Below I have posted some pictures from my trip to New Orleans with a few explanations. During a 3-week stint with the American Red Cross, I experienced the fragility of human civilization. The massive amount of destruction, coupled with the bizarre mix of forces already present at the mouth of the Mississippi, ensured that my adventures were fraught with both awe and calamity. In line with our organization's purpose, our supply distribution mission across the city provided victims with short term aid.
Luckily, I had sufficient time to explore my various fascinations with the Cajun homeland, the Magnolia projects, and Vietnamese shrimp boats. Though 34 years of solid waste need to be removed from the city of New Orleans, within a few years' time, the city will be greener, safer, and richer than before the disaster. Vast numbers of poor, black residents have already been dispersed to other urban areas where such folk are ostensibly welcome. The newly gentrified city will be more accomodating to tourists and less of a gansta-town. However, the city will most certainly not be host to American musical innovation, as during the inception of blues, zydeco, jazz, and southern hip-hop. Thus, street edge will be exchanged for a more sterile urban geography of French colonial charm and Cajun eateries, mixed in with seedy Bourbon St. bars and some authentic locales.
New Orleans is situated in a largely impoverished, uneducated, and ignorant region of the United States. Perhaps dispersing the poor and indigent is a way of giving them access to more resources. Hopefully, federal money rejuventates the region in a way that incorporates local traditions and communities. Nevertheless, the future of New Orleans will be more spectacle and less real. More to come on the spectacular Magnolia Projects!