It really chapped my ass to read the story on the front page of today’s paper, about the big movie production studio which is planned to be built next to the Lafitte housing project.
I’m not opposed to the project — I see it as a hugely positive boon to the neighborhood. The inclusion of a vocational school is great.
What irritates me is that I learned about this three months ago. Check out this picture I posted to Flickr back then:
Go ahead, click the link and check the date. I found out about this plan in early February. I could have blogged about it then. I could have scooped the Times-Picayune. Or I could have fed it to my friend who writes for the Gambit.
But I didn’t. Against my natural inclination to blab about anything and everything, I kept quiet. Why? Therein lies a tale.
I first learned of the project when I saw it on the City Planning Commission’s docket. It got my attention because I’d also had my eye on that parcel of land as part of a rails-to-trails project that I was researching pre-Katrina. So I contacted some people that also had an interest in the trail idea. I was psyched when I learned the LIFT project includes a bike path. This could be just the catalyst to get that larger linear park/bike path built. (More on that in the near future.) But all the people I spoke to seemed to think we shouldn’t go to the press too soon. They wanted to play it a little closer to the vest. That’s not my style, and I didn’t really follow the logic, but I deferred to their judgment.
And so a few days ago Laureen beat me to the punch. And now the Times-Picayune.
I thought it was amazing that this hadn’t gotten any media coverage. I thought it was newsworthy. The placement of the story on the front page of today’s paper bears that out. I think the people I’ve been working with (including me!) made the wrong call. If we’d taken the story to the press ourselves, the bike path aspect of the story might have been a little more prominent. And that in turn might have increased the chances that the developer will do the right thing.
Plus, I’d have liked a little share of the thunder and glory.