Monday, July 14, 2008

Big Easy getting bigger

Good news for a Monday morning comes from the Census Bureau, which is reporting that New Orleans now ranks as the fastest-growing large city in the nation. (Thanks for the link, Donecia. Even though you're trying to start an argument.)

New Orleans' population grew almost 14 percent to 239,124 in the year ending July 1, 2007.

But this paragraph from the story on sort of sent me reeling: "The figures can be taken with a grain of salt. Over the first seven years of this decade, "The Big Easy" experienced both the largest rate of loss and largest numerical decline, due primarily to the storm that devastated the city nearly three years ago."

Really? "A grain of salt"?

I guess if you're looking in terms of raw arithmetic. But in a larger, more nuanced sense, those numbers show that New Orleans is not an entirely lost cause to a great many people. Some people soberly hinted in the months after Katrina that the displaced folks (most of them black) shouldn't even bother returning to southeast Louisiana, and they should rebuild their lives elsewhere - often in places where the residents weren't entirely happy to see them stick around. The resilience of New Orleanians is inspiring.

And for reasons I can't entirely understand, I've become emotionally invested in New Orleans' recovery - perhaps that only makes me human. But I even abandoned my lifelong allegiance to the Houston Rockets to root for the New Orleans Hornets this spring in the NBA playoffs, hoping that something as simple and stupid as hoops success might somehow matter to the spirits of the good and interesting people there.

Godspeed, New Orleans. And I hope to return soon.


Zen said...

There's GROWTH in New Orleans, but does that mean that the Nawlins folks are returning home? I think if you do a bit more extensive research you'll discover that the people moving to NEW Orleans may not be NEW to Orleans.

Kristina said...

No, I realize that the growth - or re-growth, as it were - might simply be attributed to some of the original Katrina evacuees returning home.

And that's fine by me, given the dire predictions for the city a couple years ago.

The numbers are the numbers, you know? The important thing is that New Orleans is in a growth cycle rather than in a death spiral.

I'm sure Ray Nagin and Co. will welcome home anyone who wants to move in or move back.

blackink said...

That was really weird, dude. I'm obviously not Kristina.

Somewhere out there, there's some girl who's using a similar e-mail name on gmail and the same password.

Now I've got to meet her. Only one of us can be blackink.