dimecres, d’agost 22, 2007

Further Reflections on New Orleans (English)

New Orleans may indeed be beset by a dinge that's darker and deeper than the one with which she was bemantled before Katrina, but at her heart, she is still New Orleans. It ocurred to me this afternoon as I stood in the Audubon Aquarium looking out over the Big Muddy from the relative comfort of wheezing air condensers that New Orleans was pretty much being ignored by much of America. She has fallen from whatever little grace she clung to before the Hurricane, but that may not be a bad thing. For many years, the city lived on the edge of the American conscience, and it was only in the latter half of the twentieth century that she entered into a zone closer to the center of American identity. Clearly, while many Americans as individuals rushed to help save her citizens and her culture, among them the many millions who have been touched by her unique spirit, the government of her country has not done nearly enough to stabilize her, despite the fact that she is the only city of note between Florida and the giant metropolis of Texas.

Again, that may not be a bad thing, for in the past she has been battered, and on her own she has come back, even more unique than before. I suspect that she is rallying her internal strength for another century or two, and perhaps when America is ready, she will be able to take her place near the center of our minds again.