Saturday, October 23, 2010

Long live the Deutsches Haus!

After some shenanigans last night involving Red Seal on cask at the Avenue Pub and then cocktails and snacks at Coquette, today we woke up and went on over to the Deutsches Haus in Mid City for the final day of their final Oktoberfest.

Got some beers! First I had the Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel and Tom had the Paulaner Oktoberfest. Then Kostrirzer Schwarzbier for me and Spaten Oktoberfest for Tom. Next round was my turn for the Paulaner Oktoberfest and Tom had a Warsteiner Pilsner. Then Tom tried the Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel.

Can't forget about that fine German Oktoberfest cuisine- stood in line and got me a plate with pork schnitzel, bratwurst, german potato salad, mashed potatoes and rye bread with butter. And, of course, strudel! Both cherry and apple.

We purchased an entirely silly plastic 22 oz. glass with the Deutsches Haus logo which lights up! Heh. Also purchased a bottle opener and beer cozy.

The oompah band was fun- very energetic with covers of "Beat It," "Come Together" that weird oompa-loompa song from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which was... weird and made me laugh out loud. Several enthusiastic renditions of the Chicken Dance, of course. I would be lying if I said there wasn't a guy dressed head to toe as a giant chicken wearing leiderhosen.

The Deutsches Haus is closing tonight at midnight to make way for the new LSU VA teaching hospital/health center that will be built in this area of Mid-City. The plans for the new hospital complex have been mired in controversy for several reasons. First of all, it's going in an area of town that is residential, so there are hundreds of people getting their land bought up by the state. Some of the historic homes are being moved into other areas of the city, but most properties are being razed. The new hospital will also fill the void that the closing of Charity Hospital created in 2005. Some think that it would make more sense for the state to renovate the existing structure instead of demolishing an entire neighborhood to make way for the footprint of the new hospital. Others think that the lower area of Mid-City it affects is a craphole and the hospital is much needed progress.

I don't know. If there was state land nearby that could ave been used, and even the site (if not the building) of Charity Hospital, I think it's unfortunate that the state is choosing to "reenergize" or "reform" or "rebuid" a Better New Orleans by razing properties where people live, where personal history resides, where people came together at places like the Deutsches Haus. That place has been around and served its community for almost 82 years. God knows I haven't been here long enough to know the many perspectives about New Orleans and Louisiana politics, but I do know that demolishing something that was standing and rebuilding something that wasn't there before costs a lot of money and in my experience with politics, when that much money is floating around, it's not the community that the politicians are thinking about.

I was glad to have been able to raise a glass to the Deutsches Haus today and the many people it has served over the years. Prost!

No comments:

Post a Comment