Monday, November 15, 2010

Jonathan Franzen really hates his characters

or at the very least, he enjoys being cruel to them.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Trip Home report - 5 years post-K

It's funny how you can grow up in a town and never hear of certain sections - possibly never even visited them. Had never heard Faubourg-Marigny called Faubourg-Marigny until the 80's even though the library my elementary school used was in Faubourg-Marigny across the street from Washington Square. Had never heard of Lakeview or Bywater or Tremé, or Broadmoor until Post-Katrina, and did not know of Pontchartrain Park until a recent episode of the Tavis Smiley show, so decided to visit on Halloween. As the photos show, the area's still pretty badly damaged - ballpark estimate would be 20-25% of the lots are uninhabited, either vacant lots or abandoned houses.

Driving around the area, I noticed that the Shell station at Paris & Robert E Lee (first college summer job) is no more. Lakeshore drive is annoyingly 1 way on weekends for certain sections & closed for other sections & 2 way for other portions (frustratingly, I kept ending up back at the traffic circle at the end of Paris Avenue). Lakefront airport appeared to be on the mend, though I did not try to enter the art deco building - I lived within walking distance of the airport during most of my Franklin years, but never tried to visit.

The sliver by the river looked great. The maddening construction that shut off half of St. Charles by Audubon Park and along Carrollton along the streetcar portion have been finished since last Mardi Gras - huge hassle getting around that area during last visit. Visiting uptown & the insectarium you would have no idea that Katrina had ever hit the city.

Halloween itself, trick-or-treating in Lakeshore, was fun & made better by folks having big screen TV's in a carport & Harlequin Park showing the Saints game, even though the first half gave the locals little to cheer about.

Final note - New Orleans does still have its sense of humor.

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