Back to the 9th Ward: Pitt stop
As soon as Dani and I arrived back in N.O., we started checking things out.  Our trip from the airport took up through the city itself.  First stop: The 9th Ward, ya'll.

I'm dividing this expedition into two sections since, really, that's what's going on in the 9th.  Actually, I don't really know what all is going on here, but in the section that was hardest-hit (i.e., where the water from Industrial Canal pushed houses off their foundations), Brad Pitt and Angelina are doing their charity thing and bringing in all sorts of experimental urban planners to redevelop the area.

Not in the 9th Ward yet technically, but on our way there we saw the search and rescue paint here: "4 chows F/W 10/3."  I don't know what "F/W" means either.

Going over the Industrial Canal (that thing that burst its retaining wall in a couple places and flooded the 9th) we saw a lot of pink and wondered what was up.

Awww, that's, ummmm... kind of insulting.  Seriously, pink?

I blame Angelina.

There were loads of this things... whatever they were...

...and some of them even had solar panels.

That's the front steps of a former home (the home probably ended up a few hundred feet away if it was in the path of the flood).

The pink things just seemed to be dropped in any old where with no rhyme of reason.  We looked under one of them, and it was just scaffolding.  I have no idea what their purpose is except as place holders.

They even painted the blocks in front of this house.  They were well along in renovating this place.  Good thing the plumbing worked or Dani would have been in the hospital.  (Why do women have to pee hourly?)

A bandstand (or something).  There were volunteers out and about, but I don't know what they were doing exactly.

A look down the street.  This is about two streets away from the Industrial and part of this was directly in line with the break.

Yep, that's Brad.

I didn't get any shots from the outside, but there was a "museum" on-site that consisted of three 18-wheeler cargo banks opened up and filled with informational posters (like the one at left or below) and foamcore architectural models of experimental homes.

You can tell how interested I was in any of these from the paucity of pictures on this page.  You're looking at nearly all I took.

This is a map of the destruction.  The red homes are gone.  The ones in black are supposedly still there, although I think it would be charitable to say most of them were anything other than destroyed as well.

The wire-frame thing in the midground is what's under the pink stuff everywhere else.

The grey wall in the background is the new retaining wall of the Industrial Canal.

They put up new street signs.  Even before Katrina, the original street signs were crap, just painted planks of wood.  I'm not kidding.  I honestly thought they were a stop-gap solution of how to navigate the area in lieu of recognizable landmarks (at least in their original positions).

Eventually we made our way a little farther north to this observation deck that was about three stories up.

Alien invasion?  Those are slabs of the original homes in the foreground (and beneath much in the distance).

Looking out over the gentrification(?!).  Off in the distance you can see the Claiborne Ave. bridge over the Industrial.  The solar panels in the nearground probably weren't getting much to work with today.  Then again, I'm not sure they were even plugged into anything.  Brad Pitt or not, this seemed a lot like a bunch of props and a lot of imagination.

It says "please watch your step."

Oh, and the lights are pink as well.  I'd make a joke about these creating ambiance for Angelina and Brad's fantasy, but I think that's pretty close to the truth.

Alexplored 12/21/07.
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