New Orleans Neighborhoods

December 29th, 2007

So on Christmas Day we woke up and after a random walk to find the only open convenience store we could find, we jumped in the car and drove down to Algiers.

Now Algiers was one of the hardest hit areas of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. While the rest of Downtown New Orleans (including the French Quarter) did show signs of Katrina’s wrath, Algiers is quite below sea level and therefore relies on multiple levees and a system of pumps. These obviously failed.

Click below for the rest of this post, complete with pictures and observations….

This is the area where when you turned on the news you saw citizens on roofs writing “S.O.S” and waving for help. One of the more interesting things you notice while driving through Algiers is the status of rebuilding three years after Katrina hit. Some areas have bounced back quicker than others.

Driving around, the first thing you notice is the massive amount of water damage.

Stains around bottoms of houses, and fire hydrants rusted away.

This is most evident in the outlying fences of houses. Metal full of rest, and hinges bent. While the house itself might slowly being fixed, the steel fence shows the wear and tear of the past hurricane.

Above is a school in one of the poorer areas. We just kept on driving around it, its been three years and its still in complete disregard. It makes you wonder what happened to the district and the general public school system. Has massive busing programs started up to transport students from the harder hit areas to the more lucky/above ground districts? If so, what will happen when (and if) these schools get back up and running? Without a true school system and basic public utilities, are some communities never going to bounce back?

Yes, thats a boat just sitting out in front of the school.

Then, while driving you suddenly hit these pockets of extreme wealth. Neighborhoods that were below sea level as well, but have bounced back so much quicker than their counterparts. Brightly colored and fenced off, with BMW’s and Land Rover’s in their driveway. (Note the Bently with a license plate that reads “Piano”)

Overall, it was an interesting visit and really eye-opening to experience the city. New Orleans is a city of extreme tourism and showboating in one area, and extreme poverty and struggle in the other. It had a lot of soul and history to it, but it just seemed to be two worlds at times.

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