At this point my hopes for a quick recovery are gone. The news from the south coast, especially New Orleans, is as bad as the news from southern Asia this past winter (minus the terrible body count).

What has happened to New Orleans is affecting me a lot more than what happened in Asia. I’ve been to New Orleans twice for two short weekends; once in the summer and once in the winter. The first time was enough for me to become enchanted with the smelly, historic city. The second time convinced me I had to go for at least a week to really enjoy it. I never made time for New Orleans again. I regret that decision.

New Orleans was like Las Vegas, but a lot more laid-back and without the gambling (but still with as many panhandlers as Vegas). What happened in New Orleans stayed in New Orleans; but only if you could remember what happened anyway. Both times I went it was incredibly humid and always stinky. A native remarked that people drank to stop noticing the smell. I think people drank because it was the town hobby. You could walk up and down the streets, bar-hopping and dancing. Every place had a two-drink minimum and there were drink stalls along the street. It doesn’t mean you have to get out of control, but you end up having more than you think. (I imagine that liquor stores are being looted right now as a food staple.).

The restaurants were great, no matter where you stopped in. Basically, just pick a spot. No need to worry about the quality of your dinner. And for the next morning, there were little diners here and there serving the fried foods that Southerners love; putting a soothing coat of grease on your delicate stomach (maybe this is a Southern hangover remedy, but it works).

All that, and a whole lot more, are gone. My mother was born in the house with the cornstalk fence (now a hotel). That famous fence is under water and will be for at least the next month, they say. If there is a Mardi Gras this coming year, it will be a miracle and a real reason for celebration. But I don’t have a lot of hope. (Of course, that begs the very serious question: where will Girls Go to Get Wild?)

I’m aware of the myriad economic implications of this disaster. I’m aware of an entire region of newly-homeless people. What affects me most is that this great city, which has weathered so much, is ruined. The old buildings that are still standing won’t be able to survive the rot caused by the water and filth. They will be torn down once the city is drained. What makes New Orleans New Orleans won’t be there anymore. Who wants to go to a French Quarter that’s new and clean? What is going to become of the beautiful Garden District? Will the city be able to host jazz festivals anytime soon? Something that I liked so much is gone and I didn’t even properly appreciate it.

I didn’t lose my home and no one that I personally know has been displaced. This is just a short piece of sad appreciation for a city that I have a soft spot for.

4 thoughts on “the devastation of New Orleans

  1. Word on the street is that these hurricanes are a form of “environmental warfare”.. meaning, it’s being done on purpose by the miltary. Which military, I don’t know.

    The US military, for example, has been able to create manmade hurricanes and earthquakes for about 50 years (look it up on the net, info not particularly hard to find). Environmental warfare started way back, thousands of years ago, when tribes would use smoke, fire, and manmade landslides to ambush enemies.

    I find it awful interesting that the hurricanes are hitting areas in a sort of “ethnic cleansing” kind of way. Also very interesting is the way oil and gas prices keep going up with every new hurricane or “natural” disaster, including the big tsunami in Asia. All of this kind of reminds me of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”.. different storylines, but for the same sorts of reasons (ethnic and social cleansing).

    Also not often talked about in social and political mileus is the fact that oil and gas extraction is widely known to create local and MOBILE earthquakes. They may extract the oil and gas from Texas, but the resulting earthquakes might only happen in, say, Arizona or California, or even overseas.

    Just some juicy opinionated tidbits.

  2. oh.. and.. The girls go to Montreal to get wild. Or Vegas. I think. Pretty damn cold in Montreal around the time of Mardi Gras, but at least you can say “mardi gras” with a bit of french authenticity and a bad french accent, and can drink like a fish, and eat like a horse. Gourmet food on the cheap… mmm.

    k. i’ll leave you alone now. i’d direct you towards my own blog, so you know who the hell is leaving comments on your blog, but I don’t want to post the link for privacy reasons. feel free to email me and i’ll send you a link, if you like.

  3. Apparently this is a hot-button topic, but please keep posts relevant to what I’m actually discussing. I have no qualms about deleting comments. (I already have, for that matter.)

    And Lillian, the second you post anything on the Internet, your Internet privacy is gone. It is silly for someone who has their own blog to worry about link privacy. The Girls Gone Wild question was me being rhetorical and funny.


  4. Dear..

    If you’re going to be unfriendly, then please do me a favour and delete all of my comments on your blog. And a word of advice: your writing lacks intimacy and emotion. Are you a robot or do you have actual emotions?

    Referring to one of your previous posts where you went off on how sex is everything and everything is sex.. etc: SEX is just sex.. I think you’re confusing sex for INTIMACY.

    Considering how “unprivate” my indentity is, maybe you should have done your homework before being (kind of) rude to me, since you’re all big on writing and publishing etc.

    Good luck.

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