Thursday, April 12, 2012


The house I grew up in had been demolished, the foundation and all. I flew into New Orleans, rented a car and decided to drive around my old neighborhood to see how things were going. UNO was still there and had actually grown since I had graduated. The winding Lakefront looked the same. I crossed over the Seabrook Bridge and turned onto Hanyes. Things began looking pretty bad, but that's what I expected.

When I reached my neighbood, which was between Read and Bullard and Haynes and Morrison for those who live there, I saw my elementary school had been bulldozed. However, there were pylons stacked on the property, which meant there were going to rebuild the school...that or a rehab center.

Most of the houses in the neighborhood seemed okay as I continued on, but it was hard to tell how many were inhabited. I expected to see my old house, the one I lived in since I was three and my parents lost after Katrina, to be in a delapidated state with crazy grass reaching to the knees. No, it was gone. The only thing remaining were the two short palm trees that my Dad had planted on the front lawn. They are probably worth some money to someone.

Otherwise, I stared blankly at the plot of dirt. I actually looked at the houses on the left and right to make sure I was in the right spot. It took a moment to adjust to the fact that it was gone. It shouldn't have surprised me. Everything my parents didn't take with them to Baton Rouge for the hurricane had been destroyed by the flood. The more I thought about it, the more it felt right. It was closure. There was no reason to ever go back again, but I know I will. One day I'll be writing about the new house that's taken its place.