Monday, December 05, 2005

New Orleans - gypsy city or abandoned war zone?

Visiting New Orleans over Thanksgiving week was an experience. While some areas did not seem to have much external damage, the evidence of internal repairs made itself known by loud chopsaws, boards crashing, and the piles of molded wood dumped out front.

City Park (with all its gorgeous old oak trees!) fared better than I thought. Some of the trees were down, but many of those old, tangly oaks stood proud and tall. Metairie seems to be recooping rather well, with more restaurants opening and people coming back. I even got stuck in rush hour traffic!

The worst areas I saw - New Orleans East and Lakeview - looked like abandoned war zones. Trees crushed into homes, cars covered with sludge and abandoned in the middle of the street, high water marks on all the homes. Lakeview, which was once a nice little plush green area between Metairie and New Orleans, now is covered in dirt and mounds of debris. The large neutral ground there is now a dumping site for all tree debris, wet carpet, etc. It was a very sad sight.

I hope the city rebuilds. Metairie seems on its way, even though many people are not back yet. I do hope the city recovers, as I miss my hometown.