31 August 2005

New Orleans, We Miss You...

It's hard to see a beautiful place facing devastation, and New Orleans is one of the most beautiful places on the US cultural map. Music, art, history, and some amazing engineering to keep the below-sea-level city dry. Now many residents are gone, the survivors are being evacuated, and the losses in lives and property are just beginning to be counted. I wonder what this will mean to our national culture -- I've heard word about a number of musicians who are safe (including Kermit Ruffins, Irvin Mayfield, Ani DiFranco, and Bill Summers), but I wonder about many others, along with the record labels and radio stations there. What will happen to Mardi Gras? Who will be left to participate in a big second line for the city herself?

A notice on the website of WWOZ says simply "Due to HURRICANE KATRINA we signed off on August 27th at midnight. WWOZ will not be broadcasting until further notice." There might as well be a big sign on the road leading into the city "New Orleans closed until further notice." And a thousand aching hearts will turn around, wondering where to go now.

For more on the situation in New Orleans, I recommend Wikipedia's article Effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans

If you can't help more directly (like adopting a New Orleans family for the next few months), consider a donation to the Red Cross.

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