Our open-air culture and its availability to all is the truly distinctive thing about New Orleans — the thing that keeps the city vibrant and a mecca for visitors from all over the world. Lose that, and we’re Omaha. Omaha without even a stockyard. Deb is not alone in arguing that for New Orleans to thrive, these cultural traditions must be preserved in all their vitality — not just relegated to the life-size diorama that is the French Quarter.

Deborah Cotton, who has done videography for The Lens and has reported on second-line parades for Gambit and NOLA.com, was among those shot. Cotton had recently debuted a new website called New Orleans Good Good, about “only in New Orleans people, traditions [and] events.” Here’s Cotton talking about violence in New Orleans (Via Cliff’s Crib):

Shell is preparing to drill 9,500 feet — nearly two miles — beneath the surface of the sea to suck oil out of a reserve that was discovered eight years ago, 200 miles southeast of New Orleans. … The quest for deeper wells reflects advancing technology and increasing desperation as shallower reserves dry up.

Mark Moseley

Mark Moseley blogs at Your Right Hand Thief. Until mid 2014, Mark Moseley was The Lens' opinion writer, engagement specialist and coordinator for the Charter Schools Reporting Corps. After Katrina and...