MR. BIG SHOT — WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
Who knew an 80-year-old cold drink could be so interesting? In "Why Nobody Outside of New Orleans Has Ever Heard of the City's Iconic Soda," Emma Sloan took a long look at Big Shot for VICE's food channel MUNCHIES. "If authenticity is the currency in the Big Easy, then Big Shot may be as close as you can get to a true New Orleans beverage," Sloan wrote. "It's affordable to the entire city population, and available within walking distance of most neighborhoods. It's the drink of the people in ways that the gin fizz or a fancy lunch at Commander's Palace is not."
Turns out Kingfish chef Nathan Richards uses "atomically red" Big Shot Red Creme to flavor (and dye) some of his dishes. "While using Big Shot in recipes may not seem like a typical farm-to-table ingredient," Sloan says, "it is a local product made by fellow Louisianans."
As to why nobody outside the city has heard of Big Shot, perhaps it's because its parent company, National Beverage Corp., doesn't seem to return press inquiries; at least it didn't return Sloan's.
PLAYSTATION NEW ORLEANS
Fortune took a look at "How Video Games Are Helping New Orleans Rebuild," which just as well could have been called "How Extremely Generous Tax Credits for Video Game Developers Are Luring Companies to the City."
"There is no annual cap on the amount of credits that a company can accumulate, there is no minimum requirement of jobs of expenditures and the legislation has no sunset or end date," wrote John Gaudiosi. Gaudiosi also quotes Kerry Ganofsky, owner of High Voltage Software: "Video games are a pretty green industry. It's a bunch of nerds sitting at desks who make a good wage and like to go out and spend money and have fun. New Orleans is perfect for that."
JUST A STARTER HOUSE
In its regular "What You Get..." real estate feature, The New York Times sees what your money will buy in a big city, a medium city and a small town. Last week, the Times compared "what you get for $800,000" in Chicago, a rural town in Pennsylvania and New Orleans.
Not long ago, the New Orleans answer would have been "an entire block in Bywater," but no more. Today that money buys a perfectly nice four-bedroom, two-bath center hall cottage in Faubourg Bouligny, a neighborhood that runs along Napoleon Avenue.
By comparison, the Pennsylvania house also has four bedrooms — on 10 acres. In Chicago, $800K gets you a 2,200-square-foot condo overlooking Lake Michigan in a handsome 1927 building. That property goes for $363 per square foot, while in New Orleans it's only $298 per square foot. Lagniappe: "The house is near the Mardi Gras parade route, too."
MEANWHILE, ACROSS TOWN ...
The website Marketplace.org profiled the tension between two sets of neighbors in New Orleans East: homeowners on Lake Willow Drive and residents of an apartment complex called The Willows, some of whom use Section 8 vouchers to help pay their rent. Some of the homeowners accuse Willows residents of littering their yards and driving down property values.
Noel King's story, "A Neighborhood Divided Over Housing," quotes Beverly Wright, a homeowner there and director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University: "So, all of a sudden black people hate poor black people. When most of us were poor ourselves, before we got that college degree. Most of us are those people."