new orleans mon amour

Five years ago today Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans. I remember exactly were I was. My family and I were on a little vacation. It was the day we were heading back home and I remember waking up and turning on the news and seeing the aftermath of the hurricane and the levee breaks. It was so unreal. My heart just ached for everyone there.

I have never been to New Orleans but if you've read my blog before you might know It's one of my favorite cities. The city has recovered much but also not so much in many ways. There are areas that will never recover. I find this sad in a city that's so full of culture, history and soul.

Last summer I  read a good amount of books about New Orleans. Fiction and non fiction. Poems. Beautiful coffee table books with stunning pictures of the gardens of the Vieux Carre. Cookbooks. Architecture. I watched documentaries about Katrina. Visited websites like the PRCNO an organization dedicated to preserving the historic architecture of the city. I couldn't figure out why I was so drawn to this city. Only that there's something about it that constantly draws me there.

This book New Orleans Mon Amour is one of my favorites. Andrei Codrescu is a noted commentator for NPR and a New Orleans resident. His book chronicles his love for the city as seen through the eyes of someone who like so many others, went to visit and decided to stay. It made me laugh, cry and hungry all at the same time.

One of the lovely people I've met here in blogland is artist and newspaper columnist Cindy Adkins. She owns the blog Whimsical Musings. She and her husband moved to New Orleans after Katrina. Cindy was recently featured in Art Saves in a story about how she used her art to help with the recovery of one of the devastated neighborhoods. She's quite a remarkable lady. You can visit her website and see more of her art or stop by her blog and check out all her fun creations.

Just a few of my thoughts this early Sunday morning. Which means it's time for me to go to bed. Maybe I'll dream of beignets and a cafe au lait. I haven't tried to make them from scratch yet but I have a box mix straight from the Cafe du Monde and maybe I'll make a few in a few hours and look at pictures of those beautiful French Quarter gardens again.


Laura said...

I, too, love New Orleans and have always been drawn to it. I went in 2007 for the first time and was so astounded by the city. There just seems to be something so determined about the people of New Orleans. I've yet to make it back, but I know I will. If there was any way to avoid the heat of the summer, I'd move there in a heartbeat.

Mosaic Magpie said...

Such a unique city New Orleans, unlike any other I have visited. People and buildings so full of life and character. From the music in the air to the wonderful foods, a destination spot that is recovering from a nightmare. A place where the sun is shining again.

Papillon Bleu said...

Wish I could go one day. For the music mainly.

Amber Leilani said...

anna, what a lovely post about new orleans!
i thought about doing a post today about katrina, but i just couldn't bring myself to do it...
i can tell you that there is no city like it anywhere in america; that i thought i would move on in the days following the hurricane, but that i couldn't do it - i had to return to the city that had become home for me; and that i am one of the lucky ones - i found love during a difficult time and am in a far better place than i was 5 years ago.
new orleans is the city it always was and always will be - full of history and culture and residents who wouldn't be anywhere else no matter what. we are a unique city. we like it that way....
thanks again for such a lovely post,

Kim B said...

THanks for sharing the book. I am going to read that. Have a wonderful evening.

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

This was a lovely post. It just seems that help for N'Awlins is just not moving quickly enough and it's very sad. We help out other countries better and faster it seems than our own.

Cindy Adkins said...

Oh gosh, Anna,
I started to cry when I read this post--and then I saw my blog mentioned and was so surprised--that was so sweet of you! And when I saw the beignets, I couldn't believe it--they're so delicious!

Wendy said...

Hey Anna dear,
I am going to have to check that out on my next trip to Barnes.
Living just a few hours from Louisiana, that is my road trip when I need to get away. I love the French quarters and everything about New Orleans. No hurricane could wipe out the spirit of that magical and mysterious wonderful place.
Spells and Wishes,
Wendy from wonderland

Theresa MacNaughton said...

What a beautiful tribute to New Orleans - what happened was a travesty. But the people are strong - and I know that amazingly cultural city will rebuild itself. It takes time and love and support. Theresa