With other hard-hit but more affluent New Orleans neighborhoods staging remarkable comebacks, the traditionally poor and predominantly African American Lower Ninth Ward remains in limbo. Nobody knows whether it is headed toward revival or ultimate collapse.
New Orleans has regained roughly 75 percent of its pre-Katrina population. For the Lower Ninth Ward, 20 percent of its former 14,000 inhabitants would be a generous estimate ....
In the Lower Ninth Ward, chest-high weeds separate the foundations of houses smashed by the waters or demolished afterward. Street numbers of long-gone houses are spray-painted on curbs. The few still standing bear the fading tattoos left by rescue teams after the great deluge ....
toward the Mississippi River, a cluster of functional, built-to-last brick-and-wood houses with solar panels nurtures the hope of a full recovery. The Make It Right Foundation, headed by actor Brad Pitt, is at work there.
Such charitable efforts, the constant presence of volunteers from all over the country, and the tireless work of neighborhood associations are the best source of hope
Saturday, August 29, 2009
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer: