Sunday, August 29, 2010

Katrina & NYC

Today is the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Category 5 storm that wrecked havoc on the Gulf coast and the city of New Orleans. A vibrant, exciting, wonderful American city was traumatized and nearly destroyed, and five years later it is still struggling to come back -- slowly but surely.

New Orleans had a population of roughly 450,000 at the time and today its population is about 350,000. While nearly the entire city was evacuated during the storm and most residents have returned, some didn't and found new lives elsewhere.

This includes NYC. Many former New Orleanians are now New Yorkers and have success and happiness here. Some of gone back to school, found new careers, made totally new lives. And it just goes to prove that NYC is a place where people can come from anywhere, no matter what their circumstances or the situation that drove them here, and forge new paths. A hundred years ago it was poor immigrants from Europe -- today it's refugees from our country.

Out of tragedy, hope.

That said, some are sad that they find going back to New Orleans impossible and others are thinking about going back someday. I went to New Orleans last year and while the city is still recovering, its magic still remains. Hopefully one day New Orleans will be as amazing as ever, a great sister city to our own.

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