Sunday, September 7, 2008

Photos from my neighborhood

This is just a sampling of the hurricane damage in my neighborhood.

The sidewalk here buckled probably from all the water in the soil. I walk here every day.

Many people in Baton Rouge are still without electricity. Some of my coworkers don't expect to have their electricity restored for a month. That's a month without air conditioning, hot showers, cooked food, refrigeration, or the ability to charge your cell phone. Some people and businesses have generators. This generator is powering a hotel where many first responders (and politicians) are staying.

Even though my neighborhood is powered right now, it's a precarious situation. Many trees like this one are just a good gust away from pulling down power lines. This tree was outside the oldest home in my neighborhood and was likely over a hundred years old.

All throughout the city, power lines are down and stoplights are out.

Many streets are blocked because of fallen trees. People are piling the debris on their sidewalks in an effort to get rid of it before Hurricane Ike's winds hit. Right now, all these broken limbs are potential flying objects.

This is the Old Governor's Mansion.

And this is why we shouldn't be complacent about Louisiana's levee system. The levee outside of Baton Rouge is the highest, and probably the safest, in Louisiana. But when even the safest levee is bulging and losing sandbags, something needs to be done. This bulge in the levee first appeared after the Mississippi flooded in the spring.

Friday, September 5, 2008

On ice cream and evacuation

Hello everyone. It's been a while. I evacuated from my hometown for Hurricane Gustav, and I'm so glad I did. Pretty much all of my city was without power for days. It's four days later, and my workplace and many of my friends are still without electricity. I lost several trees, and one narrowly missed hitting my house. The city is under a curfew to prevent crime and new emergencies. (Lots of trees in the roads and dead stop lights make driving interesting.)

I've been holed up in Austin for about a week, and the city has been very nice to me. On my first night here, Dewey and I stopped by Amy's Ice Cream, an Austin tradition. I had a lovely grapefruit sorbet, and Dewey had Shiner Bock ice cream. I was so intrigued I had to recreate it myself. Since I'm in the land of magical second-hand shops, I picked up an ice cream maker at Goodwill.

I took a basic ice cream recipe (the one from Veganomicon) and dropped the vanilla extract and replaced 1/2 cup of soy milk with 1/2 cup of shiner. Dewey has been dying for cinnamon apple ice cream, so that will be our next try.