Two Infusions of Vision to Bolster New Orleans
"It ain't easy in the Big Easy"
Colorful village rises for New Orleans musicians
NPR: Dear New Orleans: I'm Leaving You [Real Player]
Louisiana Digital Library: State Museum Jazz Collection [Real Player]
The past two years have been particularly trying for the city of New Orleans, and emotions around town have included jubilation, sadness, frustration, and at times, a steely-eyed determination. While the Army Corps of Engineers has been working on repairing levees, other contingents have been working on repairing the musical fabric of the city. This has been quite a challenge, as many local musicians left the city shortly before Katrina touched down in the area, and some are more than a bit reluctant to return. One of the city's most storied legends is still around, and "Fats" Domino has been adamant about his desire to remain. Domino's love of the Crescent City is well known, and he frequently talks about his favorite restaurants and other haunts. At a recent performance at the jazz club Tipitina's, Domino said, "I think we will be all right." Everyone, particularly his fellow musicians, does not share Domino's buoyant optimism. It is estimated that of the 3000 musicians who made New Orleans their home before Katrina that only about 1800 have returned so far. Bringing together feelings that might be shared by everyone in the city, the local musician's union president Deacon John Moore recently opined, "It ain't easy to be in the Big Easy".
The first link will take visitors to a news article from this Wednesday's Guardian which reports on some of the continuing challenges faced by residents of New Orleans. The second link whisks visitors away to an architectural review from the New York Times which provides images and commentary on two new proposed projects for New Orleans' downtown. Moving on, the third link leads to a piece from Salon that talks about the specific challenges faced by musicians in the Big Easy. The fourth link leads to a piece from CNN which talks about the construction of a new "musicians' village" in the city which was built through a partnership between Habitat for Humanity, several corporate partners, along with Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr. The fifth link will take users to a heartfelt bit of commentary by NPR commentator Eve Troeh on why she recently decided to leave the city she cares about so much. Finally, the last link takes visitors to the very fine digital collection of photographs, audio recordings, and musical instruments from the collections of the Louisiana State Museum.