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New Orleans review...

lilnick

TRIBE Member
I recently got a new job, and was fortunate enough to find myself on the way to New Orleans for a conference. The trip was fascinating, fun, and sobering. For those interested, here are some pics...

Also, please check out some of these incredible statistics regarding post-Katrina, New Orleans:
http://uspolitics.about.com/od/katrina/l/bl_katrina_stats.htm

Bourbon and Frenchmen Streets (36 photos)
Music everywhere... it's amazing! Bourbon can be a little tacky but it's a non-stop party. 24 hour, open liquor laws... how civilized!
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=10668&l=67d43&id=504418231

The French Quarter (35 photos)
Strolling around early evening and early morning...
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=10658&l=d84e1&id=504418231

Post-Katrina (55 photos)
I had very little understanding of what has (and has not) happened since Katrina (August 25th, 2005). People have NO idea how bad the situation still is, over two years later. While at the conference we were able to take guided tours "Post-Katrina New Orleans". Wali Armstead, who grew up in the Lower 9th Ward, one of the hardest hit areas, was our guide. He had also just quit working for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) 3 weeks before we arrived. He had been working in Public Relations and said he could no longer take it... What he was being asked to say, and what he wanted to say, did not equate. These pictures do not do justice to the past, and continuing, complete failure of a government to care for its people. 
(Most of these pics were snapped through a moving bus window, so apologies.)
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=10664&l=7ce72&id=504418231

2007 International Drug Policy Reform Conference (31 photos)
The International Drug Policy Reform Conference is the world's principal gathering of people who believe the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. No better opportunity exists to learn about drug policy and to strategize and mobilize for reform. Over 1,000 people came together to address a wide range of policy, legal, political and scientific issues including:

- Drug Sentencing Reform 
- Treatment 
- Drug Testing 
- Race and the Drug War 
- Marijuana 
- HIV, Hep C and Overdose Prevention 
- International Developments 
- Drug Education 
- Entheogens-Science, Spirituality and Law 
- Alternatives to Prohibition 
- Pragmatic Steps for Ending the Drug War 



Conference page: 
http://www.kessjones.com/conf07/


Drug Policy Alliance:
http://www.drugpolicy.org/homepage.cfm

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=10655&l=7531f&id=504418231
 
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m0ff

TRIBE Member
Great shots of Post-Katrina.
My friend's fiance works down in N.O. on a rotational basis with a major aerospace company. His pictures tell the same story.

I always found it extremely upsetting that the US government just completely turned it's back on it's citizens.

I was watching this National Geographic documentary on FEMA post-Katrina, and I just sat there the entire time with my mouth gaping; what a failure.
 

Interchange

TRIBE Promoter
wow great photo's !

Last week my husband and i rented Spike Lee's new documentary on Hurricane Katrina.
I highly recommend it !! It is a four part movie and it had us both almost in tears..
So many things that we never herd in the media are revealed.
 

TRO

TRIBE Member
the post katrina spread is eye opening and I liked the fact you took time and wrote about certain pictures
 

mariazmess

TRIBE Member
lilnick said:
Also, please check out some of these incredible statistics regarding post-Katrina, New Orleans:
http://uspolitics.about.com/od/katrina/l/bl_katrina_stats.htm
Two Year Anniversary

On Monday, 29 August 2005, Hurricane Katrina careened into the Gulf Coast, putting 80% of New Orleans under water and bashing the Mississippi coast like it was matchsticks.

Two years after Katrina, life in New Orleans is far from normal: hospitals, schools, libraries, even bus service all remain limited. Postal service data show that New Orleans is at 66 percent of its pre-Katrina population.

The nation's most costly natural disaster, Katrina killed more than 1,600 people ... destroyed 200,000 Gulf Coast homes ... displaced about 1 million people. News reports place insured property damage at $25.3 billion in 1.7 million insurance claims -- 975,000 of them in Louisiana.

Two years later, rebuilding remains spotty, despite $110 billion (same amount allocated as in 2006) in federal monies.

Data -
first number is before Katrina / one year later / 2 years later

Cost of Living
Rent, 2BR apt, Metro $676 / $940 / $978
Unemployment Rate, Metro 5.3% / 4.5% / 5.1%

Health
Major Hospitals Open, Region, % 100% / 50% / 66%
Hospitals Open, Orleans Parish 23 / 9 / 13

Schools
Students In Public Schools, Metro, % 100% / 59% / 70%
Students In Public Schools, New Orleans, % 100% / 10% / 40% :O
Public Schools Open, Orleans Parish 276 / 53 / 83
Private Schools Open, Orleans Parish 93 / 51 / 55
Child Care Centers Open, Orleans Parish 276 / 63 / 98

People
Labor Force, Metro 613,800 / 444,200 / 484,902
Labor Force, Orleans Parish 202,350 / 137,752 / 158,844
Households W/Mail, Orleans Parish 198,232 / 98,141 / 133,966

Services
Libraries Open, Metro, % 100% / 62% / -
Libraries Open, Orleans Parish 13 / 8 / 9
Public Transport Routes Open, Orleans Parish, % 100% / 45% / 50%
Buses Operating, Orleans Parish 368 / 61 / 69
Electricity - % Homes 100% / 60% / -
Hotels - % Open 100% / 85% / -
 
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gl*tch

TRIBE Member
I've been to NO several times, tho not since the flood, and it breaks my heart to hear about and see the continuing tragedy there.

*Damn! web restrictions won't let me see these photos until I go home!*
 

moose-meat

TRIBE Member
My last trip was the year before Katrina for a wedding.
What a memorable weekend. Love that city !

Been waiting for someone to start flying there "direct" again.
Used to have that because of the cruises , but think most of those have packed up and moved to Galveston.



Still , really should get back soon and try to help out a bit
by spending some tourist $$$.
Oh , to be back at the Acme Oyster House.....
 

rejenerate

TRIBE Member
I went to New Orleans for the first time in the late 90s, and went back last Xmas to do volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity and another organization.

It was one of the most overwhelming experiences I've ever had. It was like a third-world country in some parts of that city...like a war zone. There were times I couldn't believe I was actually in the United States. Completely destroyed buildings, from homes to a Taco Bell, just sit there, waiting for someone to make a decision to raze it or come back with enough money to rebuild.

I met a mother and daughter who had not been back to their grandmother's flooded house since Katrina. I was in work clothes so they asked me if I could go in and find a beloved cat statue for her. I did...the smell from the mold was unbearable and eerily, the newspaper sitting on the kitchen table was dated Aug. 29, 2005. I found the statue on a pile of destroyed possessions and brought it out to them. They took it and drove away, and I just started bawling my eyes out. It took me a few minutes to get myself in gear to go back to work.

If any of you want to do some really worthwhile volunteer work abroad but don't have the time or the money to go somewhere far away, I strongly urge you to spend a week or two in New Orleans. The city is amazing, you'll put money into the economy and the people there really need it as they've pretty much been forgotten by the rest of their own country.

Oh, and if you've seen the Spike Lee documentary, I met the guy who spray-painted "Fuck FEMA" and other things on the front of his store. His mom's the sweetest, friendliest woman and I tried to help her out with her collapsing ceiling as best I could. :(
 

Michlerish

Well-Known TRIBEr
I also recently watched a post-katrina documentary.

Regarding the markings on the door, there were a few people in the documentary that said they know their houses weren't searched, even though the markings were on the door.

One guy who had evacuated returned to NO when it was safe to check on his mother, who refused to evacuate. He was extremely worried, but when he got to the house, he saw the markings that said it had been searched and no one was found inside. He was relieved.
He went to go inside the house but noticed the door was locked, with no signs of forced entry. When he was inside and searching around, he found his mother's body in the kitchen under a couch or something.

There were other stories like that too... people certain that their houses weren't checked.

Can you imagine?!??!
 

grumblegirl

TRIBE Member
My friend/coworker was at the same conference as you. She had much the same reactions - shock that the devastation is still so acute, and amazement at the lack of resources and governmental assistance.
(She took the same tour as you did, even!)

Thanks for posting this all. Very interesting to see and read.
 
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mariazmess

TRIBE Member
Michlerish said:
There were other stories like that too... people certain that their houses weren't checked.

Can you imagine?!??!
Ya, I can actually!
destroyed 200,000 Gulf Coast homes ...

What I can't imagine is going door to door, knee deep in shit and death and water, breaking down doors to look for dead people.
 

lilnick

TRIBE Member
moose-meat said:
Oh , to be back at the Acme Oyster House.....

Ha... I had my first Po-Boy there!


grumblegirl said:
My friend/coworker was at the same conference as you. She had much the same reactions - shock that the devastation is still so acute, and amazement at the lack of resources and governmental assistance.
(She took the same tour as you did, even!)

Is she canadian?
 

Michlerish

Well-Known TRIBEr
mariazmess said:
Ya, I can actually!


What I can't imagine is going door to door, knee deep in shit and death and water, breaking down doors to look for dead people.

What I meant was that they had markings on the door saying they were searched, but the homeowners don't think they actually were.

So it's like they just got lazy and decided to skip a few or something.
 

grumblegirl

TRIBE Member
lilnick said:
Is she canadian?
Yup!
Little and French, from Ottawa, if that helps.

PM me if you want her name. She recognized yours, and knows where you work (or worked)... We work in the same 'field'... :)
 

mariazmess

TRIBE Member
Michlerish said:
So it's like they just got lazy and decided to skip a few or something.
lilnick might be able to explain it better, but there were different markings. sometimes they were unable to enter the homes, sometimes they found people but were unable to retrieve the bodies.

there was a marking system... but if working in bureaucracy has taught me anything - systems often get misinterpreted by the people implementing them. so you might've had some workers who didn't understand how to mark the houses, putting the wrong markings on them.
 
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moose-meat

TRIBE Member
rejenerate said:
I went to New Orleans for the first time in the late 90s, and went back last Xmas to do volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity and another organization.

(


This planet needs another million people like you.
After reading your reply , I will be going back in May.


Thanks.
 

lilnick

TRIBE Member
mariazmess said:
lilnick might be able to explain it better, but there were different markings. sometimes they were unable to enter the homes, sometimes they found people but were unable to retrieve the bodies.

there was a marking system... but if working in bureaucracy has taught me anything - systems often get misinterpreted by the people implementing them. so you might've had some workers who didn't understand how to mark the houses, putting the wrong markings on them.

Our guide explained that they also had to change the markings once the media caught on. Too bad the media have all gone now. Apparently Britney's having another baby?
 

rejenerate

TRIBE Member
moose-meat said:
This planet needs another million people like you.
After reading your reply , I will be going back in May.


Thanks.

:) Glad to hear it. But really, I think it's in the realm of possibility for a lot of people. Most of us seem to live quite comfortably, so I urge people to think about trying a volunteer vacation at least once instead of the usual tropical-beach trip or whatever. It's all well and good to say "I read a story about it and was shocked, it's so sad!" but how about actually DOING something about it? And I don't just mean New Orleans, but locally and worldwide, too. Awareness is mostly meaningless if it doesn't lead to action, IMO.

The people I met in NOLA were amazing...from the Katrina survivors who inspired me with their stories and have somehow found the strength to rebuild their lives, to the volunteers who have come from all over the world...some have even chosen to stay long-term.
 
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Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
m0ff said:
I always found it extremely upsetting that the US government just completely turned it's back on it's citizens.

It has to be hard to find time for citizens when you're busy selling the city off to private companies.
 
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le bricoleur

TRIBE Member
In other Katrina-related news:

Paul Chan, a multi-media artist and political activist staged a production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot in New Orlean's washed-out Lower Nineth Ward.

Here's a link to the story featured in the Sunday New York Times last week.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/02/arts/design/02cott.html

02cott6001zb0.jpg


The house featured in this photo is not a stage set, but someone's flood-ridden residence.
 

moose-meat

TRIBE Member
rejenerate said:
:) Glad to hear it. But really, I think it's in the realm of possibility for a lot of people.


I stick by my original statement. We need more people like you.
Lots of people talk about it , but never do diddley-squat.

Its now my turn to head down there. Next May , I think.
 
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