NY Times: Jungleland - The Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans Gives New Meaning to ‘Urban Growth’
Jungleland?? We're not sure what we think of this cover story in the New York Times Magazine. We welcome the much-needed attention to our ongoing challenge with abandoned lots, blighted properties and illegal dumping. But as we continue to report here, there are many amazing developments happening as well throughout the Lower 9th Ward - setting an example for sustainability for the rest of the nation...and that goes well beyond what's happening at Make It Right. Mr. Richland, we cordially invite you to a complete tour of the Lower 9!
By Nathaniel Rich
“We have snakes,” Mary Brock said. “Long, thick snakes. Kingsnakes, rattlesnakes."
Brock was walking Pee Wee, a small, high-strung West Highland terrier who darted into the brush at the slightest provocation — a sudden breeze, shifting gravel, a tour bus rumbling down Caffin Avenue several blocks east. But Pee Wee had reason to be anxious. Brock was anxious. Most residents of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans are anxious. “A lot of people in my little area died after Katrina,” Brock said. “Because of too much stress.” The most immediate sources of stress that October morning were the stray Rottweilers. Brock had seen packs of them in the wildly overgrown lots, prowling for food. Pee Wee, it seemed, had seen them, too. “I know they used to be pets because they are beautiful animals.” Brock corrected herself: “They were beautiful animals. When I first saw them, they were nice and clean — inside-the-house animals. But now they just look sad.”The Lower Ninth has become a dumping ground for unwanted dogs and cats. People from all over the city take the Claiborne Avenue Bridge over the Industrial Canal, bounce along the fractured streets until they reach a suitably empty area and then toss the animals out of the car. But it’s not just pets. The neighborhood has become a dumping ground for many kinds of unwanted things. READ MORE >>