Riverfront Alliance To Host Book Signing For Acclaimed Urbanist, Author Gratz
NEW ORLEANS – The Riverfront Alliance will present an evening with acclaimed author Roberta Brandes Gratz, reading from and discussing post-Katrina observations promoted in her new book “We’re Still Here Ya Bastards: How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City.”
The reading, discussion and book signing will take place Thursday, August 20, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. at All Soul’s Episcopal Church in Holy Cross, 5500 Saint Claude Ave., between Caffin Avenue and Flood Street.
The event will be free and open to the public and books will be available for purchase.
Gratz is an acclaimed urbanist who has published four previous books, including most recently “The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs.” Her writing has also appeared in the Nation, the New York Times Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. She resides in New Orleans and New York.
“We’re Still Here Ya Bastards” presents a panoramic look at New Orleans’ revival in the years following Hurricane Katrina. By telling stories often ignored by the mainstream media, Gratz shows the strength and resilience of a community that continues to work to rebuild itself despite what she sees as flawed governmental policies. She repeatedly proffers that the most profound benefits achieved in the post-storm recovery period have resulted from grassroots efforts started by passionate citizens of their own volition.
“The rebirth is being planned and implemented by the citizens from the ground up, not for them from above,” Gratz writes in “We’re Still Here Ya Bastards.” “
Combining in-depth journalistic research with compelling storytelling, Gratz illuminates nuanced aspects of the storm such as the politics that stymied immediate government response, the demise of Charity Hospital and irrevocable changes to the public housing system.
Her examination of the battle in Holy Cross between neighbors and developers will resonate with citizens citywide, and contains both cautionary notes and a blueprint for residents facing similar commercial pressures in their historic neighborhoods.
As New Orleans prepares to mark the 10-year anniversary of Katrina, it has moved from recovery and rebuilding into a renaissance period of growth and expansion. With Gratz’ keen insights and cautionary examples, she shows readers how they can avoid adding a fourth “R” to the list: Regret.
The Riverfront Alliance is a volunteer coalition representing 8 neighborhood and community organizations in New Orleans: Algiers Point, French Quarter Citizens (FCC), Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association (FMIA), Holy Cross, Neighbors First for Bywater, VCPORA (Vieux Carre Property Owners and Residents Association), Esplanade Ridge-Treme Civic Association (ERTCA), and Louisiana Landmarks.
It advocates for preservation of architectural integrity and residential quality of life in New Orleans.