Since the 1700s, crime waves have periodically roiled the city of New Orleans.
But the most recent one is particularly violent
Blackguards have taken the reigns of our fair village and their lootings and plunderings continue unabated whilst the city’s leaders tuck into veal oscar over the tinkling of champagne glasses in New Orleans guilded temples of fine dining.
Brigands burst into Buffa’s Lounge on Monday January 5th 2014 seizing the barkeep, Arden Radosevic and forcing him to open the cash register so they could rifle through the moneys to their hearts content. An unlucky patron was relieved of his wallet but spared his life.
The heist occurred on the eve of a big French Quarter crime rally where concerned citizens planned to take to the streets to protest the dozens of shootings, stabbings, rapes and larcenies that happened in the Vieux Carre over the last few months.
It ain’t easy in the Big Easy and it’s getting harder all the time.
If you don’t have a deep, unswaying love for New Orleans then this is one hard city to live in. Violent crime is out of control, property crime is at record levels and the police force’s numbers are dwindling lower by the day.
Where we live in the Bywater section, the entire neighborhood is on red alert after a 2014 that saw home invasions, rapes, motorcycle thefts, pistol whippings and garden variety crimes against property.
The outlook for any improvement in 2015 appears grim.
What would Adrien de Pauger think? The man who platted New Orleans in 1722 was one of only 470 residents in that august year and he had plenty problems to deal with: drinking water came straight from the Mississippi, there was no sewerage system, yellow fever periodically swept across the city and criminals were hanged in Jackson Square, their bodies swaying in the Mississippi River breeze.
A few nights ago I was working on the motor of my van in the Lower Garden District, as I finished my task I pulled the brace pole from underneath the hood and let it slam shut. It’s an old vehicle and the noise was incredibly loud. A group of four people walking down the street a few feet away immediately hit the tarmac and began scrambling wildly like soldiers crawling underneath barbed wire in World War 1.
“Sorry” I hollered, and they all started laughing as their fear ebbed away. They regained their feet and we stood about for a moment discussing how our city has devolved into the Wild Wild West.
It ain’t easy in the Big Easy.