a Someone should care, maybe not you....: Good Bye Big Easy .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

11 September 2005

Good Bye Big Easy

When the rebuild New Orleans, because we all know that it will be rebuilt, right in the same spot to await another big hurricane to come and do it again someday, they really ought to change it’s nick name to The Big O or something.  Because the “The Big Easy” is dead and will soon be gone.  Now why would I say that?  Well consider this.  Part of what gave New Orleans it’s edge was the friction between the old and the new.  The fact that there would be an old run down building right next to a modern fancy one, the richest house in the city would have one of the poorest right across the street.  There was always that pull between the classes, the races, the ethnicities in the city.  And that is going to change in a big way with the reconstruction.  
Think of all the areas with older slightly rundown buildings that could be rented cheaply (or at least cheaper).  A lot of these areas have been flooded out and many if not most or all of the buildings will have to be torn down and rebuilt.  Now, are they going to be rebuilt as old rundown cheap to rent places?  I think not.  The owners of the land are going to be seeing big dollar potential in building condos and developments that will bring in BIG $$$$.  Not low cost housing.  So a lot of the poor in New Orleans are going to find themselves priced right out of town.  I suspect there will be some areas that were damaged but not so badly that they need to be torn down where owners might decide not to rebuild but merely to touch up so there will be low rent districts.  But not many, because the good old federal government, at the urging of congressional leaders from Louisiana and all of the multitudinous and varied entitlement groups, will be throwing money around so people can rebuild.  And property owners aren’t dumb, why rebuild cheap when the Government will pay you to rebuild fancy?

In addition to losing the “edge” the city had due to the mixture in the city, it will lose a lot of it’s atmosphere too.  Yeah, the French Quarter is still there, relatively undamaged.  But the areas surrounding it to a great extent are not.  They will be rebuilt.  And that will kill the atmosphere entirely because new building just haven’t got what the old ones had.  Now there may be an attempt by planners to make it “hip” and “funky” like the old places.  Ever noticed how places designed to be “hip” and/or “funky” are usually just foolish?  You can’t design strange little out of the way shops, and odd corners.  These things have to just happen.  And they won’t be happening anymore.  If we are really, REALLY unlucky we will end up with some Disnified version of old New Orleans.  (Which would be a fate worse than the hurricane).

At any rate, developers and land speculators are going to be descending on the corpse of New Orleans like vultures.  Something new will be built there.  But it won’t be “The Big Easy”.


Blogger Jen said...

I had thought about this too. If they go in and try to recreate the old city. It will be as though Disney meets to New Orleans. It may look ok when they are done. But the history that gave the city is flavor will be gone. And youre right I dont see how the poor will be able to fit back into this new picture.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Edge said...

I just want to buy land there so I can sell it. It's a win/win deal. Land owners get money and buyers get property to develop or buy. What's wrong with that?


6:48 AM  
Blogger Stephalupogus said...

Anyway you look at Louisiana is not going to be a place for the poor when all is said & done. aA lot of the poor are the current refugee's and they are making noises about not going back. That is going to play a large role in how the state evolves as well.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Stephalupogus said...

Anyway you look at Louisiana is not going to be a place for the poor when all is said & done. aA lot of the poor are the current refugee's and they are making noises about not going back. That is going to play a large role in how the state evolves as well.

9:31 AM  
Blogger exMI said...

No problem that I have Jef. I like making money.

10:01 AM  
Blogger The Zombie Lama said...

Money = good.
Disney = bad.


11:00 AM  
Blogger Adrian said...

I posted this on my blog last week in response to a comment. Im not so sure that rebuilding and attracting wealth is such a bad thing when you read this quotation:

"The city's romance is not the reality for most who live there. It's a poor place, with about 27 percent of the population of 484,000 living under the poverty line. In 65 percent of families living in poverty, no husband is present.

New Orleans' public schools, which are 93 percent black, have failed their citizens. The state of Louisiana rates 47 percent of New Orleans schools as "Academically Unacceptable" and another 26 percent are under "Academic Warning." About 25 percent of adults have no high-school diploma."


I PRAY that the rebuilding efforts will play a role in significantly improving these shocking statistics.


2:06 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

Well it will becasue most of the those poor folks won't have a place to live so they'll leave. The Romance leads to tourism, and while the peopel may have been poor the majority of the money they made probalby came in support of the tourism industry. Which won't be doing much for awhile.

4:19 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

What makes New Orleans cool was the atmosphere - the Old World charm. I too fear developers will kill it when they rebuild the city.

10:56 PM  
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1:35 PM  

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