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"The Welcome Table", hosted by Jessica B. Harris is a monthly exploration into the foods and cultures of different cities across the globe. The debut episode focuses on New Orleans. Be sure to check it out!


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First Aired - 09/22/2010 07:00PM Download MP3 (Full Episode)
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Bdhbigger
Sponsored by
Fairway
This week on Burning Down the House Curtis and friends speak to Wayne Curtis, journalist and resident of New Orleans ("the Caribbean's northernmost city, rather than the USA's southernmost city"), about post-Katrina development and rebuilding the 9th Ward and beyond. Wayne Curtis brings up a number of issues not touched upon in major media coverage of the disaster, including the fact that Rita, not Katrina, caused the death blow, missed opportunities to create permanent housing (cheaper than dangerous FEMA trailers) prevented by Federal Laws, plus the tension between Brad Pitt / FEMA's rebuilding techniques verses the (admittedly controversial) preferred techniques of the 9th Ward populace. Don't miss this candid and unique debate about rebuilding New Orleans, a city with a history that "values the acquisition of leisure rather than wealth". This episode was sponsored by Fairway: like no other market.

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Wayne Curtis, Curtis Wayne, up in Maine, The Gulf Coast as the third coast, written extensively for The Atlantic, rum, And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails, the rebuilding of New Orleans, it's not hard to fall in love with New Orleans, family in New Orleans, Curtis owes New Orleans money, all pre-hurricane records have been lost, central lockup, The Supreme Court on Royal Street, researching a rum book in New Orleans, no good reason for not living in New Orleans, the rebuilding process will make it more interesting than ever, an interesting time to relocate, rebuilding has been more deep-rooted than people expected, below sea level, the original settlers, French Quarter, the Mississippi river, the annual flooding of the river, the highest point is on the river bank, Lake Pontchartrain, about 50% of the city's below sea level, a little bit like Venice, the old shotgun shacks, the indigenous architecture of the poor, post war architecture was hit hardest by the hurricane, homes built on brick piers, built to withstand flooding, post WWII architectural hubris, pumping out the cyprus swamps, developments built on slabs below sea level, the older the building the better it survived Katrina because of location, The French Quarter was basically untouched, no flooding in the Garden District, tourist areas mostly untouched, second-tier tourism areas, New Orleans has always looked a little shabby, population peaked sometime in the 1950s, a lot of blight pre-Katrina in New Orleans, Hurrican Katrina, a lot of peaople couldn't afford to rebuild, reconfiguring the city for a new era, Hurricane as urban renewal,
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nice doleful Cajun music, what happened to the Cajuns, outside Lafayette, Rita hit that part of the coast much more forcibly than Katrina, the rebuilding has been spotty, down in the bayous, New Orleans is defensible, south of New Orleans is much harder to protect, resignation, something has to change, outside movie-lore we don't understand much of the culture there, New Orleans is a Caribbean City, creole roots, America's southern-most city, the Caribbean's northern most city, the approach that people take to building their houses, Brad Pitt and the do-gooders, FEMA, imposing Minnesota standards on a Caribbean city, allow people to rebuild as they would, the accumulation of wealth, the accumulation of leisure, over-investing in lower ninth ward houses, debating building standards, the flooding looked like it was 10 to 12 feet, a tidal wave after the breach, The Brad Pitt Houses are above historic flood levels, catastrophic breach in the levee wall, Thom Mayne, Noah's Ark, how do you build a neighborhood amongst houses on stilts, how do you combine safety with neighborliness, people want to live on the ground, Byron Mouton, sacrificing the ground floor, sensible beach houses in New Jersey, waterlogged, cost-cutting has caused real tragedies of design in the rebuilding, architects should be mindful of the budget, concentrating the reconstruction, lot redistribution, making sure the neighborhood comes back with more than just buildings, rebuilding social connections, coming back to New Orleans, just 35 houses have been rebuilt and occupied, looks like Chernobyl, over 100 more houses in the pipeline, church groups are building houses, the lower 9th ward, the thumb of God came down and wiped it all out, The Make It Right houses, outcry and neighborhood meetings, revamping the development plan, change along the way, Andres Duany,
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rebuilding Haiti, handouts to New Orleans, the Bush Administration, so much money went to Mississippi, Governor Haley Barbour, corruption in New Orleans, mismanagement of the money, where's Oprah, the libertarian democracy of Brooklyn, Haiti is rebuilding much faster than New Orleans, 3500 tent camps in Haiti, the debate over what to do with the 9th ward, you can't have a vibrant community without commerce, a walker's city, New Orleans never really went through the urban renewal of the 1950s and 60s, community needs small buisness, Make It Right, the people need jobs, lower ninth was a post-war subdivision, stores are not coming back where they should, the budding transit system, the lower ninth ward was never the paragon of a walkable community, a residential area, truck farms, the urban farming movement in Brooklyn, community farmers market in New Orleans East, political issues, smells like a land grab to residents, The Ford Foundation, politically untenable, the Roberta's backyard garden, the stagnation of decision making, everyone wanted it rebuilt in a year, the centralized planning approach collapsed, a 10 to 15 year process, the plan to create huge Levittowns across New Orleans, the Katrina Cottage, toxic FEMA trailers, uniform lots, under federal law FEMA can only provide emergency housing, FEMA could not put in permanent housing by law, rum research, Wayne's favorite cocktail is the daiquiri, the daiquiri is almost the perfect drink, the run shrub, shrubs are liquid jams, the reemergence of shrubs, pre-refrigeration technique for capturing the flavor of summer, Roberta's has a margarita machine, visiting right after the hurricane, crime doesn't take a break in New Orleans, Heritage Radio Network in The Style Section of The New York Times,

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First Aired - 06/13/2010 03:30PM Download MP3 (Full Episode)
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Wdp
Sponsored by
Fairway
This week on We Dig Plants Carmen and Alice spoke with Amy Gavaris of NYRP. Amy spoke about Bette Midler's effort to restore parks and gardens throughout the city, and what NYRP is doing to help beautify the land and educate the community.
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