Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hello from New Orleans!

Photos: a high-rise building downtown that is STILL unoccupied/repaired five years after Katrina, one of the new homes going up in the Ninth Ward, the repaired (but not reinforced) levees, and my BIL and SIL in their Saints gear.

What fun to wake up on a birthday morning in New Orleans! I had cake and chai for breakfast. Can't think of anything better.

We did have a strange experience during the night. At 4:45 a.m., someone beat on our door. Hubby got up to look out the peephole and saw a man standing there with a blanket. Since we hadn't called for a blanket, we didn't open the door, but went back to bed. A minute later, the phone rang . . . and when we answered, no one answered us.

I thought maybe someone had asked for a blanket and housekeeping wrote down the wrong room, but now I'm wondering if it was a ruse to get into our room. After all, you could hide anything under a blanket. Don't understand the phone call, though. Very strange.

Yesterday, my brother- and sister-in-law met us for lunch and took us down to the ninth ward, the community most wiped out by the floods of Hurricane Katrina. (The hurricane didn't do the damage, the flood occurred the next day when the man-made levees broke). Brad Pitt and some of his friends have begun a "green" rebuilding program there, and the houses are really cool. Still an awful lot of overgrown concrete slabs, however, where homes used to stand, right beside the levees.

And then my BIL and SIL (in photo) went to the Saints game--the entire CITY was dressed in black and gold and revved up for the game, which the Saints lost. In the spirit of oNew Orleans, however, no one seemed upset. Hope springs eternal in this place. And did you know that polls show New Orleans to be home to the happiest people in the country? (And no, I don't think they were drunk when they took the poll).

I don't know what we'll do today--the possibilities are endless. Last night I dreamed that I had to buy a crown for some pressing reason, and then in my dream I thought: "If there's any place on earth where I could walk into a shop and find a crown, it's New Orleans." Tee hee. Who knows?



Ruthie said...

Happy Birthday, Angie! It sounds like your day is turning out to be pretty great!

DH and I watched the game last night and all I could do was think of you. It was a great game and the Saints, though the losers, played very well. You are right: it does seem like the revelers were well into the party by the end of the game! LOL

Rachel Leigh Smith said...

Nothing stops a good party in the Dome.

Unfortunately that empty building is all too common in New Orleans, even 5 years later. There are still whole areas without electricity, places that have never been cleaned up, houses that still haven't been knocked down.

The people of Louisiana are not terribly fond of what Brad Pitt is doing in the 9th Ward. I know that's a very unChristian thing to say, but we were glad to be rid of those people and we don't want them back. My town, Alexandria, refused to allow anymore than 3,000 evacuees into the city. And even with just that small number our crime rates went through the roof. It was the most violent, crime-ridden 3 months in the city's history.

But nobody talks about that part of the aftermath. There were about 400 of them less than 2 miles from me. We had guns out in every room, just in case. The police and sheriff's deputies were running double shifts the whole time. And a more ungrateful bunch of people I've never seen!

Mocha with Linda said...

Happy Birthday, Queen Angie! :-)

tonyb said...

What does anyone expect in case of loss (hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, etc.)?
The disaster itself is news. What happens after the dust settles is the real story.
Perhaps disaster survivors need to know they can have access to basic rights and information...Ya think?

Leslie said...

It could be that if it was a ruse that they called the room to see if anyone was actually in the room.

Hmm.... maybe they were the previous guests and they left ten thousand dollars in diamonds in the vent in the bathroom. They desperately need to get back in to get the diamonds otherwise the drug lord they are doing business with will kill them.

I watch waaaay too much tv.