Friday, February 03, 2006

Would Ruthie want to return?

Citing the fear some New Orleanians have that the city's rebuilding process will instead be a "'a land grab' that could bulldoze [homes] to make a 'playground for the rich'," Washington Post writer Manuel Roig-Franzia's article highlights the possibility that the city's rebuilding will produce a Disney-like destination.

He gets most of the cultural references correct (a rarity for the national press), remembering, for example, Joseph Casamento and Mary Hansen, icons of New Orleans' unique cultural landscape.

"Is it fated to be the place where Orlando embraces Las Vegas? That's the American Pompeii I apprehend rising from the toxic sludge deposited by Lake Ponchartrain: an ersatz city, a veritable site of schlock and awe." ...

As historian Alecia P. Long put it, "New Orleans is the place where the weird turn pro." It is a city that not only tolerated, but celebrated, a woman nicknamed Ruthie the Duck Girl, who not long ago was routinely wearing a wedding dress to walk her leashed ducks in the French Quarter.

I dare say, Mr. Roig-Franzia must have discovered Molly's at the market, where ol' Ruthie is still legend, and where she would happily express whatever was on her mind for the price of a beer.


At 2/04/2006 01:18:00 AM, Anonymous ashley said...

When I've gone down to Johnnie White's, the "proper" crowd was there. By proper, I mean the "quarter vermin" referred to by Ignatius that make the quarter what the quarter should be.

BTW, if another Texan ask me where the "quarters" are, i'll say "in your pocket".

At 2/04/2006 10:34:00 AM, Blogger Rob said...


It's sad, but I never saw Ruthie. I do remember the helmet lady, though.


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