Friday, September 23, 2005

Grieving for my hometown

Can't help but mourn my birthplace reading
In New Orleans, fast-rising water from Rita's outer edge spilled over a freshly patched levee to flood neighborhoods already deserted and devastated by Katrina. Officials said they expected few deaths. Water from the city's industrial canal, where the levee breached during Katrina, submerged streets in the Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish where nearly all the homes are already ruined.

and despite knowing when i was 17 that i'd never return to live there. Hearing now that even my brother is toying with staying in Baton Rouge saddens me, driving home that New Orleans will never be what it was. All guesswork, but i'll predict that 50% of the blacks and 10% of the whites will not return to live in New Orleans - why should they? The city has a certain appeal, but has survived off its history & charm for too long. If 1/3 of the city does not return, then that leave Baton Rouge as the state's biggest city for the rest of my lifetime.

While I can understand that New Orleans never wanted to make the sacrifices that Atlanta & Houston made to become Major cities, I'm not sure what options that left New Orleans. Certain medium size cities like Portland or Madison can make it by ok, but charm & efficiency are mutually exclusive.

Final remembrance - back in the early 80's at the Fair Grounds, I was watching some businessmen there during the day betting on the ponies & thought "when our civilization comes to an end & people ask 'where was everyone when things were falling apart' I'll say 'they were out gambling at the Fair Grounds'.

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