Day 3, Tuesday-Kristin

The day started off with a cafe au lait and a beignet at Café Du Monde in the French Quarter of New Orleans. 

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We continued our day with a tour of the French Quarter and a historical account of New Orleans.  The architecture in the French Quarter was very beautiful.  In this case I think a picture is worth a thousand words.  What I found interesting is that the French Quarter is along the Mississippi River, but was one of the regions not affected by the flooding that destroyed much of the other parts of the city.

 

After being introduced to the historical region of New Orleans largely untouched by the massive flooding, we returned into our van to view the massive devastation that hurricane Katrina caused.  I have to take a moment to mention that we actually fit about 16 people into a 16 passenger van.  Times are tight, especially in the back seat and when Tom goes over a few bumps.

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The devastation that was caused by hurricane Katrina can still be observed 3 years later.  It is also clear that many residents began to rebuild.  What is difficult to comprehend is the reasons why people rebuild.  Beautiful homes were rebuilt next to several lots of land that only had a concrete slab.  There were also homes that were flooded and not repaired in the same neighborhood.  Also in many cases the infrastructure that previously existed in these neighborhoods was gone.  The grocery store and elementary school were shut down.  More importantly and more controversial: why would people want to rebuild in a region that is subject to flooding?  The answer to that question is much more complicated.  Could Boston decide what areas to rebuild in the event of a coastal disaster?  Would residents of South Boston and Charlestown agree on where to rebuild and why?  I think it is highly unlikely that everyone would agree  I think most people in New Orleans believe that there are risks associated with living anywhere in the United States (or anywhere in the world for that matter) and they are tied to the culture and community in which they lived.  There are certain restrictions on rebuilding.  The building has to be three feet above the ground.  There were also homes that were built much higher off the ground and with more energy efficient products such as solar panels.  Residents also have the option to buy neighboring property to extend their current homes. 

 

The second half of the day was filled with meeting clients.  Charlotte, Jim and I assisted one client with interpreting a loan from the road home project and the potential impact on taxes.

 

Dinner was at Crescent Hill Brewery.  The seafood was excellent as it tends to be in New Orleans.  Bed was in store for me. 

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