Matamoros, Mexico: Washington, D.C.:

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Orleans - 5 Years Later

I'm in New Orleans for a few days to visit my brother and some friends. I've been to New Orleans a number of times over the past few years, including the past two Mardi Gras(es?), which is always a lot of fun and rather entertaining. NOLA (or New Orleans, Louisiana) has always been an interesting place to me, especially after Katrina hit. There was so much destruction and so much desolation after that hurricane, but if you stay in certain areas of the city, you might not have ever known it. I've always told people that NOLA seems like a Third World country to me, in that there is kind of that one cool place that all the tourists go to (in this case, the French Quarter and Garden District), and outside of that, it's just totally different. It literally seems like a different country.

A friend of my brother's drove me around some of the outer areas of the city today to see what things are like five years after the Katrina disaster. While much of the city is still attempting to recover, there are still many areas that have been completely abandoned or left to rot. Our first stop was in the Lower 9th Ward, which I'm sure you've heard about. Most of the lots are completely abandoned, with only a few original houses still standing. Here are two examples:
Abandoned house that managed to survive the flood.
Apparently, the city fines landowners monthly if they don't keep the yards trimmed.
Basically, they're trying to pressure the owners into giving up their land to the city.
But, there are signs of new growth. The new, low-income developments are all very eco-friendly and "green" houses, and they all have funky designs and solar panels on the roof, like this:
After the touring around, we ended up in the ever-loved French Quarter for some beignets and chocolate milk from Cafe du Monde. Gotta love it:

That's about it. It's disappointing that the place is still so destroyed, five years later. But, that's New Orleans, I guess.

If you want to see a few more pictures from New Orleans, there are a few more in my album on Picasa. Just click below:
New Orleans - 9th Ward

Until next time... peace.

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