|Not really, but it may as well be.|
The Comics Code Authority seal of approval appeared on all comic books when I was a lad. I don't see it anymore and there's no surprise in that. Along with the general coarsening of the culture, comic books had to keep up. You don't find comic books in spinner racks at the newsstand anymore. I dare you to find a newsstand. I haven't found any in New Orleans.
If I want to buy a magazine, I go to the Borders on St. Charles Avenue. It's not too much of a chore but I don't associate a big, chain bookstore as a place to pick up the latest issue of Popular Mechanics. Does anyone read Popular Mechanics anymore? A newsstand is where I buy news, be it a magazine or a newspaper. Beyond the Times-Picayune, I see the New York Times is for sale in some places. I'm surprised the Baton Rouge paper, whatever it may be, isn't for available. I assume it would contain state-wide and legislative news. Nowhere sells international papers that I am aware of and I have yet to find a copy of the Wall Street Journal.
New Orleans is an island.
I don't watch television unless I'm in a bar and I don't listen to the radio except for WWOZ occasionally and NPR when I'm in the car on Saturday mornings. I get my news from the T-P and from people I bump into who seemingly get their news the same way.
They say New Orleans is not a family-freindly city; its stories would not be approved by the Comics Code Authority. I suppose there is some truth in that. In a city known for drinking and carousing, libertinism, and winking at breaches of law and order, the city can seem fairly toxic to impressionable, young minds. I encourage families to steer clear of the first few blocks of Bourbon Street closest to Canal. It's not that the businesses there cater to the animal instincts that is most disturbing, it is that they are so tacky.
There is a whole city outside the more libidinous blocks of the Vieux Carre, however. Parts of New Orleans are so genteel that a New England blue stocking can feel put to task to prove his credentials. I was fortunate enough to take the holiday home tour sponsored by the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans today in the Garden District, a look behind the gates of some of the most beautiful edifices along Prytania Street. Lovely. Please click the link and visit PRC's website. The home tour will be over by the time you read this, but it will be worth a visit come next December. PRC offers a number of programs and does good work in the city. It's where I attended the first-time homebuyer class this past week. I'm going to try to be more involved within my time constraints. I say the same thing about lowernine.org. There is so much going on this city and in my own life, I don't know if there are enough hours in a week.
All in good time, all in good time. A city runs on the effectiveness of its organizations. The government should enable them as long as they don't get out of control. Power corrupts. Mayor Landrieu, a creature of democratic government if there ever was one, seems to be balancing competing interests well. No missteps thus far, but his administration is still new in office. I'm told Mayor Nagin was lauded in the beginning of his first term. We know how that turned out in the end: like a bushel of oysters left on the neutral ground in August rather than like the one's served at Casamento's.
By the way, CBS news is filming something at Casamento's this afternoon. Probably something to do with the local seafood industry. The restaurant is closed Sundays so this must be a special photo op. I won't be able to watch the news the next few days (no TV as stated above). If you happen to see WK mugging on camera, please let me know. I'll be the guy in a gray fedora advising everyone to eat genuine Louisiana Gulf seafood. I've got a soft spot in my belly and heart for oysters. I can't seem to find any clams here.