My Incredibly Unremarkable Life
A Journal (more or less)

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This afternoon I went into New Orleans, but this time I saw some signs of progress in the eastern area.

Even before I left St. Tammay Parish, however, I saw a really exciting sign. It said "Vera's Opening This Spring." Why is that so exciting? Well, Vera's had been at the end of Rat's Nest Road (later to be called Lakeview Drive when they started building condos on it) since the 1950s. It was a typical New Orleans eatery--utterly unprepossessing on the outside, but fantastic seafood inside. Katrina took it out completely. But it is good to see that they are rebuilding and will be open again realtively soon.

Something is sure to be missing though. They had several foot long artificial cockroaches on their kitchen wall. You had to really look to see them. It will be interesting to see if they return.

When I got to East New Orleans it seemed to be same old same old, until just past the exit for the Plaza mall. On the right there was a smaller shopping center whose parking lot was filled with trucks, campers, and equipment. Now THAT is a sign of progress--it means construction types are moving in. And a bit further on the Sam's store had been gutted to the supports and roof. And there were more workmen on the other side of the interstate.

Traffic was still definitely NOT pre-K--up and over again on the high rise in both directions.

In the city itself I could see that the Saenger Theatre was being dehumidified. The Saenger gets Broadway touring companies with some pretty good offerings. That's where I saw "Cats." Otherwise, traffic was about the same on the route I take. No new traffic lights working--still going with the four way stop signs. It is a nice commentary on human nature that everyone takes turns at these intersections.

I had to drop off a prescription at my local Walgreen's and I can report that they still have at least one "mobile" facility there, whether for local employees or for out-of-town help I don't know. (I ran over the water hose connecting it to the store.) But the big national chains bring in help from other areas--and a place for them to stay. Other places set up trailers for employees. One of the nursing homes had five travel trailers parked in the front within a few days of Katrina. Xavier University has turned a parking lot into a mobile home village for employees who lost their homes. (They may have some students in those also, if they are from local families who lost their homes.

(Interjection: Fabian actually moved quickly!! Bad Cat took a swipe at him, and he swiped back. As long as he doesn't sit on her that's fine with me. Bad Cat needs to realize he weighs three times as much as she does. As for Fabian, he got a bit of much-needed exercise.)

So, finally the rehabilitation activity in New Orleans has reached beyond the unflooded and lightly flooded areas to a middle-class section. And we continue to have many many groups that come for a week or two and help gut the badly flooded places.

And, of course, a sign of return to "normalcy" is the constant bickering among civic leaders.

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