It is time to move on. I have now driven and walked through many of New Orleans’ neighborhoods and surrounding areas and I just cannot see anymore dilapidated, destroyed or neglected houses and homes. According to official sources there are over 60,000 blighted buildings in New Orleans!
Not all the damage is the result of Katrina, but one still has to wonder where all the billions of dollars went that were donated. The streets are in bad shape too, luckily road repairs are taken place as we speak. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of nice buildings around. The French Quarter, Uptown, Garden District and the other parishes all have beautiful places. But just walk a few blocks away from the main areas and you run into neglect.
Drive down to the bayou and there are still trailers in the canals. This would all be understandable if this wouldn’t be five years after Katrina. I guess it also depends what you compare the conditions to. A fellow camper had been here shortly after Katrina and she was impressed by the progress that had been made.
I spoke with Monroe, a resident of the 9th ward. He lives in a nice little house, but to his left is a big house with the roof caving in and to his right are three houses that are up for sale and in need of some repair. Monroe said that many people sold out, got money to fix up the houses but instead just left. Until those houses are sold his block won’t improve. That’s just one of many blocks in similar condition. FYI, the 3 houses are selling for $90,000 total.
I really liked the Garden District and Uptown. Residential areas not overrun by tourists with funky stores and little restaurants. I saw a sign for a 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment for rent on a quiet street, $1,200. Granted I didn’t see the apartment, but that’s a steal in NYC terms. These low rents seem to attract a lot of folks from the NY Tri-State area. All my waiters had just moved to NO in the last 6 months from New York or from Jersey.
Got to go, get my last lunch in the Big Easy.