While Isaac was a lingering tropical storm this morning, all was relatively quiet Uptown. People were running along the streetcar route, walking their dogs, stopping into pharmacies and grocery stores, and eating breakfast at several still-open restaurants.
But the hurricane prep was underway — the hanging coffee cup sign outside Oak Street Cafe came down, shutters were pulled down at Superior Seafood and Jazmine Cafe, and boards were going up in shop windows, many with spray-painted messages, a now-standard "last word" before the storm ahead.
Perhaps the most well-known of the plywood-as-soundboard scribes is Bob Rue, whose Sarouk Shop Oriental Rugs left a strongly worded message to those sticking around, like him, during Hurricane Katrina: "Don't try. I'm sleeping inside with a big dog, an ugly woman, two shotguns and a claw hammer."
Those boards were given to the Louisiana State Museum, and then to the Smithsonian's Newseum. Rue still posts his boards, though his current boards are from Hurricane Gustav in 2008 — one a "menu" of dogs and snakes (and also, "We buy dogs and snakes") and the other an amended warning sign ("I'm inside with a .35, a pit bull and 6 big snakes").
He does in fact stay inside the building, and his provisions extend beyond what's listed outside. During Katrina, as water rose from the street, Rue threw a fishing line to try and grab a redfish from the storm drain. (He didn't catch it.)
Rue posted his boards this morning, though he is more worried about rising waters from now-Hurricane Isaac than would-be looters.
Elsewhere: Uptown Tattoo is "totally open," and the bar at Balcony Bar will be open, with food, today.