Thursday, July 14, 2011

The 9th Ward in New Orleans

I have traveled to New Orleans three weekends during my time here in Mobile. The drive is an easy 2 hours and the city is so vibrant, with incredible jazz. But as many of you know, the devastating effects of Katrina still linger in almost every neighborhood. And the 9th Ward, is still littered in vacant, damaged houses. Many of us noticed how strictly similar Mobile and Prichard neighborhoods looked to the 9th Ward. Instead of gutted water damaged homes, Mobile and Prichard homes are burned and boarded up. But unlike the 9th Ward, many residents still live among these burned and abandoned homes in Mobile and Prichard. While the 9th Ward is beginning to rebuild and some families are moving back. It is still pretty desolate. We just couldn't believe how similar these home devastated my natural disaster looked to the homes in the neighborhoods we were working in.

Here are some comparison photos of the two areas to exemplify what we saw:

Home in Prichard (still being lived in):

Vacant Home in 9th Ward:

Apartment in Van Lee Circle, Mobile:

Apartment in 9th Ward:

Vacant Home in Prichard:

Vacant Home in 9th Ward:

This is a community garden in the 9th Ward. I have yet to come across a community garden in Mobile or Prichard. Our professor said that some mixed-income and middle class neighborhoods in Mobile have gardens but no low income or Section 8 housing neighborhoods have these urban farming projects.

This is a picture of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's 9th Ward Rebuilding Project Homes. Check-out the sweet solar paneling on the roofs. We saw a ton of people living in the area but wondered how very poor families that were displaced afforded these new-age, modern homes.

This is a home that someone turned into a giant chalkboard. People write down what they hope to do before they die. It was so fun to read and we all added our hopes for the future.

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