[Dixielandjazz] Uncaring city councils
TCASHWIGG at aol.com
TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Sun Oct 10 15:39:11 PDT 2004
You are correct again John.
I was in New Orleans again for the French Quarter Festival this year, and the
quarter is exactly as you described it, Preservation Hall is a bad joke as a
tourist attraction, and the folks who run and operate it should be run out of
town on a rail. It is no more than a cash cow for them to pretend to be a
Jazz Preservation society. They still treat the musicians who play there about
the same and pay them about the same as they did in the beginning.
On the upside however they still only charge $2.50 a person to get in, which
while it is not expensive is no bargain either. The band could make more
money playing on the sidewalk out front of the joint and have a bigger audience as
well and make more in tips than they get paid to play for the Hall.
No drinks, no toilet, one or two light bulbs, and certainly not the ambiance
or atmosphere that it had in the beginning, which may not have been much more,
but at least the place was clean and painted.
The Quarter has indeed turned into a very seedy neighborhood and only a few
places have been renovated and upclassed to make it more attractive for tourist
to come there and dine in a restaurant that does not reek of sour beer and
urine odors wafting up from the floor and blowing in from the street outside.
San Francisco's famous North Beach Section which is adjacent to what once was
the Barbary Coast has suffered pretty much the same fate, where the once
famous Jazz clubs like Basin Street West, Jazz Workshop, El Matador, The Hungary
Eye, Enrico's, El Cid, Off Broadway, The Village , and the once great Comedy
Club "The Purple Onion" and the First Class Las Vegas style show Supper Club
Today most of them are sleazy topless joints, with only Bimbo's and Enrico's
remaining as classy places. The El Matador and the Jazz Workshop are now
billiard rooms and video game machines joints.
The Fillmore district is trying to revitalize a Jazz scene again.
The City of Oakland remains a blight and a very bad sad case of total
abandonment of it's once great vital Blues music scene, and the legendary Slim
Jenkins nightclub that every major star performed at on seventh street is gone. The
Continental Club is still the best nightclub in Oakland, but in such a bad
neighborhood that no one goes there anymore, not even the local residents. Some
folks are trying to revive the Old Sweets Ballroom, but not much is
The city dumped a couple of million dollars into Yoshi's Jazz club in Jack
London Square still the only decent reasonably safe area to walk around in after
dark, and they have been renovating that area for many years and trying to
attract businesses but the rents are too high and the pedestrian traffic to low
for anyone substantial to take a risk of gong into business down there. It is
very slowly getting better as they continue to build new housing around the
area of the Square, but it will be some years before anything substantial will
happen due to the lack of job opportunities in the city and the overall
It is often too little too late when the city planning and redevelopment
folks get around to doing anything.
"They tore down Paradise and put up a parking lot"
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