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Alfred Molison

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  1. I was planning to visit for Mardi Gras like I have for the past two years. I'm sure it won't be as big but I'm sure it will be there. I suspect that a large part of the cleanup will be done. I'm deeply concerned that the place will be rid of all the poor. They made that city unique and made the French Quarter thrive. Even if the poor don't visit the Quarter they're the cultural power house for the area. I'm afraid the Quarter will become another soulless Disneyland.
  2. A Lady from New Orleans October 10, 2006 I talked with a lady on the phone who has five houses in New Orleans. She and six other family members had evacuated before Hurricane Katrina to Atlanta Georgia. One of the six family members is a high school age daughter. After Katrina they moved to Abbeville just a short drive from New Orleans. Abbeville Louisiana survived Hurricane Katrina just fine. Then Hurricane Rita came along and destroyed about half of Abbeville. The area they were staying in was unscathed but the Abbeville schools have shut down. About two weeks ago, her husband sneaked into New Orleans when it wasn
  3. From the Rumor Mill/Hearsay Division: At my work people call us with their changes of address. According to my co-workers, many people are going back to Metarie, Kenner and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Electricity and water must be coming back on. None of my co-workers has reported changes of address for people going back to New Orleans proper. According to one co-worker businesses in areas where it didn't flood have re-opened. Unfortunately, their employees generally have no place to live and aren't coming back. According a different one co-worker an elderly couple hitched a ride back to New Orleans. Their house was good enough to stay in but it has no electricity and the water is undrinkable. Supposedly it can be used for bathing. The wife was expecting a check from us. She went to the post office and the check had been returned. She had a bank account where the check could be direct deposited but the bank is closed. The atm machines aren't working because there's no electricity. She had a daughter living up in a northern state where we could mail her checks but how is she supposed to get it when we aren't delivering to her address anymore? Even if she did get it where would she cash it? My co-worker said the husband has alzheimers and the wife wanted to know how we could help her and her husband.
  4. What's the future shape of New Orleans that you see? Does anyone on this list want to move to New Orleans? *** My biased opinions: The architecture is important but the architecture follows the people. They shut down the schools and laid off all the school distric employees. They're laying off most city employees except for police officers and firefighters. (I guess they'll guard the toxic ruins and keep the abandoned buildings from burning down.) That city is dead! It takes a long time to properly hire people for all those positions. The tap water is still undrinkable. Wealthy people don't want to move someplace without good city services, (even if they don't want to pay for those services.) What's the replacement population going to be? Low wage, unorganized labor without legal recourse? I hope that the lowest lying areas will be turned into unpopulated parkland. But what about the areas that didn't flood? Will the government pay people to replace their homes? If not in New Orleans then elsewhere in the country?
  5. It was about three hours long. I enjoyed it. It was very good and illuminating. Long story short, very similar class and racial worries that occured with the original neighbors from the 1930's seem to be reflected in the new neighbors from the late 1960's who are watching as their neighborhood is gentrified in the late 1980's. According to the movie Riverside had started off as a wealthy or affluent neighborhood. While it was extensively or predominantly Jewish, there were Roman Catholics and people of other religions there. Judging from the home movies from the 1950's blacks were welcome, as servants. A wealthy black cattle buyer bought a house there in 1953. After about three months the neigbors realized that the people weren't servants but were actually living there. That's when one neighbor put up his ex-prisoner lawnman to blow up a bomb at their house. The police agressively investigated and brought the perpetrators to trial. It's implied that the establishment of the city of Houston and the neighborhood were opposed to violence. Blacks moved into the neighborhood slowly from the late 1950's to early 1960's. The dates and details aren't clear but it seems that the blockbusting occured in the mid 1960's. Blacks were renting or buying in the area but nobody black was threatening violence against anybody white. The allegation was made that a non-black realtor was paying poor blacks to constantly knock on people's doors to ask them if they would sell or rent their house. There were no threats of violence. This played to the original neighbors fear of everything that comes with poverty. In the late 1980's an extensively black, but mixed neighborhood is being flooded with people who are looking for good homes, convenient to work. Because of the new people's class and color the original neighbors speak fearfully: "They're taking over the neighborhood! They're gonna move us out!" Please note: the filmmaker did a wonderful job. Not everyone interviewed in the movie says the same thing or comes from the same point of view. Regardless of race, class or ethnicity there's a diversity or opinion. That's why the movie is three hours long.
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