Friday, February 21, 2014

My fellow New Orleanians...

At the risk of becoming a lightning rod.....I love you all...but you've all gone batshit.  This noise ordinance issue has driven you all insane and you're running into the streets with pitchforks.  Everyone take a deep breath...let's all step back and look at this issue without extremophile perspectives...whadda ya say?

Here's a conversation from two of my friends on Facebook to get it started:

Katy Davidson Monnot I haven't read this article, but I would encourage you to ask residents of the Quarter how they feel about how the online community has treated their requests to live in their homes in peace.
2 hours ago · Like

  • Patrick Armstrong I have a lot of sympathy for folks who want to enjoy their homes in a peace that is consistent with the values of the community as determined through the process of engaged self-government. What I don't have sympathy for is a bullying lawyer threatening people when they dare hold an opinion different than his when it comes to engaging in the very process of self-government. I don't have sympathy when that lawyer's PR team attempts to overstate and fabricate a larger base of community support than they actually have while misrepresenting the nature of the individuals opposed to their behavior, especially when those same PR folks end up reacting in hypersensitive ways to getting called out for being disingenuous about those facts. Whatever chirping is done by the online community pales in comparison to a well funded, systematic campaign to take advantage of the legislative process of self government by the few. 

  • Yes, people live in that neighborhood. But there are also people who ply a trade or own businesses there, and a larger community that one neighborhood is a part of. Bigger than that are the actual policy pros and cons being ignored while everyone would rather argue about #standing. This is further expanded when that one neighborhood assumes the mantle of making policy that will affect an entire city full of homes, businesses, and people who have just as much standing as they do.
    about an hour ago · Like · 1
Katy Davidson Monnot You have perhaps broadened this to a scope larger than what I am able to keep up with. I have spoken to some people in the Quarter and many of them have expressed that they are scared to speak up. This is, OF COURSE, not a justification for this lawyer's behavior but rather my attempt to speak up (meekly) for people who are scared of the "bloggers" and other online types that they feel are against them from the get-go. That's it. And you're a smart guy which is the only reason I brought it up in the first place--because you get nuance  Do I think that this guy is right? No. But i think that when people are scared to talk you get yahoos trying to be the voice for everything.

Patrick Armstrong See, I think I'm addressing the point directly. Productive debate has ground to a halt, and neighbors do feel threatened, but the evidence for who's to blame for that keeps pointing back to one guy. There's only one element here that has the power and wherewithal to shut down productive debate, and it probably isn't anyone online behind a pithy screen name.

While I disagree with Patrick that the evidence all points back to one person...there are many people that refuse to have a productive debate...I appreciate the fact that both Patrick and Katy are being rational.

I love music just like everyone else but I also love neighborhoods and those two things are what makes New Orleans so unique...especially the French Quarter.  What makes it so special is that it is a functioning (interpret that word as you may) neighborhood, not a Disneylandrieu least not yet. (By the way that may be the most creative Carnival theme and throws in history)

I've heard a lot of people yelling about this issue but as Katy pointed out the one thing I haven't heard a lot of is perspective from the actual residents in the Quarter...especially those living near Bourbon.   I'd like to hear from them.  I'd also like to hear from actual New Orleans musicians playing on Bourbon, and I don't mean karaoke singers from Razoo's.  My guess is that these folks may have some insight and possible solutions to the problem.  Maybe that's crazy talk but at this point it can't get much crazier can it?   


Gen Jen said...

If you moved in the Quarter you knew from the get-go there was a lot of noise. The Quarter has always been a tourist trap with noise, drunks, strippers, Etc;it was like that when you moved there . It's like moving next to an Airport and then complaining about the noise. You don't like the noise, then move...

Angelique said...

Clubs and residences can and should peacefully co-exist and saying that reasonable residents should move away doesn't solve anything. Another way to look at this issue is that overly loud noise is a public health issue like smoking. Sometimes the music from the bars on Bourbon are simply too ear-ringingly loud from the street. I can't imagine what it would be like to live near some of those clubs. I am a resident living near Frenchmen Street and I'm saddened by the tone of this debate. I don't see how urging club owners to be responsible with sound proofing and monitoring sound levels is anti-musician. If anything, it makes for a better experience for musicians, patrons, club-owners, and nearby residents alike. It's much better to enjoy a set without the music from a neighbor bleeding into the atmosphere and creating cacophony. Isn't that pretty much what the sound ordinance is trying to achieve?

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

I think it depends on the comma.

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that people seem to equate the Disneyfication of the Quarter with those in favor of a sound ordinance instead of the other way around.

In order to entertain the masses of tourists projected to come in to the Quarter regulation of sound will be a vital part of maintaining any small semblance of a neighborhood.

It is that simple, and while Stuart Smith is easily identified as the bad boy here there are many other monied legal interests working to kill any changes to the current ordinances. So suggesting he is the lone bad boy in this story is a gross simplification.