Katrina [B5 – 31 August 2005]

For the 30 days following this blog’s five-year anniversary, I am reposting some favorite, popular, or unique posts. Feel free to contact me to suggest some of your favorites.

New Orleans is one of my favorite cities in the world, at least among those I’ve visited.

And allowing it to be destroyed marks the point when the majority of Americans began to see that President Bush was not a competent or compassionate president.

My thoughts on the matter, shortly after it occurred, follow below.

I know I’m late with this, but I can’t let the event pass without some small comment.

New Orleans was my favorite city in the whole world, at least of the few places I’ve actually been. And now, it seems, it will have to live on in my memory. Partying, drinking, eating the most amazing food, the local color and history and architecture. Of all the cities I would have liked to retire in, to sit in the shade, drinking and writing and people-watching…

Mark Twain, Tennessee Williams, Andy Jackson and Jean Lafitte, Delphine LaLaurie, Marie Laveau… The Garden District, the French Quarter, Storyville… Preservation Hall and CafĂ© du Monde…

Katrina has all but wiped it from the face of the Earth.

The sewage, the toxic chemicals from the refineries and industrial ports, the dead bodies being exhumed from the Big Easy’s unique above-ground gravesites and floating down streets-turned-canals… It’s going to be uninhabitable for a long time to come.

My thoughts go out to all the victims of Katrina.

And… the economic devastation is going to be rather harsh, too. The Port of Southern Louisiana is one of the five largest ports in the world, and the largest port (by volume) in the United States, larger than New York, larger than Los Angeles. Not only does New Orleans handle oil imports, but it handles food and timber exports to the rest of the world.

We haven’t even begun to feel the effects of this natural disaster.