01 November 2005

Can We Rebuild That

I finally went back to New Orleans. I had last been in August. I was at a photography convention at the Wyndhem on Canal Place. For those that don't know, it is right on the river and has a breath-taking view of downtown and the French Quarter. I fell in love with New Orleans all over again on that trip.

So, yesterday I went back. I felt strange going. I had no real purpose to be there- except to see and know and be able to tell. But, I still felt uncomfortable. On the surface it was a trip of morbid curiosity. I went knowing that I wanted to take photographs of destruction and the ruin of people lives. But, really I was there because I felt I had to be there. Sort of like paying my respects to a loved one. New Orleans forgive me if it seemed to be anything else.

I actually went into Chalmette. A friend and I went to a house of someone she knew to take a soil sample. Oh the destruction. I was immediately sick. I wanted to leave. It was so sad. With in ten minutes of being there my eyes started to burn, my mouth tasted like I had been sucking on a nickel, my throat got constricted and phlegmy and I developed a headache that last till this morning. My friend and I walked around a bit and then into her friends house. She told me that the flood washed away the ashes of her friend's father. The water line in the house went to the second floor, which is about twenty feet up from the road.

Every where we went there were folks gutting their houses. Pull in out the trash and pulling down the walls. All of this could be in vain because a lot of these people still don't know if their houses will be allowed by the authorities/insurance companies to stand. But I guess these people feel like they have to do something.

I did make it into the French Quarter. It was not that bad. It was just a bit erie. There was very little traffic. But it was nice to see people doing everyday things there. God Speed New Orleans.