NOLA and Nam


It's ancient in blog years, but last week The Times-Picayune ran a great story about FEMA-hating Catholic Vietnamese immigrants in eastern New Orleans. The community–much of it comprised of actual refugees–has rebuilt and repopulated more quickly than the surrounding neighborhoods:

A drive through eastern New Orleans can be thoroughly depressing. Abandoned businesses with shattered signs and homes with punched-out windows line silent streets.

It can be difficult for outsiders to get their bearings in this part of the city because there has been no concerted effort to replace many of the street signs that Hurricane Katrina ripped away.

All that changes, though, in the neighborhood surrounding Mary Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church. Cars line the streets, homes are occupied, and 3,000 people show up for Mass on Sundays….

"We are libertarians in a sense," [Rev. Vien The] Nguyen, 42, said. "Our request for the government is to get out of the way. If you offer us help, we appreciate that, but don't impede us."

HT: Fran Smith.