New Orleans' history shows that culture can be invigorated by new influences: Richard Campanella, in the Times-Picayune.
Campanella votes that it is all good, because we're still moving. He concludes:
As for our "Big Issue," I suggest that progress does not destroy culture; on the contrary, it breathes new life into it. Culture is ever-experimenting, evolving, discarding, borrowing and inventing. It's in a state that a physicist might call "dynamic" rather than "static equilibrium." Static equilibrium is what keeps a chair upright. Dynamic equilibrium is what keeps a moving bicycle upright. A moving bike stands up because it's making progress, not despite it; it only falls down when it stops. So too, I believe, culture.
We have two centuries of evidence demonstrating that the progress and conflict currently dominating headlines not only do not threaten the culture of New Orleans, but rather promise to enrich it.
Richard Campanella, a geographer with the Tulane School of Architecture, is the author of "Bienville's Dilemma, Geographies of New Orleans," and other books, as well as an upcoming (2014) cultural history of Bourbon Street. He may be reached at email@example.com or richcampanella.com.