Water be Boilin’ Boilin’ (ain’t no crawfish in this water)

The recent water boil advisory got me thinking about how much we take water for granted Other places in the US may have water boil advisories every once in a while. But New Orleans, well we’ve had at least two (that I can think of) in the past 6 months.

First off, what is a water boil advisory? It means that the water treatment system got all jacked up (ie: pressure or momentary power loss). Then the whole city has to boil their water in order for it to be potable (safe to drink). This throws everyone into a tizzy because all of our daily routines are seriously affected. You probably shouldn’t shower, get water in your eyes, mouth, open wounds (ok, maybe not). In order to drink the water you must first boil it to kill everything, this ain’t no run of the mill Brita filtration situation. Restaurants need to change recipes and can’t offer fountain drinks, teas or…ice water. It’s basically a really huge pain in the ass.

But, this got me thinking.

Millions of people deal with non-potable water every single day for their entire life. Millions of people have to first travel miles to get water, no turn of the handle, or wait in line at a community well. Millions of people have to boil their water before doing anything, ever. Or they don’t/can’t boil their water and will likely to contract any number of horrible waterborne diseases or parasites (read the symptoms, they are all pretty gnarly).

Here are some basic water facts from water.org It’s really interesting, you should check it out.

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Also…

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The point? Yea having to boil your water really sucks, but maybe that should help us put into perspective how lucky we are that we even having running water to begin with.

Tasty Eats

What do you think of when you think about New Orleans?

Maybe the St. Charles streetcar, maybe the oak tree-lined streets, maybe the hot sticky music filled nights, maybe. But you definitely think of Mardi Gras, Bourbon St., Katrina, music, and food.

Lots of food.

Good food.

Po boys, fried catfish, jambalaya, dirty rice, blackened alligator, sno balls, red beans and rice, gumbo, oysters, the list goes on. The number of restaurants that specialize in such delectable local cuisine can be daunting to tourists. These restaurants line the streets in the French Quarter, St Charles, Magazine, Carrollton, Oak and Maple. But not Claiborne. Claiborne is just as central movement around New Orleans, if not more so, than St. Charles. The difference? Claiborne doesn’t run through uptown. Claiborne doesn’t run through mansions, or historically important sections of the city. Claiborne is the road that takes people from one place to the next, it isn’t a road tourists take, on purpose, and it is flanked by multiple low-income housing developments. Unfortunately, this means that Claiborne is not peppered with these exquisite restaurants, instead it is congested with fast food joints.

This is a snapshot of about 15 blocks of S. Claiborne Ave. between Napoleon and Jackson. Within these 15ish blocks there are six fast food joints and one pseudo-grocery store.

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The newest member of the fast food family on Claiborne. Because driving to Metairie forĀ  diarrhea inducingĀ beef-like “Mexican” was just too far.

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Right out front of the parking lot of Save-a-lot is this confection truck. Heaven forbid we have a fruit truck.

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Save-a-lot is not a fast food joint, rather it is the cheapest grocery store ever. Don’t get me wrong I am all about saving money and generic products are great…

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But real fruit juice and fresh produce would be a nice option. Oh also meat that hasn’t been pre-frozen, that’d be swell too.

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A city busting at the seams with culture strategically plants these “food” options away from the eye of tourists and in arms reach of low-income families. Also, how can families be expected to cook (healthy) home meals if there is only one, ill-stocked, grocery store with in a reasonable distance.

The point? More healthy eating options on Claiborne would be greatly appreciated.