Sunday, January 08, 2006

Caution Contents Perishible

As time progresses and I inch closer towards reclaiming our home eight blocks from the 17th St. Canal breach, new complexities are beginning to arise and reality is starting to rear its head.

And even though only last week I discovered a number 2 in the bottom quadrant of the rescue markings on a house three doors down from me signifying two lost souls in that home, and have now spoken with two immediate neighbors who plan simply to demolish their homes and then sit and play wait-and-see - I still want to strive towards having our house liveable within a year.

And even though our house rests in a red zone targeted for possible flood zone conversion or, more likely, used as an all white neighborhood to be bulldozed to quell some of the frenetic screams that only black neighborhoods are to be bulldozed - I still go out there three days a week and lug slices of massive downed pines to the street or finish ripping out the last of the kitchen appliances.

I am here. I am re-building, and no - I haven't received ANY money for this work - it's simply me and on some days my 65 year old father out there working.

My great new fear as I've slowly gotten to the point where I can now see progress on my little slice of devastation is that I'm starting to think about the realities of actually finishing the work in a year and then moving into this house...

From the way things are going, I'm not going to have a single neighbor. There isn't a single gas station in that area. There isn't a grocery store. There's little to no police or military presence. There's nothing - well, except for Gulf Coast Bank & Trust which re-opened about a month ago - I plan on banking there from now on (banks with a lot more resources than they have not re-opened in Lakeview).

And here lies the problem, with the many, many rumours and facts about the continued looting of Lakeview homes, how am I to feel safe for any possessions that I move back into this house and then say, leave for the evening to go to dinner? Some also would ask, what about your own safety, but I'm not concerned about that - I'm heavily armed.

Nevertheless, this is my new concern: Am I rushing, albeit slowly, towards a brick wall?

Am I being foolhearty to work and dream of the future of this property only to have my government come in eventually and tell me sorry, yeah we need you to sacrifice your neighborhood and home for a flood plain.

I suppose if that's the case, we'll make the choice for the greater good of New Orleans - but not if we're but a white sacrificial lamb.

2 Comments:

Blogger Shellynoir said...

Articles like this give me hope for New Orleans
Best wishes to you...

3:44 PM, January 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I've been following your blog since the beginning (from up here in Wash.DC). I do feel your fears about your home-at the same time, I was thrilled to find you're rehabbing your home. What else can you do, really? It's your home. I'd do the same.

I would suggest getting the infrastructure in place-but don't move your belongings in yet.Work at making the house safe (maybe try NYC-style ornate bars on the windows and doors).

Hopefully,by then, you might get a better sense of whether the neighborhood's coming back or not.

Remember, you've got friends now all around the country cheering you on, and checking in on you. We care.

Merry

9:49 PM, January 09, 2006  

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