[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.

Musical content:

"They tore down Paradise and put up a parking lot"


Tom Wiggins

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