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Mary F. Artist, French Quarter

I saw my grandmother’s house in Plaquemines Parish washed up on the levee on the other side of the river from where it originally stood. They’re deeming Plaquemines Parish totally uninhabitable. But they need to let people in to see their things, to touch their possessions. It’s like a death, you have to see it to know, to understand it.

Some people have strength and will want to rebuild. Some people do. I want to go home. I’m a French Quarter rat; I’ve lived there for twenty years. I sell my artwork on the street.

I don’t know anything else.

As for New Orleans, I would not know where to start to get things going again. They’ve got greedy companies just waiting to snap it up. Casino companies waiting, real estate companies waiting. They’ve got to let the people decide. Let all the residents back in and let them decide what happens with the city. They’ve got to let people back int o reclaim their lives. Keep casino companies from going in there and taking property that is unclaimed. Returning people to the residential areas has to happen before they can restart business.

I’m psychic, so I’m feeling all the pain. I need to paint, but I don’t want to paint the destruction. I need to paint some healing scenes.

What I want most now is to be in the same city as my daughter.

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