Notes on being busy in the unoccupied zone
I live in the Bywater, which is the part of the Ninth Ward that didn't flood. At all, for the most part. And yet even though people have been back since October, and the old businesses have reopened, and even new ones have been established (a coffee shop half a block away!), the city considers the neighborhood "unoccupied." So when they announced at deal with Earthlink to provide wireless service, the plan did not include this area--just the occupied ones, like Uptown, where people can easily afford their own plan. And when they announced the return of the National Guard, my neighborhood actually lost police, who have been transferred to the occupied zone. And yet, it is still pretty busy around here.
For example, today I walked over to NOCCA to teach a workshop as part of their summer program.
Tomorrow, I'll go the ALA conference to sign books at the Ingram booth, then head back to the Bywater for the opening party for Press Street's Intersection book. Sunday, I'll be going to the ALA sponsored party for the reopening of my neighborhood library on Alavar Street. Monday there's an ASPCA/ALA party at the zoo.
All this makes it feel like things are back to normal, but in this case normal means: Monday we had a six hour blackout; during the blackout a building down the street caught fire; the police can't seem to stop one of the neighbors from speeding through every stop sign on my street while laughing like a hyena; and the National Guard are back, but they haven't returned any of the stuff they borrowed the last time they were in town.