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October 6, 2015

Harry Anderson is leaving New Orleans

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 30th 2006 11:58AM

Harry AndersonThis week is the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting The Gulf Coast, and former Night Court star Harry Anderson has announced that he and his wife, like many people, are leaving the city.

Anderson hasn't done much television since Dave's World left the air in the late 90s. Instead, he opened a club in New Orleans, where he has been performing a one man show and showcasing local talent. They also owned a home in the city, which had a magic shop on the first floor. But now Anderson and his wife are leaving the city, and in this interesting New York Times piece (you don't hear much about Anderson these days, so any story that pops up immediately grabs my attention), Anderson talks about what Katrina has done to the people of New Orleans, why he's leaving, getting mugged, and where he might move to.

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Awesome, when I read the TVSquad post, I just had a feeling that he'd love living in Asheville, NC. Even cooler to read the NYT article and see that my feeling was right. Asheville definitely has it happening.

August 30 2006 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For those who don't want to sign up for the free NY Times site(btw, I just used a throw away email address to register)

August 30, 2006
For Harry Anderson, the New Orleans Magic Is Gone
NEW ORLEANS - In New Orleans these days, even a magician can run out of tricks.

Harry Anderson, the illusionist, comic and former star of sitcoms like "Night Court" and "Dave's World," has lived in New Orleans since 2000, when he left Hollywood with his wife, the former Elizabeth Morgan. They rode out Hurricane Katrina in the French Quarter, in the building that houses Oswald's Speakeasy, Mr. Anderson's nightclub. Their home, whose ground floor was given over to Sideshow, their magic and curiosity shop, was in another building in the Quarter.

In the weeks after the storm, even before the power was back, Mr. Anderson opened his club for what he called French Quarter Town Hall meetings. The weekly gatherings, which at first offered little more than camaraderie by candlelight and warm beer, evolved into a de facto government for a part of New Orleans that had experienced little flooding but could not begin cleanup and rebuilding because of the city's overall paralysis.

The meetings drew officials from the city, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers - all of whom were given an earful - and bit by bit, things improved. Many locals, in fact, gave Mr. Anderson a lot of credit for kick-starting the Quarter's recovery.

So it is especially poignant that the Andersons have now decided to leave. But their story is not unique: many in this city are suffering the same continuing loss and strain that led these two to their decision. So their departure raises the question of whether others who can afford to leave, those who have not sunk every penny into a now-moldy house or a devastated store, will also move on.

Over dinner with a journalist recently at Irene's, one of their favorite restaurants in the Quarter, the Andersons talked about their decision.

One reason they were leaving, they said, was that the tourists were few and even fewer were coming to see "Wise Guy," Mr. Anderson's engaging one-man show at Oswald's. "I had more people in my car last night," he said to his piano player during a performance in May.

More significantly, Mr. Anderson said, he and his wife had become captives of the depression that grips many in the damaged city. "Elizabeth is by nature kind of an agoraphobe," Harry said, looking across the table. After the beginning of the year, as the city's ordeal ground on, she became increasingly withdrawn and unwilling to leave the house. A bad sign, he said, was "when she had groceries delivered from a couple of blocks away."

"It was an empty time," Ms. Anderson recalled. "I was getting farther and farther away from other people, and happiness." She would go downstairs to open their shop each day, she said, "but the passion for it was gone."

This spring, the local power company, Entergy, which is in bankruptcy and has instituted rate increases that have mystified many residents, sent a $900 bill for an apartment in the club building that had no electricity. (Later a monthly electric bill for a small shop space that had been shut up with the lights off came to $7,339.)

The city tried to more than double their $17,000-a-year property taxes. A lawyer had the amount reduced, but "that just meant that the lawyer got the money instead of the city," Mr. Anderson said. Then, in May, there was a repeat of an attack that had occurred more than a year before, when a stranger had approached Mr. Anderson, slammed his face into the side of a building and cursed him, saying, "You killed the Matador." That was the name of the bar he had replaced with Oswald's.

But it was the recent mayoral election, Mr. Anderson said, "that was the nail in the coffin."

The re-election of C. Ray Nagin, whom Mr. Anderson holds largely responsible for New Orleans's drift since the hurricane, came as a shock. The Sunday after the May 20 election, he said, he walked the streets of the Quarter, angry with a result that "pulled the rug out from any hope of&

August 30 2006 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I guess I should've looked before I spoke:

August 30 2006 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Do you have a link to somewhere that doesn't require registration to read an article?

August 30 2006 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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