Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Just Getting Started

There are numerous problems that we as Americans face. I'm a 34 yr old native New Orleanian, now living with my wife and soon to be one year old in suburban Miami Florida. The purpose of this blog is not only to keep my family posted on our doings, but also to keep any others interested in urban planning, politics, or New Orleans involved in the national discussions that are currently going on in cyberspace.

As I sit here at my laptop, in a comfortable space, my thoughts continuously return to New Orleans. On a daily basis, I read parts of the Times Picayune,, and respond emotionally with either hope or anxiety, and sometimes both. Thankfully, my parents had relatively little damage to their home, and I only distantly knew of a fatality. That is not to say I've not been affected by this event. While the nation as a whole has been altered at least temporarily by this event, Our family, my wife's family is also from New Orleans, New Orleanian expatriates, those who left years before Katrina, were altered significantly, as well.

No matter where you are from, whereever you grow up is home. New Orleanians are no different in that. However, for those who spent significant time in and around the Crescent City, New Orleanians, are some of the most entrenched people in modern America. My mother, for example, has been a resident of metro New Orleans for over 40 years, and yet there are groups of people that still would not consider her a native.

When people ask you where you went to school in New Orleans, they are not talking about college, but high school. My parents’ generation was able to run into people they knew, at restaurants, on a weekly basis, some they had not seen since high school. This will change, from here on. In most of America, and I've lived in the Southwest, Midatlanic, and now South Florida, there is much more mobility among the population. Yes, there are many people in all of these places that are born and raised in the town in which they reside for their lifetimes, but I believe the number of lifelong residents in and around New Orleans is higher than in most other areas.

That creates continuity to the culture of the area, yes, but it also slows the rate of change to the area. I look forward to the possible WiFi network that was announced for Greater New Orleans, but at what cost. Will my daughter, Cassandra, be able to enjoy the city that both my wife, Elizabeth, and I grew to love? She will definitely visit something, because there will be some version of the city rebuilt. I truly hope that it will be a city including not only Commanders Palace, and T-Shirt shops that draw the tourists, but also Morning Call and Snug Harbor, that draw the rest of us.....

That is it for now


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