Project Lower 9th

This blog is an archive of design process created by multi-disciplinary students from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. We are exploring how design can make a difference in the course of reuniting Lower 9th Ward residents. Please join our journey in helping the people of New Orleans.

February 19, 2006

Letter from our friend Edgar in New Orleans

This is an e-mail sent from our friend Edgar in New Orleans. We met him at the restaurant K-Paul's when we were visiting the city. He showed us amazing photos that he took during the aftermath of Katrina. He also invited us to his home and told us his story of survival during and after Katrina. He went through a lot in last five months but his spirit is very strong and gave us a lot of encouragement and support to keep moving forward with our project. I really hope that we can keep in touch with him....since we are in LA and hard to know the details of what is going on in the city of New Orleans, it would be great to hear the real story from very personal level.
Dear Wakako;
I was down in New Orleans East visiting the Vietnamese community and buying stuff to support their businesses. One lady told my friend that after surviving the horrors of the Vietnam War and the subsequent boat journeys across the oceans, they were ready for anything--Katrina was bad, but that they would make it, regardless. And making it, they are! businesses are open, bakeries, stores, restaurants, etc. It is a model of how people can come together on the face of adversity to rebuild their lives. We left New Orleans East via hwy 510 to St. Bernard and Chalmette. The metallic looking waters of gulf inlets were quiet, and the tree trunks emerged from the distanc like mangled industrial towers amidst overturned boats, reminders of Katrina's fury.
Along St. Bernard and Chalmette there are miles and miles of empty homes and broken dreams. In one house in front of the door we saw a statue of St. Joseph with a rosary wrapped around the neck, in another on top of the roof, a refrigerator, and on another a big sign that read: "au revoir" goodbye! It is a terrible sight that spoils the appetite. Few can understand the devastation without really seeing it in person, and even then, it is hard to comprehend it.


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