Category Archives: New Orleans

New Orleans – where did the money go?

Historic homes north of the French Quarter

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! 

Florida Projects

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. 

Garden District

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.

French Quarter

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.

Bywater area house

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.

Arabi area

Bayou and oyster shells to be used to rebuild reefs

Fishing boats near Shell Beach

Crescent City Connection

Should I stay or should I go?

Live oaks

I have extended my stay at the campground here in New Orleans three times since I arrived Sunday 8 days ago. I still have not seen everything I want to see and then there is Jazz Fest. Jazz Fest is amazing. Went on Sunday with two other volunteers.  Now I am trying to figure out which other day(s) to go. Pearl Jam, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King and many, many more.  Tough choices.

Roamed through the French Quarter today.  In short: rod iron balconies, window shutters of all colors, interesting characters, oak trees, the mighty Mississippi, drinking alcohol while walking down the street (not me – others 🙂 ).  Enjoyed a big plate of Crawfish Etouffee at the Gumbo Shop, not as spicy as I expected, but good.

I was very fortunate and was invited into a private historic house built in the 1880s.  Wow, 14 foot high ceilings, porches around the side and back,  approx. 2,500 sq. feet for $370,000 on Esplanade Avenue only 5 minutes from the French Quarter.  Let me know if you are interested…

I would love to write more, but it is already tomorrow.  So here are some of my visual impressions of New Orleans, more to come.

Country side - St. Bernard Parish

Above ground cemetery

Oil refinery

Colorful house

Mardi Gras beats

Alex, the street artist

my waitress Debbie Ross at the Gumbo Shop

Jazz Fest

Jazz Fest - one of twelve stages

Having fun


Anita Baker

After the concert

The photos

I am having trouble inserting the photos where they are suppose to go, so here is a separate post just with photos.

The original 8


Dinner at Bamboo
The back

Our side

The front

Last day, home owner on the porch right with son