Thursday, December 27, 2007

in review
New Orleans two years after Katrina
A blog series by Andrew Knapp

It has been more than two years since Hurricane Katrina hit the Big Easy and destroyed parts of Gulf Coast Mississippi, ruining thousands of lives. This series explains my impressions of the aftermath, including conversations with victims, photographs of a tumultuous time in the New Orleans recovery and videos of the neighborhoods that remain a wreck.

A hypocrite and his mission to New Orleans
New Orleans is struggling to recover. Its people are depressed. And I can't get a good picture of the tangible and emotional destruction that still lingers. Mixed media messages are not a good gauge. I have to see for myself.

Shedding light on my travel ignorance
When I woke up, I realized I would cross into a different time zone on my trip to New Orleans. I would be gaining time, so I could sleep in an hour. But some things are just worth waking up for. This is one of them.

Prejudice appears amid darkness
The only reason I thought two vehicle occupants were wearing cowboy hats was because of the Texas license plate. Eyes deceive us. What we see or think we see is not always the truth.

Street of beer, women reveals faults
The French Quarter is a source of pride for New Orleans. But if you walk a few blocks in any direction, you see the city has focused more on the big-draw neighborhoods, while others have suffered.


Victim a clever deal maker

Storm survivor Larry Jones spent days in the Superdome before going to Houston. Katrina left him with a bottle of soap and water, a dirty rag and slick sales pitch to offer unsuspecting tourists.

A tour of destruction on a dismal day
I had heard much about Gray Line's Katrina tours, mainly the controversy: How could someone profit off such destruction? But if you take it, you'll see it's more of a public relations ploy.

Struggle to see good in a broken city
While tourists and college students continue to party on Bourbon Street, residents are protesting the City Council's approval of the demolition of public housing. It's a divide that is stifling recovery in New Orleans.


Brad Pitt, Moses start rebuilding

I decided to make a break for the residential areas when the weather broke today. While visiting the Lower Ninth Ward, I ran into actor Brad Pitt and others putting New Orleans back together.

'Tent city' ruined; homeless move on
Though a defeat, Bunker Hill was a crucial battle for Americans in the Revolutionary War and against the occupation of Boston. The homeless and poor made a similar stand in New Orleans.


Road home with stories to tell

Experience in journalism tells me that everyone has a story. But the adage is especially true of Hurricane Katrina survivors. Casual conversations with locals prove it. (Summary story.)

From Gulfport to Biloxi, emptiness
Like New Orleans, Mississippi suffered greatly in Katrina. Unlike New Orleans, where homes are decaying, it seems Mississippi has done a better job of moving on, of either tearing down and rebuilding, or of just tearing down.

Biscuits with butter and jambalaya
A large part of my motivation for a trip to New Orleans was the food. It's a shame that I didn't get a chance to eat more. But in the end, I left with a sweet taste in my mouth, in more ways than one.

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