A flood (sorry) of articles about New Orleans lately, because of the Katrinaversary:
- The NYT’s Nicolai Ouroussoff has a piece about a couple of big proposed building projects in N.O. One is “an extravagant proposal for a new New Orleans National Jazz Center and park by Morphosis, is the most significant work of architecture proposed in the city since the Superdome.” Ouroussoff seems pretty impressed by the Jazz Center ideas. (The other project involves redeveloping a six-mile stretch along the Mississippi, part of which would be a park.) It all sounds a little pie-in-the sky to me, and toward the end he acknowledges funding issues. Anyway, it’s an interesting overview.
- Salon has an article that (in the second half) emphasizes the continuing problems faced by N.O. musicians. Actually it’s stories like this that make me wonder about that Jazz Center proposal. I know it isn’t this simple but: Is it really going to be the case that some massively expensive monument to jazz gets built for the benefit of tourists or whatever — while actual New Orleans musicians end up being unable to make a living in the city? What’s wrong with that picture?
- Finally, if you haven’t read Michael Lewis’s New York Times Magazine piece about the “catastrophe bond” and the securitization of disaster risk, I recommend it. It’s long, and a bit complicated at times, but I think he does as good a job as it’s possible to do in making this complex but important subject comprehensible. Here’s the link.