Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lakeview vs. the Lower Nine

Amongst Lakeview residents an issue has been quietly smoldering throughout the aftermath of Katrina and an article in the Washington Post today has finally brought me around to discussing it.

Why is it that even though Lakeview and the Lower Nine are comparable in size and residents, with both receiving equal amounts of flooding (I'm not going to bicker about who had the greatest water depth) leading to equal amounts of destruction, yet America knows everything about the Lower Nine and hasn't even heard about Lakeview?


It apparantly makes for a much more compelling story for devastation to happen to black people.

Now suddenly Lakeview is in the news because according to the Washington Post it is "roaring back to middle class life" while the Lower Nine languishes in some rascist purgatory.

Well sorry to break the news, but Lakeview is not roaring towards anything, unless as Blaine Harden, the WP writer, cherry picks his block.

Let me explain a few things about Lakeview and then I'll get into the block where my FEMA trailer and wasted third generation family home sits.

While Lakeview had its own personal levee breach over at the head of the 17th Street Canal, a mere stone's throw from anywhere in the neighborhood, the press fails to mention what is on the other side of that canal... a nearly fully recovered Jefferson Parish.

In the picture Lakeview is the dark area on the right with Jefferson Parish on the left.

In fact, there are two grocery stores, pharmacies, a Lowe's, gas stations, restaurants, banks - civilization - all right there over a bridge that was a boat launch almost nine months ago. You don't have that for miles in the Lower 9th. You can not buy food in a grocery store anywhere near the Lower 9th.

The Lower 9th is also basically an island, surrounded on four sides by water, whereas Lakeview buts up against Mid-City and Esplanade. I'm sure it is a little easier to get electricity off of a grid which is connected to the majority of the city and I'm sure it is easier to pump chlorine through water pipes that are connected to the rest of the city.

Now truth be told, Lakeview is 'wealthier' than the Ninth Ward and therefore propably has more insured homes (not that that means anything), but through the Lousiana Recovery Authority any unisured homeowner will receive $95,000 in order to rebuild.

But the fact remains that Lakeview is in a pitiful state of disrepair even considering these geographical bonuses.

On my block, out of ten houses, only two are actively being rebuilt, six have been gutted and two sit untouched; within a three block area there is only one trailer - mine.

Lakeview residents have quietly allowed the press to focus on the 9th Ward because it keeps all of our tragedies in the forefront, but to start blathering that it is because of racism that Lakeview is 'roaring back' is simply a crock.

Lakeview will eventually come back - stronger than before - but it's not because of race. It is really because of geography.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.