HOLY DOUBLE CROSSED

HOLY DOUBLE CROSSED Mon, 27 Mar 2006 21:32:27
ABOVE: 406 Tricou Street in Holy Cross before being renovated by the PRC.

ABOVE: 406 Tricou Street in Holy Cross on the day it was sold to Katie and Jason slightly pre-K.

ABOVE: 406 Tricou Street in Holy Cross post-Katrina. Katie and Jason have made progress since this picture was taken.

On Saturday Dr. A and I ventured to the Lower Ninth Ward for the PRC’s Look & Believe Tour of Holy Cross. I hadn’t crossed the industrial canal post-K because I didn’t want to do so for purely voyeuristic reasons. I figured that I’d leave that to the TV people and other vultures. The biggest myth about the Ninth Ward is that all of it was devastated by the bad house guest who came here in August 2005. Holy Cross which is above St. Claude Avenue was only flooded for 2 days before the water receded. In short people should have been officially let back in long before they were. C Ray made them wait until January of course many folks were in and out before then but that policy was just plain idiotic. Idiotic public policy in Debrisville? Imagine that; actually it’s harder to imagine sensible intelligent policies here. It’s my new dream for Debrisville: NO MORE IDIOCY.

Our first stop was 406 Tricou Street to see Katie and Jason’s house which is featured in the before and after and post-K pictures at the top of the post. I’ve been following their rebuilding through my friend and Operation Comeback honcho Stephanie Bruno’s articles in the Saturday Picayune. In this week’s article I noticed that our roofers/neighbors/new friends Marc and Jeff (aka BCC) had done some work for them. When I met Katie I commented about that and she said: “Oh Jeff’s my brother-in-law he’s around somewhere.” I spent the next hour drinking beer and talking to Jason and Jeff. I asked Jeff where my kickbacks from referring business to him were. I’m old school and like my graft. Jeff seems to be a reformer…

The Tricou Street house was one that the PRC’s Operation Comeback rescued and renovated from disuse and disrepair. It was a beautiful renovation too and Katie and Jason moved in about 4-6 weeks before the storm hit. They’re determined to rebuild and more power to them. Their brother-in-law Jeff said to me: “Damn they’re brave. I’m not sure that I’d be that brave.” Me neither Jeff.  Btw I like to tease Jeff but he’s a helluva good guy: Katie and Jason are living in one of his rental properties in Algiers while working on their house.

There was a large cluster of houses on view at Dauphine Street. One was very much under renovation proudly supervised by the homeowner. The others will get some TLC from the PRC and the National Trust For Historic Preservation. Thanks y’all keep up the good work.

Y’all the houses in Holy Cross on the tour were classic sidehall or side gallery Victorian era shotguns with 14 foot ceilings as well as some amazing architectural details. Wonderful houses. Also Holy Cross is a part of NOLA with *huge* lots. Dr. A had garden and off-street parking envy whenever we went to Holy Cross pre-K. Given the destruction we’re less envious BUT I think this neighborhood will rise again if only the Corps and the pols do their jobs. A scary proposition I know but business as usual seems to be winding down post-K. I hope that the sign of the Holy Double Cross will be removed from this Ninth Ward neighborhood ASAP.

Dr. A and I had some interesting conversations along the way. On Dauphine Street Patty Gay who is the PRC’s big cheese came up to us looking visibly upset. We’re just acquaintances but she knows that we’re neighborhood leaders as well as ardent preservationists.  In short we’re part of her posse. Patty needed to vent about the whole Holy Double Cross and what a waste it all was. She is usually a very self possessed woman but she needed to let off some steam in her impeccably polite and gracious way. She even apologized for venting. It’s okay Patty we all have moments like that in post-K Debrisville. I’m glad that we were there to listen. End of unusual for me heartwarming interlude. Dr. A usually handles the heartwarming stuff for both of us…

Along the way we also saw our buddy Herb the Tomb Builder’s son. One of the largest and most elaborate houses on the tour once belonged to his family. It is appropriately enough on Flood Street and has a wraparound front porch that I would die for. Well maybe I’d just give up of one my nine lives as a catty person I mean cat person. According to Herb 3 families once lived in the Flood Street house. If they’re as talkative as he is there weren’t many awkward silences in that house.

Down the block we met John Washington who is a warm lovable and friendly man. The Washington’s house is RAISED y’all. When they restored the house they left the ground level open and unfinished which is probably what the original builders intended. The Washington’s house NEVER FLOODED inside but John is still struggling to live in his lovely side gallery shotgun. He’s only had power for a few weeks and still doesn’t have gas or potable water. The government has been farting around instead of helping people like John and his wife Angela live in their well-tended much loved house.

John calls himself the poster boy for the Holy Double Cross. (The last bit is my addition but he *is* the poster boy for the screwing his charming neighborhood has gotten.) John left his house boarded up but the powers that be kicked in his front door and also shot the dog he reluctantly had to leave behind. Katie and Jason’s front door was also kicked in and destroyed by the fools who ran wild in our city when we were barred from re-entering by C Ray and Admiral Walrus. Goo-goo-ga-joob.

I seem to be channeling fellow Debrisville blogger Angry Ashley Morris today. We’ve ALL been double crossed which makes it imperative that we channel that rage into doing whatever we can to stop the double crossers next time. To paraphrase Pete Townshend “We won’t get hosed again.”

Popular culture reference time: All this talk of the double cross reminds me of Charlie Chaplin’s only great talking picture “The Great Dictator.” Charlie plays dual parts: a sweet natured Jewish barber who was the little tramp tidied up a bit.; Charlie also plays the title character Adenoid Hynkel who was based on you know. Anyway in lieu of the swastika Hynkel’s emblem was the sign of the double cross.

ABOVE LEFT: Hynkel heils in front of the sign of the double cross. ABOVE RIGHT: VP Duce and President Beavis. I mean Jack Oakie as the fatuous as well as fat fascist Napaloni and Chaplin as a blasé Hynkel.

I think the emblem symbol or whatever of the Beavis-Duce administration should be the double cross. They’ve double crossed and slimed everyone and everything they’ve come into contact with. Ask Tony Blair he’ll lie about it but they destroyed his reputation. They’ve certainly slimed New Orleans and the sliming continues…

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