Friday, September 21, 2007

Quin in The Big Easy, I

I'm home again.

Not my new home of New York, but, the home of my childhood; New Orleans.

Flying in last night, after a flurry of last minute packing, shipping, checking around for things I left behind, Mr. Neebes saying he'll deal with Norma and sending my Calvin and Hobbes collection, a long, wonderful drive with HRH where we talked about everything and nothing... two planes and a good terrier who slept through both flights... I looked out the window as we came in, waiting to see my city....

....and it was so dark.

Sure, there were patches of light here and there, but, half of the city is dark. Not the huge, sprawling mass of lights I'm used to. Not what I saw the last time I was here, pre-Bitch. Pre-Change. Pre-Katrina.

New Orleans dates things now as before and after Katrina. "Yeah, well, we had that little camp...before Katrina."

The twin bridges on I-10 are gone. Twisted stumps are there now. Surges of 26 feet of water one way and 32 feet the other lifted them up and moved them. When you build a bridge on the Lake, you sink a barge, then put the supports on it. The Lake swelled, and picked them up, and moved them someplace else.

We had to take Hwy 11 into Slidell. It's longer, but, at least it's not the Causeway.

Driving through East New Orleans, it's still black, over towards the Lake. You see small pockets of light, but, you can see where some neighborhoods are really only a house here and there.

Today, I'll see it in the light... and, I'm not sure I'm ready. It's two years later, and much is re-built, hell, the crime is back full force, but, the city struggles to get off her knees.

It's hot and humid and that scent that is so New Orleans is in the air. Time to see what is there, on the other side...


Bud said...

It's just so sad. I haven't been there in about 8 years but it was such an amazing place. It must be painful for you.

Peter Varvel said...

What a surreal, Rip Van Winkle-like return this must be for you.

I wish you peace, Quin, and continued prayers for all of post-Katrina New Orleans.

Eric said...

Oy. I'm so behind in my blogreading. This makes me sad. I need to go see New Orleans. I want to know she's getting better but I know that my eyes are only going to confirm the reports I continue to hear...
I'm glad you got back safely, though.