My Dad called last night and it was so great to hear the excitement in his voice about all that's going on in New Orleans.
He and his partner are doing their part to help rebuild their city. Their flower shop "Tommy's Flowers" was completely destroyed by Katrina and a friend offered to buy them out, place them in a very exclusive area right in the heart of the French Quarter (on Royal Street) and to give them a contract and a paycheck to stay on as the operators of the business indefinitely.
I understand that the shop is beautiful, other vendor/operators have been added to the mix (antiques, gifts, etc...) to create a very upscale shop still using the name Tommy's Flowers.
One might think that buying flowers might be the last thing on peoples minds in the midst of such disaster but not so, the shop is open and doing amazingly well. This is just the beginning of their story, the new one. Along with many of their equally determined neighbors I believe that even against such odds, they will put New Orleans back on the map.
I can't help but feel a little envious of these people that with no real certainty of what tomorrow will bring, are uniting as a community (black/white, rich/poor, young/old, left/right) to begin the long hard process of rebuilding the city that they love, almost from scratch. This truly is history in the making.
You might be interested to hear that Mardi Gras plans are already in the making. Obviously it won't be on the same scale as usual (they've already decided that there will be fewer days this year) but, New Orleans would not be New Orleans without Mardi Gras. So ... Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll.)
BTW ... I am hoping to visit my Dad in December, eager to see the new shop and to see for myself exactly what's going on. Of course I'll plan to take lot's of photos while I'mthere.
My choice for J-link du Jour was written by Craig Guillot from the Rebuilding a City Journal , it's called The Beat goes on. I just found this journal, it looks like Craig co authors the journal with Paul Greenberg and they are keeping a running report on the progress of the rebuilding of New Orleans. Stop by and find out for your self what they have to say, I know I'm going to.