Oh, Katrina. You done what we were afraid Ivan would do last year. So sad & so ironic that such a hospitable people would be made homeless en masse. During the anticipation of Katrina, all my residual hurricane anxiety from last year resurfaced. What this makes me think about is the power of travel. Once you go to a place & make human connections there, your relationship to it is never the same.

Instead of being an abstract concept (as it had been all my life before the trip), for me now New Orleans is a collection of specific & detailed memories: the warm, tree-lined night streets of Faubourg Marigny, which were supposed to be dangerous but instead felt sweetly sleepy; the conversation with the KMart check-out clerk about her siblings who had been to California; at dusk, driving the long bridge across Lake Pontchartrain, like driving through the sky itself; a hot bag of beignets (de rigeur tourist treats) snatched at the last minute on our way to the airport, how they spewed puffs of powdered sugar all over our faces, shirt fronts & the seat of the rental car.

Oh yeah, & there were some Chinese restaurants there, too, heheh. But we never did make it to the place called Takee Outee; I wonder if it survived?

I've been trying to wrap my brain around the concept of having to evacuate the entire city. It seems just plain unimaginable.