Axios New Orleans

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β˜€οΈ Good morning, sunshine! It's Monday, and the solar eclipse is in a few hours.

Today's weather: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain, which will be problematic for eclipse viewing. High of 76.

🎧 Sounds like: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler.

Today's newsletter is 894 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: 😎 It's go time

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The solar eclipse is finally happening, and we've got everything you need, from where to find glasses to who is hosting parties.

Why it matters: Because science is cool.

The big picture: Most people in the U.S. should be able to see the Moon partially or totally block the Sun, weather permitting, according to NASA.

  • New Orleans will have 82% of the Sun blocked, NASA says. Head to Shreveport if you want to get to 98%.

Yes, but: The weather will be a problem for us.

  • A thick layer of cloud cover will "greatly obscure" the eclipse in New Orleans, the National Weather Service says.
  • Here's hoping we see something.

What time: The solar eclipse starts at 12:30pm in New Orleans with maximum coverage at 1:50pm, NASA says.

  • It will end at 3:09pm.
<span style="display: block;text-align: center;">Path of the April 8, 2024 eclipse</span>
Data: NASA; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Where to get glasses: Walmart, Lowes, Ace Hardware, America's Best and Jefferson Feed are selling them in stores.

DIY options: You also can make this easy viewer.

Parties: The University of New Orleans hosts a free viewing party from noon to 2pm in the breezeway at the Earl K. Long Library.

  • The Jefferson Parish Library also is hosting an eclipse party from noon to 2pm at the East Bank Regional Library.
  • Some eclipse glasses will be available at both events.

Rooftop bars: Get a closer view of the eclipse at these four rooftop bars.

Go deeper for school plans

2. 🍷 A grape player

CJ McCollum is a Pelicans player with his own wine brand. Photo: Justin Tucker/nine80four

Pelicans shooting guard CJ McCollum is the quintessential celebrity you'd want to go to dinner with.

Why it matters: Because he's going to pick the very best bottle of wine.

Catch up quick: McCollum has been with the Pels since a 2022 trade with Portland.

  • By then, the player was already known as an intense wine nerd.
  • During his time in the pandemic-era NBA bubble, McCollum kept his room within the crisp 50s, turning his hotel into a live-in wine cellar, ESPN reported at the time.

Turns out, he wasn't done.

  • Later that year, McCollum and his wife, Elise, who introduced him to wines, launched their own label and bought a vineyard.

We caught up with McCollum as McCollum Heritage launches in New Orleans at The Wine Seller and within some Smoothie King Center seating areas.

His favorite New Orleans restaurant wine lists: "We love places like N7, Doris Metropolitan and R'evolution. They all have great wine lists."

On being the Pels' "go-to guy" for wine recommendations: "Larry Nance loves rosΓ© and frequently requests it on road trips."

  • "But young guys like Trey Murphy and Jose Alvarado have also taken to exploring the wine scene as well and come to me for wine advice. They come to me both for their own wine interests and to help choose wine for their families, as well."

Go deeper for details on his vineyard

3. πŸ€ Fully Dressed: Kim Mulkey's media strategy

LSU Coach Kim Mulkey led her team to the Elite Eight round of the 2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Photo: Scott Taetsch/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

πŸ—£οΈ Coach Kim Mulkey's media strategy backfired when she preemptively commented on what she assumed would be a "hit piece" by the Washington Post, writes Eleanor Hawkins of Axios Communicators.

🌎 Sen. Bill Cassidy hosts an event today in Metairie where travelers can hand in their passport applications. (Details)

🚒 A new ship built in Houma will help explore the Gulf of Mexico, an under-researched body of water. (WWNO)

🀸🏽 LSU's gymnastics team finished first at regionals and is heading to the NCAA championship semifinals. (LSU Sports)

πŸ‘€ Gov. Jeff Landry has been in office for 90 days, and he's moving faster to consolidate power than any governor in decades. (NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune πŸ”’)

4. ⚑️ UNO harnesses the Sun

The University of New Orleans is focusing on reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by way of a solar array and other energy improvements. Photo: Courtesy of UNO

The University of New Orleans has a brand-new solar array that officials say will offset 17% of the school's annual electrical consumption.

Why it matters: UNO estimates it will save $2.1 million annually with the solar array and other energy efficiencies.

The big picture: UNO has a 25-year partnership with Bernhard that aims to reduce the university's greenhouse gas emissions and revitalize its energy infrastructure.

  • The school is investing $27 million in energy improvements, officials say.

By the numbers: The solar array's reduction of CO2 is the equivalent of removing 319 cars from the road or planting 40,263 trees in one year, Bernhard estimates.

Give back

We're so thankful to our members for their support of our work through their contribution to our newsroom.

If you join as a member, you'll get insider notes from the team, birthday shoutouts in the newsletter and other perks.

  • Plus, you'll be part of our growth and ensure that our news is always free and accessible to the community.

We're grateful for your trust and continued readership.

5. πŸ† Props from Food & Wine

Legendary bartender Chris Hannah pours a cocktail behind the bar at Jewel of the South in the French Quarter. Photo: Courtesy of Denny Culbert

New Orleans is the country's No. 2 city for food and drinks, according to Food & Wine's annual Global Tastemakers Awards.

  • New York City retained its No. 1 spot.

The big picture: New Orleans' dining scene was singled out for "seamlessly bridging the old and the new," Katie Chang wrote for Food & Wine.

State of play: These New Orleans venues were featured too.

  • Top restaurant: Mosquito Supper Club.
  • Top bar: Jewel of the South.
  • Top hotel: Four Seasons Hotel.
  • Top hotel bars: Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt, Chandelier Bar at Four Seasons and Bar Marilou.

Go deeper for the full lists

6. πŸ›Ί Photo to go: Golf cart parking troubles

Photo: Courtesy of Ben Estes

Reader Ben Estes spotted this booted golf cart Saturday near Vaughan's Lounge in the Bywater.

The intrigue: The city said it would start cracking down on golf carts. Is this part of that effort? Or is the golf cart owner trying to keep their ride safe?

  • We've reached out to the city for details. Stay tuned.

😎 Carlie has her solar eclipse glasses and playlist ready.

πŸ§€ Chelsea is spending the week in Wisconsin with her husband's family.

Tell a scientist to subscribe.

Thanks to our editor Fadel Allassan and copy editor Carlin Becker.