I finished up some last-minute work on this semester’s syllabi yesterday and decided to spend the waning hours of my summer on my bike. It was surprisingly dry yesterday–N. said it was only 15% humidity–and the sky was blue, no thunderstorms threatening. Perfect. And I just love a good destination-less ride. I headed to Mid-City via Jefferson Highway and then took a left on Canal and rode in to Metairie for a little frozen yogurt. Last time I was in that neighborhood I stopped to see the Katrina Memorial at Charity cemetery. I couldn’t exactly tell what was the memorial, but yesterday I saw a woman etching what I presume are names on a block of white granite. I’ll definitely have to ride back there to see the finished memorial. I then rode over to Lake Pontchartrain via Canal. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time riding around Lakeview. Lakeview was completely flooded when the levees broke, and the rebuilding is definitely uneven, just as it is everywhere in New Orleans. Gated homes with impressive lawns, pools, and facades rise right next door to abandoned lots and grown-over foundations. I snapped this picture on Vicksburg near Porteous–I’m not sure about the cross street since there weren’t many signs. The house on the right is For Sale By Owner, and appears to have been cleaned out, but not much more. The house on the left is completely remodeled, down to the sculptured bushes at the door. Rebuilding is a slow process, and just because you rebuild your home, doesn’t mean your neighborhood is back. Every neighborhood, even Lakeview, is filled with constant reminders of that time almost four years ago when the levees broke. No wonder New Orleans is living through a persistent mental health crisis. I continued my ride to the lake, where the palm trees are still young and the shelters are still shut, and then back to the Treme via Esplanade, where turning right or left will give you a completely different sense of where this city’s at. I got myself a pizza and a couple glasses of wine, stopped by to see some friends, and then headed back Uptown via Magazine. I’m looking forward to autumn by bike.