Friday, August 03, 2001

So, the alarmist neighbor was not far off on the number. Yes, there have been about 30 robberies. This, unfortunately is also what defines a "real" neighborhood. The very mixed quality of our neighborhood means that all types of people, some good and some not so good, brush up against each other. High crime periods make me long for the physical security of the suburbs, but the accompanying lack of soul makes me throw that idea out the window.

Tropical storm in the Gulf today. It will be a hurricane in 72 hours and has a decent chance of hitting New Orleans. Gotta love it!

Thursday, August 02, 2001

Crime in my neighborhood can be intense. Right now, there are a rash of armed robberies in the Faubourg Marigny area. If you live in the area and see anything suspicious, please contact the 5th District police at 504-941-4400. One of our neighbors (a man of much alarming news) says that there have been 36 armed robberies in the past month, including one across the street from our house. They are also supposed to be occuring during the day.

Wednesday, August 01, 2001

Argh! Dead fish in the pond today. Suspiciously, a cat was hanging around the pond.

Tuesday, July 31, 2001

I live in a real neighborhood. I got up early today and walked from my house to the far end of the French Quarter, which takes about an hour round trip. The neighborhood is very mixed, with rich and poor literally right next door to each other, mansions beside crumbling shacks and punks and retirees, all mixed up together. Gay couples walk their dogs, tattooed and pierced people ride bikes, and old ladies sit on porches and size up everyone who walks by. Most people make eye contact with you, and no matter how strange you may appear, say hello. Many houses are being restored, no small feat in an older part of a city where the elements extract a wicked toll. Our house was built in 1840 by a free man of color and we spent far more than we could afford addressing structural and cosmetic issues. Our neighbors are mostly working class and the ones on the right side drink a little bit too much on weekends and turn up classic rock to deafening levels. Judas Priest whips them into a frenzy in the afternoons and Lynrd Skynrd winds down the evenings (think "Free Bird"). I don't mind this most of the time because while their presence can be unsettling to strangers, they are actually very friendly and perceptive people. I introduce them to guests as the "neighborhood watch committee." Like other urban areas my neighborhood also suffers from crime, neglect and suburban flight. Saints Peter and Paul church is about a block away from my house. It was built in 1848 and it closed its doors last month, after 152 years of serving the community. Most of its parishioners had passed away or moved to the suburbs so the archdiocese decided to roll up many of these small congregations into one church, about a mile away.

Monday, July 30, 2001

Sunday evening was one of rest and reflection. And Japanese studies. Lots of Japanese studies. There will be more Japanese studies today (I have the day off from work), although probably not this evening. Generally on Mondays, I visit my favorite local watering hole.

Sunday, July 29, 2001

Last night, our friends Ralph and Terri came to visit us from the faraway land known as the Lakefront area of New Orleans. I made what has become my signature dish, chicken fajitas. I also mixed mojitos and Moscow Mules.
This morning, we got up early and worked out. Then Cassie left on a business trip and I stayed at home, taking my old race bike into my local bike shop, Bicycle Michael's. I know I am going to pay more (far more) than what I would pay if I bought everything online, but I really wanted to support a local business, especially one in my neighborhood. Then I came home and got my fix of daytime TV and fed the goldfish in the pond.