Last weekend the NBA All-Star Game came to New Orleans. If you were one of the thousands to make the trip to the Big Easy and hang out on Bourbon Street, you no doubt saw one kind of New Orleans. Like the Green Zone in Iraq, offering salsa lessons and satellite television, this is an area of unreality. But many see economic investment in the NOLA tourist center as critical to economic revival.
As NBA commissioner
There is no doubt that Stern & Co. were tickled green to do business in the new New Orleans. But as a strategy to rebuild the city, it's shoveling sand in the ocean. This was seen last Friday when the league held an "NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service." The event featured players (including
As self-serving as it may have been, anytime players leave the athletic bubble -- their own mental Green Zone -- it is a positive step, especially when they speak out on the experience. "It's a great shame,"
Nowitzki is right that it will take more than a coat of paint. This is obvious if you take a journey to the B.W. Cooper, C.J. Peete, Lafitte and St. Bernard housing projects. People should see them before they are swallowed whole by the most daring gentrification project this side of Baghdad.
These four "developments," which 4,500 families call home, are now set to be demolished and replaced by 800 condominiums. This, for all intents and purposes, will end low-income housing in the city. Many of these families haven't even been able to come back since the levees broke, unable to even speak out for their homes.
The demolition reflects a city undergoing a radical reconstruction. For the first time in two decades, the City Council has become somewhat paler. As
Last December, at a City Council meeting where the politicians voted to destroy the projects, all the simmering rage boiled over. Hundreds gathered to give testimony and save their homes, but were locked out by police on orders from the Council. As they tried to force their way in, police broke out the pepper spray and Tasers. Then came the SWAT team. The lucky were arrested; others were sent to the hospital. No matter how well-reasoned the argument, a Taser tends to stop the dialogue.
Civil rights lawyer
Last weekend thousands came to New Orleans to celebrate the global popularity of a sport in which the vast majority of players are African-American. Basketball is a game often compared to jazz, with its improvisation and ebb and flow. There is nothing wrong with celebrating the sport in the birthplace of jazz, especially when one All-Star in particular, New Orleans Hornets point guard