Collapsed Roof on a House on Roffignac & Dorgenois

Ok, the weather is just ridiculous in New Orleans right now. I got up early, read for a bit, and then took the bike out for a ride. After a couple hours of grading at the coffee shoppe I pedaled out with no destination. I headed toward the Lower 9th but was thwarted by the bridge up at the Industrial Canal. Wait, wait, wait, and then wait a little bit more, and then I was zipping around, trying to trace as many newly-paved roads as possible. Yes, there are fresh roads in the 9th, but there are also a lot of houses that look like this one. It is hard to believe that it has been over five years since the levees broke and flooded the city when neighborhoods look like this one. A few blocks on from this house someone has tacked up a sign that reads, “This is Not a Dump. This is a Neighborhood.” Yes, it is, and we still have a collective responsibility to clean up this mess. It is deeply sad to ride around some of these streets and think about the losses upon losses that each blighted house and stairway to nowhere suggests. Oh, and wildflowers are blooming in great swathes. It is viscerally confusing to ride around these neighborhoods sometimes. I rode back across the canal, this time just beating the drawbridge, and watched the neighborhoods change through the Bywater and Marigny, up Frenchman to the Quarter, through the CBD and the Warehouse District, on up through the Irish Channel and Garden District. It’s not even  an 8 mile ride, but it might as well be a thousand miles apart. I ate a quick dinner and headed straight back downtown for Tennessee Williams plays at the Southern Repertory Theater, and then over to Frenchman for a snack and some basketball. And then back home through Central City on empty streets in that perfect nighttime air–it felt like taking my bike for dancing. So many different days today.

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