Thursday, September 11, 2014

What if Camp Calliope showed its Green Wave spirit?

By all accounts last weekend was a sparkling success for fans and neighbors (really more neighbors than fans) of the Tulane football program.  According to Uptown Messenger, the campus and immediate vicinity were transformed into small festival.
The university was successful in coaxing the majority of the game-day mania onto campus, where the main quads designated as official tailgating zones were brimming with Green Wave fans partying under tents with tables laid with all kinds of grilled food, tossing bean bags while bands played on a small stage.

The closest residential street to the stadium, Audubon Boulevard, was the center of much of the opposition to the stadium when it was first announced, but it was largely quiet on Saturday, perhaps even moreso than usual. Tulane fans walked in small groups down the sidewalk toward Willow Street, but virtually no traffic passed on Audubon, where printed signs politely “reminded” against tailgating in the neutral ground.

The corner of Hickory Street and Audubon Boulevard, where the edge of Yulman Stadium rises over the rooftops, had a dozen or so residents and their guests sitting in lawn chairs and grilling on the front porch. The residents — many of whom had moved onto Audubon Boulevard within the last year or so — were pleased with the way the first game unfolded.

“We’re excited about the stadium, but the construction process was tough,” said Audubon Boulevard homeowner Christian Chauvin.

The boulevard was only accessible to residents or their guests with parking passes, with police and parking attendants posted at each entrance to it, in keeping with a promise university officials had made to residents before construction began.

“It’s actually nicer on this street with the game going on,” said Madelaine Feldman, a guest at the gathering near Chauvin’s house.
They put of a few tents, obstructed a few rights of way, pretty much moved their living situations out into the street and had a great time of it.

So why does the city want to shut down all the fun?
The clock is ticking for the residents of a homeless encampment under the Pontchartrain Expressway to pack up their tents and other items.

Hours after homeless advocates held a press conference denouncing Mayor Landrieu and the New Orleans City Council for passing an ordinance last week making such tent cities illegal, a sign taped on an expressway pillar in front of a collection of tents warned of a 72-hour deadline to remove "obstructions" such as tents, tarps, couches and mattresses from the area.

"I really don't have an idea where I'll go," Juston Winfield said Wednesday night (Sept. 10) outside the tent he's been living in for the last month or so under the expressway at Calliope and Camp streets.

Winfield said he saw the sign go up around 7:30 p.m. He and others of the camp,which they dubbed "Camp Jesus Christ," previously lived in a larger camp under the bridge between South Claiborne and St. Charles avenues. The city cleared that camp on Aug. 14, sending its residents either to local shelters or - like Winfield - further toward the river.

"Anywhere I go in this city, I'm breaking the law," he said, just steps from the sign that read, in part: "Any object that obstructs a public place or right of way is prohibited under the law."

"We're breaking the law right now, just standing here," he said.
On the other hand, last weekend's activities suggest that "just standing there" in anticipation of a Tulane football game might be some sort of exception to the law.  So here's what we should do.

I spent a little time fumbling around the Tulane athletic department's "official store."   I can't find any tents with the school logo on them.  That was kind of a surprise to me but I guess they are pretty new to this tailgating business over there.  If you know where I can find a Tulane tent please send that on.

In the meantime, though, you can get these car window flags for only $13.95  a piece.

Here's a lawn chair for $32.98

Maybe throw in a few of these folding tables and garden flags. Then we'll set all that stuff up under the overpass. Suddenly we'll have transformed an unlawful obstruction back into a pleasant tailgate. Is it okay if we bring our own keg?

1 comment:

Clay said...

The athletic department at Tulane can't tie its own shoelaces sometimes. Until just 2 years ago,you couldn't buy tickets online. They then shut down online ticket sales 72 hours before kickoff. So much for wanting to go at the last minute (except for the fact that just walking around the Dome dressed in green would get tickets shoved in your hand for free).

The game had some small snafus. They ran low on water and the Lakeside concourse was a traffic jam.

My main disappointment was they didn't QUITE sell out the Georgia Tech game. It was over 20,000 butts in seats, but this "total 30,000 sellout" is bullshit. Nope. Didn't happen. I was there.