Saturday, August 22, 2015

Katrina 10: Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE?


It was 30 years and some months ago that I was born on November 5, 1984, at 11:34 am in a hospital named Charity. That was the day I took my breath as a New Orleanian and would grow into who I am today.


My love affair with my city has never died, considering I have spent most of my adult life in a city that I grew to love just as much called Houston. New Orleans was a place that you can get spiritually, physically and socially fed on a schedule of twenty four - seven with no breaks. Anyway, there were things that I wish I could have changed and some that i would keep until the end of time. All the Carnival seasons, food, festivals and family one could ask for!

Moving on, I felt a shift towards the end of 2004 while I was working at the Monteleone Hotel in French Quarter as a Loss Prevention officer. Lawd working at that hotel was wild in ways I won't go into, I will say that John legend is thick as hell in person..........
Ok so, I am gonna focus on the shift at hand, around and after my twentieth birthday I start to have really bad dreams about my street sign and water. I never paid any attention to the recurring dreams and went through the fall and winter as usual.



But then this winter was different too, the weather was weird and on Christmas day, A DAY WE NORMALLY WEAR SHORTS ON, it snowed!!! I actually played in that snow long enough to make snowballs, mind you we could only get those at a stand in seven plus flavors. By the spring I kept feeling this nagging itch to leave NOLA, like something bad was going to happen. Things were happening to make me want to leave, my friends were leaving, I lost my job and the dreams kept getting worse. By late may the dreams were the same images but this time with floating bodies, I would wake up in tears trying to understand what was happening and if I needed to seek psychiatric help. Anyway, by that point I made the decision to leave my stuff behind and head to Houston and see if I would like it. I would remain a legal resident of New Orleans, left most of my stuff behind and made it to Htown with the clothes on my back.

Got to Houston and hit the ground running, my best friend Stacey opened his home to me and I found a job within days. But, I was itching to move back home so I planned over the two, almost three months to return to my apartment and etc. During that period of time a lot happened including this:

Hurricane Cindy 2005-07-05.jpg

"Hurricane Cindy was a tropical cyclone that briefly reached minimal hurricane strength in the Gulf of Mexico during July in the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and made landfall in Louisiana. It was the third named storm and first hurricane of the season. Cindy was originally thought to have been a tropical storm at peak strength, but was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane in the post-storm analysis. Hurricane Cindy initially formed on July 3 just east of the Yucat√°n Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea...The storm strengthened as it moved north becoming a hurricane just before making landfall near Grand Isle, Louisiana, on July 5. The storm weakened as it moved overland and became extratropical on July 7. Hurricane Cindy was responsible for 3 deaths in the United States and brought heavy rains  LouisianaMississippi,Alabama and Maryland. Cindy also caused flooding and a severe blackout in New Orleans, Louisiana" - Wikipedia

Of course time went on and I and a group of friends from NOLA were going to head home on a very interesting weekend. I was going back home permanently, it was my Mother's birthday weekend and to boot it was Southern Decadence (google it). The friday we were going to leave, we had a delay, a storm in the Gulf by the name of Katrina. Saturday comes and we still don't leave because of forecasts that look very ominous. Then this happened as I watched from Houston, a MANDATORY evacuation for New Orleans, which HAD NEVER happened before.



THEN THIS HAPPENED





 

Ten years later New Orleans has recovered considerably and is still rebuilding, so am I and so are all other New Orleanians. For more in depth coverage WWL - TV is doing a ten day special and you can check it out HERE.

Here are some events to check out if you are in NOLA for the Katrina 10 year anniversary:

CITYWIDE DAY OF SERVICE

Saturday, August 29, 2015

K10 Day of Service LogoMayor Landrieu and the City of New Orleans, with support from Walmart, will host one of the most comprehensive and unique service projects in the country. The Citywide Day of Service will engage thousands of volunteers and focus service on seven specific regions of the City. Volunteers will support over 100 individual projects. This event is open to volunteers of all ages, backgrounds and levels of experience.  Learn More
Location: Various Locations throughout the City of New Orleans
Time: 7:30am – 2:00pm

KATRINA MEMORIAL WREATH LAYING CEREMONY

Saturday, August 29, 2015

tuggle figure 1An early prayer service Katrina Memorial on Canal Street where the unidentified and unclaimed bodies from Hurricane Katrina are laid to rest
Location: Hurricane Katrina Memorial – 5056 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70124
Time: 8:29am


LOWER 9TH WARD WREATH LAYING & RESILIENCE FESTIVAL

Saturday, August 29, 2015

L9RFAnnual music and arts festival in the Lower 9th Ward commemorating Hurricane Katrina.
Location: Andrew P. Sanchez & Copelin-Byrd Multi-Service Center – 1616 Caffin Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Time: 11:00am – 7:30pm
For more information visit http://l9rfest.org
Katrina 10 parade map
  
Katrina 10 Commemorative Parade Louis Armstrong Park, 701 N. Rampart St., and Booker T. Washington High School, 1201 S. Roman St. The Foundation for Louisiana co-hosts a second-line parade commemorating the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, culminating in a block party at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center (1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.). The parade, on Aug. 29 at 5:15 p.m., will have two starting points. The downtown line will form at Louis Armstrong Park, at the corner of Basin and St. Peter streets. Participants include The Yellow Pocahontas Mardi Gras Indian Tribe, Black Feather Mardi Gras Indian Tribe, Big 7 Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Sudan Social Aid & Pleasure Club, The Treme Side Walk Steppers, The Free Agents Brass Band, The Hot 8 Brass Band and the To Be Continued Brass Band. The Uptown line will form at Booker T. Washington High School (1201 S. Roman St.). Participants include the Young Men Olympia Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Distinguished Achievable Men Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Women of Class Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians, Wild Magnolia Mardi Gras Indian Tribe, The Sons of Jazz Brass Band, and The Young Pinstripe Brass Band. There will be beverage stations along the routes. The two lines will meet at Charity Hospital (1532 Tulane Ave., about 6:15 p.m.) and march to the Smoothie King Center, where participants in the K10 Commemoration: Power of Community event will be invited to join the second-line. Then, the parade will proceed to Ashe (arriving about 7 p.m.), where the block party will feature music by Brass-a-Holics and food from a variety of local food trucks. The block party is expected to end about 8 p.m. Transportation will be available from the block party back to Smoothie King Center. Admission: Free.

SOURCES: NOLA.COM & KATRINA10