Visit where the mayor's office would rather not have you come
The corner of Flood and North Galvez streets, Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans.
This isn't the place President Obama crooned of Thursday, a city that "is coming back better and stronger."
this is where the ruins of sinking curbs and shattered concrete foundations betray the missing homes.
They speak of people lost and whole sections of community obliterated.
They murmur of what has not -- and perhaps will not ever -- be replaced.
One word that symbolizes major failing and limited redress, for belated reaction, and selective improvement.
Ten years have not made New Orleans forget George W. Bush,
the president who called himself compassionate
while he had Air Force One fly over New Orleans during the city's many hours of tremendous need --
and never stop.
Early requests for transportation assistance went unmet
and post-storm efforts to evacuate those in the worst conditions stretched well beyond reason,
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE?
Against the backdrop of my two urban fantasies, FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE and END OF DAYS,
I reveal what might have been done -- and was not.
The tourists have returned to the French Quarter
but in Orleans Parish, the share of people living below the poverty level has only grown.
Now, during Hurricane Season, the deeply personal knowledge that officialdom will not save you
transforms small talk about the weather into animated, anxious faces that know
they are alone in the storm.