One Year Later.


Today marks the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Of course the "natural" part of the disaster wasn't the worst of it. What happened in the days and weeks following the disaster was the worst of it. A human disaster of epic proportions. Here we are, a full year later, and such little progress has been made. It's disheartening.

I've been thinking a lot today about the week that the Robeau and I spent in New Orleans back in April. About how you would never know that anything had ever gone wrong if you stayed within the confines of the historic district.

I've been thinking a lot about the people we met. It's not the fellow tourists or the well-heeled locals in the jazz clubs that have been on my mind, it's the kind, warm people that we met who were working in the service industry. The city's working class who were full of grit and determination.

Donald, the concierge at our hotel who said he would stay through another storm - he didn't want to leave his home again - he would weather it out. He was so optimistic about the rebuilding of the city, so sure that it will rise again. When we were leaving the hotel, I hugged Donald goodbye. Can't say I've ever been that attached to a concierge before. There was something about him that really touched me.

I've been thinking about the waiter we had one night at "Ralph and Kacoos". It's been driving me crazy that I can't remember his name. He told me that he had been sent to Washington after he had been rescued a week into the disaster from his rental in the lower ninth ward. He said that the trip to Washington was like a pleasure trip - he got to fly in a plane and see a Washington Nationals ballgame. He laughed till he could hardly talk about the sweet old woman who sat next to him on the plane. She had never left her neighbourhood before and she screamed from the moment the plane took off till the the moment it landed. He said it might have been uncharitable to laugh at a situation like that, but if you don't laugh...well, you know how that thought finishes.

I hope they're okay...I hope that they don't lose the sense of hope that they seemed to have. I hope I can help in some small way...

From September 5th until October 9th, my photo series New Orleans: where do we go from here? will be exhibited at Starbucks at 185 King Street East (at George Street – across from George Brown College, just East of Jarvis) in Toronto.

Prints of all the photos in this series are available for purchase, with one hundred percent of sales going to The Katrina Krewe, a grassroots organization established in November 2005. The Katrina Krewe consists of thousands of local and national volunteers, whose goal is to provide relief in New Orleans from the trash and debris that resulted from Hurricane Katrina along common thoroughfares. The Katrina Krewe is also fostering anti-litter awareness among residents, schools and businesses within the New Orleans area through various public service programs and activities. You can learn more at their website.

The basic clean up might be done but the work to rebuild and educate continues. A year later they still need our help.


  1. Great Post, Tracey. New Orleans will come back, I pray. It's a special place. I hate how my government treated my fellow citizens. It's frightening to think that people could be left to suffer like that.

  2. With the worsening conditions in Iraq after all the billions we spent and are still spending over there, it doesn't surprise me New Orleans is still in bad shape today. Sad!

    Good luck with your exhibition, Tracy!

  3. Thanks so much Trish. And thanks for coming by Dear Al!

  4. Anonymous11:14 PM

    Hey Tracy

    I look forward to visiting your exhibit.

    Has any one told you lately???

    You Rock!

    Ms. Mary

  5. No...YOU ROCK! Thanks for coming by.

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