Saturday, August 28, 2010
Whatever Gets You Through the Night
I wrote the following in August 2006 when New Orleans was still abandoned, the citizens still relocated, the housing still debris one year after Katrina rolled through and the levees were breached.
Now approaching the five-year anniversary, it's still difficult to gauge what has been lost forever.
In my visits to New Orleans, what impressed me most was the unique vibrancy that was completely a creation of the culture fusion of its people.
It was the 80's - my job was the victim of the Reagan-era mergermania of corporate interests, but I was offered a transfer to the new headquarters, located directly across from the Superdome. After several trips, and tours of the neighborhoods and investigation of options for my family, I declined and parachuted out to California. Later, when I thought of thousands trapped in the Superdome, it gave me shivers.
In those subsequent trips to train my replacements, I tasted turtle soup, imbibed jazz and other elixirs in the French Quarter, sat by the Mississippi eating beignets and drinking dark chicory-blended coffee. I tried to understand the locals who sometimes sounded like they were from Brooklyn, heard the French influence in the Cajun dialects, ate po' boys at local delis. I bought books to better understand the city's history, for it always seemed exotic and European...but ultimately the blend represented a very American ideal.
Until the people are able to return, are able to find affordable housing, are able to rebuild, I sense the loss remains great. It would be a shame if New Orleans is rebuilt as a gentrified tourist destination. It was always so much more than that.
From my Yahoo blog - August 2006
Whatever gets you through the night
Diaspora of residents - the Flood Bowl,
Not the Dust Bowl this time
Exodus from the Superdome to Astrodome and beyond
Come back, Little Sheba.
Come back, Big Daddy
Come back, Little Sheba
"Does that streetcar named Desire still run the track?"
I'm thinking of you tonight, New Orleans
Of stale beer memories in French Quarter gutters
The morning after - The night before - The year before
The year before the music died
The road to home is littered with Presidential Photo Ops
Glad Handers and
"Heckuva job "
Relocation fatigue eviscerates the Heart Of The City
Jazz used to be Queen; off with her head
The drummer planned the coup d'etat
The Blues are now ascendant and wailing in the night
Regards - Cris !
Earworm then and now: "Whatever gets you through your life, It's all right, it's all right...John Lennon rocker. Enjoy and as they say "Laissez les bons temps rouler..."