Aug 27, 2006

Hurricane Times Call For Hurricane Dinners

On Friday night, part of my row house here in DC lost electricity for about 5 hours. It was terribly inconvenient and hot. As I complained to friends on my candle-lit porch, I thought about how extreme the situation is for people left in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. Then I felt lucky to be in only one night's air conditionless heat.

At the anniversary of Katrina and with Ernesto set to drop by the Gulf Coast, there's plenty of coverage about N.O.'s progress (I've quoted a few human interest stories below).

One inspired New Orleanian has created a ritual dinner to be shared on August 29th. It borrows heavily from the Jewish Seder tradition and is a beautiful idea. Although only a one-time visitor to the Big Easy, I may attempt to carry out some of this dinner in solidarity on Tuesday. You can see the details at Katrina Dinner 2006. (Via The Gurgling Cod)

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New Orleans is still in intensive care ...You probably have a picture of how bad our housing situation is. What you cannot see is that the rest of our institutions, our water, our electricity, our healthcare, our jobs, our educational system, our criminal justice systems - are all just as broken as our housing. We remain in serious trouble. Like us, you probably wonder where has the promised money gone? Louisiana Weekly

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I was unprepared for the vastness of it, and other people commented that they were, too. As I looked at this sadness and wondered how these neighborhoods could ever rebuild, Smith addressed my question in a startlingly concise way. Philly Inquirer

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Nearly one-third of New Orleans' trash has yet to be picked up, according to federal Gulf Coast Recovery Coordinator Donald Powell, and there is some to be cleared in Mississippi. The Seattle Times

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