THIS WEEK IN REVIEW comes to you, again, from our metaphorical KICKSTARTER newsdesk.
We are at Day 10/30. We're well on our way!! Thank you so much for everyone's amazing support. Please spread the word to all your cohorts, special buddies, and amazing people. Now, for another important announcement. Here's Update #4!
All Donations Matched 2x TODAY, TOMORROW, & SUNDAY!
I've been sending this message to all my loved ones and close friends.... "i know we haven't spoken in forever, but i'm working on this project that's really important to me. (spoiler alert: i'm gonna want 20 bucks from you at the end) can i give you my pitch?..."
Isn't that a sincere "ask?" shout out to my good friend, Brandon Archambault, for helping me write a touching, sensitive note.
Here's what happened this week. On SUNDAY & MONDAY. Julia visited Frady's One-Stop Bo-Poy's. Also, Anuraag Pendyal played the "Corner Stores" Theme live. Check out the video below.
On TUESDAY. With Weenta out of town due to an illness in the family, I presented to the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association's Board of Directors, all on my own. It was the end of a long work day, and when I arrived, it became immediately clear that these folks hear pitches in their sleep. I was just a 5 minute pitch among the Board's pressing conversations, including neighborhood robberies and the extension of the fairground's casino hours.
When I arrived, everyone was a little agitated because the meeting had been moved into a 4th grader class room.
There we all were, about 30 people, all seated in adolescent-sized seats. No one was comfortable, and the night's meeting agenda was a lot to tackle. I stepped up and gave my pitch. The first question I received was, "why are you telling Discount Market's story? I've never heard of Discount Market. Why not tell the story of a place like Terranova? It's been in the neighborhood for almost 100 years."
Here's my answer— "Terranova has no conflict." Terranova is a fine historical institution in New Orleans, and boy, when Weenta and I visited, I fell in love. Terranova is exemplary of the New Orleans corner store tradition. It's been around forever. It has its dedicated customers. It's family owned. Yet, Terranova does not reflect all the characteristics of a New Orleans corner store.
Corner stores in New Orleans are in a jeopardous, tenuous position, right now. Terranova is not.
Did you know? An estimated 72% of New Orleans original corner store buildings have been lost since the early 1900s. (Information from Gabrielle Begue, 2016 interview.)
At this point, Weenta and I have visited dozens of stores, including Terranova. With Weenta's scrutinizing, we've come to realize that in order to tell the story of New Orleans, a city of rapid gentrification and endless developments, our store has to have conflict.
Our feature store is over 30 years old, but on August 4, 2017, it was flooded with 4 ft. of water. 3 months later the store still has yet to determine its owner. That's conflict. That's the making of a good story.
The board was satisfied with my answer.
On THURSDAY, I did an interview with Allison Alsup for Eater New Orleans. More to come on that next week.
On FRIDAY, we posted our 4th KICKSTARTER UPDATE. YOOOOO!! Between Friday, November 10, 2017 at 12PM C.S.T. until Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 11:59PM C.S.T., all donations will be matched TWICE.
How? Donations will be matched once by Story Incubators [at the end of the campaign] + Once by Seth [on November 13, 2017]!
Why? It's Weenta's birthday weekend! Woohoo. We want to make your dream a reality!
Weenta and Julia