While searching for epistolary essays for my students to read, I came across this: APME Conference In New Orleans Centers on Katrina and Web . It’s next week so of course I can’t even try to figure a way in, but at least the attendees “will get a first-hand look at the area’s devastation with bus tours.” I think that’s a step in the right direction in terms of getting a true sense of place and of the areas that still haven’t even heard the word “recovery” yet.
Speaking of having mixed feelings of optimism and dread, check out Chris Rose’s latest essay: “Making Conversation.”
Sometimes I worry that those of us who have chosen to stay here and rebuild this city have developed the same kind of information filtration system that the mayor has, where all the bad news just seems to wash past him while he keeps telling us everything is groovy, everybody’s moving home, the streets are safe, go Saints.
Maybe they’re putting the Nagin Kool-Aid in the water. I mean, I’ve got this weird thing going on every morning where I look in the mirror and say: I believe.
Don’t ask me how, but I believe.
Similar to the narrative I’m writing, it’s about how everyone in NOLA has a story to tell, then segues into wondering how we can even be confident that our city is on our way back when we’re all still dealing with insurance companies and FEMA and lord knows what else! Personally, I feel guilt everyday, that I am so happy, in love, and have all sorts of free time to go to Disney World and eat steak dinners [although those were in celebration of the engagement, not every day!], which makes it easier for me to believe that some people may be better off and that this storm has shaken things up for the better in terms of reform, but somehow I don’t think that’s the case, not for long at least. I’m hearing more and more about relationships being on the rocks and the crime rate soaring, but dammit I still love that city and desperately want to go back!