Exactly two months ago people were fleeing what would become the greatest natural disaster in our nation's history. Eight weeks later the most abnormal thing in our lives right now is how normal everything is starting to feel. The predictions of three months before water would be pumped out and visions of an uninabitable city for up to a year just didn't pan out.
It's not the same New Orleans, but in many ways it is. Garbage is still piling up (although the city says it will resume a normal schedule by November 7th). Everything still takes longer, but that's mostly because there still aren't enough workers to go around. You need to think about what your needs are and make sure they are taken care of by 6 or 7 PM unless you are eating out. More and more restaurants are opening every day and the bars are pretty much back to normal. Cary said that last night he came home after the 2AM curfew and it looked like a pre-Katrina Friday night, with people milling about everywhere.
The Superdome is looking better, and that is perhaps the most visible sign the city is coming back. By the end of next week the dome's roof will once again have its snow-white covering, albeit a temporary one. You can read a great article about its restoration here.
It is Halloween weekend, and that will be sort of a milestone because it will be the first big party weekend since Katrina. I hope to get a lot of pictures to post.
The shortage of workers has hit Coop's Place as well. He has been having trouble finding good dishwashers, so he has been doing them himself once and a while. Last Sunday, I did them for a few hours so he could have dinner with Kim. Here's a sight you won't see too often:
Chuck in "the pit."
On Thursday we had our first post-Katrina cookout. We did Adam's Ribs and a deep-fried Turkey. It was yet another way to feel things were getting back to normal.
Glen Cozzi does his Steve Jobs impression
Everyone had a great time, and we used the occasion to break open the Tennessee Moonshine given to us by Stan and Kelly Boyd during our exile in Nashville. It was delicious!
Each day there are more people in town, more businesses opening up, and new challeneges. But New Orleans is definitely coming back.
- Many people are coming into town for the Halloween weekend, including Kattai, Allan, and Lia. Juli Green is also back in town to stay.
- The Orleans Parish School Board has approved 20 charter schools in New Orleans. They are hoping to get money from the Bill Gates Foundation to help run the schools.
- Mayor Nagin handed in his budget for fiscal 2006 and with remarkable optimism suggested that New Orleans will be a "smarter, bigger, and better" city with 500,000 to 600,000 people in it within 3 to 5 years.
- The New Orleans Police Department has fired 45 policemen and 6 civilians for abandonment. All 51 are people who have not reported back to the department since Katrina. They are investigating over 200 other cases. The police force is now at 1,468 people, down from just under 1700 just before Katrina.
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