". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Home Again?

I got e-mail from the New York Public Library, updating as to what is going on with its online catalog and digital resources, the branches and the research facilities, what is open and available, and what is not (digital and online most not available), but branches uptown generally open, in my neighborhood, definitely not. Still it warmed my heart to have e-mail and news from my intellectual home.

For better or worse, we’ve booked tickets on Delta to LaGuardia on Sunday at 2 PM. I am hoping so hard the power is back on in our part by then. (The prices for the seats -- yikes! JetBlue would have charged us $1200.) We’re starting to see e-mails from people on our block and around our area who evacuated to uptown Manhattan or Brooklyn. They’re asking us, who are in New Orleans, if we know anything about our home area – since we’re always the people with information. This is all we got: The boyfriend of the daughter of a friend of ours drove by our building yesterday, and says from the street it looks fine.

This is what the media's got: Aquagrill, a single veddy upscale restaurant re-opened on Spring and Ave of the Americas, with a generator they rented for thousands a day, they say. People are heartbroken that they didn't get to wear their Halloween costumes and that so many Halloween parties were canceled. The fashion and style section of the NY Times checked in with a breezy piece about how well all those very wealthy bold face names in SoHo and Tribeca are faring – a vacation, doncha know, from their very important and stressful lives! So much fun! With our private generators!

And now I see this:

Nothing is going on downtown for help and assistance as far as we can learn.  NOTHING.  No food coming in, no water.  NOTHING.  Kinda 9/11 all over again, except without the military.  I learn more from the UK Guardian than I do from the NY Times. WNYC, despite being located in my part of the city, is deaf and dumb about us, except for the very wealthy and connected.

Not funny: when I open the tag box for my blog(s) now, and start the tag with 'hurricane' the auto complete provides me with a whole list of hurricanes about which I've dealt with, with deep personal concern, starting with Katrina.

From Da List:

[ ...  24 people are now counted dead from the storm in new york city, and 600,000 still without power in nyc as of this morning.
i still haven't heard from most of my people downtown, and nobody in my building. my nabe is mostly absent from news reports.

it's clear that FEMA is not performing in lower manhattan. i keep hearing about their total lack of visibility downtown. there seems to be a perception that lower manhattan is the home of wealthy boldface names who can take care of themselves. that is certainly true, but there are a lot of poor people as well -- especially on the east side, by where the con ed station blew and where some serious flooding occurred. there's no question that a lot of people are having a hard time.

according to governor cuomo's tweets, they're getting ready to distribute food and water in manhattan, though he doesn't say where. i guess it's supposed to be a mystery.

meanwhile, i keep waiting for the great journalism, and i haven't seen it. if i see one more picture of that goddamn crane . . . ]

1 comment:

Foxessa said...

From Lister:

I live on 12 street and 1st ave. It's pretty damn bleak in the hood. The last major power outage / blackout in 2004, lasted 3 days, and resturants were clearing out the freezers and serving bbq on the street. It was summertimne and festive. Now, it is empty streets, and no services. I just don't know where everybody went to? There is barely anybody left in our 5th floor walkup. Last night the Lower East side Co-ops and project building that I saw from the Wburg Bridge were all dark. I saw maybe 10-15 windows with candlelight out of 40 or so hi-rise buildings. Where is everybody?

One cool thing that did happen on Tuesday: because our cell phones don't work, we used a 1st Ave pay phone to call home. There was a clear plastic bag full of quarters sitting on the booth with a note that said, "Call Mom ". We did.