Rain at St. Louis and Burgundy

Rainstorm in the QuarterI rode my bike down to the Marigny to meet S. for coffee and then back up to work for a meeting early this afternoon. The sun was out and the sky was blue. Not so when I headed down to the Treme tonight. The sky was gray, but i though I might be able to outrace the storm. And I almost did. But the sky turned dark and  just opened up when I reached the Quarter. I pulled over under a balcony at St. Louis and Burgundy across from the bar and called D. for a ride. Another biker was huddled under the same balcony. She asked me if I’ve ever bicycled with an umbrella in one hand. No, I said, but I’ve ridden in the rain and gotten incredibly wet many times. She took out her umbrella and continued her trek to the gym. I decided to stay dry and wait. I watched people walk by with their many strategies. This woman is holding one of those dashboard shade thing-ys over her head. It might keep the top of her hair dry, but that’s it. Some people rode by on their bikes, having resigned themselves to a soak. A guy in scrubs had an umbrella, but it didn’t seem to have done him any good. There’s lot of natural worry about hurricanes, but if you don’t live here, you might not know home much it rains, and how poor our drainage system is, and the precarious state of our infrastructure. The streets were almost immediately flooded with this rain. Yesterday’s storm meant there was little water pressure Uptown; the toilets in my office wouldn’t flush. We’ve got a seriously endangered system here, and the summer months give us plenty of reminders of just that.

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