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I may not be standing there right now, however, it was just over a year ago that I gave up on my second attempt to make a life in the Big Easy, took one last look at an empty Jackson Square, picked up my bags and headed to boarded a bus back to Missouri. Feeling homesick is a horrible thing, having the feeling while standing in the middle of the city which was that home is crushing. The buildings were all still there, some of my old friends were still there, what had changed?

What had changed? The topic came up frequently over drinks after work, during slow nights at work or really at any time. It seemed to be one of the two most common conversations. What had changed and will the city ever be the same? The Big Easy wasn't so easy any more. Most of the people I was friends with were service industry. While we all relied on less tips than were rolling in before Katrina, rent was three to four times greater than it was then.

People had different answers for what had changed. For those who moved to the city after Katrina, well, they couldn't tell you what had changed. They'd point out that rent was getting higher while income wasn't that great. Crime was rampant and finding a decent place to live was nearly impossible. Those who had been around a little before Katrina would point out where they were wrong. Crime was always rampant, though, if you looked local, knew what places to avoid and when to avoid them it wasn't an issue. They'd point out that Katrina is what changed everything. Katrina drove a lot of the great people away and the high cost of living had kept them away. They'd point out that the biggest change was really the people, all the cool people that had made the city the great place it was hadn't returned yet. One thing they were all sure of was that more people were coming back all the time and as soon as all the people that WERE New Orleans came back, everything would be so much better. Sure, rent would still be insane but that didn't matter because it was the people that made New Orleans.

They had a general idea of what had changed, they just hadn't been there to see the why. Katrina isn't the reason everything changed. Katrina was just a more efficient vehicle for the changes that were already under way, years before the storm. If it was just the storm then things would have been rebuilt quickly with a focus on bringing the city back.  After all, I would point out to my old friends, didn't a lot of us leave a couple years before Katrina?

No the change was caused by people like Jackie Clarkson and her Condo Class real estate friends. By the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce. By all the talk of rebuilding the city better than it was before. Mostly it was due to gentrification by the tourists that came to New Orleans and never left.

It's kind of funny for me to talk down about the tourists that never leave. After all, when I first visited New Orleans, I came for Halloween. I had planned on staying for a couple of weeks and then moving on and ended up living there for a few years. Doesn't that make me a hypocrite? To understand why it doesn't you have to understand that New Orleans is such a unique place, with unique people, a unique and a unique spirit. Within days I was infected with the spirit of New Orleans and in love with both the people and culture. I may have come for a visit but I found a home. That's just how the city is.

The tourist who never leaves has a similar yet perverse reaction. They seem to fall in love with spirit of the city and some twisted ideal of what they think it should be. Failing to recognise that they are the ones that chose to move to New Orleans, they team up with other tourists that never left and impose their version of what New Orleans should be. Rather than buying a house in one of the upscale suburbs of New Orleans, they get an Apartment in the Quarter then demand the Quarter change its' ways because they live their. Then they start buying up houses, plural, one for them and a few to rent. Of course they refuse to rent them to the low life service industry that were already renting them. No, they'll only rent them to other Condo Class tourists that hate the city but refuse to leave. This drives up property values and rent, the higher rent drives out the the people. You'd think that would be a bad thing, after all, the culture is one of the wonderful things about the city and without the people there is no culture. Well, you'd be wrong. As I said, the tourist that never leaves isn't in love with the city. They're in love with what they'd like to turn the city into. Unfortunately for those of us who do love the city, one of the things they want to turn the city into is a city without us. A city without the freaks, the punks or the many other quirky people that made New Orleans such a vibrate and interesting place to live. The faster they can get rid of those people the faster New Orleans will be rebuilt better than it was before.

I don't know how bad it has gotten. I haven't been there in over a year. What I do know is what got me to thinking about this. I was thinking about home and went to the forums on looking to see what's going on. I went to the Orleans Parish forum and there was nothing but posts containing heaps of right wing talking points, strange for an open minded and progressive city that New Orleans was. I moved on to the Vieux Carre(French Quarter) forum. I expected to find postings about local happenings and whatnot, nope. Nothing but posts complaining about how bad crime is, wanting police patting people down every couple of blocks, reports of suspicious people and complaints because police refuse their requests to randomly harass those they find suspicious. The list of those they find suspicious seem to include blacks, transsexuals, people enjoying a walk or anyone who doesn't look like an affluent condo owner. Rather than enjoying a nice evening walk themselves, it appears that their lives consist only of monitoring police scanners, monitoring surveillance cameras, peeking out their windows and calling the police to report all the activities of the people they think are suspicious. Things only got worse in the Marigny/Bywater forum. Among their topics of conversation were the same as the FQ forum with posts hailing the glory of gentrification. I had hoped that somehow the people who made New Orleans the wonderful city that it was would end up coming back someday.

Now, I'm just sad and afraid. Afraid that I'll always know what it means to miss New Orleans, even if I am standing in Jackson Square.

Remembering the begining of the end.
Back in '03 when Clarkson took out all the benches w/o anyone's permission. Then there was the ban on tarot readers. This was pushed for strongly by the artists and by City Council for the artists because the tarot readers were supposedly crowding them out. Funny thing is that, as soon as the ban on readers went into effect, hardly any artists showed up on the Square at all.

Originally posted to Onyx on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 06:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You are extrapolating a lot (5+ / 0-)

    from what a few shut-in gripers are writing on some message boards.

    New Orleans is struggling back to life with no help from anybody.

    I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 06:59:49 AM PDT

    •  I know, (3+ / 0-)

      Just seems that there would be something different in at least the mid city forums or something. Wish I could be there helping it come back to life. There was just no way I could have made it through the summer with rent and income the way they were. Maybe I'll try again after this summer.

      •  I check the Mid-city forum on (0+ / 0-)

        The best commenter there is Moderation1. He/she seems to keep up with what's happening in the neighborhood and puts the info out. There are a few other nice ones, but there are so many trolls - racist trolls especially - that I tend to avoid reading most of what's posted there. I check and, neighborhood websites, which have links to other local blogs too. keeps me up on restaurant stuff (though at times he get a bit too personal). If you go to forums to find out about the city, I think you'll tend to see the worst, and probably many not living here. I think some have never even visited. The disaster of Katrina and the flooding focused bad elements on our city. Periodically, I remind people not to feed trolls on the site; don't let them feed you.

        •  It didn't take much reading (0+ / 0-)

          for me to get the feeling that most of the people posting hadn't been in the city for very long. Thanks for the alternate sites to check out. I get homesick every once in a while and like to ease it by seeing what's going on around town.

    •  It's slow. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, Crashing Vor, Onyx, miss SPED

      Now I hadn't been to New Orleans before The Storm, but when I was there in the summer of '08, it was in pretty rough shape.  A lot of business downtown  still closed.  Still a ton of wreckage from Katrina littering the city.  I didn't go down to the 9th Ward, but my coworker did while I was in a meeting, and it sounded terrible.

      Bourbon Street and the casino really seemed to be the only things going on, truth be told.

      I do know what people mean when they go on and on about how great New Orleans residents are.  They're wonderful people.

      "Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought on the unthinking." - John Maynard Keynes

      by Drew J Jones on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 07:16:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Made one trip to the 9th. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crashing Vor, miss SPED

        Was looking for a decently priced place to rent and and checking out an old place I lived. The house was just a slab and rent was $900 a month, up from $400. Next time you're there hit Decatur street, Frenchman and Uptown. Bourbon's a waste of time and overpriced.

      •  O ya, summer time. (0+ / 0-)

        Depending on what part of the summer it gets pretty dead in NO. Nothing between July and Sept. Well, except for a lot of rednecks that come down because of cheaper rates for the off season. Summer time = Redneck Mardi Gras, just not enough people to be noticeable in a city the size of NO.

        •  Redneck Mardi Gras? Really? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cv lurking gf

          I've been in this town ages, know tons of bartenders and service industry folks and have never heard that phrase. Those folks coming down here from Alabama, well they deserve New Orleans hospitality too. "Rednecks" are just folks, and if there is one thing we like down here, it's folks.

          We have Essence Fest right now, Tales of the Cocktail coming up next week and SatchmoFest in August, Decadence in Septemeber. Summer is slow, but no ghost town.

          Summertime has some of my best NOLA memories and some of my best friendships bloomed down here during that time...the people who stick around, do so because they love the place and sweltering with acquaintances at bars just to get a day of cold air makes for true New Orleans camaraderie. I've never had the bond of being in a foxhole, but I have to imagine that it is like what develops here in the summer.

          I feel like I'm starting to sound like a town booster on crack, trust me I can go on about our cities political problems for hours, but culturally, you just really missed the boat here.

          •  Don't remember there being anything between (0+ / 0-)

            Essence and Decadence. Well, other than a lot of complaining about not being able to wait until Decadence because of being broke and needing to make some money. As for rednecks, I didn't say they were any less deserving of coming down to have a good time.

  •  I appreciate the Louie Armstrong reference... (6+ / 0-)

    in the title.

    I'm originally from Nawlins, but have been living in New York since 2003. LSU grad, too.

    Not much to add to your post, it read like a diary entry. Sorry you had to go. I still fantasize about moving back one day. I always tell my friends I'll die there. Hope to spend the last years of my life sipping Bloody Marys and eating jambalaya. Now, that's heaven.

    Come back to visit soon!

  •  I fcan eel your pain of homesickness, (5+ / 0-)

    but on the other hand, I don't feel it at all.

    I've been in this city (and others) for quite awhile...the sad refrain "This place ain't what is used to be" is just the bellyaching of folks not admitting they are getting older and they are changing, not their home.

    To call the art and music and literature scene here less vibrant than it was before Katrina just ain't so. Books are being published by small book companies, the brass band that plays at Canal and Bourbon is better than any that have performed on the streets in ages, and smaller neighborhood music venues are all over the place. When I was a street kid I was a useless drunk, the street kids in Nola now all come down with trombones, accordions, Tubas, guitars and dirty but sharp looking 1930's suits and practice in the parks so they can play on the streets...always awesome.

    Rents have not gone up 3 or 4 times since Katrina, the Bywater and Marigny had already gentified enough to chase me out long before then. I live less than a mile from the Quarter and rent the other side of our shotgun. a 5 room place with a big yard for $600.  It's just not a neighborhood filled with jaded service industry's a neighborhood filled with teachers, community activists, dishwashers, and plumbers. And drug dealers, too, of course; but they don't shoot anyone but each other.

    The parades that go along Claiborne Ave, including Rebirths incredible Michael Jackson tribute last week were as alive as anything I've seen, and the Uptown Mardi Gras Indian parade is still my favorite day of the year...and I'll be honest, you don't see too many service industry folks going out into those neighborhoods.

    To judge the city by the forums is to wade into the cesspool of hate that is Jefferson Parish and St Tammany...this is the deep south, but those vile Klan loving folks, luckily, are too scred to venture into our city. They moved out because they didn't want their kids going to school with black folks and we are glad they did.

    I do agree that the saddest thing about the city is that the Quarter has turned from a community to a spot where rich out-of-staters who buy the condos as vacation spots and leave them empty, but thats America, I've seen whole cities ruined by that, here it's just a portion.

    Come back if you want, it still is easy to make it here. Walk around the further neighborhoods where everyone still says hello to you as you walk down the streets, you'll realize you don't have to miss New Orleans, it's still right here.

    •  Everyone saying hello, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cv lurking gf

      is the part I miss most. I don't know any of my neighbours. I miss walking down Decatur on my way to work and ending up talking to some random person for three blocks or sitting on the stoop having a beer with someone who just happened to be sitting there when I came home from work.

      •  That's one reason I moved here. (0+ / 0-)

        That's what it was like in Atlanta when I was younger. I found, though, if I say "hello" first, I usually get a reply, no matter where I am. Often, too, I get a smile. Still works when I visit Atlanta and New York. It's how I was raised - it's impolite to ignore people, even on the street. One neighbor who had to move after Katrina said how he'd never lived in a neighborhood like our's, and how much he was going to miss his friends here. On a visit back, he said he went to his new neighbors (in New Jersey), and introduced himself. He started hanging out with a few, introduced them to each other, and now, he's got a good neighborhood.

  •  Met a lovely older guy last night (5+ / 0-)

    in our small mountain town (CO) who was a Katrina castoff. Had arrived here with a small gym bag of clothes, that's it. He spoke so lovingly of the people and the smells and the sounds ... he misses his home something fierce.

  •  I cant believe I proofread that whole long thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Via Chicago

    and didn't remeber to proofread the subject line. If I can survive in this city anyone can.

  •  tipped and recc'ed for the title (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueintheface, Louisiana 1976

    and the story.
    New Orleans is struggling.
    I think it won't ever be the same.
    Many of the families who came to Dallas post-Katrina stayed here.  They go back to NOLA only to visit family because there is no more 'home' to move back to.

  •  Everybody will learn what it means (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Louisiana 1976

    to miss New Orleans.
    Both political parties in the US have become right-wing, Nazi-esque cabals, with agendas and monies for war, but no agenda or money for liberal values or Human rights(healthcare etc.).
    Katrina didn't destroy New Orleans. Neglect destroyed New Orleans, because it was common knowledge that a serious hurricane would wreck the city, they even had parties about it, yet the federal government would never appropriate the funds to improve the levee system, despite decades of knowing that something like Katrina would eventually happen.
    The same enthusiasm that went into "preserving" New Orleans is now going into the rebuilding of New Orleans. It will take serious levees, capable of withstanding a cat 5 hurricane, before any meaningful rebuilding happens, but don't hold your breath. The liberal tradition of New Orleans doesn't fit the corporate/global agenda.
    People will learn what it means to miss New Orleans. And they won't like what they learn.

    •  Not entirely accurate (0+ / 0-)

      Your cabal stuff is just a wee bit the top, but I agree with your sentiments about neglect.

      However, I've spent a lot of time there in the last four years and your statement about meaningful rebuilding is just wrong.  Been to the upper-ninth lately?  Gentilly?  Broadmoor? Holygrove?   In the last three years these neighborhoods have gone from having a couple houses on each block occupied, to having most rebuilt and occupied.  

      Last month, I was especially surprised of how far the upper-ninth has come since I did some work there in 2007.  And I'm not talking about the Habitat homes, either - it's coming to life throughout.

    •  Rec'd even though I don't agree with....... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the "cabal stuff" (regarding the Democrats--the GOP is a different story) because the point you make regarding the need for Cat 5 levees begs the question, Where is Obama on this vital issue?

      "We are all New Orleans now."--Barbara O'Brien

      by Louisiana 1976 on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:10:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I always thought New Orleans was a doomed city. (0+ / 0-)

    I'd visited a number of times on business, and done the touristy things, but they always made me a little sad.  New Orleans had a disheveled, blowzy charm of a place with an authentic, indigenous culture created by people who lived hard but made good times for themselves. People came from the outside to share the good times, but not the hard ones.

    I felt it was a doomed place, because how could such people prevent their lives from becoming entertainment commodities? It was only a matter of whether rising waters took the place, or  outsiders with names like "Disney" and "Marriott". Eventually these outsiders with their endless money and relentless drive to "improve" on real culture would have turned New Orleans in to an Epcot version of itself, like the unspeakable "Hawaiian Village" at Hilton's Waikiki Beach resort, where the only Hawaiians you'll meet open your car door for you or clean your room.

    I've lost my faith in nihilism

    by grumpynerd on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 08:17:09 AM PDT

    •  That was underway before Katrina (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Louisiana 1976

      and exactly what would have happened if Jackie Clarkson had her way. Chase off the homeless or, more importantly, those that looked like they may be homeless, ban the tarot readers from the square, public consumption laws.

      After Katrina they couldn't be seen as harassing the homeless any more, still have the law restricting readers, even though them crowding out the artists turned out to be bulls**t and a lot of the tourists miss them and there would have been a revolt over the public consumption law.  

    •  You are free to consider us a doomed city (3+ / 0-)

      that was doomed for gentrification and corporatization after you have done a few touristy things.

      On the other hand, you could take in a 7th ward street parade complete with brass bands, go into Gentilly for a seafood po boy, be the only white folks at a small all black neighborhood music club, visit the House of Dance and Feathers, go down to the levee with a fishing rod, bike through the ninth ward, find a neighborhood bar having a crawfish boil...criminy,just sit in a bar and befriend any local; very easy to do.

      Try any of these things, and then tell the folks that you met that they ahve been turned into commodities in a dead city...just let me come with you, I always like a good laugh.

  •  I lived in Nu-awlins back in 78 and (0+ / 0-)

    and worked at DH Holmes Dept Store's MIS dept.  When I returned a few years after I left it was already a little different.  Neighborhoods always change decade after decade as does every major city, especially when disaster strikes causing a majority of previous residents to leave and others to move in replacing most who once lived there for a generation or two.    

    Holy Cross

    In 1965 Hurricane Betsy caused massive flooding and killed 70 people in the Ninth Ward, a disaster that prompted Holy Cross residents of all races to move elsewhere. By the 1970s, Holy Cross was a stable mixed neighborhood with about 60% African-American residents. New residents are drawn to Holy Cross by its affordable historic housing stock and its remarkable sense of community.

    A Hurricane Called Betsy

    City life in New Orleans was not only a reflection of the lower 9th ward, life in New Orleans also came from the rest of the Wards, outside the city (across the river)Gretna, Algiers, Westwego, etc. as well.  This happens in every major city thoughout the country... repopulation by migration or force migration.  Ever wanted to go back home and when you do, everything's changed?

    Lack of jobs is what prevents residents from coming back, and yes, this time high rent surrounding The Plaza. One has to look at what kind of jobs were held by previous residents of the Wards your claiming. Some people found a better life beyond the 9th ward, and many believe standing in the way of a natural disaster is just downright suicide.  We see the same situation with people who live in Tornado Alley.

    By some of the arguments your making the Spaniards and you would be aligned in thought.

    NEW ORLEANS OLD TOWN - Spanish history

    •  Not understanding (0+ / 0-)

      how me and the Spaniards would be aligned in thought, mostly because I wasn't really making any arguments. Well, other than the argument that it moving into an area and then expecting those who already lived there to conform to your preferences is wrong. That and more affluent people got a great deal on houses/land in NO while residents got the shaft.

      •  Making an argument is not arguing. Maybe (0+ / 0-)

        making your points would have been better?  Sorry.

        I got the impression with comments like this about a tourist that never leaves:

        It's kind of funny for me to talk down about the tourists that never leave. After all, when I first visited New Orleans, I came for Halloween. I had planned on staying for a couple of weeks and then moving on and ended up living there for a few years. Doesn't that make me a hypocrite? To understand why it doesn't you have to understand that New Orleans is such a unique place, with unique people, a unique and a unique spirit. Within days I was infected with the spirit of New Orleans and in love with both the people and culture. I may have come for a visit but I found a home. That's just how the city is.

        and then saying this about a tourist that never leaves who teams up with tourist that never left:

        The tourist who never leaves has a similar yet perverse reaction. They seem to fall in love with spirit of the city and some twisted ideal of what they think it should be. Failing to recognise that they are the ones that chose to move to New Orleans, they team up with other tourists that never left and impose their version of what New Orleans should be.

        So it left me guessing and I simply focused on history and repopulation (tourists who never leave). New Orleans is like every city in constant change.  Ask any 90 year old and he or she will tell you those who lived in New Orleans during the 60s and beyond changed their city when they arrived.  You arrived after I left thinking that was New Orleans, and to a point you are correct.. for that period = epoch.  Point is you can't stop change.

        •  I'm sleepy. (0+ / 0-)

          The whole Spaniard thing throwing me off. Anyway, change is fine. People coming for vacation and loving the city so much that they never leave gives you a population that's commited to the city. My problem is with the people who come on vacation, decide to stay and then start trying to dictate the way things should be is wrong.

      •  p.s. in ref to the Spanish. If we were to think (0+ / 0-)

        our view of New Orleans is the correct one, then the Spanish have that same right... which means they have a more legit point to make than all future tourists who never left.

        Just my view as a tourist who comes and go.

        •  Being sleepy and all, (0+ / 0-)

          guess I didn't explain myself well. I'm not saying my view of New Orleans is the correct one or anyone else's is wrong. My problem is that they come in and use money and influence to start dictating change.

          •  It's ok it happens to me all the time.... but I (0+ / 0-)

            should have read you clearly and maybe would have found the point you were making.  I just don't find that many tourist who stay trying to change things in terms of culture and life... that's always "usually" left to the people who live the culture.  I'm thinking your referring to developers, Si?

            •  Tourists who buy houses instead of leave or own (0+ / 0-)

              condos there that they live in a month a year, the condo dwellers above Jackson Square, Jackie Clarkson and her developer buddies. What do they all have in common? Obsession with property values. They weren't so much trying to change the culture, they like it. At least when it comes to the artists and musicians, so long as the artists and musicians weren't to rough around the edges and didn't look homeless.

              As for the rest of the culture, the goths, punks, freaks or just strange. They're not welcome. They restricted the tarot card readers off most of Jackson Square, effectively running most of them off. Then there was the walking ghost and vampire tours, started placing a lot of restrictions on those.  

  •  I'm sorry you were unable to recover (0+ / 0-)

    the wonderful things about this city. I moved here in 2000, a lot because of CV, but also because of childhood memories and connections. None of those old memories panned out, but they're still fresh and wonderful in my heart. New ones took hold. Perhaps I'm jaded enough that I'm okay with change. Perhaps it's because I moved here from Atlanta - the place that went from, "The city too busy to hate" to just "The city too busy". New Orleans is like Atlanta was when I was young: I know and love my neighbors, and it is quiet, and peaceful, most of the time. Crime is horrendous and does intrude on occasion. In areas home prices have risen extraordinarily. On the other hand, I have had some old people and poor neighbors benefit from that. Additionally, home prices are still much lower than other parts of the country. I could not afford to buy a home in my old 'hood in Atlanta, actually in several of them. The mix is great here - old, young, African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic, European, Asian, poor, middle-class, rich, artists, health workers, musicians, office professionals, more - and that's just within the six blocks surrounding my home. I don't go to the French Quarter much; I don't go out much. Jazz Fest drives me nuts. Essence is currently driving me nuts. Instead, I'll probably hang with some neighbors this afternoon, and then read later. Of course, that's what I do almost every day here, surrounded by good people. I hope you find the wild times where you are; when you're ready for a quiet life in a cocoon of love, come on back.

    •  Not looking for wild times. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cv lurking gf

      I miss being able to walk to Jackson Square any time, day or night, and there'd be some cool people to hang out with. Or even being able to go up to the river at night, which is something else that made me angry, security guards posted at all the entrances to the river after a set time so you couldn't go up there. We'll be able to sell the house here in a few years and will probably move back then, when we'll be in a position to buy. Even before Katrina there were a lot of f'd up landlords in the area. Part of the reason I left the first time was because of being screwed by Kahn right before summer. Put us in a bad position where we either had to move away, try and scrape up rent+deposit or risk a shady landlord.  

      •  I prefer walking on the bayou, and yes, (0+ / 0-)

        I hesitate to walk there at night. Are you talking about the guards at Audobon Park? Otherwise, I don't see security guards at, say, the Moon Walk. During the curfew time I know a lot of places were watched and patrolled, but that's been done. My goddaughter is in town and called me last night around 9 from the river. Insurance and repair costs has caused many landlords to raise rents, but beforehand, a 2 bedroom, 6 room shotgun for $350 a month - damn, those are 1970's rent prices. As was reported, 95% of the housing stock in NOLA suffered some degree of damage. People gotta live somewhere, and landlords gotta make some money. Some things are better, some are worse, and some the same.

        •  Moon Walk. (0+ / 0-)

          I tried to go up there a couple times late at night and was turned away each time by someone wearing blue coats and some type of uniform. Not by the aquarium though. Closer to Jax building.

          First place I rented in like '01 was only $350 a month. 5 rooms with a camel back. Was the yellow house next to Doerr  furniture on Elysian Fields. Then again, the rent was so low because the the house was "as is", I.E it was understood that they weren't fixing anything. I think they were just hoping someone in one of the shotguns would burn the place to the ground so they could develop the corner lot and that into a bigger store and parking lot.

          As for 95% sustaining some degree of damage, I don't doubt it. I'd just like to see a better accounting of what % had any damage more than a little single work. I'm not going to try and say that rent shouldn't have gone up at all, however, it going up as much as it did for as long as it has is insane.

  •  Sad (writing from New Orleans) (0+ / 0-)

    Yaknow what's sad:

    It's sad you didn't have the courage to take this post to the nola forums where Orleanians would be there to respond.

    It's sad that nowhere in your diary do you take into account that New Orleans had major, major problems before the Damned Storm and many since, old and new.

    Yes, things changed, but maybe what changed most was people's realization that the old ways of apathy and corruption were doomed to fail us, doomed to lead us into a position of hopelessness, consisting of crime perpetrated by our City's leaders upon their constituents, crime on the streets, failed infrastructure and a complete lack of interest in accounting for money, work done or ethics.

    And here it is, the self-defined "account from New Orleans" for so many people nationally who really have no direct interest but so many political agendae beyond that, like some Limbaugh feeding red meat to the hungry lions. Chew it up, all, chew it up; you need to know we are not that, but so much more.

    As for Clarkson: well, yeah, maybe you have some points there, but let's remember who she was running against - Cynthia Willard Lewis, who hails from one of the several political dynasties (of several ethnicities) that have dragged us down for decades and who stands for the kinds of principles (or lack thereof) which have been so destructive to us (starting with a blind eye towards massive corruption but not ending there). I have many a criticism of Clarkson, but she despite her faults ain't the problem. Boulet would have been a better option, perhaps, but as usual in Orleans our political and professional classes failed us, those were our choices.

    As for the nola forums - you really care? That is not a representative sampling of New Orleans. Get in the streets, go to the bars and coffee shops and restaurants, or any one of the many, many, many political, social and cultural organizations which together with the wonderful citizenry and individuals that we are comprised of have pulled our great City up by the bootstraps despite and in spite of the complete lack of local and national leadership, past and present.

    Vive La Cite de Nouvelle Orleans!

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