I'm not really buying that New Orleans is the most livable city. Don't get me wrong - I don't mind being kept on my toes and experiencing quite a bit of inconvenience in my daily life, in exchange for living in one of the coolest places on earth, but who the fuck voted us "livable"? Public transportation is a joke, the bureaucracy is absurd, while the murder rate may be a bit lower than it has been in the past, it's still alarmingly high, the schools are a mess, the rate of young black men in prison are a mess, many streets flood when it drizzles, rent is sky high compared to wages. Crime is insane, car insurance is barely affordable because of the number of uninsured drivers around.

There are not enough bike lanes, our previous mayor just got busted for ethics violations, the cops have to wear cameras because they can't be trusted not to beat and sexually assault people, cops don't come when you call, projects take years longer than they were supposed to, get stopped in the middle, and sometimes reversed - costing the taxpayers and insane amount of money. There is a ton of abject poverty and people who need assistance who can't get enough of it.

My friend got a permit to open a restaurant because she agreed to put poker machines in it - because the brother of the poker machine guy was the one at City Hall who had to sign the paper. The most vulnerable residents have been displaced and are unable to come home - the city is full of transplants (like me) who came in after Katrina because we could afford to. So, I guess, it's livable for us (although not-so-much), but not for real New Orleanians (the poorer, older homeowners without insurance suffered the worst financial fate from Katrina).

I LOVE my city but New Orleans takes a certain dedication and "c'est la vie" attitude to live here. For most of us, its redeeming qualities by far outweigh all this (true for me). For me, it is just plain worth it to be in a place that is so full of culture and life and fun and friendly people (not to mention the best food on earth).

But "livable" is not the word to describe it. Not even a little.

The image you see is a screen shot below my friend sharing this article this morning. "Related" articles, indeed.

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