Miami native Rosy Antoine attended the University of New Orleans in 2010 and moved to New Orleans the following year. She lives in New Orleans East and is an Amtrak train attendant.
"I see they're trying to aim for more economic boosts as far as hosting things in the city, the city committing a lot of money, creating more jobs whenever there are those extra events in the city (Super Bowl, monster truck rallies, conventions), but I also see the bad as far as almost trying to sanitize the whole culture of New Orleans.
"I'm originally from Miami, and we never had the culture. Everyone knows us for one thing ... the beach. Even that, throughout the years, progressed almost into bullying. There's an injustice in class: only a certain class can go there and spend as much money as they would like to and live there. I see the same thing here. A lot of the stores are not really in locations where most everyone has access. They're mainly Magazine Street, but not everyone in Uptown can afford that. They're opening up all these chain restaurants and stores, and there are a lot of entrepreneurs in New Orleans that that money can be going to, but they want to almost cookie cutter this city [to be like] all the other major cities that are booming right now — to attract a certain type of person to live here and to shop here.
"In that aspect I understand trying to boost that moneywise, but it also changes the city for the bad. It takes away from the culture of the city. People come here expecting a certain attitude, a certain atmosphere. The same thing happened with Miami. People come there expecting people to all be in bikinis and happy, and it doesn't happen that way, because people get bitter, they get resentful watching their city turn into something it really isn't.
"I see it happening as far as the noise ordinances. Since Louis Armstrong was here, people who have played instruments have been on the streets playing their instruments. That's how a lot of them got discovered. They're trying to take that away. People are fighting that because they see what is going on, but unfortunately in Miami, no one fought back because they thought it would be a 'phase' kind of thing. But when you don't fight back, that's when you're going to regret that you didn't because it will change right in front of your eyes and it will become a completely different city than you knew. The noise ordinance, all these condos going up that are not affordable to the residents here but are attracting people who are able to spend that kind of money to live here and raising all the other rent prices and tax prices. It's unfortunate to me for the people who are originally from here.
"I feel it's up to people who want to save the city, whether you are from here or not. and save its authenticity to really fight for it." — As told to Kandace Power Graves
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