Galveston is still continuing its lonely struggle to recover from Ike, but more and more local businesses are opening.
And when they do, island resident Veronica Hugger is there to document things.
Hugger has created a website called "Galveston: Now Open" that consists just about entirely of a slide show of "Now Open" signs.
The Popeye's? Now open, as shown by the sign that usually advertises three pieces of two bucks or whatever. Coastal Nails & Spa, on the other hand, goes for the lawn sign that usually is used for a real-estate open house.
The Galveston Collision Center has a huge open sign on a fence, propped up by a two-by-four. Hugger helpfully provides the name of the business in a caption, since it's not evident from the picture.
Why do all this?
"As a visionary, I see that Galveston, despite Hurricane Ike, has much potential," she says. "Specifically, small businesses, like the many on the Island, are missing out on the numerous cost-effective ways the Internet is used to organize, market, sell and connect with customers"
So she takes the picture.
In a way, the barrage of open signs on the slideshow does seem to impart some hope to the city's battle, as in the excited "Yes! We're Open" in front of Hope's Family Hair or the "Come In, We're Open!" of Star Drug Store.
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On the other hand, there are only three dozen pictures. Of course, more businesses than that are open on the island, but it's still a low number. Not to mention that if you have to have a website showing open businesses.....
Update: Hugger has answered our e-mail --
I started taking the photos on January 3, when my son and I attend the grand re-opening of the Grand Opera House. The Press Box next door had their hand-drawn "open" sign on a white board propped up against the front wall. I had been toying with the idea for several weeks, because the signs, although temporary, were such a welcome sight against the piles of debris and destruction...I really like the photos that show the juxtaposition of the storm damage to the resilient statement that a "Now Open" sign makes.
-- Richard Connelly