Today I pitched a story about my friend Hillary’s bakery in New Orleans to the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s food editor. I thought it would be a matter of merit, i.e., is Jess good enough at what she does to deserve a piece in said newspaper. Hillary’s place, Laurel Street Bakery, seemed to be an island of hope and good fortune in Uptown, and she also makes really mean pastries.
As it turns out, the Times-Picayune is no longer hiring food freelancers. The editor’s response was solemn, sad, with just enough scorn to make me feel completely stupid. How shallow of me to assume that in a town ravaged by hurricanes and now by bureaucracy, where even last weekend, six months after the fact, the stoplights still weren’t working, the newspaper would be fully functional. I have no concept of what NOLA is going through.