This is vintage Codrescu, on New Orleans, an anomaly of an American city in so many ways. I haven’t said much in explanation of the gallery from there on this page. I went as an invited speaker to the annual African Studies Association meetings. It had been over a decade since I last visited. What did I discover? A depressing shell of an inner city: the no there there phenomenom, with hard living black folks haunting the street corners like spectral creatures. Urban renewal seems to be reduced to the formula of creating shopping malls, and there are plenty of those, plus a quaint streetcar renovated and put into service for the tourists. Oh, there was also the old French Quarter, where the rites in force seem to revolve primarily around getting young women to lift their shirts for the pleasure of drunken, howling crowds. There are plenty of takers, too.
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