On my way back from getting coffee, a woman on a bicycle pulled up to my stoop. "Are you Ken?" she asked. I began thinking of all the possible messages that might be delivered in this way--I'm being evicted; my house has been sold; someone doesn't like my dogs; etc.
"I wanted to thank you for my father," she said. "He said he's been reading what you post about the city, and he asked if I knew you." She added that her dad was comforted by the actual, factual information that I was sharing, versus the rumors posted by many others.
Just after the storm, everyone began posting on the NOLA.com forum, which became a virtual community for many displaced New Orleanians. It has deteriorated somewhat in the recent months--lots of rumors, lots of intential race-baiting, lots of posts from people who don't really seem to live anywhere near New Orleans and never have.
My friends joked early on that I was going to become some kind of community figure via the online forum. So it is a little funny that I've actually had people approach me on the street to thank me for the information I shared there months ago.
Meanwhile, Press Street's "Intersection" book (to which I'm a contributor) received a nice review in today's paper.