missed a few games last year and the year before, and Jonathan Goodwin, who will replace Faine this year, played well in all of them. Quarterback obviously isn't a problem, and the same can be said with running back, stacked with Deuce, Reggie, and 2007 suprise Pierre Thomas. On defense, our front 4 is excellent, and the addition of Vilma at linebacker makes our middle 3 very good, IMO. But our back 4 still need improvements. The Saints have to pick up a good CB in the draft or through free agency. If that happens, I think the Saints are set on defense as well. Welcome to New Orleans, Jonathan Vilma!
  18. I was just in Washington D.C., where they have replaced many of their old city buses with new biodiesel units. After seeing those buses without trailing black plumes of exhaust, and hearing the quiet engines, I couldn't help but think "man, I with New Orleans had those!" Well, it looks like I'll be seeing that happen very soon! RTA overhauls bus fleet with biodiesel units New Orleans CityBusiness Article (Photo by Frank Aymami)
  19. Another shot of the Atlanta skyline, this one coming from the southern end of the Downtown Connector:
  20. Was anyone else extremely happy to read this article in the T-P this morning? Students came to help, return to learn Article I love the idea of so many new new faces in New Orleans, all of which bring new ideas to the city. This is just fantastic news, IMO. I mean look at Tulane and UNO, nearly twice as many applications as they received last year!
  21. It was announced today that the Bassmaster Classic will be spending quite a bit of time in Louisiana in the next few years. Shreveport will be hosting its first Bassmaster Classic in 2009, and in 2011 BASS will be coming to New Orleans for the 4th time. I'm very happy to see another major event return to New Orleans, and I know Shreveport must be very happy with the news for their city as well! Congrats! Here's the article from ESPN, which includes two great skyline shots of Shreveport and New Orleans: ESPN Article
  22. Actually, Brian, that's the big castle at Disney Land. Almost! Here's a shot of the Marriot on Canal Street in New Orleans' CBD. At 449 feet, it is the city's second tallest hotel:
  23. I don't think anyone in New Orleans could have asked for a better weekend. The biggest day of service in pro sports history, all kinds of money generated and donated to schools and charities, and I don't think I've seen New Orleans look better on a big stage. All of that music, bits about food and culture, updates and positive thoughts on rebuilding, fantastic aerials of the city, tours of the CBD and French Quarter, all of it aired internationally in 44 languages. New Orleans couldn't have paid for that kind of advertising. Thank you, NBA, for showcasing New Orleans in a beautiful light. And as a side note to the game, many might remember the public outcries about not having the All-Star game in New Orleans. After what happened in Vegas, it seemed like every sports writer in the nation was writing about how All-Star weekend in New Orleans would be nothing but gunfire and crime. Well, now that it's all over, the NOPD reported 98 arrests. For comparison, the Las Vegas Police Department reported approximately 400 arrests at last year's All-Star game. As Ray Nagin said today, all of the worries about big event safety in New Orleans should be put to rest. The city, in it's post-Katrina state with a smaller police force, managed to easily pull off an event that one of the, if not the largest tourism city in the world, Las Vegas, couldn't handle. Now...back to some legit sports talk. Richy, the Hornets will be here for the long haul. The crowds have been poor, but what the national media hasn't included in their doom and gloom attendance reports, is the fact that crowds at the N.O. Arena have been steadily increasing over the past few weeks, to the point where the Hornets have been averaging over 15,500 fans at their last few games and sold out against Memphis a week ago. Anyone who has spent 30 seconds in New Orleans knows how much of a Saints town it is, so I wasn't at all suprised to see the Hornets struggle with attendance early on, even while they were playing so well. They were all but gone for two years, came back with all new players from when they left, and had to insert themselves into the New Orleans sports market once again. Not to mention the issues going on between Charter and Cox Cable, who can't come to an agreement to show the Hornets games to over 400,000 people on the Northshore and in Houma. Out of sight, out of mind. But people in the city are starting to take notice, and it shows now as the Hornets average attendance has gone up by over 1,500 fans from two months ago. If that happens again, the Hornets would move up 5 or 6 spots on the NBA's avg. attendance list.
  24. NBA All-Star Game in the New Orleans Arena coming up in about half an hour!
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