new orleans

What can you do with an old gas station? How about live in it?

Article: What can you do with an old gas station? How about live in it?

Neighborhood gas and service stations are largely a thing of the past: the large-scale convenience store located on main drags or interstate off-ramps seems to have replaced them. Just because the businesses are gone doesn’t mean the buildings are, though, and many of these older structures have unique architectural and design features. Might make for a good business location with some renovation, but a home? It would take an artist’s eye to transform such a structure into a place someone wanted to live.

Open Casting Call for Sundance Channel's Original Series GIRLS WHO LIKE BOYS WHO LIKE BOYS!

Article: Open Casting Call for Sundance Channel's Original Series GIRLS WHO LIKE BOYS WHO LIKE BOYS!

Art Buzz: Hugo Boss Prize finalists & a musical shantytown in New Orleans

Article: Art Buzz: Hugo Boss Prize finalists & a musical shantytown in New Orleans

Hugo Boss Prize Finalists Announced: Six finalists including Danh Vo, Qiu Zhijie and Monika Sosnowska have been announced for this year’s Huge Boss prize, which awards a $100,000 grant as well as a dedicated exhibit at the Guggeinheim to innovators in the contemporary art scene. A winner won’t be announced until next fall, but the nomination alone is sure to launch the young artists into the spotlight, at least for the next twelve months.

SPINAL TAP Star turns Michael Moore-style muckraker!

Article: SPINAL TAP Star turns Michael Moore-style muckraker!

A serious documentary about the New Orleans 2005 flooding disaster, directed by Derek Smalls in This Is Spinal Tap and the voice of Flanders, Smithers, and Mr. Burns on The Simpsons?

You can’t make this stuff up, and that’s what I love about show biz.

Yes, “New Orleanian” Harry Shearer has brought us The Big Uneasy, an eye-opening look at the time when the President and the press were calling the Katrina situation “a natural disaster,” and it wasn’t! As Shearer learned, it was the result of man-made design and construction flaws.

I just talked with Shearer to open some floodgates of information.

Me: Hi, Harry. Were you always such a muckracker?

Shearer: When I was helping edit the school newspaper in college, I ran a series on wasted space in the student union. That was the last time!

Earth Week music: Gulf Coast musicians mark BP oil spill anniversary

Article: Earth Week music: Gulf Coast musicians mark BP oil spill anniversary

As I noted in a post last year, musicians in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast have worked as hard as anyone to keep last year’s Deepwater Horizon explosion, and the subsequent oil spill, in the public mind. This week, as we celebrate Earth Day, and mark the one year anniversary of the disaster in the Gulf, musicians will again go to work to memorialize those killed in the explosion, and to raise awareness of the ongoing struggle with oil and dispersant pollution faced by coastal residents.

Cleaning up after Mardi Gras

Article: Cleaning up after Mardi Gras

(Patrick Semansky) MSNBC’s Photoblog has some morning after Mardi Gras pictures from this year’s event. Captain Obvious made the observation: Dang, that’s a lot of beads! I like how the guy in the photo above apparently didn’t get the last call memo. If you haven’t been to this wonderful city then do so in the…

NOLA street art: Before I die…

Article: NOLA street art: Before I die…

Candy Chang created this cool, giant interactive piece of street art in New Orleans that transformed the side of an abandoned house into a chalk board. She explains: It’s also about turning a neglected space into a constructive one where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us. It turns out…

Green tech finds (9/2/10)

Article: Green tech finds (9/2/10)


Lots of energy news and ideas this week, as well as another big green crowdsourcing project, and reviving wetlands with sewage… your green tech finds.

  • Another cell phone sustainability study: Market research firm IDC came up with quite different results on cell phone sustainability from O2… but focused on companies vs. phones themselves. Apple comes out on top in this one, followed by LG and Nokia. (via The Boston Globe)

  • Harnessing gravity power: Gravitational Energy Corporation claims its Feltenberger Pendulum works through hand-power and gravity. The company’s first product, a water pump, could prove indispensable for areas of the developing world, as well as post-disaster relief. See how it’s working in Haiti in the video above…
Lenny Kravitz crashes church choir's performance

Article: Lenny Kravitz crashes church choir's performance

Your feel-good video of today that is going rapidly viral was uploaded a few days ago by Lenny Kravitz himself. As he explains, he was having a drink at a terrace in New Orleans when he heard a choir, the First Baptist Church’s Voice of Praise choir from Lewisville to be exact, sing a song…

On New Orleans and Keeping my Drunk Monkey in Check

Article: On New Orleans and Keeping my Drunk Monkey in Check

Photo by Patrick Semansky/Getty Images What is it about New Orleans that just makes you wanna act like a 25 year old crazed monkey? So I go down to NOLA with my pal G and his wife M last week, because, well, why not? And I haven’t been there since that one time in college…

Back from Passover with Joan and Melissa Rivers

Article: Back from Passover with Joan and Melissa Rivers

Melissa, Sue (in a Charlize Theron inspired homemade outfit), Joan Rivers and me at Seder

So I had to make (yet another) trip back to Cali last week. But the good news is: it was totally disgusting in NYC and LA was sunny and fab! So there, take that, jet lag! And Karl was cool with it because he got to go. He only farted like twice on the plane, but at least he didn’t release the goods — you know, till he got outside. But hey — who am I to judge High Altitude Flatulence?

This time I was out there to shoot a pilot… vaguely along the lines of “speaking truth” — see last week’s blog — although not to Foxxy Brown — pretty much everyone else though. But I still can’t get over Foxxy. Heh. So while I was out there I chilled with my lil’ sis Emily and my big sister Sophie for a night — before heading to (YES THAT’S RIGHT!) Joan Rivers’ house for Passover! O hell yes!!!

SPECTACLE REPORT:  ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… Southern Knights: Levon Helm and Allen Toussaint

Article: SPECTACLE REPORT: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… Southern Knights: Levon Helm and Allen Toussaint

The legendary Levon Helm at the drums on SPECTACLE. On this week’s SPECTACLE, Elvis Costello assembles a band of musical legends. At its heart are two artists who act as living links to the traditions of the American South – drummer Levon Helm and pianist Allen Toussaint. Arkansas-born Helm, best known as one of the…

EP 04 – ENTRY 04: A SHOT IN THE DARK

Article: EP 04 – ENTRY 04: A SHOT IN THE DARK

Yesterday someone was shot and killed directly across the street from the build site. Nobody from URBANbuild was there – it was a Sunday and we all had the day off. According to news reports that followed, it was one of the deadliest weekends New Orleans has seen in a long time. The URBANbuild team…

EP 01 – ENTRY 01: MEET THE CREW

Article: EP 01 – ENTRY 01: MEET THE CREW

Greetings from New Orleans, y’all! Here we are, clockwise: That’s Dan in the glasses, Associate Producer, technical guru, and all-around nice guy. Rob is up above – he’s our Cinematographer extraordinaire, and he’ll become our Senior Editor when we start Post Production. (Which seems ages away right now.) I’m in the white shirt, your handy…