New Orleans, dark in the night

As Hurricane Issac has (finally) passed us by, most of the city remains in darkness.
This rambling journal entry will have to suffice :

30 August 2012, 23:55

Find Zeus. Find the cat. Sounds of footsteps sound in an otherwise silent space. Find the cat. He went outside, into the darkness, dark as there is no light. Save for the moon’s near-full moonlight, there is no light. The cat will be found, then the night will be closed up, in here. No power inside. No light outside, save for the moonlight. The last remaining tiny tea candlelight flickers on the wall of this room and the air is still and warm and the crickets hum with it.

The city is out of power. Most of it. Not the Quarter; they have power. But just go past Esplanade into the Marigny, and there is complete darkness. At least as complete as the darkness can be, save for the similar aforementioned variables such as moonlight and other small lights. Approaching Esplanade is like reaching the edge of an old city—no gleaming suburbs in the distance. The last lights line the road and Esplanade Mini Mart bustles with activity: people teetering out of its doors, yelling and talking and (why not) really just walking around in circles holding beers. Past this, the buildings fade into obscurity, forming lengthy silhouettes of full-bodied dark geometry, spilling into the undefined location where the road meets the trees and the trees meet the sky. The buildings’ contours are randomly sectioned by dark bowed power lines—organic how they hang from post to post, yet artificial when their black sheen catches shafts of moonlight, forced to bend to their shape. Gas lights, like tiny tea candlelights, spot the darkness like soft golden jewels.

The pictures don’t necessarily illustrate much in the paragraphs above. The first image is of Manchu’s Food Store on Claiborne, underneath I-10. Notice how there are no lights on the highway. Really amazing… very post-apocalyptic. The store was apparently running from a generator, and its single low-lit room was packed with an agitated group of sweaty people buying beer and non-perishable food items. Other images include the Marigny and Frenchman Street. One of the final images is the front of The Spotted Cat, which was also running from a generator, and it and Café Negril (lit by candlelight) were the only open businesses on Frenchman. The Spotted Cat featured an unsurprisingly extraordinary jazz band and was full of dancing, hot people. It shone like an oasis on an otherwise dark street.


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