Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Scary City

We are looking ahead to Sunday's playoff game against the Eagles around here. The Saints have had a surprisingly good season, and, man, has that been good for morale. Things in the suburban areas like my town are moving towards normality--at least we feel safe and comfortable. Things aren't nearly so rosy in the city itself. The crime rate is surging again, and TPTB are struggling with the problem. Many of the streets remain unlit after dark, and, as an article in today's newspaper points out, even routine encounters can invoke fear:

City is in a dark and scary place now

Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Jarvis DeBerry

My gas gauge was completely on E, and the nearest gas station was the Chevron on the corner of Canal Street and Broad Avenue. It was late. No, it wasn't really late; just dark. Approaching 7:30 p.m. on an increasingly foggy Saturday night in a city that had seen more murders than days in the new year, and I pull into a gas station alone.

Nobody's there. Not even a cashier behind bullet-proof glass. And for the first time in -- well, ever -- I step out of my car worried that someone in New Orleans will hurt me.

Read the rest of the article here.

Update--The mayor announced a multifaceted approach to the current crime wave late yesterday. I lived in Uptown N.O. during a couple of crime waves in the 1990s. There was one carjacking epidemic that got to the point where you simply did a quick stop-and-go at red lights between 10 p.m. and dawn. The crime problem isn't new, but it takes on a new urgency as TPTB try to make the city attractive to businesses and residents who left after the storm.

1 comment:

Ann said...

Thanks for the link. Great article. Scared the hell out of me.

Back Before, we had thought that if Calvin got tenure we might move into the city, to save him the commute. I like living in a city (always have), and Before, New Orleans was a happening place. Always with Big City problems, but probably worth it for the happeningness.

Not any more.

Yeah, our little burb is provincial and dull. But I was playing with the cub scouts outside in the dark for twenty minutes, and it never even occurred to me to be scared.

But even more importantly: I don't think the levees will hold if there's another storm.