Make Believe... We Must Make Everyone Believe
Driving back into New Orleans today along Earhart Expressway, I was struck by the view from Jefferson Parish into Orleans Parish. In a beautiful cloudless blue sky I could see the highrises of New Orleans' downtown, but off to the north three billows of dark black smoke smoldered reminding me of the warzone that exists through 70% of this city.
Yes, this city still burns to the ground one historic structure at a time. But who could let that spoil a perfect day?
Why should I dwell on the ravages of my city when I can turn up WWOZ and pretend to not notice the unfunctioning traffic lights, the piles of raggedy detritus and refridgerators on the curbside spraypainted with little nuggets like "Rotten to the Corps".
You know what, you can't turn it off... but what we can do down here is make light of it, cruise ahead with our holiday shopping on Magazine St., head over to dinner with friends on Perrier St. and debate with ourselves over whether or not to have Mardi Gras in February.
I personally vote for Mardi Gras. Even if there weren't any formal parades this year, trust me we'd be out there celebrating as hard as ever and by doing so, we let - if not the world know - at least ourselves that we're actually here trying our best to salvage our lives and way of life... and that's not make believe.
Above: Enormous mounds of the remains of New Orleans' urban forest piled high in New Basin Canal Park in Lakeview.
Above: One of the tent cities located in New Orleans' City Park.