Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Get off my property," says owner of New Orleans public park

Following my parklet review last week, I had the following email exchange with either the Bywater Neighborhood Association (BNA) or St. Claude Main Street (SCMS), two entities which seem to operate in tandem.

[My confusion was fostered by the BNA's forwarding me SCMS's email to my neighbor, in response to his initial letter of inquiry regarding parklet maintenance. Then the SCMS president emailed me back, CC'ing a number of unidentified people. I wasn't really sure who all was involved in this correspondence, but it fits the history of SCMS' holding secret meetings about the parklet.]

Anyway, here are the emails:

SCMS to my neighbors: You're welcome for the parklet!

Me to SCMS: Again, wtf parklet?

SCMS to Arielle: La la la la

Me to SCMS: I can tell you don't like me & also that you're full of shit

Neighbor to SCMS: Wait, why do we need to fix your mess?

Chris and I haven't received any responses to our last emails.

As it turns out, the reason why nobody's been to the parklet since the police raid is because a good number of people is now banned from it:

Three cop cars responded within minutes after a neighbor called the police on a drunken fight at the parklet last Tuesday (which is crazy, considering it took over 40 minutes for them to respond to a car crash I witnessed in the middle of St. Claude at Congress this afternoon!).

At the parklet, officers detained several people and ran their names through a warrant check.

I talked to one guy who went to court last week over the incident; he told me that 12 of his friends were issued citations and stay-away orders from the premises.

He reported that on Tuesday afternoon, Maurice had encouraged the group to enjoy the parklet, even thanking one person for clearing out some debris from the lot. However, when the police materialized several minutes later, Maurice was heard telling the officers that the people were trespassing on his private property.

So which is it, St. Claude Main Street? Public park or vanity real estate project?

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