Posts in lower ninth ward

April 9th, 2010  |  Filed under Environment, Participate!

Please vote – community garden education center needed in the Lower Ninth Ward, NOLA

Hi there,

Greetings from New Orleans, where it’s not quite hot yet, the French Quarter Fest is raging, and all around the Lower Ninth Ward, the idea of sustainability and locally-grown vegetables is sprouting up like a mess o’ collard green seedlings.

Please take a minute to read the repost below and vote for a friend of Burners Without Borders NOLA — Jenga Mwendo — to win the $5k necessary to restore the blighted cottage next to our neighborhood community garden and transform it into an education center (and storage). It’ll be your good deed for the day!

Thanks,
BWB NOLA

Jenga and Mama Patsy cleaning up the garden in the early days. That's the cottage in the background. Git 'r dun!

From Jenga:

Greetings! On behalf of the Backyard Gardener’s Network, the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association Garden Committee and the entire Lower Ninth Ward community, I ask for your help to win the Cox Conserves Heroes contest. Please go here and vote for me, Jenga Mwendo! Cox Conserves Heroes is a contest that awards an “environmental hero” $5000 to his/her charity of choice. If I win, the money will go towards renovating a blighted cottage next door to our community garden for use as a storage/education garden center. I am the only contestant representing a project in the Lower Ninth Ward, the community devastated most by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Vote Now! Spread the word! Vote as many times as you want!! Thanks!

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February 6th, 2010  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Culture (Art & Music)

Mardi Gras (And Another Pre-Event Costume Frenzy)

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, like the Burning Dude, is impossible to explain during just one cafe conversation. Like the Burning Dude, too, a newcomer needs to remember EASY DOES IT: enjoy the first year, don’t be too ambitious, focus in on one or two aspects, and branch out from there. Mardi Gras is a lot to swallow, and us, we’ve only just begun to chew.

For a good history of Mardi Gras: read here. Zulu parade: Here. And Mardi Gras Indians: Here and here.

(Mardi Gras Indians = feather envy)

Someone asked yesterday what we going to wear for our first Mardi Gras as New Orleans residents. “Do we NEED a costume?” Yes!, they said. Ohhhhh crap. Another lesson learned quickly: This is the high holy holiday in New Orleans, and even if thou art just walking down the street, thou shalt style thyself accordingly.

We are not the kind of people to show up un-costumed to a costumed event. In fact, quite the opposite. A friend offered to loan us her costumes from last year … but that just didn’t … feel … right. For our kind, costumes must be hand-crafted, filled with the spirit, and wearable post-event — not store-bought, forgotten about, and donated to the community center along with the bridesmaid’s dress and the fondue set. Our threads won’t be anything fancy — but they’ll be ours. Even at this late date, we’ll get it done.

Preparation for the fete is the spell we cast; costume, the pre-battle warpaint. As we make black-and-gold streamers for the Saints Superbowl game-day party at the Village, we wish on the Saints to win. As we cobble together the effluvia found during our Year One in NOLA, in hopes of crafting a costume that doesn’t suck … our fabric, our spirit, our memories, our treasures ground-scored and laid aside for occasions just such as this, and for that one other burning dude in August … we reflect and ponder and plan for the future. Certainly, many folks in New Orleans — especially the Mardi Gras Indians — are doing the same.

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September 26th, 2009  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Environment, Participate!

all hands on deck pt.2: lowernine.org, New Orleans

Hi. I’m a DPW / Gate clowngineer who now lives with some other “derelicte” members of D.I.Y. society, building up a Katrina-bombed house in the Holy Cross neighborhood of New Orleans. The Holy Cross is the sliver-by-the-river area of the Lower 9th Ward which didn’t get crushed by a tsunami shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit landfall. All around our neighborhood, during the day, you can hear hammering and sawing and the shouts of construction workers complaining about heat and sun. It sounds like a Deadwood background reel, or Black Rock City being built.

Meanwhile, we’re living with no refrigerator for the moment. Also, zero grocery stores exist within biking distance — reasonable biking distance — so for the past we-don’t-know-how-many days in a row, when we’re not being fed at the fancy-pants restaurants at which we toil, we partake of the HOLY CROSS BREAKFAST: Fried chicken and a pickle.
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