I'm Not Crazy, I'm a Relentless Innovator It just occurred to me how to describe myself. Of course, it took someone smarter than me to help me put the words together. I just finished reading Don Berwick's funny, intriguing and enlightening piece "Sauerkraut, Sobriety and the Spread of Change" from his collection of speeches entitled Escape Fire , which, by the way, may possibly be the most accessible and brilliant book EVER about how to improve healthcare quality in the US. But that's another review. In my LinkedIn profile I used to identify myself as a "Social Entrepreneur and Technologist." I think the first half of that is right, or at least the right spirit. But the second half, "Technologist," isn't. While I do have a love of technology and a personal fetish for electronic gadgetry and assorted gizmos, I don't love technology for its own sake in organizations. In fact, from my business development experience in the inte
knit n bitch, east austin Originally uploaded by Edward Melendez Rio Rita, the East 6th Street coffee shop with the retro 70's Seven-Up sign, is a cool coffeehouse meets hipster lounge. There's space for a rousing Knit n Bitch meeting (pictured) as well as more urbane lounging in the swirling, billowing South Beach style booths. Coffee by day, cocktails by night.
Odd Picture from LPHI. The Year was 2004 Originally uploaded by Edward Melendez Out take from a photo shoot for the Louisiana Public Health Institute annual report and web site. That's Tiffany, Bridget, me and a piece of rubber fruit.
Finally, Some Good News Out of New Orleans It looks like one of the most shady of New Orleans' pols is finally out of business. I am delighted to announce that New Orleans City Council member Oliver Thomas has pled guilty to federal corruption charges and should be resigning from his post effective immediately. Oliver Thomas and I share a special history, as he was the enforcer for Wal-Mart during the famous battle in New Orleans (for a quick overview, see " Wal-Mart: The Hits Just Keep on Coming "), the issue that gave birth to both the Urban Conservancy and the latent revolutionary inside of me. The sad thing is that his crookedness was well known, although it was never said out loud. Part of the problem is that elected officials in New Orleans take on demigod status with the populace. City Council members get a vehicle, typically a luxury SUV or large Town Car and a driver who is an armed deputy. They have multiple staff people, all charged with keeping the unwa
A Stop at Spider House on a Search for the soul of Austin Every day we are looking. Trying to find out what makes this place different from all the other Sun Belt boom towns of America. I often tell people that I feel like I am living in Los Angeles in the 1950's: a place of incredible opportunity, hyper growth and money. Lots and lots of money. In the midst of all this, we are looking for the funky soul, the underbelly that isn't part of the approved ad campaigns. We are still looking. But we haunt some of those places that don't have a concept, like the Spider House.
For New Orleans Folks (note: I didn't write this) From the "Louisiana Events" E-mail List: "FROM TOURO BOULIGNY MEETING: Capt. of 2nd Dist. demonstrated tonight this new on-line source of crime incidents occurring within 1 mile radius of a given address. There is a lag time of about 5 days for the info presented. 1st - access the NOPD at WWW.NOPD.COM 2nd - click on NOPD Crime Map (left column) 3rd - click on sentence that begins "click this link to view interactive crime, etc. 4th - enter address and click submit (this will resolve to a map with yellow location of address.) 5th - Click on City Services at top on page and that will present a drop down menu; select NOPD. This will resolve to a page that will show all crime incidents within 1 mile radius of the address in last 30 days. Put the cursor on any symbol to see brief details. Detail results are shown at bottom of this page with Police report number, Street, Description, and incident date. Check it o
Guitar Serenade of the Zilker Zephyr Originally uploaded by Edward Melendez Self made South Austin celebrity Wood Woode (or is it Woode Wood?) entertains the folks on the Zilker Zephyr, the World's Slowest Train.
More Heartbreak From New Orleans (It just keeps on coming) It's pretty incredible to write this on the heels of a happy little post about my last visit to NO. Two people. Two stories. One story has a few years distance. One is now. This picture of horseplay at the hair salon is of two good friends of mine. On the left is Bobby Merrill, who died in 2003 of a heart attack at age 34. The guy on the right is Robin Malta. Robin was murdered in his Marigny home earlier this week. I had just visited Robin at his shop when I was in New Orleans a few weeks ago. Bobby was our "family" hairsylist, confidante and conspirator. Cassie and I would schedule both our haircuts on the same night with Bobby and make an evening of it. Bobby, Cassie and I would have drinks during the haircutting process (Bobby always had an amazingly steady hand, even after a few cocktails) followed by dinner out, often at Adolfo's in the Marigny. Robin worked at the same salon as Bobby and
This Week, New Orleans So I am back in New Orleans this week, visiting a few friends and business associates. My semi-frequent appearances in the city seem to mystify most people. They feel absolutely natural to me. New Orleans is the culture I understand best and function in most effectively. I know the city backwards and forwards, although I am having trouble keeping up with the torrent of gelato shops and t-shirt boutiques with pro-New Orleans imagery that seem to be some of the primary drivers of the economy at the moment. I have favorite places and people and I also enjoy being an anonymous guy at a neighborhood bar, like I was yesterday at Molly's, where a patron bought the entire bar a round in celebration of the passing of Jerry Falwell. New Orleans is a good second home for me for now.
PISTOLERA If I can get some strength back (and get some cases prepped), I really want to check out Pistolera tomorrow. They're playing once during the day at the Mexicarte Museum and later at the Copa.