I have to thank both Jule Lang and Phillip Lege for telling me that I could get up on the levee by Holy Cross School and see towards New Orleans. I parked at the end of Reynes Street and walked up the bank of the levee. The fog on the river was thick but low. I could see the top of a tug boat.
I walked along the levee towards the Industrial Canal. The view of the city is spectacular.
What I assumed was a recycling barge pulled out.
The Industrial Canal connects Lake Pontchartrain with the Mississippi River. Walking along the levee, I started to get in a visceral way the idea of the levee system that protects New Orleans.
It was along the Industrial Canal that the levees were first breached during Katrina.
Walking southeast from Reynes Street along the levee, one soon comes to the Andry Street Wharf.
From the wharf, you can see one of the Doullut Steamboat houses.
The view looking back towards the CBD of New Orleans.
In the early afternoon, I went to the Lower Ninth Ward on the other side of St. Claude Avenue. No amount of reading about the damage prepared me for the eerie emptiness of this place.
Of course, there is rebuilding going on. and one could do a whole photo essay on that.
But what struck me as a first time visitor was just how much was still empty seven years after the storm.
I was amazed that the city doesn’t seem to maintain the side walks or the roads here at all. I understand that since the city is built on sand when you press down on the read surface nothing presses back and this makes it very fragile so that roads are hard to maintain in NO everywhere. We have Edgemere in NYC so I guess I should not be shocked.
At the end of Caffin street and Florida Avenue, there is a sign for the Bienvenue Bayou. According to several men that I met, the look out here was built in the last year. I went up and looked over at what is marked on the google map as “Main Outfall Canal.” It is a triangular body of water. the people I met all told me that this has been a cypress swamp but that the salinity that came in when MRGO, the Mississippi River gulf Outlet was built in the 60s killed all the trees.