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Sunday, December 23, 2007

New Orleans - not Mr. Rogers neighborhood

Deborah, Jan, Alex, and I all made our way on separate flights to New Orleans yesterday. Zac and his vibrant girlfriend, Erin made a lot of airport trips in heavy traffic. We got to see their new one bedroom apartment on a different end of the Uptown neighborhood than their big old rental house. The house has four units that were recently restored very nicely. The houses just next to them are still vacant, boarded up, and one is completely crushed in on itself. It looks like at least half the houses in their neighborhood are still boarded up.

House next door to Zac & Erin:

House across the street from Zac & Erin:

Jan's friend generously gave us her home in the Mid-City neighborhood. It's amazing - twelve foot high ceilings and large rooms on both floors, lots of wonderful built in shelving; big, inviting kitchens on both floors; lots of art. Her house is one of only two inhabited ones on her block. They had a couple feet of water flooding their home after Katrina but have renovated it.

Yellow house we are staying in:

Same Yellow House (photo) during Katrina flood:

The good news is that some people are moving back home and reclaiming their neighborhoods. But meanwhile, there is something surreal about these neighborhoods. I wonder what the kids who live here think about coming home from school to a block with no other people.

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