I found some photos from my trip to New Orleans from the summer of 2006, weeks shy of the one-year anniversary. The images bring back a lot of memories of the people I met there. From the small children we played with, who told stories about their encounters with the military men, to the very nice old man who voiced his concerns about how the failure to reinforce the levees was a deliberate ignorance by a government who does not care for its Black citizens.
If i had the money I would go back and visit. I often wonder how it looks like now. I wonder how much gentrification went down at the expense of Katrina victims.
The levees remain the same, messes like your pictures are cleaned up for the most part, barring parts of New Orleans East and parts of poorer neighborhoods. The drive I take to work has some really nicely decayed houses that no one cares about because they’re in predominantly black neighborhoods. I’m talking caved in roofs, siding coming off, crumbling foundations and missing stairs. New Orleans is rapidly gentrifying to such an extent that even historically black neighborhoods like the Treme are being encroached upon. Gentrification, of course, drives the prices of rentals up. The two bedroom shotgun I grew up in in Mid-City that my parents rented for $250/month is now $1100/month. Even the new mixed-income apartments are really costly in comparison to what they used to be.
The city itself has become uber-commercialized and I hate it. I am grateful because capitalizing on the revenue the Saints helped rebuild the city. But it’s also made the city into this:
This unappealing “Who Dat City”. What culture New Orleans had died with Katrina.