Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood & Bourbon
Lakeview is an affluent neighborhood snug against the south side of Lake Pontchartrain. Unlike much of New Orleans, whites predominate the area and have since the area began its serious development in the post-WWII years. For most of the Big Easy’s history, Lakeview was nothing but undeveloped swampland. The advent of modern drainage systems in the early 20th century saw the area slowly start to develop. Large scale-residential development did not happen until after World War II, with the predominant housing style being bungalows.
While New Orleans became a majority-African American city around 1980, by the 1990s, Lakeview was one of the only almost entirely white neighborhoods remaining in New Orleans. Lakeview was originally mostly middle class, but in the last couple decades of the 20th century it became a magnet for money. Larger, newly constructed houses replaced more modest postwar homes as increasing numbers of upper- and upper-middle class families moved to the former swampland. The Southern New Orleans Yacht Club was founded around this time.
Hurricane Katrina changed everything, at least temporarily. Lakeview suffered once of the worst levee breaks in New Orleans, with up to 14 feet of water rushing through the streets and causing massive damage. Older residents who didn’t leave their homes were forced into attics. Rescuers didn’t find all of them alive. Yachts that weren’t put into storage were found having crashed through houses like wrecking balls.
Lakeview was one of the first neighborhoods rebuilt after the floodwaters receded. Within several years, the neighborhood stood as if nothing had touched it. While other parts of New Orleans have been far slower to rebuilt, or haven’t been done so at all, Lakeview stands as proof that enough money can do anything.
No known Kindred claims domain over Lakeview. The upscale suburb is a poor hunting ground; people here notice when neighbors act strangely. Disappearances are closely investigated and violent crime is all but nonexistent. While the wealth and influence of the resident families is of interest, most Kindred choose to focus their attention on these families’ workplaces than their personal homes.
For decades Lakewood Country Club operated in Lakewood, predating most residential construction and bestowing its name upon the developing area. With the finalization of I-10’s and I-610’s routes in the 1960s, much of Lakewood’s golf course was expropriated for the sprawling I-10/I-610 interchange. Lakewood Country Club relocated to the Algiers neighborhood, on the West Bank of the Mississippi River, and the remainder of the golf course was developed as the Lakewood North and Lakewood South subdivisions. The former clubhouse remained for years, visible from I-10 and lastly used as the main building for the now-closed New Orleans Academy. The clubhouse was ultimately demolished to make room for a LDS Church, itself demolished in the aftermath of catastrophic flooding occurring in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Navarre is a neighborhood of beautiful trees and homes with easy access to a variety of cultural and recreational attractions such as City Park, the lakefront, and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Spanning over 1,000 acres, this park (the fifth-largest in the U.S., and 150% the size of Central Park) has been in existence since 1854, making it one of the oldest in the city. It houses many paths, ponds, 800 year-old oaks and a unique wooden carousel from the early 20th century.
As with all pubic parks, City City Park is no one Kindred’s domain, although Anarchs are frequent presences thanks to the park’s proximity to Mid-City. Yet even they bow to the Gangrel presence in the area. As the city’s largest green space, City Park is an extremely popular meeting spot and hangout for the Beast Clan. The kine presence can be an inconvenience, but there are no Loup-Garoux. Many Gangrel are thought to spend their days cocooned beneath the park’s earth.
(29591 Dreyfous Dr.)
Many myths are associated with the “Dueling Oaks.” An 1892 Times-Democrat article noted that “Blood has been shed under the old cathedral aisles of nature. Between 1834 and 1844 scarcely a day passed without duels being fought at the Oaks. Why, it would not be strange if the very violets blossomed red of this soaked grass! The lover for his mistress, the gentleman for his honor, the courtier for his King; what loyalty has not cried out in pistol shot and scratch of steel! Sometimes two or three hundred people hurried from the city to witness these human baitings. On the occasion of one duel the spectators could stand no more, drew their swords, and there was a general melee.”
One of the frequently referenced duels involved a “European scientist insulting the Mississippi River by calling it ‘but a tiny rill compared to the great rivers of Europe.’ A Creole overheard the insult and immediately came to the defense of the river, challenging the scientist to a duel, which the Creole won.”
Before the Dueling Oaks became a favorite spot for disrespected Creoles, a frequent dueling site had been St. Anthony’s Garden, located behind the St. Louis Cathedral. In 1855, laws against dueling began to be enforced, so most duels moved to the city’s outskirts. Some sources claim that the last duel was fought beneath the oaks in 1890, while others contend the last one took place during the first decade of the 20th century.
Dueling remain alive and well among the Kindred, however, and the Dueling Oak remains a favored venue for affronted vampires to settle their differences through violence. Mortals who happen past the infamous tree after dark may not survive to regret the mistake. Locals attribute continued violence around the Dueling Oak to gangs.
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) (Elysium)
(1 Collins Diboll Cir.)
The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) is one of the largest and most comprehensive art museums in the South. It is the city’s oldest fine arts museum, established in 1911 and home to more than 40,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of art, including the Italian Renaissance to the modern era. It is also known for its strengths in French and American art, photography, glass, and African and Japanese works. NOMA also hosts a variety of special exhibitions throughout the year and offers educational programs for all ages.
Matthew E. Malveaux Branch Library
(6301 Canal Blvd.)
Lakeview’s long-time public library was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina and had to be demolished. The Matthew E. Malveaux Library was built in its place to serve the community. It’s located in a $4.6-million, 12,700 square foot facility that opened on 22 March 2012 with its ribbon-cutting ceremony. The branch is named after Matthew Malveaux, an influential community resident and one of the richest men in Louisiana. He financed much of the library, along with the Gulf Coast Libraries Project of the Durham Foundation (a foundation operated by Will Durham, the founder of Macroware Corporation and one of the world’s richest men). FEMA paid for the costs of demolition of the previous library and construction of the new library since the previous facility had been, according to FEMA’s estimation, over 50% damaged by Katrina. The features and amenities present in the new facility that were not in the previous facility were financed by other sources, including New Orleans municipal bond sales and funds from the Louisiana Recovery Authority. The “design-build” process, one specially allowed only in parishes affected by Hurricane Katrina under Louisiana law, was used to rebuild the library and four others.
Mount Carmel Academy
(7027 Milne Blvd.)
Mount Carmel Academy is a private, all-girls Catholic high school for grades 8-12. It was founded in 1840 by the Sisters of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and was the first school in New Orleans to re-open after Hurricane Katrina. Mount Carmel offers a rigorous academic program, with a focus on math, science, English, and history. Tuition runs $10,275 a year, behind the Ursuline Academy and McGehee School, but it’s still considered a good school for the city’s elite (or those who would join them) to send their daughters.
The Velvet Cactus
(6300 Argonne Blvd.)
The Velvet Cactus in New Orleans is a popular Mexican restaurant known for its lively atmosphere and vibrant décor. The interior is decorated with colorful murals, Mexican artwork, and neon signs. The menu features a variety of traditional Mexican dishes, including tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. The restaurant also offers dishes unique to it, such as the Velvet Cactus Nachos, the Grilled Octopus Tacos, and the Carne Asada Fries. The bar is known for its extensive tequila and margarita selection, with over 100 different types of tequila, as well as a variety of signature margaritas.
West End is bordered Lake Pontchartrain to the north, the New Basin Canal and Pontchartrain Boulevard to the east, Veterans Boulevard to the south, and the 17th Street Canal to the west. The area was largely built on land reclaimed from Lake Pontchartrain. It is a commercial seafood and recreational boating hub for the city and has been known for its seafood restaurants. In recent years, the area has seen large condominium-complex developments built which overlook the Lake, marinas, and centrally located 30-acre West End Park.
The majority of the land and marinas at West End are managed by the New Orleans Municipal Yacht Harbor Management Corporation, a public-benefit corporation of the City of New Orleans, with much of it leased to private interests and individuals.
The area is immediately north of the site of the levee failure on the 17th Street Canal during Hurricane Katrina, which was a primary cause of the inundation and devastation of many neighborhoods in New Orleans. Located outside of the flood walls, West End experienced some severe damage, but it was limited to heavy winds and high water destroying the restaurants and music clubs built on piers over the lake. Because West End was developed above sea level, the neighborhood only flooded due to the storm surge coming in from Lake Pontchartrain. After the water rapidly receded, the location became a staging area for the US Coast Guard, the Louisiana National Guard, and the Massachusetts National Guard, who were conducting rescues of stranded residents.
Two yacht club facilities, the New Orleans Yacht Club and Southern Yacht Club, along with a number of marine-related businesses, condominiums, and boathouses, occupy the area surrounding the park, marinas, and boat channels. West End’s most recognizable icon, the New Canal Lighthouse or more commonly New Basin Canal Lighthouse, originally constructed in 1838, was heavily damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Reconstruction of the familiar landmark began in February 2012 and was completed in 2013.
Southern Yacht Club
(105 N Roadway St.)
The Southern Yacht Club (SYC) is a private yacht club located on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. It is one of the oldest yacht clubs in the United States, founded in 1849. The SYC is known for its active racing program, its commitment to promoting the sport of sailing, and its elegant clubhouse and attached restaurant.
The SYC clubhouse is a beautiful example of antebellum architecture, with white columns, a wraparound porch, and a grand ballroom. The clubhouse is located on a bluff overlooking the lake, and its members enjoy stunning views of the water and the city skyline.
The SYC is home to a variety of sailing fleets, including keelboats, dinghies, and one-design boats. The club hosts a number of regattas throughout the year, including the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, one of the most prestigious sailing events in the world.
The SYC is also a popular social club. Members enjoy a variety of events, including balls, dinner parties, and family-friendly activities. Employees, however, are treated notoriously poorly by the management.
Lakeshore/Lake Vista Lake is a scenic neighborhood located on the southern shore of Lake Pontchartrain. It is known for its mid-century modern architecture, its many parks and green spaces, and its proximity to the lake. It’s by far the richest sub-district of Lakeview: many the lakeside homes with their stunning waterfront views sell for millions of dollars.
1639 Lakeshore Drive
Personal residence of Matthew Malveaux and Vera Malveaux, built in 1986. Over 12,000 square feet large and valued at $3.1 million, it is one of the most palatial houses in the New Orleans metro area. It’s even entertained two prior U.S. presidents (Henry Marshall following the ‘88 RNC convention and Jim Marshall following 2008’s Hurricane Gustav). Ever since Matthew’s and Vera’s six children left the nest, with Virginia being the last to depart in 2015, it’s sat largely empty: Matthew has little desire to spend time with his wife, while Vera doesn’t like feeling alone in the enormous house. The two mostly still use it to host fundraisers and other social functions.
Blue Crab Restaurant
(7900 Lakeshore Dr.)
The Blue Crab Restaurant and Oyster Bar is a waterfront eatery dishing up down-home seafood, from oysters on the half shell to grilled catfish. Locals see it as a throwback to the good ol’ days of West End, a New Orleans neighborhood known for its fresh seafood and laid-back atmosphere.
The restaurant is housed in a simple, unassuming building with a large outdoor patio overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. The interior is cozy and casual, with exposed brick walls and wood beam ceilings. The menu features a variety of seafood dishes, from oysters on the half shell to fried shrimp and grilled catfish. The restaurant also has a full bar with a variety of beers, wines, and cocktails. Some of the signature cocktails include the Hurricane and French 75.