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A really rich life
Bruce Rutledge
August 22, 2020

We are launching an environmental imprint
Bruce Rutledge
August 3, 2020

Announcing our autobiographical novel writing contest
Bruce Rutledge
July 24, 2020

Discover Nikkei reviews Persimmon and Frog
Bruce Rutledge
May 13, 2020

For Ellis
David Rutledge
April 9, 2020

A Review of The Italian Barrel, 1240 Decatur
David Rutledge
March 30, 2020

Report from the French Quarter
David Rutledge
March 25, 2020

A Vida Count of Our Very Own
Tracy Wang
October 25, 2017

Bookshelves: the Ideal, the DIY, and the Real Life
Emmaline Cotter
June 5, 2017

Eggnog, Hot Cider, Mulled Wine, and What Else?
Jin Chang
December 15, 2016

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Report from the French Quarter
David Rutledge
March 25, 2020


 Bourbon Street, Saturday evening, March 21, 2020

 Bourbon Street, Saturday evening, March 21, 2020

"...and suddenly there is a great split between now and then, and I wonder where the world where that day happened has gone, because we are not in it." -- Jessmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones

   The French Quarter has gone quiet. It is by far the quietest time of the over twenty years that I have lived here. It is quieter than it was after Katrina. The doors are locked on the bars that never closed after that disaster. Perhaps it has been this quiet at some time in the past, maybe when yellow fever raged during the mid-nineteenth century summers.

     Oh, you can buy beer. The store will feel unsettled, the cashier may laugh nervously or be uncomfortably quiet, but you can get your six pack. You can buy a po boy, if you don’t mind waiting for it out on the sidewalk. 

     It is the most uncharacteristic mood for this so social city. There may be cities that glide more easily into this stay-at-home mandate, but it is against nature in New Orleans.

     It is even more striking due to the disturbingly slow way in which this mood took over. One week ago, Bourbon Street was busy with St. Patrick’s revelers. There were ghost tours, groups of people crowding the sidewalks as if they had never heard the term social distancing, which they probably hadn’t.

     I remember texting some friends one week ago today, saying that I cannot believe how many people are out and about. In fact, I texted this, “French Quarter tours are going on like there ain’t no illness.”

     On the following Monday, the city sent an official text stating that there were “95 presumptive-positive cases of COVID 19 in NOLA.” Today, Saturday, the text from the city says, “There are now 418 cases of COVID 19 in New Orleans.” Nothing is presumptive. It’s here, and the streets are quiet.

     One week ago seems like a world away.

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