The Reconstruction of New Orleans


It wasn’t until after my presentation that I had a chance to see the city. And I have to admit it was so depressing that I’ve been having trouble writing about it. I have a sick interest in abandoned theme parks and the like, but seeing the neighborhoods of all classes so destroyed, the symbols marking search and rescue attempts, and the general vacancy of the city left me confused and uncomfortable.

I took pictures of a number of houses, and morbid curiosity had me snapping photos of those symbols, but I can’t post them.

The destruction was real and remains, but the hope and commitment to rebuild is real too. New Orleans is city destroyed, but its people are not broken. And sadly, I haven’t figured out how to take a photo that does that justice.

The photo above is of the memorial in the lower ninth ward, dedicated August 27th 2006 (the governor’s dedication). The sign in the window reads: “I am coming home! I will rebuild! I am New Orleans!”

new orleans, NOLA, memorial, recovery, hurricane katrina

3 thoughts on “The Reconstruction of New Orleans

  1. Casey, it was good to see you in NOLA.

    Its great you got to see more than the touristy stuff.

    I took the public bus into town when I got there and it really put things into perspective.

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  3. I am in the process of building a website dedicated to the rebuilding effort in New Orleans and I am grateful for your efforts. This is part of a requirement for my Media, Race and Gender class but I hope that the website grows beyond the class.
    What I have noticed is that, over time, the case of the devastating brought by Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans has fallen off the news radar. However, the place, as you have said, is still depressing to look at.
    Is it not a shame that once the cameras stopped rolling, once it was no longer fashionable for the celebrities to flock to New Orleans, once the embarrassment stopped bothering the people, New Orleans ceased to matter, especially with the powerful media that sets the agenda. But there are people out there still waiting to get into homes, people having to do without water and electricity in some instances. How the most powerful, richest nation on earth can let that happen is a huge shame. Actually, how can this be the richest nation ever when its people can barely afford to live here?

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