Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The beauty of New Orleans

posted by Rob at 9:38 AM

Yeah, I've been hard on the city. It does have its poor and dirty side and it irritates me that it appears no one wants to admit it. It seems the MSM always thought of New Orleans as a shining city in a hole and were shocked - SHOCKED they say - that poor people were hidden in the cracks.

I do hope New Orleans is rebuilt. It was refreshing to hear on NPR this morning that the French Quarter survived mostly in tact. Plenty of hotels may be able to reopen soon. Commercial flights have returned. A pulse is felt.

There's a great attraction to NO. Nothing compares to the cuisine. I never had a bad meal while there. Even the Mike's Inland Seafood in the mall was a treat (I risked missing my flight for one last bowl of seafood gumbo there).

The architecture is astounding and historic, as Blue Ridge Blog notes.

At the height of the flooding, Jeff Jarvis tackled whether the city should be rebuilt. I agree with this comment from Kelsey:
Absolutely, it should be re-built. As Chris says above, it has a great big soul. The history, culture, music - alone! that has sprung from that bathtub demands a re-build, and not some sterile, squeaky clean Celebration, FL version two hundred miles upriver, but right there. I think we all need a reminder of our own inherent absurd but beautiful fragility. Yes.
The comics page is also caught up with Katrina, as evidenced by yesterday's Foxtrot. I share their sentiments.

Clarence Page has out today his thoughts on the city's future. Actually, the future of the "two" cities, as he correctly describes New Orleans as "the lived-in theme park centered in the French Quarter, with its terrific restaurants, dance halls, burlesque joints and cultural gumbo. And there's the other New Orleans, the one populated by most New Orleanians":
That city has one of the highest rates of poverty and violent crime of any major city. Almost half of the city's schools are rated "academically unacceptable." Another 26 percent are under "academic warning."

Rebuilt the right way, New Orleans can leave those problems behind.
As expected, he doesn't describe exactly what the "right way" is. George Will's solution appears to be mandatory marriage. Daily Pundit comments on making the city an island.


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