Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Biloxi, Day 2

Today we continued our work in Soria City. Having discarded our ties, heels, and slacks in favor of blue jeans and comfy sneakers, we were prepared for a day of recording architectural details and taking photos. By 9:45 a.m., my partner and I approached our assigned block. Whereas yesterday I was struck by the unfamiliar architectural styles and the remaining evidence of hurricane damage, today I noticed life everywhere from the potted palm trees on a porch to the gray kitten scampering about an abandoned lot. We had not completed our first survey sheet before a neighbor walked over to ask us about the project. Like most of the people we encountered, he was interested in the surveys, but did not elaborate on his Katrina experience. Surrounded by broken windows, tarped roofs, and debris, we discussed local casinos, football, and possible neighborhood improvements. By lunchtime I had my first January sunburn, and by the end of the day we had finished surveying every lot on our block. Before leaving Soria City, I snapped a final photo of the streets, not to document the destruction, but because I wanted to remember the unique architecture and the friendly people we met. Tomorrow, the Quarters.

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