Monday, February 27, 2006

Help Help

In and around the Fauborg-Marigny neighborhood just downriver from the French Quarter. Click on a picture to see it enlarged.

Some of the many roofers.
Blue tarp roofs everywhere.

The sign in the window says, "Hold the Corps Accountable" (that's the Army Corps of Engineers)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

What Katrina did

Today a middle-aged man shoved a big rolling bin full of supplies into the elevator. We assumed he was going to set up a party area by a parade route, but he said, no, he was leaving New Orleans and never coming back. He lost his house, his boat, half his business, and he's moving to Charlotte, N.C. "I'm getting the hell out of Dodge right now."

Friday, a manager of the Cotton Exchange Hotel downtown, a young black man, talked to us when we took refuge from the rain under the awning. He said he's a native of the city. He and his wife and kids evacuated to Milwaukee for the storm. He didn't like it much. Too many rules. The example he gave was that he got two tickets for not wearing seat belts. He couldn't believe how happy he was to come back to work. But he has to live in Baton Rouge, an hour away, because his home is gone and the rents are so high.

A waitress at the Cafe duMonde, who was Asian and spoke with an Asian/deep South accent, said she lived across the river and had 11 people including 7 adults living in her house because relatives had become homeless during the storm. She has one of the blue roofs--a plastic tarp--they're everywhere.

The manager A Gallery for Fine Photography, a beautiful store full of historic photos, said the gallery and his apartment, both in the French Quarter, did not get flooded. He evacuated to Tampa just hours ahead of the hurricane. It took 27 hours to get there (I think he said it should have been about a 10 hour drive). The towns they drove through were flattened a few hours after they went through. When he got back to New Orleans three weeks later, he was amazed that his electricity was back on and he was thrilled to have air conditioning in the 100 degree heat. But mold had already eaten completely through one of his valuable photos hanging on the wall. The smell everywhere was just terrible. The discarded refrigerators drew flies and smelled so bad that people would throw up just walking by. No one picked up the discarded stinking appliances for a long time.
Saturday night, a quiet block from the very raucous, beer-soaked, bead-paved Bourbon Street, a young man stood against a wall with a big wooden cross leaning on his shoulder--one of the street preachers taking a break. He was talking on a cell phone. We overheard: "I tried to call you earlier. I'm out with the cross now."

Laissez les bon temps roulez.

Uptown New Orleans Sunday afternoon

Click on any picture to see it enlarged.

This is a picture of a couple of fellows on their way to the Thoth parade.

Magazine Street Uptown. The woman on the steps says it is her brother's house, and it only had a little roof damage.

Dubloon man

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Quarter Saturday

Blue roofs

There are blue tarp roofs all over town.

Don't Miss New Orleans

We're in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Visiting an old friend in time of trouble. Here's how she's doing at least from our perspective of a few hours as tourists.

The cat's on a balcony in the Quarter decorated with Mardi Gras garlands.

Post-hurricane t-shirts are sold amongst the usual New Orleans souvenirs. Miriam models hers.

Bourbon Street is still filled with dancing, bead-flinging and drinking.

There were three parades. D'etat used their floats to comment on recent events.

These guys' banner says FEMA on one side and DEMA on the other: Dictators Emergency Management Agency.

This is the Adjuster float

The "Who Dropped It?" Float.

My website, Pat Arnow's Poltical and Personal,
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Hermes parade