7.19.2006

What actually goes on in New Orleans

Whaaat(?) really does go on in New Orleans these days? Well first of all, like they say, "what happens in New Orleans stays in New Orleans." Or is that Vegas? I can never remember. You can look at that statement a couple of different ways.

First of all, I think that many people who are not in Lousiana think that sure, the Hurricane came through and messed everything up, but that people should be over it by now! For goodness sakes, it has already been almost a year since it happened. That is plenty of time to get everything back to normal, right? Well, the people who say this...have never been to Louisiana! So, what is happening here...is staying here. The real news doesn't get out to the public. Well, if you count the crap the media spews out, I guess there is news, but not very real. The city has not been rebuilt. The city is not back to normal. "Le Bon Temps" are "roulez" but not as hard as they used to.

Of course the people of this city want to rebuild, to forget... but many of them are not coming back. What will happen to the spirit of New Orleans? Did you know that before the storm, in a city of roughly 600,000 people, there was an average of 1 murder per day here? Do you know that 1 year later, with a rough population of about 200,000 (many of these being contractors or relief workers) there is STILL 1 murder per day!? Public Schools with overall enrollments of 12,000 in 2004-05 have a total enrollment of 1,200 for 2005-06. One tenth of the student population has returned. How long will it take for the other 9/10 to come back? Will they come back? I have talked to many people that, especially because of their children and the importance of having them in a good school, have moved away for good..

You can also look at the opening statement in a good light. The things that used to happen before the storm, the life that New Orleans had, the jive, the vibe, it has stayed. People are broke, they are fighting over insurance settlements, they are trying to start their business back up, to raise their kids, to fix their houses... But this city still has life. It will never lose the glow, the allure, the fun that it has.

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