I just received some extraordinary photos from Amazing Cousin, the burgeoning architect, who is in New Orleans on some adventure involving urban housing solutions. It's the best visual story I've seen of just how bad things remain down there, at least in the poor areas.
Photo: Derek Lindner
After last week's fierce storms, (and in particular a gripping picture of a huge tree squashed down across the roof of a car in Queens), I'm feeling rather fragile and vulnerable here in our huge pile of flaking wood, cowering under the branches of the mighty five-story Ent-maple. Morbidly, I found myself mentally rehearsing what it would be like to see the CrazyStable slumped in a pile of blue-shingled timbers. Oddly, it was rather freeing...as long as all of us were safely outside, I could imagine going on with life minus stuff. Even the poorest victims of Katrina--those who survived--are still opening their eyes to a new day, and I truly believe the cliche that where there's life, there's hope. And, while I make a fine "poor mouth" much of the time, in truth, we'd start out with a lot more hope than those souls (hope for friends' guest rooms, for one thing). I even know what we'd rebuild with the insurance money: a little house, an energy-efficient anti-McMansion, with a picket fence and bigger surrounding garden. Then I'd try to get someone to write us up for the Times real estate section as a trend-starter.
Having thus decided how we will survive utter devastation, I must drag the Stablemates out before the next "cell" of thunderstorms (when did they start calling them "cells" on TV?) to buy peaches and corn at the Greenmarket and hit a few yuppie stoop sales in Park Slope.
"Angel bright, Life in Death, go away, don't suck my breath." -- "To Kill a Mockingbird"