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For Now

Despite what I wrote a few days ago, and particularly in light of the heartfelt feedback I received, I wanted to make one thing clear:

We are staying in New Orleans. For now.

We have too much invested here, and I don’t mean just the financial investment in our home. There is still the glimmer of hope for a better city, however dim it may be at the moment. Plus, running away isn’t our style, and I say that with no acrimony toward the many who have departed already.

Also there’s the question: Where else would we go anyway? There’s no place in the United States that is beckoning to me. There’s no place outside the United States that appeals to Xy. New Orleans has turned out to be a reasonable compromise for our divergent desires.

So we are staying here. For now.

But we won’t go down with the ship. If we don’t see substantial improvement over the next year, particularly in the area of violent crime, we’ll seriously contemplate making some changes.

New Orleans, this is your last chance!

(Sorry. I couldn’t resist.)

In the meantime, we will do all that we can to make ensure the city does improve. I invite you to join in this effort in whatever way you can.

Published inNew Orleans


  1. Julesb_town Julesb_town

    New Orleans will be better because of people like you and XY. stay strong-
    Something else that I have been wondering- I hate what has happened and is happening in NO- what can I do to help from Bloomington? Who do you suggest I write/bug the most. I think of NO often and am disgusted by the lack of help for you all. I would like to make sure that all in my community are aware of the lack of progress as well. What about a cross country/grass roots tour to stir people up about the lack of progress?

  2. EEB EEB

    THANK GOODNESS bart!!! I’m from the midwest (INDIANA) and I stay in New Orleans for now because I TOO feel “where else would I go …?”
    I’m an artist and attracted to the funky vibe here! That’s why I moved here, besides the music and food. Friends misplaced from New Orleans tell me they miss New Orleans. Nuff said bro, stay for now!

  3. I think there are lots of people like Julesb – all over the US and world – who are ready, willing and able to help New Orleans. In fact, tens of thousands already have in very substantial ways.

    I think what people can do is research and kind a local group that resontates with them and adopt them. Come down, visit, lend a hand, send bucks, send computer equipment (or other stuff) you don’t need that’s taking up space at home.

    Also, get the story out, one person at a time.

    Most people don’t know that roughly 80% of the city was damaged by the levee failures (don’t call it Katrina), most people don’t know that the city is still struggling with its schools, infrastructure, health care, and all the other things that make up a modern city, most people don’t know that this is a multi-year (maybe even multi-decade) process.

    I grew up near Newark, NJ, an economically challenged city, which was devestated by riots in the sixties. I also watched the South Bronx burn. Because these urban areas were not turned around quickly, the despair and dysfunction got locked in for decades. They’re still trying to come back.

    Let’s face it. Newark and the South Bronx were out of luck.

    They didn’t have the draw and glamor (yes, glamor) of New Orleans. It was the very rare person who was willing to travel across the country or world to rebuild burned or tutor kids in Newark or the South Bronx. New Orleans doesn’t have THAT problem.

    The citizens (f*** waiting for the politicians or anyone else), the citizens need to get super creative, organized and focused about using the web not just to tell personal stories (as important as they are), but also to tell the New Orleans story to the outside world and show concerned people specifically, how they can plug in to help, and why New Orleans is still a great, if much battered, city.

    New Orleans can’t do it alone. No disgrace there. Japan and Europe had to receive massive outside help to rebuild after World War II because of the scale of the destructions. New Orleans is in the same boat. Outside aid is essential.

    This is test site I’m working on to show what I mean by telling the story and helping people find groups to link up with. It’s very rough and just meant as a test, but I think it points at what’s possible.

  4. Andrea Andrea

    I understand your position, just as I am sure you understand mine, but I want to be a voice that says it is ok to consider leaving. It is ok to love and miss New Orleans to your core, but live somewhere else.

    At some point I had to ask myself why I made the final decision to leave New Orleans. For me it came down to my 2 experiences with with guns. My life was threatened twice by drugged out men with guns. And the second time, it was not only my life, but the life of my husband and baby. Thank god both times we were physically unharmed.

    After everything that has happened, I feel compelled to say it outloud. It is OK to leave, and for me it was OK to leave because I was scared of guns.

  5. Darlin’? I can’t let the bastards win… period. I have to deal with these jerks constantly, and I will not give up. I don’t want you to give up… people such as you are my batteries. Folks like you are what I fight for.

    WE WILL rebuild this city and heal Her. Hang in there… last night during the invocation to St. Brigid, I “saw” something, and it was the city healed. But… it takes good folks to make this happen. It takes good souls, takes heart, and the One does not forget what efforts we make to put things aright.

    “Day shall come again” (Sillmarillion). That has been my motto for the last 17 months… the city of my ancestors will be healed.

  6. doctorj doctorj

    b-rox, I read this online and thought to myself “Now, this is a reason to stay!” It is part of a story about the Krewe du Vieux. LOL!

    “You need to get hold of a Krewe of CRAPS (Crime Reports and Psychiatric Studies) songbook, ‘Home, Home and Deranged,’ ” the Poobah told Float. Lyrics include:

    Yes we’re home, home and deranged

    But we cheer for our Saints when they play

    And through all may be heard

    These encouraging words:


  7. KamaAina KamaAina

    To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, “You cannot make the change. You can only be the change.”

    Let us all (there I go again with the ‘us’) be the change.

  8. […] I’ve made, the way that I’ve lived. I reminded Frank that we’re only staying here for now. He said no matter what we decided he was grateful. I was […]

  9. amy amy

    in high school my sweetheart used to laugh so hard and sing this funny punk song he heard, ‘I won’t go! Down with the ship! NO! NO! NO! Not me!’ and i remembered that like 2 weeks ago and said, ‘tell your father I said : NO! NO! NO! Not me!’ and now we’re all walking around singing this pirate song and laughing.

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