Friday, December 02, 2005

A sympathetic writer in N.O.

This will help remove the bad taste of that Commentary article.

But, around town, there were many other things to fear, to regret, to miss, to curse, and to laugh at. It was the most bittersweet homecoming I've had, not least because I don't know who among those at my Thanksgiving table intends to stay in town. New Orleans has begun, in the most tentative way, to be a city again. Langenstein's, our neighborhood grocery, is stocking its shelves, even if it didn't prepare any of its famous turducken for the holiday; restaurants are opening, with limited menus of easy-to-buy ingredients; and bars fill up at night with exasperated hangers-on. But, traversing the debris-clad streets last week, I couldn't help but fear that these cursory signs of recovery won't propel (or reflect) the city's return to cityhood. For one, New Orleans must marshal incredible manpower--and, perhaps more importantly, tame its own worst instincts--to recover. For another, the destruction is almost apocalyptic in scale.

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