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Friday Open Thread, Week #2: doin’ Katrina time in east Jesus

April 23, 2010

It’s Friday and here’s your Open Thread. Come out, come out, you lurkers, wherever you are. Regulars, make sure you don’t take the last cup without making a new pot.

You will note the cross-stitched sampler on the wall: No spoilers or discussion of an episode before it has aired at least once on Regular Folks’ TV. You will obey this. Capische?

Play nice or don’t play.

No white t-shirts.

No outside drinks.

  1. April 23, 2010 1:58 am






  2. wigatrisk permalink
    April 23, 2010 7:27 am

    Thanks, all, for a rewarding community here. I’ve been lurking for a couple of weeks now. I came to Treme via the Wire, Homicide, and so on, introduced to that material when I lived in Baltimore in the late 1990s and by a love of the music. I was in New Orleans in June of 2005 for a while, and a few times before that (July 4th weekend 1976 as a little boy too), but I haven’t had the opportunity since then. I research in the Caribbean and live now in St John’s, Newfoundland, a place with a tough history but a resilient, welcoming, very musical culture that so often reminds me of the islands. In our year here we’ve met the most open, generous, and profoundly interested in who you are type of people. I’m constantly amazed by the humour of people you meet in passing, or the hardened, poor merchant mariner you meet in a pub who suddenly says the most beautiful and true thing about the fog, or a passing comment on the street from a child about a seabird’s call. There is music around most of the time, and a great love of storytelling of all kinds.

    At any rate, I just wanted to say I’ve appreciated your discussions, and learned a great deal. By way of a question, though, I’ve been wondering why in the media buzz about Treme I don’t think I’ve seen any mention of the documentary Trouble the Water (which I pulled off the shelf the other week to re-watch). Any reason why?

  3. April 23, 2010 7:33 am



    (Edit for those who have no clue what I’m talking about: Each time I see a mention of animals not allowed entry into an establishment, it takes me back to the sign on the door of a restaurant in Barcelona: a dog with a red line through it and the words Perros ¡No!)

  4. April 23, 2010 7:40 am

    Great to have you with us!

    I haven’t seen “Trouble The Water” yet, honestly, but I’m glad that you mention it. It is on my list. I just don’t think it’s really come up in the comments ’til now.

    Also, you’re in beautiful country up there. Took a trip up into New Brunswick and P.E.I. one summer, and if it weren’t for the fact that I know the winters can be brutal, I’d have gone ahead and told my husband to keep us in that area.

    Oh, and Ray and M, we also need to BEWARE OF PICKPOCKETS AND LOOSE WOMEN. But then again, that’s so early 20th century.

  5. April 23, 2010 8:12 am

    Y’all are so no fun, and, as hard as it’s going to be not to sell crack or cats here, I think I can manage it, but I’m confused about the no spoilers thing. By regular TV do you mean Sunday nights on HBO? That ain’t regular TV, that’s HBO.

  6. greg p permalink
    April 23, 2010 8:15 am

    There are sites out there that give synopses/spoilers for upcoming shows, usually a week in advance.

  7. April 23, 2010 8:17 am

    Yes, by regular folks’ TV, we mean Sunday nights on HBO. As opposed to the irregular folks, like reviewers and others with access to plot points or footage before any given “new episode” airs on Sunday.

  8. April 23, 2010 8:17 am

    I was wondering who the “Elmore” guy is in episode 2 who sits down with the tourists at Bullets after Antoine gets up to play with Kermit?

  9. wigatrisk permalink
    April 23, 2010 8:17 am

    Ah yes, the weather. My account name comes from my elderly neighbour’s comment this morning about the wind. This is Canada’s most windy, cloudy, foggy, snowy, and rainy city. But at least it’s not that cold in the winter, even if it can sometimes snow in June. Last week I met a Japanese TV crew who were filming the famous fog here for a show on fog, which apparently has tremendous spiritual, emotional meaning in Japanese culture (which I suppose it does here too). They were excited by having filmed beautiful white fog over the harbour, with brilliant blue sky above and a rainbow briefly shot through the fog. They had remarkable thoughts about fog, memory, and the subconscious.

    We are expecting a royal visit here on campus this afternoon, and as I was just walking for a coffee I passed a groundskeeper carefully scrubbing a walkway, and another groundskeeper passing by shouted over: “Is she coming in her slippers then, b’ye?!” I love this place; people are full of chat.

  10. Exiled in New Jersey permalink
    April 23, 2010 8:39 am

    I’m wondering about Elmore too. Bet we haven’t seen the last of him.

  11. Mistlethrush permalink
    April 23, 2010 9:34 am

    Hey all–

    I’m glad to have found a space where I can read great observations, personal anecdotes and just damn good reviews from folks in New Orleans and those of us elsewhere. I also love the links to other blogs and the book recs

    I’m a born and raised Yankee (Connecticut) now living in the midwest but New Orleans had my heart from the first time I visited. Many years and many visits later, I am still enthralled and captivated by her; the food and the music, yeah, of course, but most of all by the people who live there and love her so much.

    Watching Treme and then reading the discussions afterward make me feel yet another connection and I thank you all for that–it’ll make the time pass more quickly till we drive down in October.

  12. adrastosno permalink
    April 23, 2010 9:59 am


    Oops, I guess that’s not a rule but a statement of fact…

  13. April 23, 2010 10:42 am

    Must give props to the original Mr. Samuel re: “no cat selling” (for those of you of the naive persuasion, he’s not talking about felines):

    No Crack Selling No Cat Selling

    This is a tire shop, if memory serves it’s on St. Claude somewhere but I could be mistaken.

    Welcome wigatrisk. My grandparents on my fathers side were born and raised up there in the Harbour Grace/Carbonear area, moved to the US in the 1920’s when they were young adults. Both passed on long ago but I wish I had some recordings of my grandfather when he really got going with the Newfie talk. I can’t really do it but one of my cousins does a fantastic impression. I remember calling the Bureau of Vital Statistics up there doing some genealogical research a few years back and the woman who helped me on the phone caused me to sigh audibly. She asked if I was all right and I said, “yeah…it’s just that you talk just like my Nana and I miss her.”

    Someday I’ll get up there to visit.

    One of those “continuity” mistakes up there in the photo; they’re playing outside the Royal Street Rouse’s, which of course was still the Royal Street A&P for a few years after the storm. Actually, it’s still the Royal Street A&P, nobody pays attention to the sign. It’s a “magical” Rouse’s in both Simonville and reality, in that it can be both an A&P and a Rouse’s depending on what you need it for.

    Sophmom: The “regular TV” thing is a holdover from the NuPac days. HBO used to air episodes of Season 5 of The Wire one week before the offical air date if you had OnDemand. Not everybody who has HBO has OnDemand, so we made an editorial decision back then that anything posted before the official air date was a spoiler. Other blogs did all their writing based on the OnDemand episodes, and since I’m a spoiler Nazi I just ended up never reading those blogs.

    As for us writing spoilers for people on the West Coast…well, what are you gonna do, y’know?

  14. April 23, 2010 10:45 am


    speaking of documentaries… I’ve been meaning to mention this one even though it’s not at all related to Katrina or directly to NOLA.

    The Order of Myths

    About Mobile, AL and their Mardi Gras, which (do not throw anything at me) is the oldest in the US (1703, bitches).

    That said, it’s about much much more, and there’s an interesting narrative twist at the end. There are two Mardis Gras in Mobile, one white , one black. Two parades, two royal courts, two sets of secret societies, two ball gown designers, all the way down the line.

    And a great many of the African Americans in Mobile’s Africatown section are direct descendants of the last slaves brought – illegally- into the southern US, from the ship Clotilde. (A tragic and fascinating story in its own right) In fact, the white Queen of the Mardi Gras detailed in the doc, Helen Meaher, is a descendant of the privileged outlaw who commissioned the illegal slave ship and Stefannie Lucas, the African American Queen is descended from the slaves that escaped the Clotilde shipwreck and settled Africatown.

    I watched this doc in one sitting, and have seen it a couple of times. Highly recommended. It’s fascinating, but I don’t want to give too much away.

    It’s available for instant viewing in Netflix, too.

  15. adrastosno permalink
    April 23, 2010 10:56 am

    Virgo: I’ve seen that documentary twice myself. Great stuff.

    Ray: Yeah you rite about the blissful changeover not taking place for awhile. I gotta differ, however, on what people call it. Most of the folks I know who live or, like me, work in Quarter do call it Rouse’s. Why? The old A & P sucked and the new store is superior.

  16. virgotex permalink*
    April 23, 2010 11:06 am

    Forgot to add: Welcome to those who’ve de-lurked. Thanks and don’t be strangers!

  17. April 23, 2010 11:09 am

    “people on the West Coast…” I can HEAR you! We’re already well accustomed to avoiding potential sources of spoilers from you people who live in the FUTURE!

    Also, unaccompanied children will be given espresso and a puppy.

    One thing I’m curious about from you with direct experience is the medical experience. It seems that there would be a lot of people getting sick and getting injured trying to deal with the debris, things like that. I know that Treme can’t cram everything in, but it seems missing.

  18. April 23, 2010 11:09 am

    Regarding Creighton’s comments about Lusher at the end of Episode 2…whether or not Lusher is currently be used as an employee perq by the Tulane administration, when Tulane and Lusher joined up to charter the schools soon after the storm and Lusher Elementary started making noises that the “Lusher neighborhood” boundaries would no longer be honored, at that time there was a real fear that this is what Scott Cowen was trying to accomplish. A quality magnet school “benefit” to attract out-of-state faculty by smoothing over one of the hardest aspects of moving here, especially post-K, which is schooling.

    Unlike Creighton, Ashley was appalled and outraged by the move:

    Then again, unlike Creighton, Ashley was a DePaul professor, not a Tulane professor (and as of fall 2005 no longer welcome at Tulane since his field was Computer Science) and he bought his house specifically because it fell within the old Lusher neighborhood district boundaries, and with three pre-K kids in the house he was really scared they wouldn’t be able to get into the school that he had planned for them all along.

    (Full disclosure: My kids went to Lusher Middle School.)

    (More disclosure: Any newly-arrived faculty who would just put their kids into Lusher High School without trying to get them into Franklin/NOCCA first is an idiot. )

    It’s a damn shame what happened to Fortier, though. That school had history behind it just like Warren Easton and John McDonough.

    Question: Sophie Bernette is currently in a Catholic boarding school in Baton Rouge (a common fall ’05 solution for moneyed people). But where did she go to school before the storm? They don’t say. If we want to look forward a few seasons on the “everybody dies” Simon-timeline, it would be a real shame if Sophie turned out to be one of the untreated PTSD kids at Lusher who OD-ed back when heroin was the main drug of choice there in ’06-’08. It wouldn’t be a surprising fall for a kid who loses their father (and come on, Creighton is going to die at some point, right?)

  19. April 23, 2010 11:11 am

    Huh, the folks on Burgundy (Fahy’s crowd) call it the A&P. Must ask next time I’m down.

  20. April 23, 2010 11:15 am


  21. wigatrisk permalink
    April 23, 2010 11:18 am

    Wow, that is a bizarre connection. There are some beautiful spots up around Brigus and Carbonear. I’m constantly struck by the connections up here – I often meet locals who have some family connection to my research or who are descendants of English Caribbean and Bermudian merchants who came up here in the 1780s-1820s looking for new ports after 1776 and all that. We just bought a house last week and it turns out our neighbour on one side is the brother of my best friend in Toronto’s brother-in-law. Small world sometimes.

    I’ll keep the guestroom tidy(ish) for you.

  22. April 23, 2010 11:21 am

    Maitri/Adrastos: I had also heard that people still called it the A&P. I know lots of non-Quarter residents who still do, and ex-pats definitely do just because it’s been the A&P since the dawn of time.

    One way to tell the newcomers from the “from here” people: When the Magazine A&P became a Breaux Mart, I heard the former respond with “what the hell is Breaux Mart?” The latter not only knew, but also tended to use it to refer to Brother Martin HS.

    Oh give me a Schwegmann’s and a Time Saver please. And bring back the blue laws so that Sundays are quieter.

    WT: I supposed they’ll get to it at some point (previews show Antoine getting a beatdown by the po-pos in the next episode so he’ll need medical care…as an aside, I wonder if this will be the Treme treatment of the beating of Robert Davis and a journalist in October ’05;

    Medical care during that time…sucked. Huge waits for everything, ER was horrendous, hospital capacity was way down, most doctors in private practice had not returned, and the pharmacies that were open had crazy lines since there weren’t enough pharmacies and EVERYBODY needed their Xanax. And yeah, lots of tetanus scares, skin rashes, infected cuts, people who had no business climbing on the roofs of their houses falling off, etc…

  23. April 23, 2010 11:24 am

    And godDAMN if Lambreaux doesn’t rip that moldy sheet rock out of Poke’s pretty soon I’m gonna go down there and make him put on a damn respirator myself. The man is out of his mind.

  24. April 23, 2010 11:27 am

    he’s letting it air out.

  25. adrastosno permalink
    April 23, 2010 11:31 am

    Ray/Maitri: Yeah some of the more change resistant folks in the FQ call it A & P but if you make groceries there you think Rouse’s, which is so much better. The merchants call it Rouse’s cos nobody liked A & P, it had been shit for years.

  26. April 23, 2010 11:32 am

    Change resistant folks? In the French Quarter?! Surely you jest.

  27. adrastosno permalink
    April 23, 2010 11:33 am

    One more thing, it’s a badge of honor for some folksin NOLA to call things by their old name. It’s one of those things that grates. In a few years, it will be just like Rite Aid, nobody calls them K & B any more. In that instance it’s for the opposite reason: Rite Aid sucks.

  28. April 23, 2010 12:04 pm

    I’m upset because my new offensive gravatar of Davis’ ass isn’t showing up in comments. [sob].

    This is perhaps the ultimate First World problem.

  29. April 23, 2010 12:08 pm

    We were invited to the premiere here of The Order of Myths. It was very interesting in so many ways.

  30. April 23, 2010 12:11 pm

    Got it. Whew! I’d be real good at droppin’ a spoiler without even knowing it. Good think I don’t have access to previews. 😉

  31. April 23, 2010 12:14 pm

    Yeah. The whole west coast spoiler thing is a big deal on Twitter. I figure, if you’re on the west coast and don’t want to know what happens in your show, don’t follow that # while the east coaster’s are watching. Easy for me to say, I know, being on the east coast. I’m punchy.

  32. April 23, 2010 12:15 pm

    I’ve been wondering if Creighton will meation that as Tulane faculty, he’s still pulling his salary, through the insurance that Tulane had? Or whether he will mention at some point that the English Dept.’s graduate program was cut in the Tulane restructuring post the Catastrope? Or how the English dept. then had to take on so many of the administration’s clerical staff duties because that staff was let go, and with so many faculty not native-born, their language skills for reading and writing weren’t up to the level needed?

  33. April 23, 2010 12:17 pm

    Foxessa, it made me squirm. Literally.

    Which I think is a good thing for a documentary to do.

  34. wigatrisk permalink
    April 23, 2010 12:24 pm

    Hehe, there it is. Just saw it on your “he’s airing it out” reply, which was cheeky to say the least.

  35. liprap permalink
    April 23, 2010 12:31 pm

    Damn, people, between all the don’ts and Virgo’s shaking of Steve Zahn’s ass, we’re all liable to be tossed into OPP for leaning with intent to fall.

    And I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole intro-ing of Sophie’s chagrin at heading to Fortier-turned-Lusher and how it’ll toss out the student body that was already going there. The way all of this is really killing most parents I know is that many of them would fight for something better if they didn’t have to worry about their own kids first and foremost. I see it coming with LaDonna as well – her sons being in school in Red Stick versus the harsh realities of post-diluvian rebuilding, her mama’s well-being, and her search for her brother – it’s gonna pull her in all directions, to be sure.

    After all this time, there’s still no middle ground for those who want the best education for their kids: you either do the charter obstacle course and take your chances on a waiting list or you pay out the nose for private schooling…or you move away. 8-(

  36. April 23, 2010 12:35 pm

    Always was, always will be the A&P is some folks minds but yeah Rouse’s is way better.

  37. April 23, 2010 12:36 pm

    For some reason, my new Gravatar isn’t showing up here, either. Works fine on other blogs.

    Speaking of Davis’s ass, when Janette got her panty-clad behind out of bed right after Davis, D said, “Wait, we get to see his ass but not hers?” Then, Antoine got out of bed a few scenes later and D said, “Oh, thank god, he’s wearing boxers.”

    Squeamish Ass men (as opposed to squeamish Ass Men).

  38. April 23, 2010 12:38 pm

    Damn, what happened to this morning’s email comment? I was just considering the goofy Andy Griffith-ness of the Davis and Madisonian’s plot line against the darkness of just about everyone else’s life in Episode Two. Davis is like Opie gone bad.

    You may commence the incessant whistling in your head now. I am dropping offline to board my plane….

  39. liprap permalink
    April 23, 2010 12:43 pm

    There was a hint of that with the dentist urging LaDonna to get her mother to move out of New Orleans, as there was nothing in the way of health care facilites or doctors anymore, and it was no longer a city for the old. Don’t know if they’ll get into what happened at Memorial Medical Center or at St. Rita’s Nursing Home later on in the series, but there’s already been a lot crammed into two episodes.

    As things stand now, anyone who lives in New Orleans East has to go a looong way for an ER. There are a bunch of urgent care clinics that have stepped in to try to fill the void left by the hospitals that didn’t reopen, but their funding is going to dry up. The tussling over the building of a brand new LSU/VA hospital complex versus using the Big Charity building that has been sitting there since 8/29/05 has gone on long enough to the point where we just need another hospital, period. The state’s health care cuts have not helped us out, either.

    The floods took a situation that wasn’t all that great to begin with and made things much, much worse, with the local and state officials piling on. And it hasn’t ended.

  40. April 23, 2010 12:44 pm

    A huge part of me doesn’t want any of the speculations here to happen as predicted lest the speculated-upon’s real-life family and friends relive all that. As proud as I am of Ashley, it’s hard and morbid enough to watch Goodman’s approximation of him. I’m really hoping for twists that keep all of us interested and watching, but not in a way that it breaks people all over again.

    Authenticity cuts both ways.

  41. April 23, 2010 12:50 pm

    liprap, yeah, like (I think it was) Foxessa brought up about the scene with the dentist. It’s natural for people to want to do what’s best for their families and their livelihoods. I think the LaDonna arc is going to be great- lots of stuff to chew on. No it’s not “safe” for older people but yanking someone out of their world would be almost just as deadly. Plus the rest of it.

  42. April 23, 2010 12:54 pm

    my most favorite blog of the last two weeks…..i check in 3 times a day at least. Love teh insightful commentaries that make the series even more enjoyable. keep it up, y’all.

  43. liprap permalink
    April 23, 2010 12:54 pm

    Well, of course. There are many 8/29 deaths that could just as easily be attributed to the shock of removal from everything one knew and trusted. Classifying it as dying of a broken heart both hints at the magnitude of the hurt and trivializes it at the same time, because it seems like such a cliche. But in the end, all of it piling on all at once can hurt you to death.

  44. dat529 permalink
    April 23, 2010 1:05 pm

    At the time, Franklin was out of commission. It took quite a bit of damage to the ground level

  45. April 23, 2010 1:20 pm

    lip, my ex, the social worker in San Antonio hospital, spent most of the first month working with a lot of the elderly who’d been airlifted out, of hospitals and nursing homes, or rescued from their houses. So many had no ID, were off their meds, didn’t understand what had happened, some didn’t even know their own names, much less their kids. From nursing home to helicopter to airport or bus to a hospital. She kept saying, ” They lose a little more of themselves every time they get moved.”

  46. April 23, 2010 1:30 pm

    Thanks liprap and raynola–I thought it might be an area ripe for drama.

  47. liprap permalink
    April 23, 2010 1:33 pm

    How we treat the elderly is truly one of the indicators of how advanced we really are as civilized people…and we have been piss-poor caretakers of them in that department. It’s one of the few things Doug Brinkley’s hysterical and rushed “The Great Deluge” got right: this whole thing exposed the hard, harsh truths behind a bunch of myths, not the least of which was how good we really are dealing with the aged in a crisis, or in any other situation, for that matter.

    We’re not that good.

    And as we all age, think of how this will turn back on us when we get that old. It won;t be pretty.

  48. April 23, 2010 1:38 pm

    At the time of Episode 2, pretty much all of the schools were out of commission. The first “public” school to open was Baby Ben at the end of November. Franklin reopened in January ’06 as a charter school at the same pre-K Lakefront location (with some of the downstairs areas not yet remodeled). Lusher MS reopened in the Carrollton courthouse location in January ’06. They announced the move to Fortier in November ’05, but the move didn’t happen until the beginning of the ’06-’07 school year, which is when Lusher HS came into existence.

    Lusher High’s plan all along was to compete for the Franklin and NOCCA kids by providing an easy path for all the Lusher elem and MS kids to just stay where they were, and by trying to prevent Lusher HS kids from going to NOCCA. Money money money….

    I’m still curious where Sophie went pre-Katrina. It’s obvious from the dialog it wasn’t Lusher. Not many Franklin parents would take their kid out of Franklin for Lusher, and it wouldn’t have been possible in Spring ’06 since Franklin was open and Lusher HS didn’t exist yet.

  49. April 23, 2010 1:46 pm

    But yeah, this whole “where is my kid gonna go to school?” thing was a *huge* issue for everybody in trying to decide whether/how/when to come back. Late fall and early spring everything was changing on a daily basis, new schools trying to go charter, RSD and charters and the Orleans school board maneuvering for position. The contrast between Bernette’s situation (daughter in boarding school in Baton Rouge and he’s got the low-down on the plan for getting her into one of the better magnets) and Ladonna’s (kids in private school in Baton Rouge and she has NO fucking idea where they’re gonna be able to go when they come back) presents two of the common scenarios. There were others, including kids being bullied in Houston public schools who were desperate to come back, kids coming home to live alone in FEMA trailers so they could graduate from their own high school while their parents stayed in Houston because the jobs were not back yet….what a fucking mess.

  50. April 23, 2010 1:49 pm

    One of the interesting side jobs the school arc gets to do for the story is reinforcing the timeline, which is important because the first season culminates in Mardis Gras. They keep emphasizing the holiday break is coming up.

    Delmond mentions Christmas to his dad.

    Also, I think it was in the first scene with Coco and Davis, someone mentions it’s December.

    Sort of like time, like music, is a character.

  51. April 23, 2010 2:02 pm

    It definitely is, and I think Simon is trying to adhere to the timeline for “structurally significant” things like schools, etc, even if he bends it for cultural touchpoints like second lines and Hubig’s Pies.

    The beginning of school for Spring ’06 was something that was widely anticipated and caused a lot of turmoil and angst. Some schools like Franklin, Lusher, the Algiers Charter schools, a lot of the private schools, were pushing hard to be open for January to start bringing their kids back. Whereas the parents of kids who went to schools that fell into the “chronically neglected for decades” camp were kind of left on their own to navigate a new and confusing system. Franklin parents asked “when can my kids come back”. Warren Easton parents asked “are my kids gonna be able to come back”. Fortier parents probably asked “what the fuck happened to our school, and where are my kids supposed to go now?”

    And even when coming back, everything was different. Neighborhood elementary schools hardly exist any more. You may or may not have buses if you go to a school across town. Those buses may or may not be free. The Uptown Franklin bus costs $800 a year for one kid. You go to the best school that you can get your kid into, regardless of where it is (and best, for a school that sprung up post-K, might amount to “how good of a sell job did the charter’s marketing department do?” KIPP seems to be delivering, but the first round of administrators at places like Lafayette or Langston Hughes were at best incompetent and at worst the same type of carpetbagging criminals as the roofers who would take your money and then skip town).

  52. alli permalink
    April 23, 2010 2:45 pm

    I can’t see the photo since I’m at work but if it’s the sign from the St Claude Tire Shop, then yes it’s on St Claude & Louisa.

    They fixed a flat for me in summer 06, when I was living in the upper 9. It’s a great story, actually. I had a spare but couldn’t get the lug nuts off the flat. So my friend borrowed a truck and we drove up to the tire shop and asked to borrow a lug nut wrench from them. They said not a problem and just handed it to me. I was like, “don’t you need me to leave some kind of collateral?” And one of them said, “Baby, you’re the only white girl in this neighborhood, we can *find* you.” I returned with the wrench, but I also brought lagniappe: 40s, ice water, Kools. It was a good day.

  53. April 23, 2010 2:51 pm

    What, no 1998 Conterno?

  54. alli permalink
    April 23, 2010 2:53 pm

    The selection at Quicky’s on Franklin was a little limited.

  55. April 23, 2010 2:55 pm

    oops, wrong photo the first time.

    LaDonna and the rules at GiGi’s:
    treme13.jpg (JPEG Image, 267x400 pixels)

  56. brueso permalink
    April 23, 2010 3:28 pm

    I watched a slew of Katrina documentaries before the show started cause I wanted to get better facts than I had known at the time. “Trouble the Water” was definitely one of the most powerful because it showed everything happening during the storm on a ground level (we’re in the 9th ward right before, and during and then a little after). I highly recommend it.

  57. brueso permalink
    April 23, 2010 3:30 pm

    Hmmm…. I’ve got Comcast cable, and on Sunday nights, I watch “Treme” on HBO East so the East Coasters throwin in isn’t a problem for me (I figured everyone out West had that option, too, but maybe not).

  58. jaffa permalink
    April 23, 2010 3:58 pm

    Lurker here.
    I just wanted to say as someone whos waaaay on the other side of the country, watching what you ladies and gentlemen have to say here is facinating. I know sweet FA about the actual topic. I was a long time wire fan and was looking around for stuff on Treme as it came out and stumbled on this.
    Thanks for sharing.

  59. Amanda permalink
    April 23, 2010 4:16 pm

    Just de-lurking to say greetings from from far away New Zealand. I love the Wire and Treme is fast becoming an obsession. New Orleans has always “lived in my imagination” but I had no idea how much I didn’t know about it. I’m so glad I found this blog. It’s an education.

  60. April 23, 2010 4:55 pm

    I’m in the “badge of honor” camp. Drive my kids nuts with my insistent referring to the riverside part of Audubon Park as “the Butterfly” instead of just “the Fly” but dammit, history matters.

  61. wigatrisk permalink
    April 23, 2010 5:14 pm

    It is powerful, and powerfully human, and with considerable dignity. The editing is a bit off, but a lot of the footage is shattering. Oddly, the few times I’ve shown parts of it to undergraduates there has usually been a group that says the central focus on the main extended family is distracting. I’m not sure if it means they have (or think they have) seen so much footage on news and youtube that they don’t “need” to see more, which is troubling. Usually after some discussion they come to see with some chagrin that the aftermath isn’t a separate story, which I think Trouble the Water is effective in demonstrating.

    I was staggered by that BBC documentary on OPP that was linked yesterday’s posting.

  62. wigatrisk permalink
    April 23, 2010 5:24 pm

    I’d be interested to know too. I hope it was a cameo by some interesting cat, ’cause using that somewhat extraneous ending to the scene puzzled me a bit, since the small point was already made with Antoine. Using such a brief shot of Elmore and the girl’s reaction, seemed a bit of a find-someone-exotic-from-central-casting throwaway (though I mean no disrespect to whoever it was).

  63. April 23, 2010 5:43 pm

    I mean, they live in the West Coast.

    (I am in such trouble now with several people).

  64. April 23, 2010 5:54 pm

    Welcome jaffa and Amanda! Don’t be a stranger. Glad you found us.

  65. April 23, 2010 6:09 pm

    Some fine Celtic music up that way as well.

  66. April 23, 2010 9:57 pm

    Oh, god, virgotex, there’s Davis.

  67. April 23, 2010 10:17 pm

    I still see rainbow nerd glasses. I feel left out. Maybe I should be glad I feel left out.

  68. April 23, 2010 10:32 pm

    yeah, prolly.

  69. Anita permalink
    April 23, 2010 11:48 pm

    Once again, thanks for all the links. I’m beginning to think of the links in these posts and comments as homework that you keep assigning to us. I’m happily working away as fast as I can!

    Having finished Shake the Devil Off, I am now certain this nice Mr. Simon who has begun to gouge out, as MF calls it, his story, intends to somehow reflect that gruesome story and furthermore the pretty, talented little Annie is dark and done for. The best we can hope for is Season Two for her. Someone in the wealth of sources Mr. Brown used in his book made the point that the violent end of Zack and Addie was the end of the post-Katrina survival feel-good era, such as it was.

    I am curious about who played Elmore–the guy with the ruby-set gold tooth.

  70. April 24, 2010 12:15 am

    Oh sweet Jesus no…

  71. rickngentilly permalink
    April 24, 2010 12:24 am

    some times a cigar is just a cigar.

    i have worked in the 1/4 since 1980 and that corner has always been the a & p

    even though i’ve been to the rouses many times and the old a & p sucked i still was thinking oh yah that’s rouses now when i saw the sign in ep.2

    no badge of pride just habit.

    one thing i was wondering about.

    is the guy standing outside the store by the door elmore?

    also who is the white guy standing on the sidewalk in the hat?

    just extras?

    seemed like they had a lot of camera time for extras.

    also is the elmore charactor in the bullits bar a myth of the debil comming back as elmore james?

    them kids had some crazy makeup on that made them look more like the undead than hungover when they hooked up with davis after their lost weekend.

    for matri and others that know madison.

    i could be wrong but i got a take that some of yall were saying those kids wouldnt be here to volunter but to party.

    did i miss something?

    sorry if i did.

    this is the downside to the dvr.

    way to many viewings of one show you love while waiting for the next episode.

    enjoying the blog yall.

    after episode ten i think it’s gonna be like the time between the saint’s super bowl win and the vikeings game of 2010.

    a lot of jonesing .

  72. rickngentilly permalink
    April 24, 2010 12:33 am

    hey ray. can you talk an old guy thru how to get a picture up in the comments posts?

    i just realized today is is my birthday. my last year of the 40’s

    it’s time to learn this mess before i hit fitty.

    hope your well amigo.

  73. April 24, 2010 12:48 am

    Interesting thing about the Clotilde. One would think Federal authorities would be swifter to act just a year after their embarassment over the Wanderer.

  74. April 24, 2010 1:10 am

    I can’t tell if it is the same cat, but Elmore sure looks like an older version of the man playing tamborine in the video of Eric Clapton’s cover of Motherless Child. Mad close up at about 2:50 and tell me they don’t look alike.

  75. April 24, 2010 8:47 am

    Happy birthday, rick! Don’t worry, you press enough buttons and check some source code (hint, hint), you’ll find a way to put a pic in your post. Just so long as is ain’t another shot of Steve Zahn’s tuchus.

  76. thesefoolishthings permalink
    April 24, 2010 10:26 am

    Hello! I’m a lurker trying to get up the balls to come play. My momma grew up in New Orleans, her family’s still there. My daddy’s from Baton Rouge. I’ve been working steadily in school so I can get set up to move there as soon as I can. My apartment looks like a New Orleans gift shop. And Treme is the ish and is getting me through for a while AND backoftown is getting me through until Treme comes on again! Cool.

    And Careless Love has been one of my favorites forever. First, I was mad because I don’t want other people to know it and love it, too. And then I realized now, maybe people will know it when I request it! Win-win. Anyway, hello. And thanks!

  77. April 24, 2010 2:03 pm

    Hopefully this isn’t a rehash of something covered in another blog post.

    I was wondering about the Davis trademark “I will have satisfaction.” I had a hard time understanding what he was saying during the second line when he says something about “slap a bitch.” It seems like a pretty funny in-joke, and I was wondering if anyone else knew anything about it.

  78. brueso permalink
    April 24, 2010 2:57 pm

    somehow I thought it was just a non-sequitar mash-up to contrast with Davis’s earliar use of Shakespeare (“Do you mock me sir”?” etc. being from the start of Romeo and Juliet).

  79. April 24, 2010 3:12 pm

    LMAO. They thought you were a white girl! 😉

  80. April 24, 2010 3:13 pm

    I might be too, and that’s alright. 🙂

  81. April 24, 2010 3:24 pm

    Happy Birthday, Rick, and don’t listen to Lip. Can’t have too many ass pictures.

  82. April 24, 2010 3:29 pm

    As for the volunteers that come to NO to help — I can’t speak to or about them all.

    But I know who some of these volunteers are, and these kids did come fired with authentic (eeeks! THAT word!) passion to contribute to the rebuilding of a city they’d learned about via many different directions and venues in the weeks post the Catastrophe.

    Additionally at least two of them joined Americorps because of da Bunk in The Wire. They’d hoped they get sent to work in Baltimore. But they got sent down here instead.

    One of them later was re-assigned to work with the schools in Baton Rouge, particularly the schools that had gotten flooded with New Orleans kids, the schools that still aren’t back. His response to this experience was that the volunteers, whether local or out-of-state, were doing really good work. But the government, particularly at state and federal levels, not so much. Well, that was the polite way of putting what he said.

  83. rickngentilly permalink
    April 24, 2010 7:06 pm

    thank you ladys for the nice thoughts.

    : )

  84. April 25, 2010 3:06 pm

    it’s way late for more comments on #Ep 2 but was just rewatching. That scene where LaDonna brings the elephant to Antoine- cracks me up the way BOTH women are pissed at him in the end. We see LaDonna storming off in the distance while Desiree is all “Don’t you “baby” me!”

    ya gotta take the humor where ya find it

  85. noladishu permalink
    April 25, 2010 4:21 pm

    Cat selling is prostitution, FYI.

  86. noladishu permalink
    April 25, 2010 4:33 pm

    Photo of the “Butterfly.” I vaguely remember it being torn down. It was hit by a barge or something like that.

  87. greg p permalink
    April 25, 2010 6:04 pm

    Another Treme blog, this one from a forums user:

    Primarily pictures & background info of the places mentioned in each episode; mostly of interest to non-NOLA residents, but still worth a look for jaded know-it-all locals.

  88. ferngrrl permalink
    April 25, 2010 7:01 pm

    That sounds like a sign in Donna’s, or was it that bar across the river…. I recall one that said “Big Sam will be called.”

  89. April 25, 2010 8:55 pm

    Lots of neighborhood bars have signs like that outside. Drive down Leonidas Street from the river to Earhart, you’ll pass two or three of them, I think.

  90. greg p permalink
    April 25, 2010 11:12 pm


    This one had the news that David Simon’s father died this week.

  91. Michele permalink
    April 27, 2010 12:28 pm

    Native lurker surfacing. Am enjoying this blog and look forward to it at the beginning of each week.

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