So Starbucks is giving away free coffee today if you bring in your own mug, in honor of tax day. I rode my bike over to the Starbucks in Lakeview, put my travel mug full of hot coffee in my water bottle holder, and rode back home.
I’d forgotten that this Starbucks has painted a pinkish stripe on the outside of the store to mark the waterline. They’ve put up some nice metallic letters spelling “KATRINA” in the middle of the line. It’s about 7 feet high.
The water that spilled into this area from the breach in the 17th Street Canal sat in the streets for days, leaving a yellow-orange line on all the buildings and houses and street signs. Some days it’s easy to forget, as I’m biking around all these beautiful, bright new houses, that everything in sight of my apartment was once under several feet of water.
As unpleasant as that reminder is, maybe, while people are eating scones and drinking coffee, they’ll remember that we shouldn’t get complacent even though the water is gone. It’s also a testimony to the defiance of rebuilding here, which is something I take pride in even though I haven’t decided whether that defiance is a sign of bravery or stupidity. Maybe it’s both.