Sun Showers over the Old State House, Boston
It wasn’t exactly a surprise. “This ain’t gonna last,” New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas told his security guard as they watched the waters of Lake Pontchartrain rising and racing and eating away at the dirt levee beneath the concrete floodwall built to protect New Orleans from disaster.
It was 4 o’clock on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 28. Hurricane Katrina was still 14 hours away, but the sea surge had begun. Thomas returned to the city’s hurricane war room and announced, to anyone who was listening, “The water’s coming into the city.”
Thomas was asleep on his office couch early Tuesday morning when he was awakened by the sound of banging on his door and someone yelling, “The levee broke!”
Thomas stood up on his soaked carpet and felt as though he were standing in concrete. He was paralyzed, he later said, by the fear of predictions coming true.
Thomas, who had been rescued off the roof of his house in New Orleans during Hurricane Betsy in 1965, had been a city councilman for a dozen years. His specialty is water. He knew all about the studies and reports and dire warnings stacked up on the desks of bureaucrats, he knew about all the relief and reconstruction and restoration projects that had been discussed but never paid for or carried out, and he knew his beloved old city was doomed. A few rescuers were ready, but precious few.
On Monday morning, as the storm slammed into the Gulf Coast, Col. Tim Tarchick of the 920th Rescue Wing, Air Force Reserve Command, got on the phone to call every agency he could think of to ask permission to take his three rescue helicopters into the disaster zone as soon as the storm abated.
The response was noncommittal. FEMA, the federal agency that is supposed to handle disasters, told Tarchick that it wasn’t authorized to task military units.
That had to come from the Defense Department. Tarchick wasn’t able to cut through the red tape until 4 p.m. Tuesday—more than 24 hours after the storm had passed. His crews plucked hundreds of people off rooftops, but when they delivered them to an assigned landing zone, there was “total chaos.
No food, no water, no bathrooms, no nothing.” There was “no structure, no organization, no command center,” Tarchick told NEWSWEEK."
I decided to visit the Boston Public Gardens today, to see the bench from Good Will Hunting, so I could pay my respects to one of my idols. I wasn’t alone, as crowds of young and old stood near, bound together by sadness.
Rest in peace Robin.
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is located on the National Mall is focused on Western Art from the Middle Ages to contemporary art, with a particular strength in Renaissance art. Even though many people mistakenly believe the Gallery is a part of the Smithsonian, it is not. Since it is on the National Mall amongst the other museums of the Smithsonian, pacing is critical to not let both mental and physical fatigue overwhelm you. The Gallery along with the other museums along the Mall also make a nice break from the sun and heat if you visit D.C. during their brutal summers.
One thing that is nice about the Gallery is that it is open 363 days of the year (only closed for Christmas and New Year’s Day).
Cost of Admission: Free.
My Worth: $18. I think if this museum was in another city and required admission, I would be wiling to pay $18 to enter.
Must See? Repeat?: If you haven’t been, I would at least check out the West Building of the Gallery. No, I wouldn’t repeat if you haven’t been to the other museums nearby.
Here are a few works from the Gallery:
Both of these paintings are probably my favorite Monets and they are right across from each other in the same gallery.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The Louvre Museum in Paris is one of the largest museums in the world with a collection from prehistoric artifacts to the 21st Century. More than 9 million visitors go to the Louvre, making it the world’s most visited museum. It will feel like 8 million of them are in the gallery to see the Mona Lisa if you go.
Not surprisingly, a former royal palace makes for a spectacular building to house some of Europe’s great works of art.
Cost of Admission: €12. Make sure to buy an official ticket though. There was a counterfeit ticket scam last year.
My Worth: €15. I would say it is worth €15 to visit the Louvre.
Must See? Repeat?: Everyone that finds out if you are going to Paris will ask if you are going to the Louvre. People also ask if you went to the Empire State Building if you visit New York. The Louvre is one of the those iconic destinations you should see at some point if you visit Paris. As far as repeating, that is a thornier question. I personally wouldn’t go back since I don’t get to Paris as often as I would like. With so many other interesting things to see and do in Paris, a repeat visit is a tough proposition.
My favorite works in the Louvre:
No, the next one is May 2015. http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/823-years.html