Let's check out the mail bag, shall we?
As you may recall, last quarter I had my DB design class create a database for FEMA. A logistics database that was concerned with getting stuff from people that have it to people that need it. The students had to do a lot of work, researching things from sources they wouldn't normally use (WWL, T-P, FEMA). Most of the class was successful.
One student, who has since become an employee of Goldman-Sachs, happened to go to a conference, where she met Captain Tim Bayard, commander of the Vice and Narcotics division of the NOPD. She related our project to him, and he gave her his cell phone number. "He was quite interested in our project and the first comment out of his mouth when I told him about it was something to the effect that they really could've used something like this before and after the hurricane hit. He's definitely an interesting man!"
I spoke with Captain Bayard today, and I'm meeting with him after Jazzfest to try to give the NOPD a database they can use for this. The Dutch said Never Again, and the people of New Orleans are saying it to each other, federal gubmint be damned.
Note how I said "give". I don't want to charge for this...I want to fix it. I want to give something back to "the only city that ever loved me back".
Today, I bought season tix for the Saints. I just couldn't bring myself to drop $1400 a piece for seats, so I'm sitting in DillyBerto land.
Section 635, row 7, is now da hood.
Here's a verbatim quote from my email:
I'm a huge fan of your blog, I log on everyday, seeing if you have made an update. I myself, am 22 years, old, I was born and raised in Mid-City (N. Hennessy Street), as a kid, I attended St. Anthony of Padua, John, Dibert, and Lusher. Unfortunately, while I was in 8th grade at Lusher, my parents decided to move to Metairie, and I had to finish up my high school in a no soul Metairie high school. Once I graduated high school, I was fortunate to go to Tulane, and graduate from there in 2005 May of last year, from the undergraduate business school program (finance major), so your constant updates on the disaster that is Scott Cowen in a post K world, are very welcoming.
When the storm was breathing down our throats, me and my family went to Atlanta, then Miami, and while I was in Miami, on a whim I decided to drive to Chicago, to make 'my life."
I was up there, staying in the oak park area (working in Naperville), and would frequent the Lincoln Park area, and thought it was nice, especially catching live concert shows, at Park West and Metro. I was in Chicago up until January of 2006. Then, something came over me, where, the constant strip mall paradise, and cookie cutter suburbs, just made me realize how much of a special place New Orleans was/is, and I told myself, "screw it, I'm going back, I'm not one to cower, or give up on MY city." So I returned to New Orleans.
While I was back here in New Orleans, during February, I'll admit, I had many doubts, I thought I made the wrong decision in leaving Chicago (as far as my personal professional development), and I would drive around New Orleans, seeing the depressed city it had become, and I myself became depressed.
However, I found your blog one day, and immediately was inspired by the passion you have for New Orleans, I suddenly remembered the pride I had in New Orleans, I had as a kid growing up in New Orleans; and I thought to myself "you know, Ashley is right, F, Houston, F, Atlanta, F Chicago, they have nothing on New Orleans, and the majority of the country will never truly understand what it means to live in New Orleans"
One thing you blog has taught me, is that, sometimes life is more than pursuing lucrative opportunities, sometimes it's just about being true to yourself, and New Orleans is true to me. This is an unprecedented time, a rebuilding of one of the greatest cities in the world, and I definitely, want to be a part of it, it's being a part of history.
I am slightly confused, however. Are you currently living in the New Orleans area? The only reason I ask, is because your typepad profile has you living in New Orleans, but your vita/resume, has you presently teaching at De Paul (which, by the way, is a nice little area, right in the heart of Lincoln Park).
Either way, I just want to thank you for your blog, your passion, and your efforts to New Orleans.
I feel so damned good about making people that need to be here want to come back here. People that don't want to eat at Chili's.
Amen. We need people like Ricky here. We need people like Whitney Marcell back here, too.
And I told Ricky my current living arrangements. Thanks, Oyster.
When I lived in Naperville, my wife would threaten me every winter because I would cocoon in a quilt and refuse to leave the house. When she asked why, I told her: "The people suck, the weather sucks, the food sucks, the architecture sucks, the music sucks. Why should I leave the house."
I go out all the time now.
I can only think about having forced exile in Houston or Atlanta now. Not getting anything close to a po' boy, let alone good crawfish or gumbo. Not having everybody say "how ya doin?" when they pass on the sidewalk. Not having neighbors who know each other. Not seeing the beautiful fretwork of a shotgun house.
If you're displaced, please, if you can, come on back home. We want you back.