It is impossible to think of New Orleans without also thinking about the devastation of Katrina.
We took a half day tour in a mini-bus that drives through some of New Orleans' highlights as well as viewing the destruction caused by hurricane Katrina in the Lower 9th Ward. There are great signs of hope and optimism in the area, with restoration of existing homes - many of which have been elevated to protect against future storms and construction of new 'storm-proof' homes, including unique designs by Brad Pitt's Make It Right group. Unfortunately news coverage says those Pitt-supported projects are already deteriorating.
Perhaps what is equally striking is the number of abandoned homes, seemingly untouched since the storm waters subsided. Some are overgrown with trees, and most still have the markings left behind by rescue workers indicating that no people (or bodies) are left inside.
This is a must see for every visitor to New Orleans. It is a reminder that New Orleans still has devastating poverty and that not everyone here is enjoying the fun, games and fine dining in the French Quarter.
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