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Goner Message Board / ???? / Harry Anderson leaving NOLA...
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 5:58 am
 
NY Times....

For Harry Anderson, the New Orleans Magic Is Gone

By JOHN SCHWARTZ
NEW ORLEANS In New Orleans these days, even a magician can run out of tricks.

Harry Anderson, the illusionist, comic and former star of sitcoms like "Night Court" and "Dave's World," has lived in New Orleans since 2000, when he left Hollywood with his wife, the former Elizabeth Morgan. They rode out Hurricane Katrina in the French Quarter, in the building that houses Oswald's Speakeasy, Mr. Anderson's nightclub. Their home, whose ground floor was given over to Sideshow, their magic and curiosity shop, was in another building in the Quarter.

In the weeks after the storm, even before the power was back, Mr. Anderson opened his club for what he called French Quarter Town Hall meetings. The weekly gatherings, which at first offered little more than camaraderie by candlelight and warm beer, evolved into a de facto government for a part of New Orleans that had experienced little flooding but could not begin cleanup and rebuilding because of the city's overall paralysis.

The meetings drew officials from the city, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers all of whom were given an earful and bit by bit, things improved. Many locals, in fact, gave Mr. Anderson a lot of credit for kick-starting the Quarter's recovery.

So it is especially poignant that the Andersons have now decided to leave. But their story is not unique: many in this city are suffering the same continuing loss and strain that led these two to their decision. So their departure raises the question of whether others who can afford to leave, those who have not sunk every penny into a now-moldy house or a devastated store, will also move on.

Over dinner with a journalist recently at Irene's, one of their favorite restaurants in the Quarter, the Andersons talked about their decision.

One reason they were leaving, they said, was that the tourists were few and even fewer were coming to see "Wise Guy," Mr. Anderson's engaging one-man show at Oswald's. "I had more people in my car last night," he said to his piano player during a performance in May.

More significantly, Mr. Anderson said, he and his wife had become captives of the depression that grips many in the damaged city. "Elizabeth is by nature kind of an agoraphobe," Harry said, looking across the table. After the beginning of the year, as the city's ordeal ground on, she became increasingly withdrawn and unwilling to leave the house. A bad sign, he said, was "when she had groceries delivered from a couple of blocks away."

"It was an empty time," Ms. Anderson recalled. "I was getting farther and farther away from other people, and happiness." She would go downstairs to open their shop each day, she said, "but the passion for it was gone."

This spring, the local power company, Entergy, which is in bankruptcy and has instituted rate increases that have mystified many residents, sent a $900 bill for an apartment in the club building that had no electricity. (Later a monthly electric bill for a small shop space that had been shut up with the lights off came to $7,339.)

The city tried to more than double their $17,000-a-year property taxes. A lawyer had the amount reduced, but "that just meant that the lawyer got the money instead of the city," Mr. Anderson said. Then, in May, there was a repeat of an attack that had occurred more than a year before, when a stranger had approached Mr. Anderson, slammed his face into the side of a building and cursed him, saying, "You killed the Matador." That was the name of the bar he had replaced with Oswald's.

But it was the recent mayoral election, Mr. Anderson said, "that was the nail in the coffin."

The re-election of C. Ray Nagin, whom Mr. Anderson holds largely responsible for New Orleans's drift since the hurricane, came as a shock. The Sunday after the May 20 election, he said, he walked the streets of the Quarter, angry with a result that "pulled the rug out from any hope of" change for the better.

"This city hasn't evolved," Mr. Anderson said. "I just feel this place is stuck on stupid."

A few weeks later, he sat down with his laptop and began trolling Google for cities he thought he would like. One of the places that popped up was a town he had seen and liked years before: Asheville, N.C. (elevation: 2,133 feet).

At first, the Andersons told themselves they would visit just to see if they could find an "evacuation house." They wanted, Ms. Anderson said, "some option or choice" that would give them a measure of control over their lives.

Late in April, they drove 11 hours to Asheville, looked at three houses on the same street and, the same day, bought the third one. "As soon as we had it, it was almost a given, before we expressed it, that we were leaving," Mr. Anderson said.

Almost immediately, they decided to sell their New Orleans properties, and to their surprise found that the city is in the middle of a speculative real estate boomlet.

"We had no idea anybody was going to be buying anything," Ms. Anderson said, adding that they were also ambivalent about trying to hold out for the best possible deal in a city where so many people were struggling.

They sold their home within a week for a bit more than they paid, but a deal to sell the club fell through, and it is back on the market.

With the die cast, the Andersons began to feel more strongly a doubt that had plagued them for some time: that while they had chosen New Orleans as a home, the famously insular city had never really accepted them. Even after he started the town hall meetings, Mr. Anderson recalled, people would thank him "for helping my city," never "our city."

Now, he added, they will say, "How can you do this to my city?"

Mr. Anderson said friends and relatives from out of town are happy to hear that they are moving. "It's been a universal response from people who aren't here," he said.

Their New Orleans friends, too, have been supportive, Ms. Anderson said, and no one has expressed hostility. "I feel a little bit better now because I feel something is going to happen," Ms. Anderson said. "I'm glad we tried to stay, but I don't want to be the person I will be if I stay here."

Later that night, after dinner, a quiet walk through the streets of the Quarter and a parting handshake, Mr. Anderson called to make one thing clear: being assaulted was not the trigger for the move.

"I don't want people to think somebody pushed me, so I took my marbles and I went home," he said. "We love this place."
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 7:02 am
 
What next???
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 7:36 am
 
Sad business.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 3:03 pm
 
I bet Moose could hack it down here.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 4:23 pm | Edited by: Schooley
 
My friend Aubrey was down there taking photos.

http://www.aubreyedwards.com/nola.html

Sad business, indeed.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 4:34 pm
 
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 4:55 pm
 
I bet Moose could hack it down here.

I think you mean Bull.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 5:01 pm
 
And fuck yeah he could.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 5:35 pm
 
yeah, that's right...bull.

that show kinda sucked anyway. which show had moose?
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 5:45 pm
 
Wasn't there a Nickelodeon show with a chick named Moose?
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 5:48 pm
 
Please comment on ths article, people of New Orleans...personally, it would piss me off a little. They lived there for only 6 years and vaguely complain that no one ever "fully accepted" them or something and then to whine about it to the NY Times? Lame.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 5:54 pm
 
Oh yeah....You Can't Do That On Television.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 6:12 pm
 
moose was on coach
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 6:16 pm
 
Moose and Bull as detectives in NOLA. Now THAT'S a sitcom.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 6:17 pm
 
moose was on coach

Naw, that was Dobber.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 6:19 pm
 
Pam Dobber? Naw, she was in Mork and Mindy.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 6:26 pm
 
Ha! "Mork calling Orson, come in, Orson." I think Mindy's dad was gay.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 6:27 pm | Edited by: Theresa K
 
Moose and Bull

i thought it was Moose and Squirrel?
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 6:39 pm
 
are you sure you aren't thinking of police chief moose from the good old days of the D.C. sniper?
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 6:40 pm
 
I used to have a crush on Harry Anderson.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 6:47 pm
 
He is a poor man's Michael Moriarty.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 6:51 pm
 
I think he seems like a decent feller. I feel bad for him.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 6:55 pm
 
I can't figure it out--I think he means well but it is a bit sad to think that towns/cities owe it to you to roll out the carpet and embrace you in a way that only you can define, esp. a place like NOLA and esp. right now. I don't know it seemed pretty much like a public whinefest, akin to my own bullshit about Portland (except in a much more public forum)!!!
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 6:57 pm
 
Please comment on ths article, people of New Orleans...personally, it would piss me off a little. They lived there for only 6 years and vaguely complain that no one ever "fully accepted" them or something and then to whine about it to the NY Times? Lame.

Actually Harry Anderson lived in NOLA for a while before he became "famous" back in the 70's......

I never minded him, in fact I once tried to see his show, albeit for free...
Idiots that blame him for the Matador's demise should talk to Rio's dad and not blame Harry Anderson....

No one, especially now, should play the whole "I'm more a New Orleanian than you are" game....locals never did that, it's pointless in a historically port city who had people come and go like the tides for centuries....
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 6:59 pm
 
i figure this is in the NYTimes because its Katrina anniversary time and everyone's looking for the human interest stories to tell

i don't care one way or the other for harry anderson (although magicians and illusionists are gay in my book), but i do understand his frustration after opening his doors/home/shop to everyone to use as a "town hall" and then still being regarded as an outsider

sure, he'd only been there 5 years at the time, but still... i can understand that he was thinking the place was his new "home." its tough to not be accepted... but on the other hand, its like high school, so i say, "harry - shit happens. you can't be the most popular kid on campus no matter how many nice things you do for the cheerleaders and the jocks."
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 7:03 pm
 
i had no idea he had lived in the city before - and basically had moved back...
well....
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 7:07 pm
 
sure, he'd only been there 5 years at the time, but still... i can understand that he was thinking the place was his new "home." its tough to not be accepted... but on the other hand, its like high school, so i say, "harry - shit happens. you can't be the most popular kid on campus no matter how many nice things you do for the cheerleaders and the jocks."


My point precisely. This is not a time where people's best manners are displayed, I am sure. I know when I get frazzled by my job, I am definitely not as diplomatic and gracious as I can be. Asheville is much more "clean and proper" and not prone to natural disasters and honestly, very welcoming of outsiders, esp. those with money and a modicum of fame. I am sure he and his wife will love it.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 8:52 pm
 
They lived there for only 6 years and vaguely complain that no one ever "fully accepted" them or something and then to whine about it to the NY Times?

I lived there for a couple of years in the early 1990's and was treated with amazing hospitality from black and white locals alike that barely knew me. I had nobody to vouch for me, either. I don't know when the city changed or how long you're supposed to live there before you have a valid opinion on something as nebulous as "feeling welcomed", but I noticed what Harry Anderson was talking about in extended visits over the last 3 years. It's gotten worse since Katrina with all the imported labor.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 8:59 pm
 
That kind of thing can and does happen anywhere, not just New Orleans, you know? I was always treated during extended visits with the same sort of hospitality you refer to (yeah, I had some friends with me, but whatever) to the point where we were just about to pack up and move before Katrina.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 8:59 pm
 
Marsha Warfield had a big ol butt, I'd fucker her.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 9:03 pm
 
I think I had one of my earliest masturbatory fantasies about Markie Post.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 9:06 pm
 
I think I had one of my earliest masturbatory fantasies about Markie Post.

I'm pretty sure mine started with Erin Gray from Buck Rogers. Go, satin jumpsuit. Go, indeed...
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 9:13 pm | Edited by: Womb Raider
 
I lived there for a couple of years in the early 1990's and was treated with amazing hospitality from black and white locals alike that barely knew me. I had nobody to vouch for me, either. I don't know when the city changed or how long you're supposed to live there before you have a valid opinion on something as nebulous as "feeling welcomed", but I noticed what Harry Anderson was talking about in extended visits over the last 3 years. It's gotten worse since Katrina with all the imported labor.

I think locals are fine with you until you try to change things, and Harry Anderson was trying to change things. People here aren't too fond of Hollywood types moving in and trying to better the city. Imported naive do-gooders usually don't last too long here, they burn out rather quickly.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 9:29 pm
 
People here aren't too fond of Hollywood types moving in and trying to better the city.

Asheville should respond much better to his kind...we were there last month and that Downtown has gotten so chichi it is ridiculous. I personally think Asheville has very little soul, but to each their own. I like the mountains outside of Asheville a lot but the city/town is eh...a little too precious.
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 9:37 pm
 
Imported naive do-gooders usually don't last too long here,

they don't last too long anywhere
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 9:45 pm
 
"This city hasn't evolved," Mr. Anderson said. "I just feel this place is stuck on stupid."

What a fucking dick. He doesn't get it. Good riddance, bitch!
Posted: Aug 30, 2006 9:55 pm
 
Even if that shit was true, hearing it from some 2 bit magician TV has-been is entirely unwarranted and dare I say, RUDER THAN FUCK.
Posted: Aug 31, 2006 5:18 am
 
I bet Moose could hack it down here

Wasn't Moose that jock football player in Archie comics?
Posted: Aug 31, 2006 6:18 am | Edited by: Jason
 
"This city hasn't evolved," Mr. Anderson said. "I just feel this place is stuck on stupid."

there is truth in this statement.

he just never earned the right to have this opinion. hiding out in the house having groceries delivered??? I'd have whipped her with a sack of Zip bread.

most native New Orleanians will adopt anyone as their own who has the right attitude. fact is, folks here have very finely tuned douchebag detectors. if you are a mark here or an outsider oppurtunist, the hustlers can smell your fear and you will be a victim.

remember this city has been a fuck/barf/piss/shit and leave town for 300 years. america is the john and NOLA is the whore.

so many hollywood a-holes come and set up shop here after a few visits and want to enjoy all the benefits of our relaxed "culture" without sacrificing anything and paying their dues. "relaxed" means relaxed citizens as well as police officers, civil servants,the criminal justice system.

Me to them: NOLA is not Aspen you fucks.

If you require gated community living, a stable economy, waiting in line for less than 30 minutes at a grocery store to check out, and more than three hospitals look elsewhere.

p.s. magic is fake and gay
Posted: Aug 31, 2006 6:25 am
 
JASON FOR MAYOR!
Posted: Aug 31, 2006 8:12 am
 
"This city hasn't evolved," Mr. Anderson said. "I just feel this place is stuck on stupid."

I could have told him that 20 years ago.....

I'm pretty sure mine started with Erin Gray from Buck Rogers. Go, satin jumpsuit. Go, indeed...

Yes Indeed!
Posted: Aug 31, 2006 8:14 am
 
If you require gated community living, a stable economy, waiting in line for less than 30 minutes at a grocery store to check out, and more than three hospitals look elsewhere.

...or murder rates<unemployment rates....

p.s. magic is fake and gay

Dats da trute!
Posted: Sep 1, 2006 9:27 pm
 
Well, Harry and depressed grocery-ordering wife leave and...

Pitt, Jolie to be 'spending a lot of time' in N.O.


NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) -- As residents work to rebuild their lives and homes a year after Hurricane Katrina, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will be frequent visitors to the city observing the progress.

They were in New Orleans on Thursday, though only Pitt appeared at an afternoon news conference to announce the winner of the design competition he started in April to rebuild hurricane-ravaged neighborhoods using environmentally friendly designs and construction.

"We're going to be spending a lot of time down here," Pitt said.

Preproduction for his next movie is scheduled to begin in November, and Pitt said he would be in New Orleans for much of January and February for filming.

Around that time, he also hoped to break ground on the first phase of the neighborhood redevelopment project slated for a section of the devastated Ninth Ward, he said.

The winning plan was submitted by Matthew Berman and Andrew Kotchen of Workshop APD in New York. It includes designs for six single-family housing units, 12 multifamily units, a community center and play area, and a pedestrian bridge leading from the neighborhood to the top of the levee.

Pitt said the goal is to replicate the project in other parts of the city.

The designs had to pass certain standards to account for future emergencies and they incorporated architectural influences found in many New Orleans homes, such as gabled rooftops over windows and doors.

Pitt headed the jury of architects, city residents and others who decided on the top designs that use energy-saving materials such as metal roofing and recycled textiles. More than 100 individuals and architect firms submitted designs for the competition. Six finalists were announced in July, when Pitt got his first up-close look at the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina.

Pitt said Thursday he's still appalled -- embarrassed even -- that people in many New Orleans neighborhoods cannot return because of the lack of basic services like hospitals and schools.

"This is a social justice issue," he said. "In a catastrophe, you help the most vulnerable first, and we failed to do that."

Pam Dashiell, a Ninth Ward resident who served on the committee that judged the designs, sat beside Pitt at the news conference. She said the rebuilding plan will likely urge residents to come back home.

"It's the first real redevelopment project in the Ninth Ward," she said. "This is hope."

Matt Petersen, president and CEO of Global Green USA, the national environmental organization working with Pitt on the project, said 50,000 homes rebuilt according to the energy cost reduction goals in the competition could save residents as much as $50 million.

Pitt initially contributed $100,000 to help underwrite the contest. It was announced Thursday that he contributed another $100,000 to help cover prize money. The winning team will get $75,000 and two others -- Fred Schwartz of Schwartz Architects in New York and Steve Dumez of Esckew-Dumez-Ripple in New Orleans -- will receive $7,500 and certificates of excellence.
Posted: Sep 1, 2006 10:01 pm
 
Around that time, he also hoped to break ground on the first phase of the neighborhood redevelopment project slated for a section of the devastated Ninth Ward, he said.

there goes the neighborhood

sure, i'm being snarky. but i don't know what i think of this.

but i do agree with: "This is a social justice issue," he said. "In a catastrophe, you help the most vulnerable first, and we failed to do that."
Posted: Sep 1, 2006 10:20 pm
 
I can't recall if I read about all this in Dwell or NY Times, but one of the developments was awesome--the houses were on floatation tanks or something that could rise and fall with water. I don't know if it won or not but apparently it was based on designs they use in Northern Europe.
Posted: Sep 1, 2006 10:24 pm
 
based on designs they use in Northern Europe.

i really liked the parts in the SPike Lee NOLA doc where the Dutch guy who was at Tulane or wherever was talking about how in the Netherlands, the government found a way where the city and its canals could be prepared to respond to flooding and storms
Posted: Sep 1, 2006 10:25 pm
 
If you built a house on floats, wouldn't it float away when it flooded?
Posted: Sep 1, 2006 10:27 pm
 
I think they figured that part out, but not being an engineer, I could not explain it to you.
Posted: Sep 3, 2006 3:28 am
 
Around that time, he also hoped to break ground on the first phase of the neighborhood redevelopment project slated for a section of the devastated Ninth Ward, he said.

there goes the neighborhood


What are you talking about? What neighborhood? It's destroyed. I think people would rather have homes than trailers.

not being an engineer, I could not explain it to you.

I'm an engineer and a navel architect at that, I don't think you would have a problem tethering the house but I don't think the floating home would be practical/economical nor would you be able to ensure the floatworthiness over the 50 years between floodings. Maybe a good idea in a place that floods more often than New Orleans but usually people don't build in places that flood so easily/often.
Posted: Sep 3, 2006 3:35 am
 
such as gabled rooftops over windows and doors

What does this mean?

navel architect
You design belly buttons?
Posted: Sep 3, 2006 4:31 am
 
Maybe a good idea in a place that floods more often than New Orleans but usually people don't build in places that flood so easily/often.

These were built in an area that floods at least every other year, so it made more sense.
Posted: Sep 3, 2006 5:36 am
 
Around that time, he also hoped to break ground on the first phase of the neighborhood redevelopment project slated for a section of the devastated Ninth Ward, he said.

there goes the neighborhood

What are you talking about?



it was a joke that totally did not translate on the interweb... clearly.
you know --- movie stars coming in.... "there goes the neighborhood." supposed to be ironic. sorry. i am no comedian
Posted: Sep 3, 2006 9:30 am
 
Meanwhile, Dan is still living in NOLA, working as a defense lawyer, and drinking every night. On his way to a hearing, he sees a woman walk buy in a skirt, bites his knuckles, says "fuck it", and follows her into a restaraunt.
Posted: Sep 3, 2006 9:31 am
 
actually I think John Larroquette really IS from NO.
Posted: Sep 3, 2006 3:00 pm
 
i think theres something very opportunistic about out-of-towners cruising down there to play photojournalist when theres actual work to be done.
harry anderson is an opportunist, himself, and an unsuccessful one at that.
shame on all of em.
cept brad bitt and others who are just trying to make things right.
Posted: Sep 3, 2006 3:10 pm
 
actually I think John Larroquette really IS from NO.

He is. A friend of mines uncle and he were good friends and fellow actors, Laroquette travel out to LA to "make it" and my friends uncle stayed home. According to her, Laroquette used to call him up during his tenure on Night Court and laugh into the phone.

These were built in an area that floods at least every other year, so it made more sense.

Sorry, I didn't read the preceding stuff. NOLA has some flooding every year, maybe even 2 or 3 feet of water, but they dealt with this by building houses that were on foundations raised 2 or 3 feet off the ground.

Still, I think that floating houses would require more maintenance than most New Orleanians are prepared to afford. Shit, you should see some of the janky repairs people do on their roofs.

movie stars coming in....

The fact that they were already there (some chick from 24 bought our vets house for $200,000 more than he paid for it) is probably the reason that Pitt, et al. are helping out so much.
Posted: Sep 3, 2006 3:52 pm
 
Still, I think that floating houses would require more maintenance than most New Orleanians are prepared to afford. Shit, you should see some of the janky repairs people do on their roofs.

Yeah, we are talking the Netherlands here and the places I saw were fucking gorgeous actually. Like living on Quincy's houseboat except brought up to to the 2000's.
Posted: Sep 3, 2006 4:02 pm
 
Quincy's houseboat except brought up to to the 2000's

The Ladies Man's houseboat?
Posted: Sep 3, 2006 4:07 pm
 
Tim Meadows'?

Lemme do an internet search.
Posted: Sep 3, 2006 4:28 pm
 
Tim Meadows'?

Every time I hear a left coaster profess ignorance of a former Saturday Night Live cast members solo efforts, I am filled with disgust over the snobbery that divides this nation.
Posted: Sep 3, 2006 4:42 pm
 
Ya know, it is that whole Red State vs Blue State problem, man.

(In all seriousness, it being a time zone sleepiness issue. It was 8 AM when I had to think back into the early 00's, my red state pal. I love Tim Meadows...I was thrown into a nostalgic wave when I saw his last role as the local politician Steve Carrell was courting at Applebee's on The Office)
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