At Fair Grinds we love the opportunity to meet new friends from all around the world and see how our community adapts good-naturedly to all of the crowds and chaos. What is with the shorts and Hawaiian shirts? Is that a uniform of some kind? Aloha from Fair Grinds!
We debuted our Fair Grinds Coffee Carts to make sure we could handle the crowd and keep everyone supplied in hot fair trade coffee and iced cold coffee. The first day we sold out of iced coffee by 11 AM. Ok, we’re learning lessons by the minute during the first weekend, so look out on the second weekend.
Speaking of the second weekend, we have some wild surprises for both visitors and our own Fair Grinds community for Saturday, May 5th and Sunday, May 6th. We have partnered with two companies, Dell Computers and Intel and our friends at Participation Agency, to have live streaming of the Jazz Fest shown on huge screens at the end of our patio and in the large common space rooms on the 2nd floor from 12 noon until 9 PM on those dates. Visitors will also be able to use the Dell computers upstairs to send emails back home and rest their “dogs” while enjoying the Fest from Fair Grinds.
On Saturday, May 5th, there will be a special surprise visit from one of the members of the band, My Morning Jacket, which is playing the main stage that same evening. Wow, huh?!?
[See invite above!]
Jazz Fest only happens once a year though, so I’m actually even more excited about a partnership we are forging in our own community of Faubourg St. John with Cabrini High School on Esplanade based on our shared belief in the value of fair trade coffee. As a special treat for the young women and a special educational opportunity for Fair Grinds Coffeehouse and Cabrini High School, Fair Grinds is going to serve our great coffee for a change both hot and iced before the seniors take their exams for three days in early May and again later in May for all of the students during exam week so that they get a jolt of justice on their way to great grades! If you see Katie and I pushing the Fair Grinds Coffee Carts across Esplanade at dawn, give a shout out during May, that’s what’s happening.
Once you make it past the first Jazz Fest weekend, you will notice the first Tuesday is May 1st or May Day so appropriately the Fair Grinds Dialogue will be on the topic of Solidarity. Helene O’Brien, the President of SEIU Local 21LA, dynamic local representing New Orleans city workers among others, will be speaking about what solidarity means and the efforts of her local union and others to build this kind of relationship uniting labor and community efforts. The Dialogue will be from 7 PM to 9 PM and for a change we are going to hold it in the main room downstairs so more people can take advantage of the event.
Even after Jazz Fest we have some great music that will be playing at Fair Grinds in May:
Kim and Sharon Apres-Fest – Sunday, April 29th 8PM
Open Mic with Robert Eustis – Tuesday May 10th 7pm
Jacob Green – Friday, May 11th 730 PM
Lips & Trips – Friday, May 18th 7pm
Jeanne Jaubert and Cello Solos – Saturday, May 26th 7pm
Keep up with the events calendar on our website at www.fairgrinds.com for any other groups that may be late additions.
Before I let you go, let me share something else with you that I think will make you as proud as it does me. We are really adding to the number of groups that are using the smaller and larger rooms that compose the Fair Grinds Common Space upstairs. Just to give you some flavor of the diversity of users, let me list a few: the Archdiocese Fair Trade Committee, Melissa Harris-Perry and Maple Street Bookstore, a new Men and Feminism group, the New Orleans Fruit Tree Project, and Re-Bridge here in the neighborhood. As importantly, the groups have embraced the cooperative nature of the space and the need for all the users to pitch in and pass the hat to support maintenance, cleaning, and utilities so that more and more groups can use the space: that’s community! By the way, thanks to Dell and Intel for painting the common space as part of this cooperative spirit over the coming week!
Speaking of paint, I hope everyone notices that red and gold are going to be putting a new face on Fair Grinds. Peek upstairs to the second floor, and you’ll see a “brighter” future for Fair Grinds with new colors coming, slowly but surely.
Here’s to a great May!
PS: Thanks to all of you who went on-line or mailed in your ballots to the Times-Picayune, and voted for Fair Grinds Coffee and Fair Grinds Coffeehouse in the Best of New Orleans voting. Muchas gracias! And, in that spirit we’re running a special now on Fair Grinds Fair Trade coffee so that you can enjoy it at home, when you can’t get by and visit with us.