Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Note on Some New Orleans Reading

About a year ago I read two books about Hurricane Katrina's effect on New Orleans and blogged about them: The House on First Street: My New Orleans Story by Julia Reed and Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. I meant to point this out a long time ago, but I was quite amused when I realized that Zeitoun, the owner of a painting company, recounts painting the interior of Reed's house on First Street (if ever remodeling a house was a nightmare, then surely hers was). Both Reed and Eggers identify the house by saying it's directly across the street from writer Anne Rice's Garden District home.

Reed: "...I was so irritated that I...scribbled...[a] very profane message to the painters that immediately became legend....They dutifully sanded down the powder room and reapplied its pretty, rich red, but not just on the walls - they painted the woodwork, the ceiling, everything. The effect was like being inside a bloodbath and I was ready for one. Instead, I marched out of the house, removed the paint contractor's sign from our iron fence, threw it in the middle of First Street, and stomped on it repeatedly" (p. 39).

Eggers: "High ceilings, a grand winding staircase descending into the foyer, hand-carved everything, each room themed with a district character. Zeitoun had painted and repainted probably every room in the house, and the owners showed no signs of stopping" (p. 21).

I can't say that Zeitoun's company is the one that had to redo Reed's bathroom, or if his company was called in to fix what went wrong with the first painters. Interesting, though, that the books reference this same house.

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