walking to new orleans

Apologies to Fats Domino for stealing his line -- especially since I'm flying, anyway, on JetBlue. But these rains threaten to slow air traffic to a crawl anyway. I'm heading back to New Orleans for another long stay--probably through October, to pick up where I left off on stories that continue to unfold, mostly about The Fight for Music in New Orleans and What That Means.
I'll arrive in time for the build-up to the second anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina, the levee breaches, and the floods -- all of which I anticipate with both dread (those network hacks looking for shots of desperate souls and still-wrecked houses, those politicians fronting fraud) and inspiration (the chance to break through the Iraq-presidential race-Paris Hilton headlock grip on media, and to mark a day of recognition for a city still in need).
I'll try to make sense of what I can in a piece for Salon.com on Tuesday.
I'll miss Erica, who's staying here in Brooklyn, most of all. I'd say that I'd miss the end of summer in New York but summer seems gone now. I'll miss out on attending Max Roach's funeral Friday at Riverside Church, which promises to be not just a worthy tribute to a seminal hero but also a gathering of musical masters.
But I've also missed NOLA: the cool folks at the Sound Cafe and Rose Nicaud in the morning; the musicians on Frenchmen Street and uptown and all over at night; the smart, committed nonprofit workers and ordinary people inspired past ordinary acts in between, no longer fighting a wave of water or even its immediate wake but instead a rising tide of unnatural obstacles, obdurate bureaucrats, and complacent inattention; the hellos in the street from perfect strangers who mean it.

Anyway, time to pack. I'll write soon.

August 22, 2007 9:00 AM |


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