Are Soundscapes the Key to Better Sound Management in New Orleans?

Last December, David Woolworth of Roland, Woolworth & Associates organized “A Workshop on Sound for New Orleans.” The city hired Woolworth as an acoustic expert when City Council considered updating the noise ordinance in 2014. A soundwalk he led on Bourbon Street late one afternoon illustrated the simplistic nature of the proposed solution as many Bourbon Street venues violated the proposed decibel threshhold before the crowd arrived and the street got genuinely loud.

Brian Boyles Documents New Orleans' Super Bowl Boom

Brian Boyles' New Orleans Boom and Blackout: One Hundred Days in America's Coolest Hotspot examines the new New Orleans through the lens of the city's preparation for the Super Bowl 2012. His account examines the complicated interaction between government, monied interests, culture and the city and does so with a light but determined touch. Boyles lets people talks words and actions shape how we feel about them, but he doesn't let anybody off the hook. 

The Better Question

Recently, C.W. Cannon wrote at The Lens:

We need to accept that the explosive downtown cultural renaissance that Frenchmen Street presides over is the result of a romantic vision of what New Orleans should be, more than a continuation of how it has been. Frenchmen Street represents a recreation of New Orleans in a particular version of its own image. Change, yes, shaped by myth. 

Just days before, a family member of a French Quarter T-shirt shop owner wrote me, saying

More = Better?

Tuesday I received a press release trumpeting the success of New Orleans in attracting tourists, and it’s hard not to look at the announcement without at least a twinge of uneasiness. According to the study, New Orleans had 9.28 million visitors last year, and to the extent that the number represents money coming into the city, that’s a good thing.

Current Noise Ordinance Withdrawn, to be Refocused

[Updated] The controversial sound ordinance that was introduced to City Council December 19 was slated for public debate tomorrow before the Housing and Human Needs Committee. Opponents feared that the lower decibel levels that it proposed, along with the further sound reduction that would have accompanied changes in where and how sound was measured, would harm the New Orleans music community. 

Bourbon Street Wants to Lead the Noise Fight?

The revised sound ordinance will be discussed by City Council’s Housing and Human Needs Committee Friday at noon in Council Chambers at City Hall, so everybody’s doing what they can to pre-tilt the scales. The most ironic effort comes from a coalition of Bourbon Street and French Quarter business owners, who sent a letter to Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell last week asking her to oppose the revised ordinance. It says in part:

Last Night: Imagine Dragons in the French Quarter

The Allstate Sugar Bowl isn't quite the spectacle that last January's Super Bowl was, but it comes with its own spectacle and hoopla. That included a concert on New Year's Eve by O.A.R. for fans of Alabama and Oklahoma who came to New Orleans early, and Imagine Dragons, who played the Allstate Fan Fest in the Jax Brewery parking lot Wednesday night. Althought the show was in conjunction with the Sugar Bowl, many fans were there just for the band. As one person wrote on Twitter, "When Dan Reynolds asked who would win the sugar bowl, I yelled 'who cares'."

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