Sunday, August 22, 2010

Remember NOLA

At the historic Preservation Hall

At the corner of Canal and Bourbon Streets

For this post, I'd like to focus on something else. Five years ago, this week, Hurricane Katrina formed and extended Mother Nature's wrath over Louisiana

and Mississippi, in the middle of the night. Many didn't even have a chance. New Orleans took the worst hit. We all witnessed what happened in the horrendous days afterward, through the major TV networks. The reporters became the representatives of the people when no one came. They became rightfully frustrated and angry(which is against a reporter's job to be objective) when the authorities were on the air with them and demanded answers and actions. I can go on and on about how inefficient, disappointing and disorganized the local and federal government were at this time of our fellow Americans' need, but that would take more than one post.

These are some pictures I took when I went this past May. The city has regained most of its flair back (Bourbon Street is HOPPIN') and will continue to recover. Many have returned but many have also decided to never go back.

While visiting the 9th Ward, I saw a familiar Chinese sign that was tacked onto a huge tree at a random street corner. I saw the big red sign from at least a block away. It's the Chinese character for luck, fu. I was speechless. That sign meant more than 1,000 words. (

A few projects have helped build beautiful eco-friendly houses and gave them to the former residents. But many blocks remained the same/untouched from the day the National Guard came in to search for survivors. The markings are still on the houses. When I saw this, all I could think of was, "How did we let this happen?" Not Katrina, obviously. I mean the scenes from the Superdome, young and old people fainting on the streets from lack of health care, the chaos. The Riverwalk was absolutely unrecognizable from the garbage and people hopelessly and aimlessly wandering. And I thought I had problems. Psh.

Anyways, let the future of this great American city (and the birthplace of JAZZ) be brighter and livelier than ever before.

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