Friday, March 19, 2010

A St Patrick’s Day Walk and a Katrina Site Revisited

Journal Entry 3/17/10: Coinage = $1.21, 36 pennies, 2 dimes, 3 quarters (one super find [.50 or more]); Glass bottles = 6, Ground Scores =3. Best coinage find = 2 quarters in a newspaper machine.

Journal Entry 3/18/10: weight = 171.2; Coinage = $1.83, 78 pennies (1 wheat), 6 nickels, 5 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles = 4; ground scores = 3. Best Coinage = a quarter curb fine.

Journal Entry 3/19/10: Weight = 172.0 lbs; Coinage = $3.33, 108 pennies, 6 nickels, 12 dimes, 3 quarters; Ground scores = 4 including a sack of discarded washed jeans and shirts; Best coinage = a four penny curb scatter.

Feature Entry: A St Patrick’s Day Walk and a Katrina Site Revisited

St Patrick’s Day has come and gone, for the MoneyWalker it provided an excuse to walk to Finn O’Cool’s Irish Bar and Grill in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans. New Orleans may be the epicenter of St Patrick’s Day celebration, much more so than in Ireland. About all the Irish do is serve a special potato pan cakes. I know, I’ve been there on St Patrick’s Day.

We will call the walk a culture walk rather than a money walk or even a fitness walk. Finn's provided a New Orleans spectacle of color and costume. There were hats, pantaloons, blouses, belts and every accessory that have ever been worn by the celebrating Irish and Irish want-a-bes; all in bright hues of green. Finn was making a fortune selling Guinness.

I contrasted the scene to one from October 2005, about two months after Hurricane Katrina. Mid October was the first time after six weeks of mandatory evacuation that New Orleanans were allowed to return to check their water logged property. It was impossible to stay, there were no utilities, food, gas, or any basic services. The MoneyWalkers drove in, began gutting our home, and then drove back the 50 miles to our temporary home in Folsom, LA.

But before leaving, I walked the Mid City neighborhood to survey the damage. The city was a ghost town—no cars, lights, people, just the erry sound of silence. And then unbelievably, there on Banks Street was this sign:

Finn O’Cool’s Bar

Open for Business


With his gas generator blaring and double front doors wide open, Finn O’Cool was open for business. He was one of the few non-flooded businesses to re-open, certainly in Mid-City. What a contrast to my walk of this Wednesday, these four and one-half years later. No one can use the word "brilliant" in just the right way as the Brits and the Irish.

Finn O’Cool, this Guinness is for you!! Indeed your sign captured the recovery spirit that has defined New Orleans' great come back


1 comment:

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