New Orleans Blues

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JNOV reports:

These are pictures of the 9th Ward: The levee where it broke and flooded the street, and houses with the graffiti that shows the date the house was searched — about a month after the flood.

All the open fields were neighborhoods that basically reverted to nature — there are only a handful of homes, plus some of those Brad Pitt solar homes. Everywhere you look is tall grass for blocks and blocks and blocks. Who knows what sort of wildlife is living in that grass?

The road near the levee is still not paved. Fats Domino still lives in the 9th Ward.


Looks like a city after a war has ended but before reconstruction has begun. We’re still waiting for the Trade Center to be rebuilt. I hope New Orleans fares better. Thanks for the pics.

Excellent on-the-scene photojournalism … thanks for sending them.

Awesome, JNOV. Not sure if the FEMA doggie house makes me want to laugh or cry.

Hey! Brother got married today. Just leaving Fremchama. Flying out today. Will ralph on plane.ebbe.

Oh, man. I wrote that in the cab. Back in hotel. All is well, sort of.

@JNOV: Where I lived in London as a boy looked like that, long after the war. Mile after mile of abandoned, half-bombed, ruined houses falling to bits. It took 25 years to repair the war damage. The combo of flood and oil might take as long. Perhaps we have an unrealistic idea of how long rebuilding takes.

On Frenchmen street, I saw three poets with their tiny type writers and — you pick the subject and the price — poetry while you wait. I went to a poet and asked him to write one about the oil spill hitting Great Britain’s soil. Here it is:

“the spill hits england”

pelicans were only
the beginning: we made
our way through egrets,
alligators, up the coast
to blue crabs and sea
gulls…over the ocean
to our own turf, the
Gulf Stream surf bearing
messages of death –
but we’re still profiting
and the only catch is
that we can’t breathe
the air!

-by allen andre

I was working in London and turned on CNN to assess the aftermath of Katrina. An aerial shot showed a single steam shovel struggling to patch the yawning breach in the levee, a scene that would have been an embarrassment to a third-world nation, much less the US. I guess we achieved third-world status at that moment. Next stage, neomedievalism and finally stone-age cannibal anarchy. Right on schedule.

Here’s the killer — tourists pay to be driven around the 9th Ward in air conditioned tour buses, and the residents sometimes stand outside holding signs that say something to the effect of, “Thanks for making a buck off our misery. Please feel free to pay me for a tour of my house.”

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