We visited the Ninth Ward. Almost eight years in, there’s some progress along Tennessee Ave. thanks to these controversial developments famously spearheaded by Brad Pitt. Since the land is below sea level, the 90 new houses are raised as in other flood prone areas of the world. Construction per house has so far cost a hefty average of $400,000. Compare this to the rickety old houses down the street that sell for $27,000.
We walked past remnants of a burned out car. Crime remains twice the national average. The neighborhood is otherwise sparsely populated and there are few stores and other conveniences within walking distance, unlike other vibrant parts of the city. Another actor, Wendell Pierce is building the first supermarket in the area in two decades. Twenty years for a place to buy groceries.
Walking in other parts of New Orleans, I was invigorated by its energy and charm. Here, my pulse also quickened, because everything felt too slow, too late.