Friday, February 17, 2006

Road Trip to Biloxi and New Orleans

Along Rt 90, Biloxi

Wednesday 2/15/06
Left South Carolina heading south and west. Uneventful trip into Alabama. Signs on a run-down shack of a store along the highway: "Adult Movies" "Guns". Only in the South.
Thursday 2/16/06
Traveled into Mississippi and stopped along Rt. 90 in Biloxi/Gulf Port. Walked along the road viewing the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina and now, the rebuilding. Months after the storm and it seems like they’ve only just begun.

Lonely Toys

You can walk along the street and along the beach and find bits and pieces of peoples lives: video tapes, photo albums, a recipe book, children’s toys, pots and pans, a high heeled shoe, a bikini, a kitchen sink. Multiply that by hundreds of thousands and add bricks, beams, pipes, shingles and tons of indescribable debris. The stuff of our lives.

"Even after you're dead, you don't know nothin' yet" my Grandma used to say.

On to New Orleans: Boarded up homes, traffic lights not operating, trailers and reconstruction workers. FEMA trailers lined up in vacant lots, all new and unused.

The French Quarter is as decadent as ever but only on a much smaller scale. It is only a few days before the first of the Mardi Gras parades and the streets, bars and restaurants are practically empty. There are people living and working there, and tourists to be sure, but compared to what it used to be like, not even close. It looks like New Orleans, but you know that something is definitely missing.

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