The Lower Ninth
I wasn’t sure what I expected as we drove up and over the bridge that spanned the mighty Mississippi, into the lower ninth ward of New Orleans. To me, it seems like ages ago that Katrina flooded this city. I remember hearing about it for weeks afterwards on the news, and seeing the wake of destruction on the front page of newspapers and on evening news broadcasts. But then, just like everything else, it eventually becomes old news and gets filed away.
As we drove through the sparse and barren blocks where homes and community once thrived, I was engulfed in this strange feeling. The scene struck a chord with me, a dissonant one. I didn’t feel right pulling out my camera as we drove along, I couldn’t bare to think how I would feel if it was my house or my neighborhood, that was washed away and some tourists were driving along taking pictures of it (to make matters worse, we were sitting in the car eating a bag of beignets. Note to self: don’t attempt to eat powdered donuts in the car. Powdered sugar will always win).
The rebuilding projects are quite remarkable (yet seem to be very slow in progress). The homes are modern marvels of sleek design. Just last week I read an article about the houses that Frank Gehry built for the relief effort, and was pleased that we actually found it. We also saw the house that Mike Holmes built during his time down here.
It was a depressing site, but I’m glad we took the time to check it out. The drive back to our trailer was a quiet one, with Terry Reid’s Brave New Awakening playing softly – it was quite fitting.
Today we’re packing up, once again, and headed to Memphis. We’ve got a gig on Saturday afternoon, which I’m really looking forward to. New Orleans has been a bit of a dry city for us, with regards to gig opportunities.
We’ll see you further down the road,
p.s. If we had a tow-hitch on the back of the trailer, we would have definitely been bringing this little guy back with us.