Beyond Superdome

I have been in New Orleans since Tuesday, and yeah, it’s like a Mad Max movie here. In a good way. For those who are planning to return uptown tomorrow- here’s some advice.

First of all, don’t come back if you have kids. It’s just not safe, it’s traumatic, and there is really not much to do right now. Don’t come back if you’re not fond of camping, because you’re basically going to be camping, even if your house has electricity.

I’ve talked to lots of people who have been here the whole time, and they have been bathing and washing hands in the water. They say it’s okay to do so. I’ve done it as well, and haven’t died yet. Drinking the water is another thing. Ice is unattainable. There are no grocery stores, Walgreens on Tchoupitoulas was open but yesterday they had no ice at all. And you can’t make ice unless you use bottled water- after cleaning out your fridge, of course, after which you may decide that you need a new fridge before you can make ice, because quite frankly, no amount of bleach is going to get the stink out of some of these fridges. Get Vicks Vapo-Rub and put it under your nostrils before attempting to clean out your fridge.

It will probably be two more weeks before any shred of convenience returns to Orleans parish. Despite the lack of all that was familiar before, I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back here. It’s strange, sure. Driving around my neighborhood I almost got lost because nothing looks the same. There is no place you can stand in the entire city without witnessing some form of destruction. A large, large porition of the houses that weren’t badly damaged still lost shingles on their roofs. There are shingles everywhere. The neighborhoods that got flooded are just plain surreal. It’s pretty incredible.

I am trying to find a small apartment so I can move back here. I’m thinking about living in the French Quarter, it seems like a romantic thing to do for a little while. If anyone has any leads on housing, I’m interested. My house is not a pretty sight.

Here are pictures I’ve taken so far: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chris_martel/sets/1039778

9 Comments so far

  1. silverhawks (unregistered) on September 29th, 2005 @ 6:35 pm

    Welcome back, Chris, and all other bloggers and New Orleanians! even if it is a moldy mess, this too shall pass. hey, the whole country needs the New Orleans heart back in its matrix. good luck and may the gods, goddesses and God shine upon you.


  2. Craig (unregistered) on September 29th, 2005 @ 6:39 pm

    Thanks for the advice, Chris. Sounds like things haven’t changed much from our brief stop 10 days or so after the storm.

    What about gasoline in town? Or do we have to go Westbank?


  3. Kim (unregistered) on September 29th, 2005 @ 6:58 pm

    Chris,

    First of all Thanks for he info… Thanks for going home, and Thanks for the pics… God.. your poor house.

    In looking at this.. it made me wonder… hey.. you’re online… and you posted a relative shitload of pics… does this mean cable is up and running?

    Please, oh please say it is so… and if it isn’t.. be gentle.

    Looking forward to raising a glass or 2 with y’all when we get back.

    Kimmie


  4. Giovanna (unregistered) on September 29th, 2005 @ 9:41 pm

    Chris, sorry about your house, hope you can put it back in shape soon.

    I also want to congratulate you and the other New Orleanians that are able to go back for doing so, showing up the great spirit and carachter that has made that wonderful city so unique. Hope to be able to visit NO again soon!

    Best wishes to you all.


  5. Richard Heintze (unregistered) on September 29th, 2005 @ 10:11 pm

    Interested in how the famed streetcars made out and what you think their future is.


  6. Drury (unregistered) on September 30th, 2005 @ 6:31 am

    Dear Chris,
    You have your work cut out for you. Thanks for posting your photos: A dose of reality. I hope you can find a comfortable place to camp out in the French Quarter while you clean up your house.

    Are bon fires legal in NO? Thinking about your bed…I hope your lovely fridge stayed sealed and survived.

    Please keep that respirator on your face when you are cleaning up. AND, don’t forget that you need to change the filter cartridges on them after every 8 hours of use (that’s me the scenic paint sprayer talking). Seriously, you don’t want to get sick. Buy as many cartridge replacement filters as you can.

    Love
    Drury


  7. rich strong (unregistered) on September 30th, 2005 @ 7:50 am

    New Orleans Reconstruction
    Not to be of a shock but wouldn’t New Orleans and the Country be better served if its reconstruction was kept out of the hands of Politicians. There are great knowledge bases and judicious thinkers in our universities that given an opportunity and a little funding could develop a timely and correct approach for the future of New Orleans. It is vulnerable now and will be as vulnerable in the future even after billions or even trillions of dollars are spent. Situations of this nature require an objective Think Tank to study. My vision is similar to the vision of the original French settlement. Only protect the high ground and maintain a major port with seafaring accommodations. The indigineous industries engineer in preparedness or they wouldn’t be profitable.


  8. Katrina (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2005 @ 3:03 pm

    Don’t bathe or wash your hands in the water!!!!! It’s so bacteria ridden. I’m glad your friends haven’t died yet because of their stupidity, but they could get really really sick.


  9. Roland (unregistered) on October 5th, 2005 @ 8:06 am

    From your pictures, looks like a good time to buy stock in the company that makes Clorox!
    Also, don’t wash your hands etc. in the water yet…it is still filled with little creatures that could make you very ill. Respirators are a definite needed item for clean-up and lots of bleach!!!! Hope they don’t charge you $ for getting rid of those mattresses!!!



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