Monday, December 03, 2007

A Very Uplifting Story



Today I read about Brad Pitt's new plans to help rebuild the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. I was uplifted when I read the plans and visited the site and I want to share it with you.
For those of you who haven't had the good fortune of visiting New Orleans, it's like stepping into an early European village, filled with gorgeous architecture and historical significance.
Like most cities in the Deep South, there is a large African American population and most are poor. They comprise a large part of the service industry and they uniformly show great hospitality, warmth and charm- without being obsequious or disingenuous.
The lower 9th Ward is not a tourist destination. It is where the poor of NOLA live and as such, has been a very low priority for post-Katrina FEMA.
Brad Pitt has worked with several architects, designers and environmentally conscious organizations to create The Pink Project, which describes a master plan to enlist Americans' help in creating a beautiful new 9th Ward that will become an inspiration for rebuilding ghettos and barrios throughout America. Be sure and check out the various architectural drawings for proposed homes. Incredible.

9 comments:

bigsis said...

I've been seeing blurbs about Brad's projects on tv. Sounds wonderful and I'm so happy its in the USA. This kind of news makes me feel good, for a change.
I wonder if Oprah is going to get involved and help out the poorest of poor she can see from her penthouse?

bigsis said...

It costs $150,000 per little bitty dwelling? Habitat for Humanity is building some great places here in Texas for $60,000 and they have more than one bedroom. Personally I'd rather see him build twice as many, with bedrooms for more than one person, and leave out a few of the extravagant greens. Its not like it snows in La.

Distributorcap said...

i am usually suspicious when celebrities do things like this -- this time i am not --- brad is ponying up $5 MILLION of his own money (acc'd to the Today Show) for this project.....

there are some real celebs..... brad seems like one of them...

Karen Zipdrive said...

The pricetag includes the latest in environmentally sound building amenities including solar power and energy saving appliances, heating and air conditioning.
The houses average 1,200 square feet and some have more than one or two bedrooms.
I can see the reasoning behind wanting cheaper dwellings, but I think Brad Pitt is trying to make the 9th Ward more than just a rebuilt ghetto filled with cheaply made cracker boxes, so that returned residents can share a pride that might inspire other builders in the area to raise the living expectations of other 9th Ward inhabitants.
I wish other nouveau riche celebrities like Kanye West and other hip hop artists would pony up $5 million of their money to follow suit in their own communities.
Bush has proven we Americans are on our own in terms of rebuilding the infrastructure of America. If everyone in America donated just $10 to The Pink Project, it could become a miraculous change in the way Americans look at charitable contributions.
I think Brad Pitt's selfless idea will make him a national hero, without that even being his motive.
His stock sure rose in my book.

dguzman said...

I heard Pitt interviewed last night on NPR and was very impressed--they're really trying to create better homes for the people who need them. I too wish that the other celebs who make millions per year would give even one million to Pitt's project.

bigsis said...

Then I stand corrected. Helping those who don't have equal access to resources is good and shouldn't be questioned. I'm so used to there being an angle or scam anymore I guess I've forgotten that there are still decent human beings out there.

karenzipdrive said...

Big Sis is right. Our society has become so crooked we have started to question the motives of anyone who's famous -and- altruistic.
Look at the way the media flipped out when they learned Oprah's Girl's Academy in Africa employed a molester-they were too quick to pronounce the school as a failed plan and eager to imply that Oprah wasn't really hands-on. She had to bust her ass to restore the school's (and her own) credibility.
In this case, I think Brad Pitt was wise to insist these homes be designed with low maintenence, sustainable environmental amenities as an example of not only improving life for the disenfranchised, but elevating their living conditions to make them an inspiration for anyone in a position to create housing for the poor.
It's really a good news story in a world that's become enured to suffering and hardship.
I can think of several millionaire celebrities with dented public images who'd be crazy NOT to chip in the entire $150,000 cost of just one house. They include:
Britney Spears
Lindsay Lohan
Paris Hilton
Jessica Simpson
Nicole Ritchie
Tom Cruise
Amy Winehouse
O.J Simpson
Michael Vicks
Rosie O'Donnell
Ellen DeGeneris
PeeWee Herman
Whitney Houston
Bobby Brown
George W. Bush
Nancy Reagan
Karl Rove
Dick Cheney
Michael Chertoff
Donald Trump...who else?

dguzman said...

Warren Buffett
American Idol judges
any pro sports athlete
any soap opera or TV series stars
pretty much everyone in Hollywood
The Walton family of WalMart infamy

Karen Zipdrive said...

Emeril Lagasse
Heidi Klum and Seal
Anyone who's ever purchased six or more bottles of Crystal in one evening in a bar
Anyone who drives a Hummer
Anyone who has season tickets to watch pro football or basketball teams
Anyone who can afford a vacation house at the beach
Anyone who can afford a rehab stint at Betty Ford