Only in New Orleans: Musical celebration raises money for bike racks

By Annette Sisco

Staff writer

The massive rebuilding and resurfacing of New Orleans’ streets since Hurricane Katrina has brought with it a benefit for bikers — dedicated striped lanes making it clear that bicycles, too, have a place on the road.

A musical fundraiser along St. Claude Avenue on Saturday will help ensure bikes have a place off the road as well, by raising money to pay for sturdy bike racks.

St. Claude Main Street and Bike Easy, along with Siberia, the Allways Lounge, the Hi-Ho Lounge and Kajun’s Pub, are throwing the fundraiser, featuring live bands and DJs at each venue.

For a $10 donation to the cause, supporters can visit all four of the nightspots and sample different music at each.

Organizers hope to collect at least $4,000 toward the purchase of circle-style racks to install all along the St. Claude Avenue corridor, from Elysian Fields Avenue to Poland Avenue, said Jamie Wine, executive director of Bike Easy.

But the party on Saturday is more than a fundraiser, Wine said.

“It’s kind of a celebration in the community,” he said. Bike culture has blossomed in the downtown neighborhoods, with many people cycling to work, school or one of the local nightspots.

“People are saying, ‘Let’s have a big party and buy more bike racks!’ ” Wine said.

The heavy-duty racks help deter bike thefts, and also signal to customers that businesses are bike-friendly, he said. The entertainment venues hosting the fundraiser are eager to get the message out.

“The bars that are participating never have enough bike parking,” Wine said. “It’s good for business.”

Already promised, by Bike Easy, Where Ya Rack and St. Claude Main Street: $7,500 to install three bike corrals holding 12 bikes each on the corners adjacent to Siberia, the Allways Lounge, and the Hi-Ho Lounge.

With more and more people two-wheeling it along St. Claude, it won’t be enough — but it’s a start, Wine said.

Bands at Allways will be The Stacks, Freaksheaux, and Ratty Scurvics, who will perform a piano set.

At Kajun’s the lineup is Lovely Lisa Lynn followed by Karaoke; at Siberia: Alex McMurray, Golden Pelicans, Gino and the Goons, Trampoline Team and Quintron.

Doors open at 6 p.m. For tickets and more information, go to http://www.stclaude.org.

‘Photovoice’ in Broadmoor

I love the way young people can capture a fresh view of the world around them in photos. The Rosa Keller Community Center will open an exhibit from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, showcasing photos taken by eight young people, 12 to 14, in Broadmoor.

“Photovoice” focuses on health: what Broadmoor and neighboring communities are doing to improve it, and what remains to be done.

The reception is free and open to the public. Call (504) 309-2561 for more information.

Annette Sisco is community news editor. She can be reached at asisco@theadvocate.com or at (504) 432-9257.