If you were lucky enough to live outside of the French Quarter these past few days I would like to take the opportunity to enlighten all who missed the blatant disregard for civility that permeated OUR neighborhood.
Beginning Thursday, January 24, 1 returned to my home on Dumaine St. at Burgundy, from work at 5 p.m. to very loud music coming from Armstrong Park. I assumed this was part of the Superbowl Celebration and when you live in the French Quarter you are supposed to tolerate the noise and the crime. So I planted myself in front of the tube and turned the volume up. By 1:0 1 pm the windows of my home were rattling. I thought surely this will end soon. Surely the city would not allow this to go on all night. So I called the non-emergency # for the police.
They advised me that they didn't know anything about the outdoor concert outside my window but "they would send someone out." I am still waiting. I put in earplugs, ate some melatonin and prayed I could sleep enough to make it through my job the next day. The bass from the music prevented any solace. Eventually I passed out from pure exhaustion.
The next day I woke up with a fever and pulled off an unproductive day. I thought I might be able to get some sleep in the evening. But NO, our city officials allowed this DISTUBANCE to go on again, day and night until 3 am. Again I called the police, again no one showed and the band played on.
When I called the district precinct and told the office "this has been going on for six hours now, how much longer do I have to endure this?" His smart reply was, "probably another six hours, you know it's part of the Superbowl experience".
I am a person living with AIDS and have done so sucessfully for about 15 years now. Healthy living including proper rest is desperately important. But for FIVE days now because [of] the very selfish and greedy people that run this city I have to fight the onslaught of illnesses brought on by lack of sleep.
I spoke to several neighbors and shop owners in the Quarter who had gone through calling the police and the Mayor's office, only to be told it was part of "the Experience". Since The Quarter is really the only selling part left to this city, why don't we just demolish the Quarter homes, keep the facades for "historical value" and set up bars and shops in their place, maybe even some alcohol related "rides" so we could really have our own Disneyland.
Call it the "STUPIDBowlExperience". All the corporate sponsors, like SEGA, and city officials could have their dirty hands pulling the profits. There seems to be a total disregard for the residents of the French Quarter. We are repeatedly pushed asside (sic) as crime rises and businesses are permited (sic) to drown out any peace that may have been left. Remember, there would be NO French Quarter left if it were not for its RESIDENTS. We give it the charm, we maintain its' historical value. We make it an attraction to Tourists, Intelligent Tourists. Not the kind of people we were bombarded with this weekend, the kind who vomit and urinate on your doorstep. Could we try to regain some control before Mardi Gras?
As my fever rises now, I wish I had the addresses of the people responsible for the travesty that occurred this weekend so I could go to there (sic) home at 3 am tomorrow and yell in their bedroom windows and urinate on their doorsteps. Who knows, maybe even vomit on their cars. Then they too, could have the "EXPERIENCE." To my neighbors in the Quarter, please call Councilperson Troy Carter at 565.6315 and the Mayor at 365.6400 and tell THEM how your weekend was.
Keith Theriot, Jan. 26, 1997