I'm not sure that 2011 will be duly recognized as anything of special note, but it seemed to me the time this place really took off.
Streetcar tracks are going down, downtown condos are going up.
People are moving into the heart of the city, always a good economic indicator. Whoever saw such a fuss made about the opening of a grocery store like Rouse's in the CBD?
This place, this city. It's on a roll. Except for that one niggling detail.
Darrell Bell, Chantell Christopher, Lance Jones.....
The parks – City and Armstrong – have never looked better.
Bicycle lanes are being paved across the region, with a green path cutting right through the middle of the city.
Quality of life experts love bicycle use and access. Another positive indicator. We even have bicycle cab now.
This place, it's almost a progressive paradise.
Joshua Lewis, Tracy Andrews, Barry Jeanmarie.....
Have you seen Freret Street lately? Oak Street? St. Claude Avenue? Using the Magazine Street model, these throughways are popping with new, locally-owned retail, art, dining and entertainment venues.
Even Tulane Avenue looks good in some places, the refurbished, bright and mighty Falstaff Brewery lording over it all.
Who would ever have guessed people would want to move to Tulane Avenue?
This place, so full of surprises. So many signs of life and vibrancy.
Except when it's not.
Ronald Holmes, Brent Arocha, Roy Grant.....
Over the past five years, the Saints have transformed from the poorest franchise in all of professional sports into a model operation.
And how many times have they drawn up demolition plans for the Superdome and look at it now: The premiere venue in all of sport, with a nightly, eye-popping light show as lagniappe.
This city, our teams: they've got heart. Except when it stops beating.
Corey Thompson, Derrick Bush, Albert Glover.......
They've made scores of movies in New Orleans in the last three years. We even have our own television show!
There are more local playhouses, art galleries and restaurants than there were before Katrina.
With almost a quarter less residents.
This place, it defies the odds, keeps climbing, rising up. Never say die.
Except when it does. Die. In droves. Like no other place.
It’s that one little detail that keeps New Orleans from becoming an enormous American success story, the revival and restoration model for the ages.
It's all in the details. Those 199 pesky details in 2011.
Bryon Love, Mitchell Pierce, Genevia Berinard, Hilary Campbell, Cedric Johnson, Damon Brooks, Herbert Preston, Brandan Butler, Keira "Pooh Bear" Holmes....