Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Fixin' New Orleans
The Mayor of New Orleans is asking and pleading with people to return back to their homes. A few did and a few didn’t like it and most stayed away. The people who work there, many living on real nice fat FEMA wages, all seem to admit that New Orleans is a hopelessly lost cause. It is not just some kind of traumatic social psychology from a hurricane, but also the fact the city is sinking and the water seems to be rising more and more, and will end up worse than parts of Venice, Italy. If you haven’t heard, many of Venice’s most beautiful buildings are starting to slip into the sea, the second stories doing under.
There are two parts to New Orleans worth saving. First the port, where the big ships and barges tie up: we need one heck of an improved highway truck and rail system, hopefully elevated. Not too many people know that the Port of New Orleans is the Number One marine port as to tonnage in the entire US. Our economy depends on that.
Second, I want the old part of town like the French Quarter, take your pick of the exact historical area, and jack that sucker up like 22 feet in the air just like how Paul Getty jacked up Galveston after the Great Hurricane of 1900. So raise that up like an island! Disney and the casino boys would love it but in my book they don’t get it. And for the rest, decontaminate it and level it and open back up the mighty Mississippi and Ponchatrain. Stop playing with the little levies, ineffectual pumps, and drainage gullies.
Let’s face it, folks, none of the plans we have on the table are worth a darn, like fixing levees and bringing in some insipid “New Urbanism” housing. Many of us taxpaying Americans are getting tired of the strange sense of denial and corruption emanating out of New Orleans. A great commercial port and a nice little historical district would suit us just fine.