“Life experienced through a windshield is one step away from watching it on TV, but even a bicycle tour can become just a series of sights.” - Ninth Ward Rebirth Bike Tours
Our team had the opportunity to tour the Lower Ninth Ward on a bicycle. Through the tour, we got the opportunity to see the sighs, eat the food and meet people of the “Lower Nine”. The tour left a last impression on the group and ask the team to reflect on the following question: “What was the one mental image from the day that stuck with you and why?”
Here’s what the team had to say:
The mental image that stuck out ito me the most was the lower ninth ward. It really stuck out to me because it was hard to believe that after seven years you still have houses with X’s on them and they are still not fixed. It was really hard to imagine the town underwater and to comprehend what people went through.
- Brittany Freeze
(Note: The X’s Brittany are referring to are a mark from the first responders after Katrina.)
The image of the canal. The fact that I was sitting in front of the area where it flooded. I had a mental image of the water rising and breaking the flood gates.
- Shaunacee Harris
The cypress swamp by MRGO. The trees were skeletal stumps all through the canal and while you saw to the other side, you seed to have the forest so thick you couldn’t see through the trees. It was so sad to se the destroyed wetlands and how people destroyed them
- Liz Kripner
The mental image that stuck out to me was the the 9th ward. It was completely different then my image that I had coming to New Orleans. It completely changed my life.
- Kristine Dutton
The image that stayed with me the most is Mr. Lewis and his museum. Mr. Lewis shows that even through the city has experienced so much destruction and turmoil the culture and traditions still stay strong and will remain strong.
- Englann Taylor
An image that stuck with me was a sign in the lower 9th ward. It read “This is a neighborhood not a dump.” It was my favorite because even though there was not left of the lower 9th ward. It was still home to some people
- Jewel Wright
Biking to the lower 9th ward and wondering if we were there yet. It’s really sad how people/the media portray the 9th ward as “sketchy” or “ghetto” or this terrible place. When actually it is a beautiful community with wonderful, high-spirited people caucusing on rebuilding. Overall Favorite part: Meeting Mr. Ronald Lewis
- Sam Peart
The picture that continues to stick out in my mind is the openness of the lower 9th ward. As I was riding, I was amazed about how much green space there was, but then I really remembered that there used to be houses in all that green space. Seeing the devastated swamp was also disturbing. And then there is that lonely red chair sitting on the front porch of NOLA.
- Megan Alvord
The strongest image that I saw today was during the bike tour of the lower 9th ward and the “green houses”. The overly priced houses 2x the normal cost in NOLA made me realize how people can still be inconsiderate of the others needs. These people need our help but it needs to be directed in the right way. With adequate resources and volunteer work, we can rebuild New Orleans’s Lower 9th Ward!
- Heather Meiggs
There were so many amazing moments throughout the day but I think I’m only going to go with the bike ride through the upper 9th ward. All of the colors, different styles, and the ages of the houses really spoke to me. I could really see myself living in that area one day.
- Danielle Del Valle
The mental image that stuck to me the most was of Ronald Lewis. He embodies the New Orleans spirit despite the circumstances he experienced and further enriched my understanding of Mardi Gras and New Orleans in general.
- Sid Gandra
I would have liked to known the lower 9th ward before Katrina because it seems so rich in culture in atmosphere. It’s shocking to know that it disappeared over a mistake. However, it’s great to see people all kinds of people, help to restore it and bring back its life. People all around the world would have their communities, so the 9th ward should have theirs too.
- Sarah Wood
Seeing everyone on their porches waving to us as we passed by. It made me feel welcomed and I could tell that we were thankful to have us there. It was very different atmosphere and place then what I had imagined.
- Mary Yemma
An image that continues to haunt me is the empty concrete steps that littered many empty lots. To know that each of those lots once contain another waving welcoming family like the ones we encountered whose life was interrupted in a way I can’t even begin to imagine was an overwhelming realization as we explored the abandoned streets.
- Rachael Zigler