Sunday, August 27, 2006

Healing Nola

We arrived at Louis Armstrong International Airport.

There was the heat and the humidity.

It reminded me of landing in a Central or South American City,

where the revolution had changed everything.

More than half the gates and jetways were empty.

If they were being used, it didn't seem like it.

Our jet was not the usual jet you would take, say to Amarillo or Lubbock.

No, it was a small executive style jet with 2 seats on one side,

and just one row of seats on the other.

I think it was an Embraer R something or another.

It bounced around in the humid cumulus nimbus world of sky

a little more than its larger brothers, but it was modern.

It was a little like flying in a sports car. Sporty but bumpy.

The NOLA airport was a clean eternity from the one

that is fried into our minds.

But it is lonely, and my first thought was,

"Wow, this is a like a fighter who has taken a punch in the gut,

and all of the wind has been knocked out of him. "

The cab stand outside was empty,

but a friendly man hailed one for us in seconds.

"We just came into town to see how you folks are doing", I said.

He looked and paused, "It may take 10 years" he said.

Driving into the CBD, we saw hotel after hotel with empty lots.

If they weren't closed, they looked like it.

We came to the Super Dome with its new white roof

and giant sign boasting of the first Saints Game in late September.

It's been exactly a year since Katrina was spinning in the Gulf,

with its automatic pilot set on the Louisianna/Mississippi coast,

And things are beginning to return.

There is no St Charles Street trolley,

But there is still the Napoleon Bar.

And the Monteleone still has its hand sconces and twirling carousel bar.

The waiters at the Napoleon still wear white shirts and bowties,

but they are not quite so stuffy or busy.

The streets in the Quarter are clean and uncluttered.

Up on Frenchman street, we danced until 2 with the locals.

Wynton Marsalis was there. Lots of people were.

Lots of people are gone from NOLA.

But the ones we danced with last night,

Were glad they were back.

I felt a healing last night.

But there is a lot of healing to go.


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art courtesy of Zenads

oZ note:
Today we will venture out from the quarter, so more later.


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