Art Dealer Blogs from the French Quarter

I mentioned in this post that my favorite Gallery in New Orleans is the A Gallery. Primarily a photography gallery, it is just about the best one I've been to anywhere. I never leave without buying something. Things I've bought there 20 years ago remain on display in my living room, my bedroom and in the TL kid's apartment. I spend hours there every trip. The place is owned by Joshua Mann Paillet, whom I've never met. But I just found this e-mail he sent after Katrina hit, on a blog called Lookah,which he said he'd like to see shared:

THANKS - Too much to say right now. I got a few things out and have them in Baton Rouge. Just got out last night. I could have stayed, my supplies would have lasted for seven more days. But, the fires have started.

The reports of looting downtown are exaggerated. Yes, they broke into the grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations, for food, etc. Canal Street had a few hours of thugs doing sports shops, but all other shops and the ENTIRE French Quarter is safe and untouched. The storm did glass and roof damage and trees UPTOWN. Just needs to be swept. Looks LESS dirty than a typical Mardi Gras day.

THE FLOOD did NOT get into the French Quarter, and along the river to AUDUBON PARK. I stayed and helped and photographed and bicycled these areas every day. NO shooters, some idiots, but everyone doing the best to get along and survive. Other flooded areas, it is very desperate and there are some battles going on, but very isolated.

From Monday to late yesterday there were NO military, Red Cross, FEMA, or anyone with supplies DOWNTOWN. Even the N.O. Police and Fire Dept were largely absent. I stayed in the Qtr at A Gallery. The building and contents is presently fine. I will be going back soon to help the other people.

The amazing people of New Orleans will survive and rebuild. The media stayed on Canal Street and are missing the real story. Unfortunately, the "looting" story is all they had downtown and its repetitous playing of that footage has setback recovery. IT FALSELY scared off the rescuers, I guess.

Too many rumors reported without eyewitness verification. Bad business, needs to change. Please spread the word.

Bush and his people have been bad to us. Every hour matters to the remaining people. The surrrounding region is overwhelmed with recovery. Baton Rouge has 200,000 people to help, LSU is a triage center. EVERYONE is pitching in.The entire situation is complex and difficult for everyone. Many shortages, gasoline especially.

By the way, since early Tuesday, access into New Orleans via the downtown Miss. River Bridge has been clear to Baton Rouge. Everyone else got in that way, why not the military? Four hours away by CAR is Fort Polk, one of the largest bases around. Bring the boys home, especially the National Guard. New Orleans needs your love and positive thoughts.

Email and spread the word. Contact your leadership in Washington and keep the pressure on. Especially today and tomorrow. Remember that these people are the heart and soul of the New Orleans everyone loves. See you soon, Joshua

I have been worrying about A Gallery's inventory for days. Now, I know it's safe, I know I'll be back to New Orleans and find A Gallery again.

If anyone knows Josh, I hope you'll send this on to him.

[found over at Making Light.]

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