For the last 10 years stories of New Orleans recovery seems to be a national pastime. Would we do it right? Of course, “right” has a lot to do with what side of political spectrum you are on.
We hear a lot about gentrification. Why has that become a bad word to some? If people have the means to buy up property and fix up houses and buildings that are falling down, and spruce up neighborhoods that are going to seed why is that considered such a bad thing?
New Orleans Recovery After Katrina – Rebuilt or Just Gentrified?
Yes, it is too bad that some people can’t afford to live in their neighborhoods any more. And sorry that the projects, that concentrated poor people in one area thus making it more likely you’d be a victim of crime and also creating a breeding ground for criminals who could terrorize not only poor people but the rest of the populace as well, have been replaced by beautiful homes for mixed income residents. Sorry about that.
Seems to me it has a lot to do with personal responsibility and opportunity. I did a piece on St. Roch Market that’s referenced in this video. They present it as if it’s an unfortunate thing that this building, that had been there for generations was an eyesore, falling down and not being used, is now a beautiful spot that provides opportunities for small businesses and jobs for people who work their stands.
And it’s such a terrible thing, as this video implies, that it’s in a predominantly black neighborhood and that there are no blacks using it. But when we were there a few weeks ago there was a mixed-race Asian and black couple who had a fantastic food stand. And the oyster shucker was black who was serving gulf oysters that didn’t cost any more than oysters almost anywhere else.
I didn’t see any sign on the door that says “Blacks not welcome.” Yet, that’s what the video seems to imply. Are they saying that because a place is fixed up really nice blacks won’t like it and they won’t patronize it, and that poor black neighborhoods shouldn’t have nice looking buildings? That blacks really prefer to be in run-down buildings and frequent run-down establishments?
As I see it gentrification is all about opportunity and not about trying to move anyone out of any neighborhood. A property comes up for sale, someone has the means to buy it and fix it up, why can’t they do that? Simple as that. And if it improves the neighborhood all the better.
Since Hurricane Katrina New Orleans recovery is booming in some areas and stagnant in others. But cities are a living breathing thing. Neighborhoods change sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.