I just returned from an extended weekend trip in New Orleans. My wife was born and raised there and most of her family still lives there. The one thing that immediately hit me when we first walked into the airport was that it’s a city with a unique history, flavor, and people. But from my wife’s perspective, Hurricane Katrina has sucked the life out of the city. We visited almost every part of the city and I’ll post some of the pictures. Below, you’ll see some pictures of abandoned houses and neighborhoods in the 9th ward where we visited some of my wife’s family. Entire streets were just sitting empty and the few standing houses looked haunted. I walked through a few of them (carefully) and couldn’t stop thinking that the government is really run by a bunch of a**holes. You mean to tell me they can go to war across the world, build space shuttles, and bail out banks but can’t help to rebuild a city after 4 years? I asked my wife, if this happened in San Francisco, would the government look the other way? She pointed to her skin and shrugged. There were a few construction crews around, though, building new houses. We saw some houses being built with the support of Brad Pitt. Most of these houses looked like space ships sitting next to empty lots. Built about 15 feet high, I figured that they were getting ready to ‘blast off’ in case the levee wall behind the houses broke again. The worst scenes for me were the wandering depressed children and the multitude of abandoned schools just sitting empty. It was crazy to drive a few blocks here or there and see the wealthy neighborhoods going about their business without a clue or care as to what’s happening in the poorer areas. Another strange thing I saw was the make-up of the construction crews. In a city with many, many African-American men in need of work, EVERY construction site (and Home Depot or Loews) we passed by had ONLY white and Mexican men working. What the eff?