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The 100 Ways September 14, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Citizen Journalism, Corps of Engineers, Hurricane Katrina, Mid-City, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, Uncategorized, We Are Not OK.
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The great wave near the coast of Kanagawa August 12, 2006

Posted by The Typist in art, Japan, New Orleans.
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Hosuki The Wave

I found this postcard of a picture by Hokusai while in Washington. I put me in mind of my recent Wet Bank Guide post View from Under the Volcano. The foamy fringe is a nest of threatening fingers reaching out to swamp the boats. The moutain is distant, cold capped, oblivious as the gods. The men’s backs are turned to the wave, and bent to the task of rowing. They did not choose the sea; the sea chose them. It is the world they were granted by their ancestors, a way as deeply ingrained in their souls as the salt in their sea-glare furrowed brows. The sea is a mirror of the sky, sometimes placid and other times fierce with wind, and where else shall men live except beneath that broad and pitiless blue? They have heard the tale of tsunami, whole villages swallowed by the sea, places where people no longer beach their boats, coasts given over to ghosts. Still, they rise up with the sun and go down to their own nets. When confronted with the Great Wave, there is nothing to do but row.

The ex-pats make the LA Times August 9, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Bloggers, Citizen Journalism, Mid-City, New Orleans, Toulouse Street.
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The story that my wife and I (and Ray and Ashley and David) have all been waiting for has finally made the LAT:

Sense of Duty Lures ‘Expats’ Back Home to New Orleans

By Ann M. Simmons, Times Staff Writer
August 9, 2006

NEW ORLEANS — When Mark Folse told his mother-in-law he had decided to move his family here shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit, she handed him a magazine article about New Orleans’ gang problem.

“The understated text was, ‘This is where you’re taking my grandchildren?’ ” said Folse, 49, a New Orleans native then living in Fargo, N.D. …

“The more people who come back, who value the city for what it was and what it is, the more difficult it will be for them to wrest it from us,” Folse said.

Watching the catastrophe of Katrina unfold last August, “I felt an overwhelming need to come here and plant my flag and buy a house, and try and save New Orleans,” said Folse, who tests computer software for a national bank that lets him telecommute. “Admittedly it sounds grandiose and self-serving. But I felt I had to come here and be part of it.”

There rest is here


Greetings from Washington, D.C. August 4, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Corps of Engineers, New Orleans, NOLA.
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Katrina Memorial

The National Katrina Memorial….

New Orleans forever July 29, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Citizen Journalism, Mid-City, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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I pass this truck almost every day on Bienville. It’s basically somebody’s dumpster. (The kids toys on the ground in this picture are now in the bed of the truck). But every debris piile that moves or grows is someone else making themselves a new home in New Orleans

Next year’s model July 20, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Bloggers, Citizen Journalism, Mid-City, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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How did I manage to elect myself the model of anything? Today, an LA Times photographer came by to snap my family and I for a story on returning ex-pats, and next week I will have coffee with an NPR reporter on the same subject. Fellow blogger Schroeder has asked me to read a post for broadcast on WTUL’s Community Gumbo radio show.

While I have publicly chronicled aspects of my return through the past year, I hardly expected to make a national stir. I appreciate it when people take interesting in what I write, as my readership slowly grows and prominent bloggers link back to my posts, when I found myself listed on the Radio France Katrina page–the only blogger–between the links to the BBC and FEMA.

Today I found a link into the Wet Bank Guide from the TPM cafe, where I was once again quoted by Boyd Blondell of After the Levees .  Boyd seems to fancy my angry, ranting side, the same approach that got me some notice from Will Pitt of Truthout back in January.  I’ll have to ask the photog if he can get a shot of my angry side. Then I can post it up in the gutter of the Wet Bank Guide; perhaps I should also have a wistful, thoughtful shot to chose from, a sort of avatar of the mood of today’s post.

The angry posts are the easiest to write and the hardest to publish. I don’t want to tip over the edge in anger, and when there is so much to be angry about that’s a highly springy tightrope I find myself crossing like a bear on a unicycle. Now that I’m about to go national, I think I will have to watch it even more closely. The angry tenor of political blogs, while it has been energizing the marginalized left, is not going to result in a rapid return to civic discourse. Angry sells, but I don’t know that I want to be remembered as a footnote in this history of political talk radio and blogging as the angry voice of Katrina. (And, lets face it, I think Professor Morris does angry so much better).

Instead, I hope I can inspire. I’m glad that, through the agency of some former colleagues in journalism, I have this opportunity to tell my story to a wider audience, and to bring in the stories of another half-dozen returning ex-pats I know of. I hope that the outcome of the stories will be by Ashley (aka Professor Morris) and Ray and myself telling our stories, we will discover we are not alone.

Even more important, I hope that there a hundreds if not thousands more in the ex-pat community who have felt as I have since the unfolding of the flood and its aftermath last September: a powerful desire to come home, to plant their flag for the future of New Orleans, to be another spear in the host who are committed to the future of the city.

I’m reminded of the long, narrative anti-Vietnam war ballad Alice’s Restaurant, which everyone in a certain Baby Boomer age bracket will remember. Toward the end, when Arlo Guthrie talks about singing the song to the draft board, he says this:

You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.

And that’s what this is about–the blogs, the stories–the Rebirth of New Orleans Movement. If these articles push even a couple of ex-pats or lingering evacuees over the edge and make them decide to come home, I can lay aside my lingering doubts about my own suitability as poster child, the nagging fear that I have over taken the story, that the Gonzo Journalism Version 2.0 style that defines much of Citizen Journalism in the blogosphere has eclipsed the subject.

Geek Food July 16, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Bloggers, Mid-City, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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The wine did not arrive a time, a perfect post-Flood New Orleans touch to the Stormhoek Geek Dinner in New Orleans, hosted by Alan Guitierrez of Think New Orleans. The attendees cataloged already by Loki and Danger Blonde were not deterred, and there was beer enough and plenty of carried in food to keep the evening afloat and well fed.

A few of the bloggers in attended had threatened to take Stormhoek to task for the missing wine, but I take that to be just another (minor) example of how We Are Not OK in NOLA. For the evening, this collection of several dozens blog publishers, coders and assorted hangers-on was more than OK. And, when the wine does arrive, we will have a perfect excuse to do it all again.

I agree with Loki that the baby doll in the king cake and unofficial guest of honor was ten-year-old Blogger Kalypso, daughter of blogger Mike Homan who produced this video about our fair city.  And thanks again to GW for putting together this nifty list of the bloggers in attendance:

Toulouse Street July 16, 2006

Posted by The Typist in Mid-City, New Orleans, NOLA, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
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Because of the style of my primary venue, Wet Bank Guide, I need someplace to dump random thoughts and notes about life, so I have created this site.  If you’ve found your way here out of interest in New Orleans or Katrina or the Federal Flood, I hope you’ll also stop by Wet Bank Guide, and read as well some of the other blogs of note you will find listed there on the same subjects.