Category Archives: New Orleans

Obituary: Greg Peters, 50; Louisiana political cartoonist

 An obituary for Greg Peters is in Gambit, a New Orleans publication that he contributed political cartoons to. I knew him from high school in Marquette (from debate and High School Bowl) and hadn’t stayed in touch for years, so this was a bit of a shock.

Bottom, from left: Tom Baldini (coach), me (alternate), Greg Peters, Joel White, Kerry Johnson, Mike Coyne, David Goldsmith (host). “Nothing you learn is ever wasted.”

The obit as published in

Cartoonist and writer Greg Peters died Friday morning, Aug. 2, after emergency surgery at Ochsner Medical Center. Mr. Peters, who had suffered from a congenital heart condition throughout his life, was 50 years old.

Born in Marquette, Mich., Peters arrived in Louisiana in 1990 to pursue a doctorate in English literature at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He became best known as the creator of “Suspect Device,” a starkly crafted, blackly funny Louisiana-themed political comic strip that made its debut in 1996, in the Times of Acadiana, and ran in New Orleans’ Gambit Weekly from 1999 to 2010. “Suspect Device” famously pulled no punches: In 1998, editor Harris Meyer resigned from the Times of Acadiana, when the paper’s publisher refused to run one of Mr. Peters’ strips.

“Suspect Device” was recognized with awards from the Press Club of New Orleans and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, and in 2004 was anthologized in “Attitude 2: The New Subversive Alternative Cartoonists.” Mr. Peters’ work was displayed in exhibitions in conjunction with the book at New York City’s Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art.

Greg Peters was “one of the few alternative weekly political cartoonists whose mission is to skewer local and state politicians,” anthology editor Ted Rall told Gambit’s Scott Jordan in a 2004 profile of Mr. Peters. “One would think that there would be such a cartoonist, or several, in every major city, but there just aren’t,” he said.

“Coupled with an over-the-top clip-art style and incredibly distinct cartooning personality, Greg’s strip is everything that his readers and editors can hope for.”

Mr. Peters’ distinctive style involved the use of stock clip art images, arranged and annotated with wry, extensive text to skewer public figures.

“The clip art thing was always a punk staple,” Mr. Peters told Jordan. “Like the cut-out letters and clip art that Jamie Reid, the Sex Pistols designer, did using Queen Elizabeth with the safety clip through her cheek picture. They’re very much out of the DIY ethos. And the attitude simply of baseline mistrust for authority, and the demand that you be shown, not told.”

Greg Peters is survived by his parents, Reg and Kay Peters of Lafayette; his partner, Eileen Loh; his former wife, Saundra Scarce; and his two sons, Wilder, 12, and Magnus, 10. Plans for a memorial service in the New Orleans area are pending. 

more: Levees Not War.


Michigan vs Virginia Tech (Hoke vs Hokies) in Sugar Bowl, January 3, 2012 in New Orleans; also, sandwiches

Follow the coverage from all sides.

National coverage: ESPN’s WolverineNation coverage from beat writer Michael Rothstein. Michigan Wolverines Land Sugar Bowl.

It almost didn’t happen, however. After finishing the regular season 10-2, the Wolverines needed help from other teams around the country on Saturday and from the pollsters on Sunday morning in order to be in this position — and they received it.

On Virginia Tech, the Washington Post writes “one of the most surprising Bowl Championship Series at-large picks ever”.

Virginia Tech’s BCS at-large hopes appeared to evaporate after its 38-10 loss to Clemson in the ACC championship game Saturday. While the Hokies have been ranked all season, they have not defeated a team currently in the Associated Press top 25 poll.

The game is in New Orleans, and Michigan’s ever-efficient alumni association has an official bowl tour package complete with chartered flights.

New Orleans is a great place to eat a sandwich. Chowhound has a best sandwiches thread that’s got a lot of great suggestions; I’d pick a banh mi (in its role as a Vietnamese po’boy). In Ann Arbor the blog “Meg Goes Nom Nom” has a glowing review of the banh mi from Zingerman’s:

And a few months after this occurred, I discovered that the featured sandwich at local favorite Zingerman’s Delicatessen was the Banh Mi. It was time! And not only get to try the sandwich, I got to meet the talented creator of this legit sandwich while I was there. Awesome!

The Zing sandwich was done by San Street, a food cart which alas I have not checked out myself yet.

The Viet World Kitchen blog has a master banh mi recipe which pretty much sums up what you’d need to put together your own.

There is essentially one sandwich in Vietnamese cooking and it is quite a tour de force. It started out very simply, with baguette smeared with liver pate and that was it. That’s how my mom knew it in the 1940s when she was growing up in Northern Vietnam. What we know today as banh mi is a light, crispy small baguette that is split and hollowed before it is invariably filled with homemade mayonnaise or butter (which I don’t like), sliced chili pepper, cilantro leaves, cucumber, a tangy-sweet daikon and carrot pickle (do chua), and a drizzle of soy sauce. The variation comes in when you choose what protein component(s) will be center stage.

More recipe action gets you a do chua recipe from the blog Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy, which sounds easy enough to do.

Do chua is so incredibly easy to make. Since it is a “fresh” pickle, there is no boiling or cooking involved. All you do is julienne the carrots and daikon, and soak them in a brine made with white vinegar, rice wine vinegar, a little water, sugar and a pinch of salt. That’s it! Plus, the pickles only need to marinate in their brine for about an hour before they’re ready to devour.

Now, you are ready for some football.

Obituary: Jeff Lamb, photographer of New Orleans, Detroit, Ann Arbor and the Leelenau Peninsula

Jeff Lamb (January 16, 1949 – March 22, 2011) was a photographer of New Orleans, Detroit, Ann Arbor and the Leelenau Peninsula. He is survived by his wife, Leyla Lau-Lamb, his dog, Sonny, and other relations and many friends. There will be a celebration of Jeff's life at Hathaway's Hideaway, 310 S. Ashley, Ann Arbor, on Saturday, April 9th beginning at 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Advocacy Department of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans.


Mark O'Brien: Remembering Jeff Lamb.

Michigan in Pictures: Remembering Jeff Lamb, and sharing Jeff's Leelenau slideshow.

NOLAFemmes: Jeff Lamb.

Flickr: Jeff Lamb's photostream.


Lamb, Robert Jeffrey "Jeff", "Ffej", "Honey Bunny"

January 16, 1949 – March 22, 2011

Jeff was born in Oberlin, Ohio, and shortly afterward his family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan. He attended public schools in Ann Arbor and earned a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Michigan. In 1978, Jeff moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, a city he loved dearly until the day he died. It was there that he met his loving wife, Leyla, who was visiting New Orleans from Hannover, Germany. Jeff and Leyla were married in Ann Arbor in 1986 and lived there happily until his death.

Jeff was a professional photographer whose extraordinary photographs of New Orleans, Detroit, Ann Arbor and the Leelanau Peninsula will stand the test of time. He showed his love for New Orleans by documenting the architecture of the city and worked closely with the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans. After Jeff moved back to Ann Arbor, he continued his photography career and established many professional contacts throughout the world. His work has been influential, especially after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and destroyed many of the homes of which Jeff had taken photographs. He established deep connections with other photographers in New Orleans and made many close friends there through Facebook. Jeff also photographed historic homes in Ann Arbor and was instrumental in trying to save the Ann Arbor Seven.

Jeff was preceded in death by his parents, Jane and Robert Lamb; and sister, Susan. He is survived by his wife, Leyla Lau-Lamb; his dog, Sonny; a cousin, David (Susan) Emmett of Howell, Michigan; nephew, Bryan Emmett (Shawnee); niece, Kelin Emmett; and many friends around the world who miss him terribly. He was one of a kind. There will be a celebration of Jeff's life at Hathaway's Hideaway, 310 S. Ashley, Ann Arbor, on April 9th beginning at 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jeff's name to The Advocacy Department of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, 923 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130.



Gustav: social media lessons being learned

While it’s still fresh, here are some lessons being learned in the middle of watching (and being a small part of) the net’s response to Hurricane Gustav.  I’m not putting a lot of links in this post.

Decision to evacuate: It was clear while following Twitter – both directly from the handful of NOLA folks I follow and generally from looking at the net – that people went through a huge amount of decision-making about when and whether to leave.   Twitter looked like an actual help here for the folks I knew, both to help let others know where they were going (or whether they were staying) and to help make the evacuation process somewhat less isolating.   

Evacuation path: Those who left relatively early had relatively easier driving; by the time evacuation was underway in earnest the traffic jams were huge, some gas stations were temporarily out of gas, and the contraflow caused a lot of congestion when it ended.  Twitter again seemed to be useful to help people figure out which non-Interstate highways looked like reasonable exit paths, or at least if it wasn’t useful at that moment it was something to file away for next time.

Lodging and companionship when you arrive: Here the contrasts associated with poverty and access to resources are the starkest.  Those with means to leave early and drive far arrived to empty shelters, and people eager to help; those who went somewhat off the beaten path, and knew where they were going, found their choice of hotel rooms; those who evacuated late and didn’t go very far found themselves in crowded shelters right in the hurricane’s path.  There were stories of Labor Day reunions with family that had left during Katrina for another city and never came back, and more than one account of people who evacuated to their previous Katrina evac destination.

Keeping track of things back home: New Orleans was out of the worst of the storm, and a cadre of well connected people stayed behind, and as a result there’s been detailed reporting on status down to which bars are open and who has power (even though the Entergy site is only reporting aggregate numbers at the parish level).  Other places had it much worse, with Baton Rouge the biggest loser, getting a substantial storm hit and a lot of NOLA refugees in shelters and really bad power and telephone recovery.  I don’t (personally) have as connected a Baton Rouge network as I do a New Orleans network, so it feels second hand and isolated.

Decision to return:  This is a complicated set of decisions as of yet not completely played out, and really the next question.  If I return home, will there be flooding on the way?  Will the power be on?  Will I have phone service, will the toilets work, will there be good drinking water, will I get stopped on my way home and then stuck?  If I don’t go home, can I afford the hotel stay? 

The other question you have to ask, of course, is whether the Internet has been helpful for 2 million people, or just for 200 who are super well connected.

The OnStar service announced how much health and welfare traffic it took during Gustav, and how helpful it was to have trained professional staff on the other end of the phone line to help people during an evacuation – to find hotel rooms, to give driving directions, to be calm. 

Various "social media projects" sprung up to coordinate information, but the real winner in the wild appears to be radio (in particular Mississippi Public Radio), which can reach people right close by even if their phone is out of battery or out of service.

CNN was broadcasting live (!1!1!) using Twitter to get real time feedback from people – how much of that is just the nature of broadcast news to seize on new technology, and how much is it some fundamental change in how reporting is done in the middle of a disaster.

The test, I’m sure, happens not this week or next but months or years from now as Houma, LA is rebuilt or when Pineville, LA and Alexandria, LA once again have clean running water.  There’s some disappointment in that the reaction has been "it missed New Orleans, no problems", when that’s so clearly not the case.

Some reactions:

Andrew Turner shares a lesson: iterate. He points to this Etech 2008 Disaster Tech preso from Jesse Robins and Mikel Maron.

Gustav evacuation map

People have started to evacuate New Orleans and the Gulf coast.

Here’s a map I’ve been keeping over the course of the afternoon with some information about destinations where people are ending up at.

It’s incomplete (of course) but gives you some idea of scope.  Nancy White has a good list of other web based Gustav resources.   Grace has some details specific to hurricane evacuation planning.

View Larger Map

Warren Easton HS marching band, New Orleans LA

Here’s a video of the Warren Easton HS marching band in New Orleans, LA:

This is a band that was basically wiped out by Hurricane Katrina, and Bart notes their restart in 2006 after Katrina.

Like a lot of people we are watching from afar for the projected path through the Gulf of Gustav to hope it isn’t a repeat.  Unlike Katrina, this time around there’s twitter; see the twitter stream of people talking about Gustav.

Building Mississippi cottages, tearing down New Orleans houses

The Christian Science Monitor has a good story with pictures of the current state of the “Mississippi Cottage” design of manufactured housing.

Hurricane Katrina downsized his domain to nothing. Today, his new castle is about one-seventh the size of his old one, measuring 450 square feet. But surveying the familiar view from the dollhouse porch of his “Mississippi cottage,” Mr. Voorhies is one of many storm survivors who have reassessed their coastal existence.

“Small works for me right now,” Voorhies says of his cottage, one of nearly 2,400 the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has given to state residents to replace the FEMA trailer. “There’s less to lose.”

Not everyone is an enthusiast of the Mississippi cottage – a wheeled version of the now famous Katrina Cottage – despite its compact cuteness. Most communities along the now-rebuilding Gulf Coast have demanded that MEMA haul them out by next March, citing concerns about their storm-worthiness, low assessed values, and aesthetics. That is leading some cottage-dwellers to vow to fight for their abodes, promising a showdown ahead.

New Orleans is grappling with post-hurricane demolitions, including teardowns of houses the owners have been planning to renovate. See the Squandered Heritage blog for details, and note that a team from New Orleans will be at the NetSquared conference coming in May 27-28 2008. Here’s some small measure of the problem they are up against:

My house was a 1945 Gentilly bungalow with double parlor, original floors, the Gentilly tile, and deco molding. It was in no danger of falling down. My contractor drove by, called, and asked why there were bulldozers on the property the morning they tore it down. Before he could reach us, the house was gone.

I cannot return to the city now. I feel such pure fury when I think of my house being torn down. City bulldozers trespassed on my property and tore down my lovely Gentilly bungalow. New Orleans has nothing to do with America anymore. New Orleans is dead to me, and I will not lift a finger to help or give back to it again.