A Rainy Day in the Neighborhood
During an orientation program in New Orleans
, preparing for a study abroad program which comparatively studies cities across the globe, we visited Common Ground in the lower 9th Ward. Walking around the some-what bizarre Brad Pitt Make It Right houses, and speaking with the director of the foundation, I began to understand the resiliency and determination of New Orleans residents to return to the city after Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans may be considered a city, but it is a city which exists as a conglomerate of neighborhoods, and residents have allegiance to their neighborhoods over everything else. Ice cream parlors, Po' Boy restaurants and sitting on your front stoop, watching the local kids play in the streets triumphs over fear of floods and rains. Neighborhoods are what New Orleans residents thrive on, and why, despite inadequate schools, a complete lack of emergency rescue services, the real threat of future flooding, and unreliable public transportation services, people continue to return to the 9th ward. Certainly, not everyone is coming back to the community, but the fact they are returning is a testament to the power of the neighborhood and community here in New Orleans.