Tuesday, January 06, 2015

"New" New Orleans

Wall Street Journal on the New Orleans noise wars.
Now, as a yet undefined “new” New Orleans rubs up against whatever is left of the old one, brass bands have been shut down on their customary street corners. Music clubs have increasingly been hit with lawsuits and visited by the police responding to phoned-in complaints. A revival of rarely enforced ordinances has met a fresh groundswell of activism. All this has happened in the context of swift gentrification of neighborhoods such as Tremé, long a hothouse for indigenous culture.

In any city, gentrification raises questions: What happens when those who build upon cultural cachet don’t want that culture next door? But even long-standing residents of the city’s historic neighborhoods have had a sometimes uneasy coexistence with the city’s largely organic culture, and their legitimate quality-of-life expectations (noise, crowds, and such) beg for clear and enforceable rules. Yet in New Orleans such concerns are underscored by an exceptional truth—a functional jazz culture that is, for many, elemental to daily life and social cohesion.
Yeah.. I guess.  But I wish we could talk about this more in terms of pure right and wrong rather than in terms of what is or isn't "authentic NOLA" that tourists expect to see.  Street music and late hours should be desirable elements of city life in general, shouldn't they? 

Also, "long a hothouse for indigenous culture."  Ugh, what does that even mean?  Stop writing  about New Orleans like it's some sort of cartoon.  People live here.. or at least they used to before the rent got too damn high.  People like to have a good and loose time while they're living.  Don't they like that everywhere?


Nolaresident said...

"long a hothouse for indigenous culture." Ugh, what does that even mean?

It means we sweat a lot here?

Todd Price said...

Did they say we were "magic"?

Bradley said...

"Don't they like that everywhere?"

I unsarcastically think they do not, actually.