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Old Fourth Ward Wish List

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1) "The Old Fourth Ward needs its own festival. A big festival could do for the Old Fourth Ward what festivals have done for other neighborhoods. I think with a successful annual festival, problems with sidewalks and lighting can be fixed. The more attention the neighborhood can get and the more attention businesses in the neighborhood can get may help the city realize how important and vital the Old Fourth Ward is. I know the business association is working on one; I think it happens in May." — William Schweigert, 23, door guy and server at Noni's

2) "It would be nice if businesses on Auburn Avenue got more support. I know some of them say they don't stay open late because no one comes. I'm kind of guilty of it, too. I go to Thumbs Up and a couple of places on Edgewood, but we could really use more neighborhood support of local businesses." — Giovanni Daou, teacher and resident of Old Fourth Ward

3) "I want drugs and everything to come out of this hood. They're hurting one another and steady shooting and killing one another. We ain't about that. We are black folks, man. We've always been on the rise. Look how far we've come. And then, it's killing the neighborhood. Children want to hurt somebody, trying to get themselves a pair of new sneakers. That ain't the way; not like that. C'mon, brother." — Freddy Bethay, 67, painter and Old Fourth Ward resident

4) "A heavier police presence, especially later at night, would help a lot. I think too much loitering is allowed in the area. I know things are [currently] under construction, but they should be more on top of making sure that things look presentable, like functioning street lights, cause all of that deters crime. And it just makes the neighborhood look better when you can see and look down the street and there aren't a thousand people standing on the block." — Devon Lee, 33, owner of Pal's Lounge

5) "Speaking specifically about the Auburn/Edgewood corridor, what I would like to see is the development of more daytime culture. I run a nightlife-oriented business, but I spend a lot of time during the day in the area and it doesn't feel like a neighborhood during the day. It feels like a neighborhood waiting to become something. I'd love to see a cool record shop and a coffee shop, which we sort of lost. I'd like to see boutiques, maybe even like a graphic design studio or film production. It feels like a very creative area but it doesn't support a lot of daytime businesses. Most of the businesses successful in our area are nighttime businesses.

"I know safety is an issue for a lot of people. When a neighborhood is unoccupied for half of the day, it really leaves room for all kinds of unsavory stuff to happen. Activity is one of the greatest means of security. More important to me, I want the feeling that I get when I go to other neighborhoods, like in Chicago or San Francisco and Oakland or New York, where they have great nightlife but during the day there's lots of activity. Right now if you were to go to Old Fourth Ward in the daytime, especially Edgewood and Auburn, you might be like, what's all the [hype] about?" — Karl Injex, 43, Creative Director/Partner, the Sound Table

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