marathoner452: (fluffy nola)
...the in-house substitute teacher cheering me up over lunch just by listening and telling me that I'm doing a lot better than I think I am.

...teaching equivalent fractions to a 6th grader.   (Who despite being almost 14 performs on a 2nd grade level in reading, writing, and math.  Thank you New Orleans public school system.)

...sunset over the Mississippi while taking Stitch for a walk, and counting 125 train cars at the corner Mazant and Chartres.

...a long overdue after-hours haircut, on the recommendation of my 4th-6th grade fashion consultants.

...cafe au lait with soymilk and Ekaterina until the coffeeshop closed at 10 pm.

...the Louisiana Music Factory, which will get another chunk of my paycheck this weekend as I shop for Christmas presents and continue to flesh out my music collection.

This is a problem, I'm getting entirely too attached to New Orleans.  How could I ever leave?  Where could I go?
marathoner452: (Default)
A LITANY FOR SURVIVAL

For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children's mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours:

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother's milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive

- Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn

marathoner452: (Jackson Square)
My grandparents were here for the weekend and we accomplished the following in 48 hours:

Friday night:  dinner jazz cruise on the Steamboat Natchez

Saturday:  breakfast at Cafe du Monde
ferry over to Algiers to Mardi Gras World
lunch at Napoleon House, delicious pesto pasta salad and a Pimm's Cup for me and red beans and rice for them
driving tour of Lower Nine
back to the house to take care of the animals, D. at Voodoo Fest
dinner at Deanie's Seafood

Sunday:  breakfast buffet at Orleans Cafe
10:30 church service
back to hotel room for first half of Saints game
wandering Quarter enjoying perfect weather
lunch at Johnny's Po-Boys

Then they're going to Snug Harbor for dinner and a show tonight.  All that and I didn't even have to walk down Bourbon Street once.  I'm back in love with New Orleans and extending an open invitation to y'all to visit.  :-)
marathoner452: (Default)
The word is that we'll be allowed back into New Orleans as of midnight Thursday.  I am sorely tempted to be waiting at the checkpoint when it opens but in the interest of not arriving back in the neighborhood in the middle of the night sans electricity my plan at this point is to wait until early Thursday morning to leave Birmingham.  Like 4 or 5 am early in the interest of avoiding as much traffic as possible.  You'd better believe I'll be playing New Orleans music all the way.

The Meters
Harry Connick, Jr.
Morning 40 Federation
Hot 8 Brass Band
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Louis Armstrong

Woo hoo!  We are coming home!

http://www.nola.com/hurricane/index.ssf/2008/09/with_electricity_still_sporadi.html

"If you don't have a generator to run an air conditioner, it's going to be awfully hot and humid," St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro said. "This is not an environment for everyone. It's for those who absolutely feel like they must return."

And I do.  I love you New Orleans.
marathoner452: (rebirth)
Just so you all know, I am safe in Birmingham for the duration.  I have the animals and D. has promised me her soul in exchange for evacuating her life.  If all goes very wrong, and I hate to imagine this, then I meet her in Philly and make it somehow back to Maryland. 

For now, I'm sharing a hotel room with a fellow teacher from Esperanza.  We go back to work Thursday at the earliest.

The Chipotle here won't let you get your margarita to go, even if you're from New Orleans.  So I shall have to rely on the stash I brought with me until I can pull sympathy points (which I still sincerely hope will not be possible).

As I was leaving New Orleans I saw a pair of angel wings on the door of a shotgun house.  That about sums up our situation in New Orleans.  We need guardian angels and all the prayers we can get.
marathoner452: (Default)


From my limited knowledge of hurricanes, a hit just to the west is worse than a direct hit because in the northeast quadrant of a hurricane you get the sustained winds plus whatever the forward motion of the storm is.  And don't forget the storm surge.  At least it's not getting worse, but Gustav's still a tropical storm and he's not even in the Gulf yet so who knows what could happen.  I'm evacuating Saturday afternoon/early Sunday morning unless Friday night's forecast takes the storm well away from New Orleans.  I may be evacuating with a co-worker and her cat, which would make for a far more enjoyable experience than being stuck in a hotel room by myself for four days.
marathoner452: (NOLA)
Just in time for the three-year anniversary, here comes another hurricane.  So since D. will be out of town this weekend, I've made reservations for 3 nights in Birmingham, taking notes on everything I'd have to get ready, and keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the current track as posted on the National Hurricane Center website is very very wrong.  Right now we're in the 5-day cone and the track is pointed directly at New Orleans.

List of things to do, just in case:
Nail plywood over front and back windows.
Secure anything that might blow around, most of which we did last weekend for Fay.
Load up truck with all the plastic bins in the evacuation center and secure bins with mesh webbing.
Pack as much of my life as fits in a couple of duffel bags.
Stuff cats into cat carriers, load cat carriers and dog into truck.
Leave my car here because it's all but dead anyway.
Head for my hotel room in Birmingham and wait.

I should have known that living in New Orleans could come to this.
marathoner452: (katrina relief)
new next door neighbors

Not ICINola, not condos, not any of that, but a volunteer organization doing something good for New Orleans.
marathoner452: (Jackson Square)
This video makes me want to go to New Orleans and I live here. I gotta get out more often, ride my bike in all of it's Mardi Gras beaded glory up and down St. Charles en route to some classic yet affordable restaurant for lunch and have the tourists snap pictures of me in the process. :-)

Hello all.
Hope all is well on your end. We're hoping to crack consciousness on YouTube as part of our ongoing efforts to promote the New Orleans renaissance. Tourism is fundamental to NOLA, encompassing pretty much everything we're about - from cultural preservation to necessary economics - responsible for about 35% of the city's operating budget and over 100,000 jobs. Tourism is at about 80% of pre-Katrina levels right now.

All is splendid right now with Festival Season in full swing, cool, breezy days, and azaleas, sweet olive, Japanese magnolia and jasmine painting the city with an explosion of color and scents. But summer's coming and things slow down a bit. We want to fully leverage the great spring activities to generate momentum through the year. Appreciate you forwarding this link along to one person. More is icing.
Don't forget to allow us to return the favor. We're good like that.
Thanks!

marathoner452: (rebirth)
Nola Rising Paint Party

"It's all spring-y and green so I'm going to paint 'Rebirth' on there." -me

Yet another reason why I love living in New Orleans.
marathoner452: (Default)
How do you flip pictures 90* so they're not lying on their side?

www.makeitrightnola.org

On that note, my flight leaves at 7:25 tomorrow morning so I'm off to bed.  I'll be back New Orleans, I promise!

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