Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New Louisiana Architecture Link

For those who have my numerous posts on Louisiana and the effects of Hurricane Katrina on a social level, it's clear that I have a particular concern for a place that was once my home. I write from the point of view of a resentful exile of Louisiana who gladly embraced a Texan identity almost out of spite. My feelings about the place that I spent six of my most formative years in my life are mixed. I knew many very bright and fascinating minds in Louisiana and I was so frustrated that their talents were smothered by an ill-functioning government aparatus and and a regressive economic mentality. Compared to my current home in North Texas, Louisiana seems to have such richness in its culture and cuisine, and its architectural heritage is among the most beautiful and sophisticated anywhere. But such great resources are spoiled by endemic corruption and demogogic populism intrinsic in Louisiana's political and economic elite.

I therefore have lots of admiration for the talented Louisianans who have stayed in the state, who maintain optimistim in the face of such an adverse environment. It is with this respect that enjoy the blog Building Big Easy. The blogger Kinch is an architect residing in New Orleans and reports on some interesting developments taking place following the hurricane. He wishes his home city the best and is hopeful that its rebuilding will healthily change the way business has been usually done in New Orleans. In a recent post commenting on something I wrote, he adds a fascinating nugget of information regarding the ongoing demographic change of the city:

Already were seeing some movement in the real estate market where people who could not afford to live in some of the nicer New Orleans neighborhoods before the storm are now picking up bargains with the intent on rebuilding. In a few years we can expect some to see "ghost town" neighborhoods to show signs of activity. This, I'm sure, has many a Big Easy politition quaking in his boots as these, many new, residents will not tolerate the old way of doing things.This will have repercusions for many years to come. New Orleans may or may not be more white, but it will be more middle-class and that's just what the Voodoo doctor ordered.

Whether these changes result in a different electoral reality inimical to one of the political parties is a related issue, but for the time being, I'm hoping that the social reality of New Orleans becomes more sustainable than before. Here's to hoping that New Orleans can join the rest of the country in enjoying the fruits of responsible citizenship and economic opportunity common in most other cities.

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