The word social always makes a frisson go up my spine when I hear it on the radio. It's up to no good.
action social = strike
plan social = mass layoff
logement social = housing project (also known as HLM-- pronounced AhshellEM)
conflit social = labor dispute
mouvement social = labor protest
The latest plan social to be announced was this morning for the Lille factory of Altadis, which makes Gauloises and Gitanes-- the brunes are leaving for Spain. The blondes are still holding on in Brittany for now.
Incidentally the name Gitane means "gypsy woman," but you never hear the word "gypsy" any more. The gitans are now called les gens du voyage.
My poor New Orleans is really suffering.
It's so strange to think of the city under water. People had so little time to get away. On Sunday everyone was saying how lucky the city was to have escaped the worst. And now the worst is happening.
All those beautiful houses in the Garden District that I used to walk by, dreaming I lived there-- under water. Audubon Park with its centuries-old live oak trees. What did they do with the wonderful zoo and its white alligators? Tulane University with the freshmen just starting school. The French Quarter (called "the Quawda" by locals) with its quiet streets full of lovely old houses, courtyards, gardens and pools hidden behind shabby louvred doors. Galatoire's restaurant , Antoine's, Napoleon House. The Camellia Grill. The Maple Street Book Shop. The antique shops on Magazine Street, the out-of-sight-rich antique shops on Royal Street, the fish restaurants out on the lake, the City Park, the Cafe du Monde. The cemeteries, which look so much like French ones.
Did they have time to get the streetcars to safety? Probably not. They are one of my favorite things about New Orleans, with their familiar burning smell and old-fashioned wooden seats that flip around when the streetcar reaches the end of the line (but nowadays there is a bus named Desire). Faubourg Marigny. The Acme Oyster House. Hm, it seems that many of my best memories of the city revolve around eating.
Thank goodness my uncle and aunt and cousins who lived there have all moved away. I got a shock when I googled an old friend who lived on Nashville. He died in a car wreck a year ago. I wish I hadn't known.