This past Friday, Oct. 9, Rebuilding Together New Orleans completed the rebuilding of its 500th home since Hurricane Katrina. Through RTNO, over 500 volunteers worked on 14 home repair projects for disabled, elderly and military veteran homeowners over the first two weekends of October.
For many New Orleanians life has never been the same since Hurricane Katrina destroyed their homes, their neighborhoods, their schools, and their sense of community. Katrina was an experience they do not want to relive on this or any other anniversary. For them, the grief process is ongoing. African Americans especially feel the rules were stacked against them, making their recovery even harder.
The big exhale of 10 years has arrived as New Orleanians near and far reflect on the 2005 storm season that changed us all. Personally, my experiences before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina pale in comparison to many others. My journey to now may best be summed up from the wisdom of my stepfather who told me simply to “ride the horse in the direction it’s going.” Not an easy thing to do when the unknown awaited, especially in the immediate aftermath of the devastatingly unexpected.
We’re coming up on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, in case you’ve been locked in a closet for the past few weeks and have thus been spared the maudlin, self-indulgent navel-gazing of every commentator that comes down the pike.
For some, Katrina was an opportunity seized. The guiding narrative is that of a city in decline that took advantage of adversity and emerged stronger. It’s a characterization of Katrina that’s equal parts appalling and inaccurate. We are not in a better position as entire swaths of neighborhoods lay in ruin and our population is greatly reduced.
The Creative Alliance of New Orleans and Alembic Community Development will be opening a new exhibition titled “The People’s Murals,” at the Myrtle Banks Building in Central City Saturday, August 15 to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. “The People’s Murals,” is a massive exhibition of murals worked on by hundreds of community members, and the opening event will include featured artists and citizens who worked on the murals, as well as light refreshments and food.
A facility that served the children and families of the Milan neighborhood for decades on Peniston Street until Hurricane Katrina is now finally nearing its reopening, 10 years after the storm, officials said.
The Broadmoor Improvement Association’s long-awaited renovation of the former St. Mathias School on General Taylor Street into a new Arts & Wellness Center will open to the public Monday, June 1., officials announced.
WWNO, the local public-radio affiliate, and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in Central City will host and moderate a discussion next week of the impact of the BP oil spill on Louisiana seafood that still remains five years later.
After years of waiting and months of construction, Martin Wine Cellar will reopen its new store at its original Baronne Street location on Friday morning, company officials announced.
As New Orleans continues to recover from the devastation that followed Hurricane Katrina nine years ago, the city should pass a law preventing any schools or daycare centers from being built on top of toxic soil — including the proposed rebuilding of the Booker T. Washington High School over the old Silver City dump site in Central City, retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honore and local allies said Saturday morning.
“We’re the oldest city in this part of the country, and we ought to be the first to make a stand,” Honore said. “We’re not going to put a school on a dump.”
It seems like just yesterday that we were packing up our TV cameras and computer hard drives to get out of Dodge before Katrina struck. Danae finally took Ray Nagin’s pleas seriously about 4 a.m. and began the long, slow journey to her parents in Arkansas with five dogs and our photographer. Allan, his sister Sandy Levy and their aged Mother, Miriam Katz, left several days earlier for Birmingham in an abundance of caution.
I want to tell you a story, though it’s a tired one. It’s one of watermarks, floodlines, and rust. It’s one of great sadness, overwhelming emotions, and glorious reunitings. One that over the last 10 years most Americans are tired of hearing, and one that many New Orleanians have a version of. It’s Katrina. And Rita. And levees breaking. And the curious nine years that followed the moisture-rotted rollercoaster of events in latter 2005 in the Crescent City. And while my tale unfurls I will ask you to remember two words: gumbo party.
When New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu asked the residents of City Council District B how the city should spend their tax money Tuesday night, the answers nearly all involved streets: the holes in them, the lack of light on them, and the people who sleep on them.
Most of those problems — like all of those before the 300-year-old city — lack easy answers, and have been compounding for decades, Landrieu replied. But on at least one complaint, there is a glimmer of hope: the long-darkened streetlights along St. Charles Avenue are scheduled for repair in September.
The entrepreneurship boom in New Orleans is a real phenomenon, and a crucial factor in the city’s continued rebirth — but it must also be accompanied by more economic opportunities for the unsustainable number of jobless African-American men in the city, a panel of business leaders said Thursday evening.
“We can get there,” said Rod Miller, CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “We are a ‘new’ New Orleans, but we’re not our best New Orleans.”
Has post-Katrina rebuilding really created a new city out of New Orleans, or is the “boom” more of an artificial economic bubble that is bound to burst? This question will drive the next installment of Tulane Hillel’s occasional series of “The Big Issue” discussions, set for Thursday evening with the title “New Orleans 2.0: Fact or Fiction?”
A long-delayed plan to create a new community center on Monroe Street in west Carrollton — now slated to be a new home for Hollygrove’s Trinity Christian Community — received a thumbs-up from the New Orleans City Planning Commission on Tuesday, and organizers say they now have the funding in line for the project to move forward.
New Orleans City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and several state legislators will discuss the recent round of Road Home letters sent to homeowners at 5 p.m. today (Monday, Jan. 27) in the City Council chambers.
Although the site of the former Martin Wine Cellar on Baronne Street remains a quiet concrete foundation, neighbors have been cheered by the sounds of construction at the old New Orleans Bicycle Club building next door, and owner Cedric Martin says rebuilding his beloved grocery remains on track to begin in March and finish six months later.
Buildings along a 10-block stretch of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard are now eligible for grants of up to $50,000 to help with the costs of historic renovations, as part of a $1 million “Main Street”-style program across New Orleans announced by Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Tuesday.