I am New Orleans

My friend Nancy Schoeffler, the Home, Garden, Food and Real Estate Editor at The Hartford Courant, just sent me this link. We were both once married into New Orleans families, and met decades ago, then lost touch--only to reconnect in the last year.

The video is quite moving. Take three and a half minutes, as we head deeper into this season of hurricanes, to honor the spirit of survival--and give thanks if you are lucky enough to come through the storms sent your way unharmed.

Vince Vance's music video, "I am New Orleans," is a musical collage of  
sights and sounds of the city released for the fifth anniversary of
Hurricane Katrina. Vance has lived in New Orleans for most of his



Vava (aka Virginia) said...

This is terrific and I have passed it on. A GREAT tribute with a spirited voice behind the video. Thanks!

Bruce Barone said...

That WAS moving! Thanks for posting it.

david terry said...

Dear Ms. Browning,

Thanks, of course, for sending-on that link.

I do recall, from your earlier writings, that you were once married into the town (for various reasons from my own background, I know it well), and I also recall your writing graciously (that, would be typical of you) of both your experiences there and your former mother-in-law.

Have you ever read the awful (if, one must admit, WITTY and sourly observant) stuff Ellen Gilchrist fetched-up with afer her own marraige into a NOLA family? I love her writing in some ways....but I've always thought "Good Lord....you spend a decade supposedly being MARRIED in good-faith, and THIS is all you come out of it with?"

She's a very fine writer, but I've gathered she's not a very happy person. My impression is that you're also a very fine writer who also happens, by various graces, to also be someone who at least seeks happiness.

I've just posted a link (tit-for tat, and music-for-music in a just world) on your previous posting. You've previously mentioned that my "playlists" must be something good....all I have to say is that I was afforded a very fine musical education by my family when I was young, and that I have the leisure to indulge those tastes these days. In short?...it's neither my fault nor to my credit....

And thank you for the predictably generous-spirited posting about NOLA.


David Terry

P.S?...if either of those two boys you got get smart-mouthed on you?...just inform them that you've got about one thousand devoted readers who will give them the good smack they deserve if they sass Miss Dominique.....

Unknown said...


Layanee said...

I celebrated my 50th birthday in New Orleans with sisters at Two Sisters. It was before Katrina and it is a place unlike any other.

Meg said...

Vince Vance! Hearing that name and it's like I'm a teenager in New Orleans again. Thanks for this link: I've shared it on Facebook. Didn't know you had N.O. connections...

kenju said...

I had the singular pleasure of dancing with Vince at a convention in NOLA once.

Fran Ginn said...

Dominique, this is indeed touching.......but the Mississippi Gulf Coast was obliterated. They took the brunt of the storm on the chin. The flooding in New Orleans was due to human error.
In all these five years, no one seems to remember the hundreds of people along the Coast who lost their homes, businesses, loved ones.....who are quietly rebuilding, repairing and
living with a new normal.....with no notice, no news reports, no round the clock coverage. My crazy friend, Megga, washed out to sea from her home on the beach in Waveland. We had begged
her to leave, but she said her house had stood since 1830 and was stronger than any storm. Her body washed up three weeks later about 14 miles down the beach from her home.
What about Buras, LA, a town downriver from New Orleans.....the storm made landfall there. The town is gone. It was not a rich town, just a small town made up of fishermen, oil field workers and
other blue collar people. The storm pushed the water over the levees. No body ever talks about Buras.

We didn't have a Superdome or Convention Center debacle. We didn't have reporters riding airboats looking for people in homes. What we did have was countless faith-based groups who came, rolled
up their sleeves and worked. A friend in New York, well known in financial circles, called The Wall Street Journal telling about my small town which didn't see any Red Cross or Federal aid groups for more than
two weeks after the storm. Churches and other organizations were feeding people, housing people, cutting trees - doing any and every thing to help restore a degree of normalcy while we had no power or water.
Churchmen from Columbia, SC, were here on Wednesday after the storm saying that people from MS came after Hugo and helped them. They used their own tools and gasoline to take trees off my house.
The Wall Street Journal said people helping other people was not news.

When you remember Katrina, please remember it didn't just hit New Orleans.

cynthia - thedailybasics.com said...

Well done, Dominique. That was awesome.

Dominique said...

Not only did I marry into a NOLA family, I did so with profound happiness. I absolutely adored my in-laws; my mother-in-law, Barbara Lemann, taught me so much about life, about doing good work, about keeping a beautiful and gracious home, about the joy of art...so many things. And my father in law was always funny and interesting and an inspiration to me in the way he just followed his heart into whatever idiosyncratic pleasure had caught his attention. I'll always love them, cherish the memory of time spent with them, and the privilege, as I think of it, of having been welcomed into their family! It has given me a lifelong love for New Orleans.

And Fran, so true about the Gulf Coast, and I should have been more careful to mention that. I have written some about it in my EDF column; I'm hoping that some of that BP Disaster money will help with the restoration of that area.