Monday, February 8, 2010

Who Dat Nation - The Rebuilding of New Orleans

There is a much overdue air of celebration and victory in New Orleans this morning with the victory of the Saints over the Colts in last night's Superbowl. New Orleans is home of perhaps the nations most hard core party scenes on its own merit with its culture of bead throwing, "Handgrenades" drinking-dubbed the South's most potent cocktail, and a get down and dirty Bourbon St. until the until the break of dawn, if not longer. Now they have a task ahead of them to really do it up right with the title of Superbowl champs with partying that will just run into the middle of next week for the biggest party in the nation, Mardi Gras.

So, yes, I know I am not a sports blog - but "Who Dat!" anyways! The victory and even the months before Superbowl, have brought New Orleans more tax dollars that they need to continue to rebuild their quaint, one of a kind community - with it's history, architecture, music, culture, some of the nation's best French antiques, and a little voodoo spirit thrown in. This win will elevate the Big Easy to even more publicity and essentially, more money.

A new book "Architecture in Times of Need: Make It Right - Rebuilding the New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward" features a forward by self-proclaimed advocate for the Ninth Ward, Brad Pitt - who has chosen to use his blessings to help those afflicted by the natural disaster of Katrina. Where more than 4,000 residences once stood, there had been nothing but an abomination of debris and wreckage, with the residents who lived in them either dead, disabled, or homeless. With little assistance, control, and organization from the government people will start to take things into their own hands - that is when Pitt formed the Make It Right Foundation where he utilized his contacts and own resources to ignite the rebuilding efforts. To bring more attention and interest to the area, architects came with a new approach, incorporating Green architecture, hurricane resistant doors and windows, all while incorporating a modern aesthetic to the homes. Residents played an important factor in contributing to the building of their homes, assisting with hand sketch drawings of floorplans and facades, and inputting that their sacred areas of socializing still be present, like front porches where family and friends can take respite in the humid Gulf climate. You can see an excerpt from the book here, as well as images showcasing the past and present.
New Orleans will be waking up to one hell of a hangover today, and perhaps tomorrow too, but also to a new ignited spirit of victory, perseverance, and faith that no matter how far you plummet there is only way to get out...up. GO SAINTS!

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