Monday, November 21, 2005

Our Town

Ms. Nola has presented me with bucketful of fine questions regarding the state of our beloved city, and I will do my best to provide a bucketful of fine answers in response:

are you + the fam going to the gretna heritage fest?

Alas, no. It gave me great joy to see that the fest was going on, and for a while we had every good intention of going, but the minutiae of life intervened.

what is your opinion on post-katrina chris rose?

I confess that I haven't read all of them. What I have read has generally struck me as spot-on, though he sometimes sounds vaguely unhinged.

has there been talk about lowering the drinking age so as to encourage a wider range of patrons to frequent the aching watering holes?

From my experience, the bars that are open are doing slamming business. Less competition. More sorrows to drown.

can we get an update on the local coffee house scene (ie: what's open? who's there?)?

Ah, a subject dear to my heart. The situation with the coffee houses generally parallels the situation with the city in general. Obviously many have simply ceased to exist, such as the PJs up in your neck of the woods at Paris and Robert E. Lee (I used to go there everyday at lunch to draw). Others are closed for now, but will presumably reopen at some point in the coming weeks. I think most of the mid-city locations remain shuttered (the CC's on Esplanade, oddly, seems to have given up the ghost even though it had little or no flooding - last time I drove by it appeared to be completely empty with no signs of life whatsoever). Magazine street on the other hand is up and running. Pretty much everyone is open although sometimes with diminished hours. The CC's at Magazine and Jefferson has become a wi-fi mecca with people sitting out at its sidewalk tables well into the evening, typing away at their laptops, even though the place currently closes at three in the afternoon (actually their wi-fi was running weeks ago, long before the place actually reopened for business).

I can imagine that rue is a very different place without the law students... or maybe it isn't so much a law student hangout as it used to be.

And the big Rue (Rue de la Course), my home away from home, my lovely new office. It's booming. True, there aren't as many law students (though I actually have seen quite a few med students), but it's packed all day long with a motley assortment of folks, including many like myself whose regular offices no longer exist, also a grab bag of contractors, adjusters, FEMA inspectors, etc. - various nomadic professionals taking care of paper work. It's an interesting place to be. At some point or other during the past week, it seems like practically every single person I know who is in the city has walked through the door at least once (for example John just walked in as I was typing this).

And I'm happy to say that Puccino's, the crappy, faux-Italian, shite-hole that kicked Rue out of it's original location across the street, is stunningly dead at all hours of day and night.

So there you go - a bucketful of answers, fine or otherwise. I'm always happy to rattle on about my broken little city. Anything else?

Ask and ye shall receive.


  1. Anonymous10:53 PM

    wow! i've never been to nola, and only know about it from what i've read on your blog, but it's really fascinating! or ... maybe you're just an excellent writer! (and drawer!)

  2. No, it really is fascinating. As sad and wretched as so much of this is, it's also tremendously interesting to watch the city recover from this exceptional event.

  3. OH - the best news of all is that the crappy faux Italian coffee shop that kicked rue out from it's original (and, to me, historic) location is d-e-a-d.

    I will think of more NOLA questions asap. Thank you for the bucket full of answers!

    What are you and yours doing for Thanksgiving?

  4. The cousins who we normally have Thanksgiving with lived in Gentilly so they are obviously not in a position to host the festivities this year.

    Daytime Thanksgiving will be with the family of some close friends. Then we will co-host Evening Thanksgiving for our various friends without local family.

    I'm a big fan of the multi-dinner Thanksgiving.

  5. the traveling thanksgiving dinner is always a good plan. after all, one household cannot make every delicious thing one like sto eat.