So I want to give a big shout out to Alex Wiggins, Katherine Bush Felton, Angelle Young, and all the other bureaucrats at RTA who refuse to acknowledge the damage they are creating for small businesses in Algiers Point. And even though I'm calling them out, I would also like to tell them THANK YOU. Due to their lackadaisical incompetence and apathy, I have decided to …. OPEN A SECOND LOCATION!
Here they all are in their overpaid glory:
It was over 5 years ago that I opened my first brick & mortar gift shop in Algiers Point. It has been a wild ride filled with ups and downs. Not only is this little shop my dream come true, but it is my studio and I love spending time here. This gift shop was created on the business model of creating a space where wandering day-time tourists could purchase local art and gifts. We had some great foot traffic, before RTA screwed it all up.
Unfortunately, there have been many obstacles since we opened in 2017. Our neighborhood ferry was undependable and frequently breaking down. This meant zero tourism foot traffic to our little historic neighborhood. Then, in 2019, due to bureaucracy and incompetence (mainly from RTA) our ferry quit running for many, many months. This was a really hard time for all the businesses in our neighborhood (as well as the locals). At this time RTA, specifically Alex Wiggins, made empty promises for changes in the future. They were very, very empty and usually served with a side of bad attitude.
Finally, in January of 2020, the ferries were running again, YAY! Only to have the city virtually shut down by Covid, Boo! This was another devastating blow to our gift shop.
Right when the toursim industry was resuming some normalcy in a somewhat post-Covid world, the city decided to knock down the East Bank terminal, and move the ferry landing to the front of the aquarium. Now the gateway to Algiers Point has been a mess of construction fences, loud machinery and pretty much ZERO signage showing tourists where to take the ferry. I don't see why any tourist that was unfamiliar with the city would choose to pass through a construction zone with no signage or information to get on a ferry that provides like zero information on its final destination. RTA doesn't seem to understand this concept. RTA doesn't care. #RTAbackward
RTA refuses to assist or allow signage, allow us to put brochures on the ferry. In fact, they won't even answer emails...and when they do it's mainly vague answers and lies.
But to make matters worse, the ferry workers constantly tell tourists that "there is nothing to do in Algiers Point". (You can see a video here. These nice British ladies allowed me to record them.) This is a regular occurrence on the ferry, and the misinformation been going on for years. And because RTA will not allow a sign or brochure on the boat, we are once again being indirectly sabotaged. They told me I could PAY to have my info on the boat. When I asked for rates they, big surprise, they didn't answer my emails. So basically if I don't come up with money, they will continue to spread lies. To me that sounds pretty unethical. Once again, typical New Orleans, no shock there.
More info on my second location coming soon! I'm so excited to finally open up on the East Bank!