Where the Trees are Winning

Tree 1 Sidewalk 0

New Orleans and New York have a lot in common besides their first names. As the infrastructure crumbles, city officials sell out to developers. Both cities cater to rich people and tourists to the detriment of most residents. And both cities are wonderful, full of interesting people, neighborhoods, and food.

There’s one thing New Orleans seems to understand that New York hasn’t worked out. Trees are more important than pavement. The big curvy roots of gigantic live oaks make sidewalks bulge and break. What does the city do? They leave the trees alone. Pedestrians hike over the lumpy sidewalks. Cars swerve around the trees that take up more parking spaces than a bus.

Is it negligence, lack of funds or is it because New Orleans appreciates its trees? I don’t know. I’m one of those pesky tourists (though a long-term one). After spending a year fighting New York government that wants to chop down 1,000 mature trees in our neighborhood East River Park this year, I’m appreciating New Orleans where trees get to be trees.

Here it looks like a homeowner has eliminated the front yard to accommodate the trees.

OK, I do have to stop romanticizing and realize New Orleans is terrible for handicapped people. Though there are curb cuts for wheelchairs on every corner, many sidewalks are impassable for wheelchairs. The streets aren’t better. They are crumbling. New York is much better for getting around. Can there be a way to have our trees and be able to get around smoothly? Look at the creative solution above. Move the sidewalk, not the trees.

New York, take note. Move the floodwalls, not the trees.

See the website for East River Park ACTION for more on the fight to save East River Park in New York.

9 thoughts on “Where the Trees are Winning

    1. I bet they do have insurance salesmen and also lawyers for the city to defend against suits from people who go splat in the night (the streets are also under-lighted). This is a sweet place to live. Summers would be tough.

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    2. My grandfather (my fathets father) was walking down Exposition Blvd. Along Audubon Park in the afternoon. He tripped on a root. He had a stroke when he fell and died. He had a roofing company. My dad used to brag that half the slate roofs in New Orleans were put on by Jordy Roofing. He was on his way to check on a roofing job.
      The city was so small back then, my mother was ironing and heard of the incident on the radio.
      My grandmother mused much later on that maybe she should have sued the city. As we dont know, was it was the root that caused the stroke or was it the stroke alone that did the deed?
      That tree on Calhoun is one I adored as a child and still do!
      Love this post!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love Exposition Blvd. That’s where I bike every day. I’lll think about your granddad there. I’m glad you don’t hold it against the roots.

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  1. Voting for the trees! This happened in an old neighborhood of mine and down came the trees. Now nice sunny and quite hot concrete to admire and not dream under. Take a lesson NYC parks!
    Beautiful pictures Pat. Wish I could afford to live there.💚

    Liked by 1 person

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