All Things New Orleans

Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

WWNO’s radio magazine: a weekly half-hour of timely news, cultural features, and commentary from all corners of our city. Hosted by Jack Hopke.

Jesse Hardman

This coming week in New Orleans will be packed with press conferences and commemorations as the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s nears. The Lower 9th Ward, considered one of the city's most devastated neighborhoods a decade ago, is seeing more visitors than usual, including city workers and business investors.

Local apparrel and accessory company NOLA Til Ya Die.
Nina Feldman

New Orleans is a city with a lot of nicknames. It’s been known as the Crescent City, the City that Care Forgot and the Big Easy. But there’s a new kid on the block.

Over the course of the past 10 years the name "NOLA" has made its way into businesses, non-profits, websites and even the city government. And while no one doubts its convenience, not everyone is on board with the new shorthand.

Chris Mickal

This month, as part of WWNO's ongoing Katrina 10 coverage, we bring you The Katrina Files: Reflections from First Responders. This series is based on oral histories conducted by The Historic New Orleans Collection and hosted by Paul Maassen.

This episode features interviews with the 39th Infantry Brigade of the Arkansas Army National Guard, which was the first unit called after Katrina to back up the Louisiana National Guard.

Hurricane Katrina caused widespread devastation and loss of life, and many of those whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged fled New Orleans.

In the months that followed, many of the city's poorest families got even more bad news: The public housing units they called home would be knocked down, even if undamaged by the storm.

Skylar Fein had only lived in New Orleans for a week before Hurricane Katrina nearly tore it apart. He'd moved there to go to medical school, and found himself wandering around a wrecked city. "It's really hard to describe to someone who hadn't seen it what the streets looked like after the storm," he recalls.

Fein is among other New Orleans artists exhibiting work in shows commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 2005 storm. One thing he has in common with some of the other artists: They weren't artists before the hurricane hit.

On Sept. 15, 2005, two weeks after Katrina and the levee breaches, I drove with my parents into New Orleans. It was my 25th birthday.

We used my press pass from The Village Voice to get past a military checkpoint so we could assess the damage to their home near Tulane University. It turned out to be minimal: a few slate tiles off the roof, tree limbs downed, a putrid refrigerator full of rotting food to drag to the curb.

Richard Campanella

Each month we talk with Richard Campanella about his Cityscapes column for Times-Picayune. This month the Professor of Geography at the Tulane School of Architecture reflects on the idea of natural disasters and their historic impact on New Orleans.

While Katrina’s 10th Anniversary is taking center stage right now, WWNOs Jesse Hardman sat down with Campanella to talk about another famous hurricane, in 1722, that allowed French city planners to completely redesign the city.

Editor's Note: This story contains strong language that some may find offensive.

The smell of blood hung in the air where 17-year-old Gerald Morgan was shot, as firefighters began washing down the sidewalk around the front door of a home in New Orleans East last month.

Police say at least two gunmen jumped out of a car, opened fire, ran near a two-story house and kept shooting, also hitting a 4-year-old boy inside. The teenager died at the hospital. The boy was listed in stable condition. Police have not offered a theory for the cause of the shooting.

St. Bernard Parish from the air.
Jesse Hardman

A coalition of wetlands restoration advocates are using the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina to push their cause, rebuilding marsh along the Mississippi Delta. The MRGO Must Go Coalition wants to remind local residents that Hurricane Katrina’s impact was largely due to environmental degradation caused by private and public entities.

It's blazingly hot outside and five summer fellows from the Tulane City Center are standing in a playground at a youth center in New Orleans. The architecture students diplomatically describe the playground's design as "unintentional": There's no grass, trees or even much shade, and it's surrounded by a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. The students, both graduate and undergraduate, are there to make the playground a little nicer.

"Right now, it feels like a prison," says Maggie Hansen, the center's interim director.