Student Forums
A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community
 

Working in Wonderland: Spencer Glazer ’17 at Bywater Wonderland

Bywater is a Community in the Ninth Ward, and a historic part of New Orleans. It is the area of which Homer Plessy was removed from his traincar in 1892. In 1923 an industrial canal was dredged through the Ninth creating an Upper and a Lower 9th. A mix of residential and commercial space of mostly bars, restaurants, coffee shops and an upscale natural foods co-op make up the neighborhood. Just down the street from a well known local “historically nude” poolside bar and restaurant is an large white palace known to some as “the curtain house” and to others as The Bywater Wonderland. Here lives one Stacy Hoover, a Gatsby-esque socialite and longtime Louisianan. Here in her two house, 13 room compound she creates a venue for everything from risque parties, weddings, and AirB&B rentals to free community events, such as having a huge Easter egg hunt and inviting Santa from the North Pole to spend some days with local children. This house is where I have found myself for my final co-op at Antioch College. Here I work closely with Stacy and her partner Ryan to maintain the massive gardens, managing a number of beautification projects and repairs to the compound, as well as assisting in various other projects when needed. Projects have ranged from bringing some of Ryan’s art to the Ogden Museum, to creating and setting up table decorations at a bar during the world premier cocktail festival “Tales of the Cocktail.” I also worked with a local carpenter to repair and renovate a number of buildings including the Edgar Degas house and museum. Overall, living and working with Stacy has shown me what it means to be a member of community and what it is that makes New Orleans a funky, friendly, and oftentimes troubling place to call home.

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