Mid-City Geo-Politics

January 31st, 2006 by Editor B

I’m pained by what I read on a couple local blogs this morning.

Jim Louis writes:

I have been more or less geographically rejected by the Mid-City Association and will not in the future ever refer to my neighborhood as Mid-City. I have in fact only been doing so recently as a convenience to outside readers who may need a little geographical crutch to picture my area. This exclusion makes me not even a little bit sad. I live in the Bienville Corridor or my self-named Faubourg Louisville, and don’t want to be, nor did I ever, want to be, associated with the politics of Mid-City.

Laureen writes about her meeting with Jim Taylor, the president of the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization:

I really wanted to ask him about this area, the Iberville Corridor, Louisville, which has always been included in Mid-City but never really seemed to be represented in the organization. I just had to put it on the table. I knew what the answer would be. Taylor said he’d like to see the boundary stop at Broad for Mid-City proper. The two neighborhoods are starkly contrasted with the gentry up there near the park and the Iberville and Lafitte housing projects at the southern boundary. It was going to take a great effort to bring the two together for this viability thing and I just didn’t see an effort on the part of the organization to extend a hand… Taylor also said they are conducting surveys in Mid-City on their own to determine the number of residents there but you won’t see them down there below Broad.

I don’t want to defend the MCNO’s choice of geographic boundaries. They were established years ago, from what I can tell, and frankly I don’t care for them. My cognitive map of Mid-City embrace the blocks from Broad all the way to Claiborne. The Falstaff Brewery and Deutches Haus and Dooky Chase and Betsy’s Pancake House — aren’t these all in Mid-City? But it’s confusing, because people often use the term Mid-City to embrace a very large area, too big to be a true neighborhood. I’ve argued the MCNO should extend its outreach to Galvez or Claiborne, but I don’t think this will happen.

Nevertheless, the block where I live feels like it has more in common with the block where Jim Louis lives than the area above Jeff Davis.

In fact, the city’s 2005 Action Plan defines this as one of seven “strategic improvement zones”:

Mid-City/Bienville

The area is bounded by N. Claiborne Avenue – N. Jefferson Davis Parkway – Canal Street – St. Louis Street

Maybe we should form a Bienville Corridor Neighborhood Association. Jim, MaPĆ³, you interested?

4 Responses to “Mid-City Geo-Politics”

  1. Editor B Says:

    I just noticed that later in the same city document, the boundaries appear to shift:

    Mid-City/Bienville Corridor (Council Districts B and C) the area bounded by N. Claiborne, to Canal St., St. Louis to Broad Street. It consists of Census Tracts 49 and 50.

    Once again, Broad Street becomes a dividing line, and now I’m the one cut out!

    But I’d still be interested in a Bienville Corridor Neighborhood Association.

  2. Cade Roux Says:

    Tulane/ Gravier Neighborhood: http://www.gnocdc.org/orleans/4/46/index.html

    On this site, this is listed as a nbhd within Mid-City District – and spreads to the west as 49 and 60 vs. to the north as 49 and 50 (which is included in the Mid-City Nbhd).

    But whatever. This is the failure of neighborhood-based planning. The plans have to mesh at boundaries which are not quite real.

  3. jimlouis Says:

    The Bienville Corridor as defined by St. Louis, Canal, Broad, Claiborne does have a more consistent blight about it which, as a whole, is different than the rest of Mid-City proper, I think. So I don’t begrudge the dividing line. And I really don’t miss the representation. Neighborhood politics are beyond my scope of interest, for the most part. I mean, unless I get to be King.

  4. Kevin O'Mara Says:

    The map you linked to above does show their Mid-City boundaries being very closely aligned with the neighborhood boundaries as defined by the GNOCDC. I don’t know if you ever saw my blog post about NOLA neighborhoods (again, as defined by the GNOCDC) but if not, it’s moderately informative.

    I as well use “Mid-City” to refer to a much larger area than those boundaries, but if I want to get really specific I use the GNOCDC’s map.

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