Published in Matador Network (September 2014).
1. Get up close to the area where the levees broke.
2005’s Hurricane Katrina wasn’t just a natural disaster, it was a manmade one. While the storm brought incredible amounts of rain and wind, it was a crack in the levees that flooded areas of the city such as the Lower Ninth Ward.
A bike ride through this area gives you an up-close perspective on the devastation, as well as the efforts to rebuild. You’ll see student volunteers making repairs and the Brad Pitt-sponsored Make It Right homes, and you’ll likely get to chat with the residents who loved their community enough to return. At the same time, a leisurely bike ride will also show you the damaged roads and abandoned homes that are a constant reminder of Katrina’s wrath. It’s both an inspiring and sobering experience.