I finally got to see episode one of HBO's TREME. My friend was a background extra in a few scenes. He also was back in New Orleans soon after Katrina. He said that the show really nails the tragedy. What happened, what it looked like, and how residents felt. The shock, the depression and anger. The producer of the show has lived in the city for 20 years and has done justice in the show.
To hear the survivors speak of the months after Katrina is akin to listening to those who pulled themselves from the rubble of a war. In fact during the show my buddy commented on the helicopter sound effects in the background. Day in and day out. Choppers, diesel trucks and the National Guard gave New Orleans the feel of an occupied city. Stench of mold, rotting food, the corpses of pets and destruction remained long after the TV news cameras left.
This is my fourth month in New Orleans, I can't imagine ever leaving it. What you see in Treme is close to what you will find here. The music, the food the people. My friend's favorite line from the first episode "Don't know how not to Mardi Gras." It's the spirit of the city.