NOPD Warns Against Guns, Fireworks, Drinking Too Much

With memories of Halloween Horror still fresh, NOPD Chief Ronal Serpas announced yesterday that every New Orleans cop will be working New Year's Eve for crowd control. That amounts to 680 extra officers in the heavily populated areas of the Quarter, CBD, Marigny and Treme. Serpas also touched on a few New Years traditions that happen to be illegal.


The annual parlor game of "firework or gunshot?" is already in full effect. But it turns out the New Year's Eve explosions are illegal. Serpas called them a "fire hazard," and offered a reminder that people who use them often damage property and themselves.


We were also informed by the Chief that firing stray bullets straight into the air can be dangerous.


“It is illegal to fire a gun in the air to ring in the New Year," Serpas said. "Falling bullets can seriously injure people, and in some cases, have killed.  Although it’s been 17 years, we all remember the tragedy of Amy Silberman- who travelled to New Orleans to celebrate this holiday in 1994, and lost her life after being struck by a falling bullet."


Firing fines can run to $1,000, and result in 2-20 years in jail, police said.


Serpas also said police will be on the lookout for drunk drivers.


“DWI is the most preventable crime," Serpas said. "If you plan to do any drinking on New Year’s Eve, make sure you have a designated driver in your group, call someone to pick you up, or get a cab. You don’t want to hurt yourself, or anyone else.  Don’t take that risk.” 

Where to See Music on New Year’s Eve in NOLA

Today, some of our favorite NOLA musicians help us say goodbye to 2011, and welcome 2012. With those expensive gifts behind us, New Year's Eve is a chance to say, "It's been real," without the backlash and disappointing returns. Whether you're Uptown, donwtown or backatown, finish 2012 strong with the following:


Allways Lounge: Rusty Lazer and Lady Business


Audubon Zoo: Zoo Year's Eve counts down to noon with family-friendly activities


Banks Street Bar: Egg Yolk Jubilee


Blue Nile: Soul Rebels Brass Band


Chickie Wah Wah: Jon Cleary's Philthy Phew


Country Club: Dapper Dandies and Caroline Fourmy


d.b.a: Dirty Dozen Brass Band


Dragon's Den: Silver Apples, Os Ovni, Xander Harries Branes


Hi-Ho Lounge: New Year's Eve Big Spooky Future Show feat. Big History, Big Rock


House of Blues: Dr. John and the Lower 911, Beausoleil


Howlin Wolf: Rebirth Brass Band, Papa Grows Funk


I-Club: New Year's Eve Extravaganza f. Free Agents Brass Band


Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse: Irvin Mayfield leads a New Year's Eve Bash ($500 a head, all-inclusive)


Jackson Square: Fleur de Lis Drop + Fireworks with music by Shamarr Allen, mynameisjohnmichael


Joy Theater: Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers


Maison: The Revivalists


Maple Leaf Bar: Khris Royal and Dark Matter


One Eyed Jack's: Black Lips,  Jean Eric


Rock 'n Bowl: Tab Benoit


Siberia: Krewe of Kolossos New Year's Eve Apocaalypse Ball


Tip's Uptown: Galactic featuring special guests including Mannie Fresh, Anders Osborne and more!


Tip's Downtown: Funky Meters


NoDef Nods: Weird

In a city where Do Whatcha Wanna is the mantra, it's no surprise to see odd developments breaking all over the place. Around here, the news of the weird is not simply a chance to laugh at strange things happening to normal people. It also has implications on real-life concerns, like politics and Mardi Gras. So, in no particular order, here's our list of 2011's outliers. It's no surprise that between the lines of this rundown is the story of the Year As It Was. Open wide:



  1. Mr Ghetto's WalMart – Bounce is given to remixes and hints of guerilla, so there was a cloud of inevitability hanging over its YouTube arrival. But could anyone have predicted the music's first bonafied viral sensation would be a send-up to the Tchoupitoulas WalMart that included an ode to femenine hygeine products? Talking to Mr. Ghetto, it's immediately evident that the genius of Wally World is not its catchy hook, corporate branding or depiction of women – though those elements helped to fan the flames of controversy and thereby increased its infamy. In “Walmart,” Mr. Ghetto exhibits the natural demeanor of a guy who cruises for women often. He tried to recapture the success with visits to a hospital, and even the Superdome. But none of the followups had quite the same swag.



  1. The Great Blue Nile Costume Bust – By March, Mayor Mitch had already been repeating his refrain about everyone paying their fair share for a good six months. But there was never an ultimate symbol of the city's new crackdowns until police and city officials showed up on Frenchmen Street to shut down Cree McCree's Mardi Gras Costume Bazaar. Like a float's flat tire on St. Charles Ave., the City enforcers that came upon that flea market held up the revelry, and made us wonder when we could go back to having fun again. The bust also set the table for similar actions on Frenchmen and around the Marigny that continued throughout the year. Are we better for it? Depends on how you interpret McCree's return to costume hawking for Halloween.


  1. Pirate Monkeys Confiscated on Bourbon – Everyone has seen their share of weird stuff during Mardi Gras on Bourbon St. Normally, we shrug our shoulders, laugh, and get on with the next drink. But Joan Newberger's four monkeys who were dressed as pirates caught the eye of state wildlife officials. A court battle ensued, and still we wonder…all this for some $2 pictures?

  2. Yacht Bounce – In the post-Wally World landscape, it seemed putting Bounce to just about anything could succeed. The captain's hat was immediately passed to DJ Tony Skratchere, who put those fast, dirty beats to some of the most soothing stuff a bottle of Zima ever turned out. But the weirdest part of Yacht Bounce was not its existence, but the backlash. Who knew Michael McDonald was still that relevant?

  3. EWE, Unzipped – Though Edwin Edwards' hero's welcome might seem weird to people in other states, we sort of expected that. But an immediate marriage to a woman who could be his granddaughter, endless Facebook updates and reality show talks? As always, EWE made it all look very smooth and natural. Even though the networks seem to have passed on the Silver Zipper for now, we're still surprised he didn't find a way to run for governor again.

  4. As Mardi Gras World Turns – Usually, we don't mind seeing how the sausage is made around here. But when it comes to Mardi Gras, things are apparently better left unseen. Blaine and Barry Kern's feud for control of the company that makes Carnival magic rolled into public view in 2010, but it apparently still has legs going into the New Year. We don't really want to watch another awkward public apology, and rehash of the elder Kern's whatever-number-marriage-this-is. But, as sure as the Bacchausaurus will roll down St. Charles, we probably won't be able to look away.

  5. Ronal Serpas – NOLA's police chief likes to say that the New Orleans Police Department is in the midst of its most aggressive period of improvement – ever. The tone of Ronal Serpas' voice leaves no doubt that it's serious business. But the job apparently also calls on Serpas to turn around and do things that seemingly undercut his steely enforcer vibe, like ride a segway, or describe “girl-on-girl” crimes. At least it's never boring

  6. The Lousiana Dems – Even without Edwin Edwards' triumphant return, Louisiana Democrats make this list easily. The party of Long has succumbed to a serious case of indecision, as they fielded no candidates for the state's top 2 posts, and basically took themselves out of the secretary of state's race. The unfortunate poster (or, bumper sticker) child of this mess is Caroline Fayard, the New Orleans attorney who was kinda maybe thinking about running for all three posts, then ended up sitting out the election altogether. There's a lot of analysis about red states and tea parties that's been done. But the reality is the party probably could have saved themselves a lot of the browbeating if they just sacrificed someone to the Jindal War Chest.

  7. Savage Beasts Stalk the Parishes – We've always had nutria and feral hogs to deal with, but by the end of 2011 coyotes and phantom black panthers were added to the list. Apparently in the market for some new duds, a coyote even made its way Uptown. Animal rights groups threatened to throw a wrench in Newell Normand's unforeseen political goldmine when they pushed a throwback to the frat days of hazing over shooting the buggers with really cool rifles. But the alarms raised by the black panther appear to have stopped that bleeding, for now. As a New Year sure to bring new critters turns over, we have only one question: Will 2012 be the year of the loup garou?

  8. Spoon Goon – In true Ignatius J. Reilly style, antics at the Prytania Theatre reached a fever pitch over the summer when a spoon-toting felon sliced the moviehouse's screen during a screening of the “The Room.” The utensil offense set the table for serious outrage from Theatre management, and a manhunt that has yet to conclude.

  9. Blackbird-pocalypse – The year started with a series of mysterious blackbird deaths, some of which hit Northern Louisiana. We felt the absence of Alfred Hitchcock yet again as the story was not quickly spun off into a horror story. The cause turned out to be fireworks. Let's just hope that a no-fly zone has been declared around New Orleans this weekend.



And that's the way it is.


Occupy the Lot Evicted

By Shay Sokol

CENTRAL CITY – An encampment formed by Occupy NOLA members suffered the same fate as its predecessor in Duncan Plaza earlier today. Today at around 11 a.m., a dozen NOPD officers showed up to start clearing a tract at Calliope and LaSalle Sts., known as Occupy the Lot. NOPD warned campers of the eviction at 9pm last night, when officers handed out eviction notices to those staying at the empty lot.


About 30 young protesters and older homeless-turned-protesters have occupied the lot for the past 10 days, having spent most of their time clearing out the overgrowth. Captain Robert Brady of the 6th District told NoDef the empty lot is owned by the Miro Foundation, which filed a complaint against those camping at the spot. The eviction notice states the Occupiers are in violation of criminal trespassing. Though Brady said NOPD could make arrests, NoDef observed officers standing by supervising the evacuation, ensuring that protesters gather all their belongings and leave peacefully without any conflict thus far.



“It’s going very smoothly,” Brady said.



Nadra “Captain Black” Enzi, a community activist and Occupy protester, pointed to the former Calliope Projects across the street and said, “They’ve got all these ex-felons and drug dealers, but instead these cops are kicking us out.”



Enzi said there are other small Occupy encampments around the city. Though the protesters are occupying other locations throughout the city under the banner of the Occupy movement, they have yet to disclose their location, raising the question of whether the Occupy NOLA movement has become a squatting movement more than a political one. Enzi said protesters are currently occupying a warehouse in the Warehouse District, around the anniversary of when a warehouse in the Bywater burned down with eight young squatters inside on Dec. 28 last year. Enzi said protesters are occupying at least one other location in the Ninth Ward.



Many homeless and traveling kids found a two-month-long safe-haven residence in Duncan Plaza before Judge Lance Africk ruled that occupying a public park is not protected by the First Amendment right to free speech in New Orleans. After NOPD evicted those living in Duncan Plaza on Dec. 6 and Dec. 13, the homeless and traveling kids have been dispersed throughout the city.



NOPD officers of the 6th district handed out contact information to Grace Outreach Center and the Travelers Aid Society, along with the eviction notice today at the lot on LaSalle and Calliope streets.



There will be an emergency General Assembly tonight at 7p.m. in Duncan Plaza. Protesters plan on having their first General Assembly of 2012 on January 3 at 7p.m., hosted by Fair Grinds Coffeehouse.

Saenger Theatre Renovation to Begin in New Year

Basking in the afterglow of the newly-reopened Joy Theater, officials closed financing on the nearby Saenger Theatre yesterday. Partners want to complete the $50 million renovation project by 2013, and will start construction in the New Year. The Saenger was first opened in 1927 at the corner of N. Rampart St. and Canal. The theater remained active as a moviehouse until federal floodwaters silenced the screen and massive pipe organ in 2005.


Renovations will include restoration of all the original architectural elements and the pipe organ. Since the developers want the theater to become a destination for large touring Broadway productions, dance performances and musical acts, they will also expand the stagehouse area, according to the City. 


Financing came from a mix of private investment and disaster recovery money. Private investors included Chase, Chevron, Whitney Bank and Liberty Bank. The closing comes two years after the renovation project was first announced. At that time, officials hoped to reopen the building in 2011.

Today’s Events: 12.30.11

Today, the countdown to the New Year starts a day early as Galactic, Dr. John and Rebirth Brass Band begin two-night stands at some of the city's top clubs. Plus, the Zydepunks roll back into town, and Siberia provides one last 2012 chance to Go Homo! Tonight's the last night you'll lay your head to rest in 2011, so make it count. Click through for details.


9:00 PM Galactic – They're out touring other star systems a lot these days, but for the major NOLA holidays, Galactic always washes up on the shores of the cosmic ocean just in time to entertain the locals. Tonight, the funk-jam outfit is joined by Corey Glover of Living Colour and Rebirth Brass Band's Corey Henry for a very special set at Tip's. Want tickets? Better ask the universe. (Tipitina's Uptown)


9:00 PM Dr. John and the Lower 911 – The New Year would'nt be right without a little Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya, so allow ol' Mac Rebannack to shine some on for ye. Dr. John kicks off a two-night stand in his old French Quarter stomping groundss tonight. (House of Blues)


9:00 Rebirth Brass Band – The best brass band in the land opens up a two-night engagement in the Warehouse District. Do Whatcha Wanna for the New Year. (Howlin' Wolf)


10:00 PM Go Homo! – Big Freedia, Rusty Lazer, Nicky da B and more grace the St. Claude hinterland stage in celebration of all things queer. Throw your hands on the ground, party people. (Siberia)


10:00 PM: Zydepunks and Debauche – The multilingual band that ingeniously combine punk and traditional folk melodies return for a riotous party before the New Year. They're joined by Debauche, the Russian Mafia Band, a quartet that they happen to share a few members with. How convenient! (Hi-Ho Lounge)




French Market Purse Snatcher Caught on Film

On Wednesday, we had a purse snatching in the Quarter, imagine that. But this time, it was all caught on film. NOPD PIO's turned DP's and PA's have released some video. They were also considerate enough to offer the following backstory. (Video and backstory after the jump.)

NOPD, "On Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at about 3:35 P.M., the victim was walking in the rear alley of the French Market when she was approached by a black female in a red sweatshirt with the slogan "Zoo York" written on the front.  The suspect snatched the victim's purse from her shoulder and fled. 

The suspect was accompanied by two black males and a black female who appeared to have been wearing school uniforms."


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Anyone with any information regarding the identity of these suspects is urged to call Crimestoppers at504-822-1111 or email the case Detective, Willie Jenkins at    


LSU Pep Rally

Grand Isle Restaurant (1:00 PM)

Get ready for the big game!


Fleur de Tease

One Eyed Jack's (10:00 PM)

Trixie Minx and co. perform Alice in Burlesqueland


Choi Wolf, Boogie Nazis

Big Top (6:30 PM)

Fast, short hardcore from AZ and here


Gal Holiday

BMC (6:00PM)

Weekly Sun Gig-Take me to the honky tonk.


Hot 8 Brass Band

Howlin' Wolf den (9:00PM)

Weekly Sun Gig-The street beat moves yr feet.


Joe Krown Trio feat. Russell Batiste & Walter "Wolfman" Washington

Maple Leaf Bar (10:00PM)

Weekly Sun Gig- Wolfman hits the other side of Canal. 



Saints v. Lions

Da Dome (7:30 PM)

Playoff time


Krewe of Orpheus' 13th Night

Generations Hall (8:00 PM)

Lundi Gras Superkrewe kicks off Carnival. $55/person



Battle of New Orleans Anniversary

Chalmette Battlefield (All Day)

Re-enactments, cannon fire and maybe an appearance from the pirate Jean Lafitte


Taint Modern

Big Top (6:00 PM)

16 artists open a truly collaborative exhibit.


New Play Bacchanal

All Day (Southern Rep)

New Theatre til you drop!


Rick Wetson and Colin Lake

Spotted Cat (3:00 PM)

Start the night in the afternoon on Frenchmen


Cedric Watson et Bijou Creole

Chickie Wah Wah (10:00 PM)

One of Cajun music's rising stars on Canal


Davis Rogan Band

Spotted Cat (10:00 PM)

The real Davis takes it all in stride


J Monque'D

Banks Street Bar (10:00 PM)

Blues on Banks


Ike Stubblefield, Herlin Riley and June Yamagishi

Blue Nile (11:00 PM)

Get in the moog 


Friends of the New Orleans Public Library Book Sale

Latter Library Carriage House (10:00AM-2:00PM)

Weekly Sat Gig- bi-weekly sale on St. Charles.


Weswego Farmers & Fisheries Market

484 Sala Ave (8:30AM-12:30PM)

Weekly Sat Gig- produce, baked goods, pony rides (!) seafood, live tunes, and more.


Sankofa Farmers Market

5500 St Claude (10:00AM-2:00PM)

Weekly Sat Gig- rain or shine: local produce and seafood on the old Good Children strip.


Twelfth Night

Phunny Phorty Phellows

St. Charles Streetcar (7:00 PM)

Carnival kickoff, live from the streetcar


Krewe d'Jeanne d'Arc

Joan of Arc Statue (6:00 PM)

St. Joan's 600th Birthday marked with a Quarter parade



Al "Carnival Time" Johnson

Buffa's Lounge (8:00 PM)

It's Carnival Time, so Big Al's moment has arrived


New Play Bacchanal

Southern Rep (6, 8:30 PM)

Clarke Peters and Yolanda Ross of Treme read "Heal Me Television," MERIT performed




Battle of New Orleans Anniversary

Chalmette Battlefield (All Day)

Re-enactments, cannon fire and maybe an appearance from the pirate Jean Lafitte


Punk at the Big Top

Big Top (6:30 PM)

The Rooks, Small Bones, Max Levine Ensemble (DC), and more!


Live and Let Die: A Symphonic Tribute to Paul McCartney

Mahalia Jackson Theatre (8:00 PM)

The baby-faced Beatle, arranged for orchestra


I Used to Love H.E.R. Hip-Hop Extravaganza

Hi Ho Lounge (10:00 PM)

Ronny My, Copper Top, Wonder Rhymer and more locals!


Marketplace at Armstrong Park

Armstrong Park (3:00PM-6:00PM)

Weekly Fri Gig- Take advantage of activity at Armstrong.


Where Y'art

NOMA (5:30PM-8:00PM)

Weekly Fri Gig- music, film, live performance, and more for you and the fam.


Burrito Juke Joint

915 N. Dupre (6:00PM-12:00AM)

Weekly Fri Gig- Yard livin'- drink, spirits, people, food truck vibe from a Mid-City tribe.


Burlesque Ballroom

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse (11:50PM)

Weekly Fri Gig- Get your Trixie Minx!


Free Food Funk n Crunk Friday feat. DJ Justin

Handsome Willy's (5:00PM)

Weekly Fri Gig- outdoor bites and beats.


DJ Montegut

Yuki (10:00PM)

Weekly Fri Gig- A break from Frenchmen (on Frenchmen).


Throwback Fridays

Republic (10:00PM)

Weekly Fri Gig- Dance through the decades.