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Katrina + Six

Six months after the storm. People are taking stock. Me too.

I’d describe my mood as one of tightly bridled optimism. I’m not sure if that puts me in the minority or the majority. There’s all kinds of polls flying around, mostly worthless because the Katrina diaspora and the lack of functioning landlines in New Orleans confound traditional opinion metrics.

Thing is, I don’t put much stock in my own mood. I recognize it’s partly a result of our fortunate circumstances: Our house is habitable (well, half of it) and I still have my job and Xy is employed and we’ve got utilities turned on and we’ve got our insurance checks. (Finally got the homeowner’s settlement — four months after the adjuster’s report was filed!)

Moreover, my mood is a product of my natural inclinations, wherever those come from. Maybe it’s how my parents raised me. Maybe it’s just the way I was born. I take it with a grain of salt.

Xy and I made a video to mark the six month mark. It’s only two minutes long, so watch it

…and see for yourself what our neighborhood looks like these days. (It’s a follow-up to our five-month video.)

Here’s one statistic that looms large in my mind.

Number of residents who have returned to our block: 2

Note that number includes both me and Xy. Note also that our block has a number of new residents, mostly Latinos, but they didn’t live there before, so they are not “returning.”

I should point out that while our neighborhood (Mid-City) was devastated by flooding, other places got hit a lot harder. For example, check out this set of pix from the Lower Nine, also taken around the six month mark, or listen to this installment of Community Gumbo.

Or, if you’re inclined to look forward, contemplate the pervasive dread as the next hurricane season approaches.

Now what was I saying about optimism?

Published inFilm & VideoKatrinaNew Orleans


  1. I think your optimism is justified. I was in New Orleans last weekend and was pleased with all the progress I saw since my last visit in December. Tons of debris has been removed and many of my neighbors in Broadmoor are rebuilding or have plans to do so. Plus my wife’s job in the movie industry is back and she is in New Orleans working. I am plotting my return home from exile in Monroe. Of course we can’t move back into our gutted one story house, but we can live with friends while we decide our next move. I can’t wait to be part of the new New Orleans.

  2. L L

    The act of returning shows your optimism. There are many thousands who aren’t, simply due to the fear of the same happening again. You have done much to help your area. Just remember that. By reading posts on your blog you have encouraged me to do what I can to help.

    My father is very pessimistic. In my eyes, it just brings the mood down, and sometimes hurts the end goal.

    Keep on keeping on!

    Hopefully Katrina + 12 will be much better?…….I hope so

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