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Katrina and the Egg...part II

EricEric Posts: 83
edited 11:38PM in EggHead Forum
Dear Egger friends,[p]A ramble about New Orleans with a BGE ending:[p]Being unable to find things seems to be a theme here in New Orleans. [p]Let me open by saying that there seems to be a lot of confusion about the state of New Orleans. In speaking to friends across the country I get the impression that there are two distinct visions of NOLA. One is that the street cars are running and the French Quarter is fine and thus the city as a whole is 100% back to normal- crisis over. The other vision is that we drive air boats and wrestle with gators on the way to the FEMA camps- Nola is done for. Obviously the truth lies very much in the middle.[p]Both visions are true- this may seem strange but this is New Orleans and we are OK with strange things. Within a 4 mile circle (in some places a 4 block circle) you can go from eating at a 5 star place to standing on a muck covered slab that use to be a home. It is bizarre to say the least. The current picture of this city is a mosaic of realities- people are decorating their flooded out and now gutted houses with the normal x-mas lights. Some neighborhoods are fine and look like nothing ever happened. Friends of mine go to work in the morning after sleeping in their gutted homes without electricity and hot water– not b/c they don’t have a place to go but because that is their home and that is where they want to stay. Other friends of mine had no damage to their home but the mental stress of being here has forced their hand and they have decided to start life over in another place.[p]I have never been through anything like this and I hope that you never will. Yet I digress.. the opening point was finding things. Nothing seems to be where it was before. Our back house (where we live) had the roof torn off and we had Katrina and Rita’s rains fall into our house. Ceiling fell, walls soaked- a mess. The front house where we run our B&B was fine. BTW, front house built 1800’s- fine, back house built 1980- toast (wet toast)- don’t build them…and all that Jazz. Still we are much better of than many here who lost everything- I mean everything.[p]We salvaged what we could, tossed the rest. Of course there is not a rental storage facility to be found for miles and these PODS containers are on back order for months so while the house was being gutted we did the “remaining personal possessions shuffle” game… move stuff, gut room, move stuff again, gut room, repeat. Of course that makes it tough to find anything you may need after you shuffle your boxes 5-10 times. I have come to the point that if the item I need is under $20 and I truly need it, I will look for 10 min and if not successful- will just go and buy a new one. Sanity does have a price.[p]Then comes the food cravings. Ever get the thought of one particular dish in your head ? The thought is so strong that you can see it, smell it and taste it. I know you do. In most functioning places- not a problem, go get it, make it, eat it. Here… problem. Now we have several national brand grocery stores open and they are fully stocked but they often don’t carry the local brands (particularly b/c many of the local brands flooded out). Unfortunately I happen to like some local products and national brands just don’t cut it. Well, the other day I was on a quest and I was rewarded. A local family grocery just re opened their doors and I got the last 4 links of their first post- K batch of green onion pork sausage. So very very very good.[p]So while finding things is a difficult thing to do at time, if you look in the right places you can find what you need.[p]As you all know, food has the power to unify a community and help heal wounds. We…with “we” being my neighbors and friends from the community… have spent many afternoons and evenings sitting around the BGE trading insurance tips, contractor info, “what is open now” info and venting frustrations when needed. I can’t fire it up with out several of the neighbors eventually stopping by to see what is on the egg, often they depart and then return with something to toss on the grid. Several of these folks I had never met before the storm because of the usual BS that keeps us insulated from our communities and in front of our TV’s. In all honesty the BGE, for my block, has been a community builder. I guess we found something special in a place where it never was before.[p]I know this may sound sappy but it is true. In times of crisis and ongoing stress people need to talk to each other. Often it is hard to take off the “game face” and talk about it, but there is something about the smell of smoke and great food that breaks down the walls and lets people open up and get stuff off of their chest. A good meal, a good gripe session, some laughs and the day seems brighter, the problems less insurmountable and the next day holds the promise of being a little closer to normal.[p]I hope that you and your neighbors are enjoying the BGE to the full potential![p]If you are interested in more day to day info about NOLA from our point of view, Rachel has been keeping a blog on our web site. she has also been interviewed several times on NPR Sunday edition- if you google ‘bohemian Armadillo’ it should come up on the third or fourth hit.[p]
Thanks to all who have kept us in their thoughts![p]Eric and Rachel[p]

[ul][li]Bohemian Armadillo Guest House New Orleans[/ul]


  • Toy ManToy Man Posts: 416
    Eric, great post. Thanks for letting us know about you and Rachel (and NOLA in general). Glad to hear that you are 'still standing'.[p]Don't be a stranger - keep us informed..[p]Toy Man

  • Eric,[p]It's good to hear from you. It sounds like the egg is doing special work down there. Good stuff![p]Have a Merry Christmas and a New Year with new possiblities.[p]Regards,[p]GrillMeister
    Austin, TX

  • RRPRRP Posts: 19,368
    very interesting to hear the truth of the matter from you as opposed to the spin we get from the news services. Also interesting that you can find lump as I would have assumed that would be a luxury item not necessarily to be stocked so soon - but there I go assuming the gators are under every porch!

    L, M, S, Mini
    Dunlap, IL
  • egretegret Posts: 4,066
    What a beautiful, touching story! I read every word of Rachel's blog and it just brought tears to my eyes. Bless you for having the strength to persevere. I bookmarked your web page several months before Katrina because we were going to come and stay with you the next time we were down that way. That is still our intention and we're so glad you're on the way back to some sort of normalcy. That egg story is beautiful, heartwarming.....
    The happiest of holidays wishes to you and family and may 2006 be the best ever for you.

  • Eric, Thanks for sharing. I am glad the egg is doing more than just cooking. Best of Holiday wishes to you and Rachel. [p]Tom

  • ronbeauxronbeaux Posts: 988
    Great post! Glad to here you are making out OK. The damage done there cannot be fully seen on the tube. Spent two weeks in St. Bernard Parish after the water went down. We slept on a house boat and had our own private cook. The end of each day was anticipation of what "the cook" had offered up to us. No BGE, but food was the theme we all had in mind. Hope to spend time at your BB sometime. It's only 95 miles from where I live. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • Eric,
    Glad to hear you're "getting back to normal . . . sort of normal." There's something about a BGE that makes people talk about something other than their own stuff. Glad the two of you are back home.

  • MickeyTMickeyT Posts: 607
    Eric,[p]I know this is not why you posted this, but it is by far the most eye opening post I have read in a great time. Thank you for sharing what most of the country has been ignorant to.[p]God bless you and your family.[p]Mick
  • Eric,
    Great post! Glad to hear you all are safe and that you are getting things back together. I have been to NOLA two times in the last 5 weeks and didn't know you have a place there. I work for a wire & cable company that selld portable power cable to the Home Depot for re-sale to folks like you & me. So I've been there, to all nine of the Home Depot stores in NOLA and others in Gulfport & Biloxi. I will pay you a visit for sure the next time I'm there. God Bless, Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!! Joe

  • BordersBorders Posts: 665
    Eric, That's the post of the year, bro. I'm glad you took the time, for a bunch of reasons. We need to focus. We usually don't.

  • Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
    Eric,[p]Please let Rachael know how much we enjoyed her NPR interviews -- I kept hoping she'd mention the Egg, but she kept focusing on trivial stuff like survival and so forth.[p]Hang in there!

  • Eric,
    WOW. ..that is some story....i am glad to hear that you and rachel are ok, and that you have such a good attitude (like most eggers, you seem to be a "glass is half full" kinda guy) .. . .[p]one thing you didn't mention. . the B&B up and running?. . .how is business for you guys? . .. [p]best, and a very happy holiday season to you and everyone down there . .. .

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