Tomorrow, of course, marks the end of the month-long celebration of my birth. I would like to thank, once more, those of you who sent me gifts and thoughtful cards (mainly gifts). For those of you who did not, and are wondering what to do, please remember that while some people feel that gifts of cash or gift cards are crass, those people are fools. You may send me filthy lucre without fear or guilt.

Do note that because of a paperwork issue involving “laws” and “threats of criminal prosecution,” I am not currently organized as a 501(3)(c) corporation. Your gifts, therefore, are not tax deductible under United States law. If, however, you are one of my many readers in the British Virgin Islands, you may be in luck! Please contact my attorneys at Mossack Fonseca to learn more. (P.S.: I also accept bitcoin!)

Speaking of the Caribbean: it has become clear that residents of New Orleans are more likely to actually dine in Havana than at the long-gestating Latin-themed restaurant Café Habana. As you may have heard, there has been some delay in the restaurant’s opening due to protests and litigation. Though the development has the approval of the Vieux Carre Commission as well as the City Council, some of the restaurant’s putative neighbors in the Quarter are not on board. It’s hard to accept that a casual restaurant of the sort Meenan described to me when I last spoke to him approximately 27 years ago when his restaurant was “almost there,” could generate such outrage, but there you go. That sort of attitude can be great; it’s why there’s no highway running through the Quarter, for example, but it can also be problematic.

The litigation surrounding Café Habana doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, or at least not quickly. I am familiar with the fact that despite the parties’ best intentions, lawsuits sometimes drag on for years. I also don’t fault the residents for feeling passionate about the nature of their neighborhood, but it’s hard to understand how the property’s current status – a vacant gas station – is better for the Quarter than the proposed eatery.

I have no dog in this fight, but I do empathize with Sean Meenan (the owner of the proposed restaurant) for having to spend this much time and energy trying to open a restaurant in the face of such vituperous opposition.

 

Finally, thanks to everyone who asked about my health. I’m doing much better. Keep the emails coming, or comment using the form below.