Jan Ramsey of OffBeat Magazine’s editorial titled “I Can’t Hear You” is as irritating as it is reductive, mostly for its blinders-on, one-sided take on the “noise issue” specifically as it relates to 711 Bourbon Street, doing business as “Bourbon Heat.”
Were she to be fair, Ms. Ramsey would not draw conclusions about the other parties involved in the 711 Bourbon/Bourbon Heat legal matter without having full awareness of all of the individuals (and legal issues) involved. It’s undoubtedly easier to disparage people when one hasn’t them face-to-face.
RE: “Music is not noise. You know the old saying: ‘If you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen’? I say that if you don’t appreciate living in the French Quarter, with everything that means, including music, tourists, noise, and other inconveniences, then the Vieux Carre [sic] should not be your place of residence.”
The “she” that Mr. Angelo Farrell seems bound and determined to characterize as a lone complainant has lived in the Vieux Carré as a FULL-TIME resident since the ’80s, and presently resides in a home that has been in her family for more than six decades on Orleans Avenue directly across from Mr. Farrell’s recently-acquired part-time residence (not “two houses away,” as Mr. Farrell is well aware). It should also be noted that her home is in the Vieux Carré Residential zone and is not part of the Bourbon Street Vieux Carré Entertainment zone. Mr. Farrell also conveniently neglects to mention those who have put residences in the vicinity of the club up for sale or those have moved to other locations in the French Quarter during the past year since his Bourbon Heat club opened as a direct result of his club’s frequent distinctly un-neighborly and often illegal practices.
It is a matter of fact that the complainant that Mr. Farrell singles out as his personal nemesis in this matter is only one of MANY who have complained about many of his club’s practices that are in violation of several existing ordinances and laws (not just the noise issue). We are losing long-time good neighbors (people who in no way deserve to be described as “cranky rich neighbors” by someone who has met none of the individuals she’s described as such) because of this particular club’s recurrent violations. That’s a stiff price to pay for a venue which has only been in business for a little more than one year’s time.
To use 711 Bourbon/Bourbon Heat (which does not feature live performances by local musicians) as an example of how neighborhoods are “ganging up” on music clubs is like saying that VH1′s “Tough Love” reality TV show is a true characterization of life in the French Quarter! (Funny, since this club recently closed its doors to its so-called “locals clientele” for a night of filming that very TV show.)
It is unfortunate that duplicitous, newcomer alcoholic beverage outlet (ABO) operators are jumping onto the “music vs. noise” issue as a means of garnering undeserved support.
In the future, I would encourage Ms. Ramsey to do more thorough research before cherry-picking the subject matter and spin for an editorial. Shame on you, Jan.
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2/14/12 Update: A long-time French Quarter resident who recently moved away from the immediate vicinity of 711 Bourbon/Bourbon Heat to another location in the French Quarter called Ms. Ramsey to discuss the editorial and reported the following via email: “”We shared thoughts and ideas about music in the Quarter and possible solutions to the renegade, inexperienced ABO operators who are blasting volumes over the top. They are hiding behind the music issue and using it to confuse reporters and supporters of music. We all love the music, it’s the volume of the noise that’s the problem.” Here’s hoping that this input from a party directly affected by the club operated by self-identified “victim” Angelo Farrell will receive equal coverage.
3/3/12 Update: It was interesting to note that the full-page inside back cover ad appearing in the March 2012 issue of OffBeat Magazine is for none other than 711 Bourbon/Bourbon Heat. For those not familiar with magazine ad space, this is a top-dollar ad placement location. A quick review of print version back issues of OffBeat Magazine indicates that this is the club’s first-ever ad featured in the magazine, as well as its first mention in the magazine’s content… Coincidence or not? It seems that money talks for well-to-do club owners who buy expensive ad space even more so than is true for so-called “cranky rich neighbors” who aren’t a viable source of revenue.