Monday, September 17, 2012

The other side of New Orleans

I live on the Misery Tour trail. I'm now in the 9th Ward, which was completely flooded for days following Katrina when a barge - that wasn't supposed to be in the Industrial Canal - hit the wall and sprung a leak.

But I'm not miserable. I am also in a Global Green house, built after the storm to demonstrate how housing could be constructed in an environmentally friendly way. So, now I am on the Recovery tour, as well.

Saturday morning, I looked out my front window and saw a phalanx of cyclists coming toward me atop the levee. I heard someone yell, "Now, we're going to see the green house." They must have had an appointment with an Americorps volunteer to tour the model house.

My house isn't as nice as the model, but it is energy-efficient with solar panels that reduce energy bills to almost nothing and water-saving devices. The five Global Green houses are raised a few feet off the ground just in case we get a lot of water. And they take advantage of being able to see the ships passing on the river.

Every night about 7 p.m., I can hear strains of jazz floating from the Natchez Riverboat dinner cruise. On Sunday evenings, I see the Norwegian Spirit take off for its Caribbean cruise.

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