Saturday, September 10, 2005
This is the boat in Stephen's yard. 10/1/05
Stephen called on Friday, Sept. 2nd to tell he had been in New Orleans until Wednesday the 31st. I was horrified because Meg and I had thought he'd gone to Baton Rouge. His voice had a very haunted sound, all that he could say was, " It's just like on t.v. ". So, sadly told me he made it down our street in Treme and that our house had collapsed in the force of the storm. I knew that structure wouldn't have a chance against winds most humans cannot begin to imagine. We were prepared for the worst, I just hoped it wouldn't land on anyone.
The good news this, two weeks later, that once the federal help arrived, things would improve very quickly. It is.
We have reports that the water uptown is on and the pipes are being flushed and they have cleared some trees and they are putting the power lines back up on St. Charles Ave. Thank goodness that we are right on one of the most important streets in the city, they must get the streetcar up and running. Also, the headline in the paper today says there are the estimate of fatalities was higher than what they are finding so far. We can only hope that more people were rescued than we thought. They also estimate that they will get the water/sludge cleaned up in just a few weeks!
We have lost entire neighborhoods, and many beautiful, jewels that make our city unique. For me this house project was a dream come true. So if you had your hopes and dreams in New Orleans, you have to ask yourself, "have we lost our dreams?" Or exchanged them for nightmares? I say, no, of course not. You just adjust your definition of your dream a bit.
I hope we won't lose our memory and will rebuild New Orleans as it should be according to the cultural style unique to our city. Like clothes, architecture is a personal expression and we have a responsibility to carry forth the personal expression of those who had the vision to build our beautiful city. We must carry that vision forth. Now, we may feel closer to them and their stuggle to develop our graceful city on a festering swamp but are luckier because we have the wisdom of Then and Now. I can't wait to get back. Can't wait to smell the sweet olive trees.
Thanks to Jacques for saving Stephen ! He said he had a photo, hope to get it to you soon. Right now, what we have is this link to our aerial view of the downtown area.
You can zoom in but only if you know where to go.