(September 2005) My designer pal who moved here from New Orleans sent the following, along with this message: I can't bear hearing people talk about WHETHER or not New Orleans should be rebuilt, so the first person account below means the world to me.
She attached a photo of Liuzza's, the corner restaurant/bar in the neighborhood where she and her son used to live.
Josh Mann Paillet, who has a beautiful gallery in the French Quarter writes
Just got out last night. I could have stayed, my supplies would have lasted for seven more days. But, the fires have started. The reports of looting downtown are exaggerated. Yes, they broke into the grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations, for food, etc. Canal street had a few hours of thugs doing sports shops, but all other shops and the ENTIRE FRench Quarter is safe and untouched. The storm did glass and roof damage and trees UPTOWN. Just needs to be swept. Looks LESS dirty than a typical Mardi Gras day.
I was never threatened. 99.9% of our people are heroic, stoic, and human beings of great quality.
THE FLOOD did NOT get into the Fr. QTR and along the river to AUDUBON PARK
I stayed and helped and photographed and bicycled these areas every day. NO shooters, some idiots, but everyone doing the best to get along and survive. Other flooded areas, it is very desperate and there are some battles going on, but very isolated.
From Monday to late yesterday there were NO military, red cross, fema, or anyone with supplies DOWNTOWN. Even the N.O. Police and Fire Dept were largely absent.
I stayed in the Qtr at A Gallery. The building and contents is presently fine. I will be going back soon to help the other people.
The Amazing people of NEw Orleans will survive and rebuild. The media stayed on Canal Street and are missing the real story. Unfortunately, the "looting" story is all they had downtown and its repetitous playing of that footage has setback recovery. IT FALSELY scared off the rescuers, I guess.
Too many rumors reported without eyewitness verification. Bad business, needs to change. Please spread the word. Bush and his people have been bad to us. Every hour matters to the remaining people
THe surrrounding region is overwhelmed with recovery. Baton Rouge has 200,000 people to help. LSU is a triage center.
EVERYONE is pitching in. The entire situation is complex and difficult for everyone. Many shortages, gasoline especially.
BY the way, Since early Tuesday, access into New Orleans via the downtown Miss. River Bridge has been clear to Baton Rouge.
Everyone else got in that way, why not the military? Four hours away by CAR is Fort Polk, one of the largest bases around. Bring the boys home, especially the National Guard.
New Orleans needs your love and positive thoughts.
Email and spread the word. Contact your leadership in Washington and keep the pressure on. Especially today and tomorrow. Remember that these people are the heart and soul of the New Orleans everyone loves.
See you soon,
Hillary Clinton was asked on today’s Today Show where the money to rebuild New Orleans should come from and she said (after noting that she has introduced legislation to restore FEMA to a Cabinet-level, independent status, as it was in the Clinton Administration)
[the money] comes from the first instance in not making those tax cuts for rich people like us permanent. You know, it means let’s get back to shared sacrifice. Let’s take care of each other. Let’s plan for the future. Let’s do what is necessary to put Americans first again.
LISTENING TO: Jennifer Daniels’s Day to Live: Well, if you’re asking me for an answer, I can only point you in the way I’m going, but now, if you are willing, you’re more than welcome to come. I hope you’re heading in the same direction. We’ll go feeding fishes by the sea and betting more than we have to give. It may be a better day to die, but it’s a good day to live.